Yesterday dad and I had a lovely ride around Mercer Island. After we split up, I thought I’d do a few extra miles, so I headed east down 124th towards the Sammamish River Trail. But for some reason when I got to the bottom of the hill at the intersection with Willows Road, I thought a red light was green and I proceeded at speed into the intersection. I realized my mistake too late to stop, although I locked up my brakes and did the best I could to steer away from the pickup truck that loomed enormously ahead of me like a vast wall.

I almost missed it. The police officers found some places on the truck where I had brushed against the rear fender, wiping off the dirt — and nothing more. I don’t remember hitting the truck. I do remember coming down the hill, grabbing my brakes, feeling my rear wheel go into the air and knowing I was crashing. Then I remember being on the ground, crashed, with a bunch of passers-by standing around over me.

Thereafter it became a pretty classic whirl of firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and the unfortunate guy whose truck I hit. At some point Future Katie will have to deal with insurance companies and hospital bills, but at the moment paramedics whisked me away to the emergency room on a back board with my neck and head securely — and uncomfortably — braced.

Crash 1

Several hours later, X-rays and a CT scan confirmed that, miraculously, I had sustained no broken bones. No apparent internal injuries. No serious concussion. Just a gash where my face met the pavement, plus tons of road rash in inexplicable places (top of the right shoulder and the left elbow? Huh?)

About four hours after arriving, I was the proud owner of four new stitches in my chin and, alas, poorer by one of my favorite jerseys (not only did the road shred it, but the hospital folks cut the shoulder off. Waaahhh!) and my absolute favorite helmet. But that helmet did its job, so I have no complaints.

Crash 2: Stitches

I’m very fortunate. I don’t know yet how fortunate my bike is. That will wait until I have time to get to a bike shop.

Not so fortunately, I found sleep utterly elusive after arriving back home. Everything hurts and I can’t lay the way I want to. I expect today to feel very long at work, with lots of “you should see the other guy” jokes on our video calls. And I expect to take drugs to ensure that I sleep very well tonight, because I already feel utterly exhausted. It’s going to be a long day.

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