Room Full of Mirrors

… and all I could see was me

A Bicycle Crash

On August 27, 2021 I drove from my house in the Atlanta, GA area to downtown Philadelphia, PA. My goal: participate in the 2021 Philadelphia Naked Bike Ride. I don’t get truly excited by many things, but I was very excited for this event. First, it would be way outside of my normal comfort zone and a chance to expand my life experience. Second, I am extremely weary of the shame we attach to the human body as a society. I see events like this as a way toward overcoming such inane views.

So drove up on Friday, had a nice leisurely morning touring some national monuments, and passing time until time for the ride.

The Crash

The afternoon had a few rain showers. But they passed in time for the event, at least enough that there were only occasional drops. So the streets were wet. And the streets were unfamiliar. I was biking to the event, enjoying the fact that Philadelphia has actual bike lanes along most of the thoroughfares, when I came to an intersection where I needed to turn left. The intersection was a large one fed by, I believe, five roads. As I was trying to get through the junction quickly, I didn’t notice the trolly tracks in the road until I was crossing them.

Disaster!

The still wet, and very slick, trolly tracks ripped my bike out from under me. I went down right arm and face first straight into the asphalt. One loud crack! later and my weekend was over. I didn’t lose consciousness, and immediately jumped up with enough orientation to gather my bike and self and get out of the road before cross traffic started flowing again. Some helpful people across the road (sorry, I wish I had got your names and such!) rushed to my aid and got an ambulance ordered. I spent the rest of the weekend in Presbyterian hospital in downtown Philidelphia undergoing scans and observation.

Result: I acquired a ~2mm subdural hematoma, several scrapes and bruises, and a fractured humerus. Once I got back home and met with local doctors I learned that I need to limit screen time (brain activity) for a couple weeks, and I shouldn’t need surgery on my arm if I keep it immobilized for at least three solid weeks. It’ll take around six to eight weeks to get back to any normalcy.

Final Thoughts

  1. Philidelphia is interesting. It has a lot of history, and a lot of museums to match, with some really nice infrastructure (at least in development). But I never felt actually safe while alone walking through it. Literally, there are homeless on every corner dealing with varying degrees of substance abuse.

  2. The Marriott downtown on Market and Filbert is a nice enough hotel, but they are completely useless at compasion. When I called from my hospital bed to ask what we could do to make my ordeal easier, since I had no way of knowing when I would actually be discharged from the hospital, the best they would do is extend my checkout time to 14:00. Nevermind that they only offer valet parking on site so I would still have to figure out how to deal with the parking garage they directed me to across the street. In short: this hotel can fuck off.

  3. If you need them in an emergency, there are worse hospitals you could find yourself at than Presbyterian. For reasons too difficult to get into now, though, I am quite happy to be back in Atlanta being seen by some best in the world doctors.