Like a good house-trained fellow, I visited the supermarket for the food for a day or two, leaped on my bike, and began cycling energetically home.
The cycle route passes over a bridge over a slight but historic stream. I stopped to admire one of the stream's daffy Coot birds. I climbed back onto the bike, and started increasing the pressure on the pedals.
|Sole witness ... Did the sweet Coot waterbird witness the accident beside the busy highway? Photo of a Fulica atra swimming in the river iItchen in Southampton. Source Photo by user:geni Author Geni; Permission (Reusing this file) GFDL CC-BY-SA|
The next moment, so it seemed, I was looking up into the faces of a small crowd. Two ambulances waited nearby.
Something had happened, some drama, that knocked me from the bike. It was as if I woke part-way through a nightmare, and only after a few moments was I aware of considerable pain, and splashes of blood from wounds on my face and arms.
That was Monday evening. I was rushed to the excellent St George's Hospital, and squeezed into their trauma ward.
I couldn't have wanted for better carers, for more empathy, and for that matter more bandaging. A very bruised, bloody, and curious fellow was to spend the night and almost another day there.
I didn't know what happened, the medics could only guess, and tomorrow – if recovery continues to progress – I will visit the scene to see if I can find tracks of a vehicle that somehow almost-secretly bulldozed down my bicycle and its rider.
It's great, even astonishing, that we can live and learn from dramas in life, even one as potentially life-threatening as this. I've never experienced the non-awareness side of an accident before. I have no recollection whatsoever of the missing and brutal minutes. Why didn't I hear the vehicle's approach? Why didn't anyone report the collision? What will that grassy track beside the busy A240, the Kingston Road in the stretch to the Kingston Bypass, reveal?
I hope to be able to offer some answers to a personal and very painful experience tomorrow.
Thanks very much for visiting the blogs for my adventure book, Sailing to Purgatory.