Was babysitting for some friends yesterday and after leaving there house in the evening was cycling into town to go to the pub quiz as usual on a Sunday. Wasn't half a kilometre from their house when I came a cropper cycling over some rough ground near a building site. It's just covered with a load of gravel and over the weeks since it's been there, the gravel is moving more and more out onto the path as people cycle and walk over it rather than walk the longer way round over the path. Exactly what I was doing I have to admit but I hadn't realised so much of the gravel had moved over the past week, since the last time I was there. I had just reached the path and was turning slightly to get round the corner when the wheels skidded on that loose gravel on the path and off I went.
Gave my head a bit of a bang (or at least, my helmet gave my head a bit of a bang - very glad I was wearing it) but the scariest part was that the wind was completely knocked out of me and it took me a few seconds to be able to breathe properly. I have a bad cut on my left hand and a very bad graze on my right arm, just below my elbow, as well as a few smaller cuts and grazes, not to mention bruising all up and down that arm. Couple of small bruises on my legs, too, but they're from the bike I think. I'm feeling very stiff and quite sore and generally very sorry for myself.
A few people stopped to help me and one man insisted on waiting with me until I had phoned my friends. That was nice of him. I think he could see that I was a bit more shocked and shaken than I realised. One of my friends came running up with a first-aid kit and then walked me back to their house, where they very nicely cleaned and disinfected and plastered my wounds. I was kind of okay until I rang them actually, but then hearing someone on the other end of the phone sounding concerned sort of made me fall apart a bit so by the time I got back to their house I wasn't even really capable of washing my hands and arm myself and was just sort of stupidly standing there holding out my arms. Luckily, since they have a kid, they took it all in stride and just took over and did everything. They even drove me home and will bring my bike back to me during the week. I remarked to my friend as she was dropping me home that it's not that I couldn't have managed to patch myself up, but it was very nice that someone else was there to do it for me.
Honestly, I had a similar kind of accident when I was 12: the first day I was allowed to cycle to school on my own, I got too close to the curb on the way home and off I went. And when I was doing my semester in Germany I remember borrowing a bike to cycle through the nearby woods and something coming loose from the bike so that the bike, that part (maybe the gear lever or the brake handle?) and me all went in different directions. Didn't get hurt that time though, as far as I remember. So, I haven't had too many accidents in my time. Although given that I also didn't cycle more than three or four time from the time I was about 20 until the year before last, I'm not sure that my record is actually as good as I think it is.
Oh well. I'm still a bit headachey but I also haven't taken any painkillers. Don't have any paracetemol and apparently, if there's a risk of concussion, you're not supposed to take ibuprofen or aspirin, both of which, of course, I do have. I don't think I have a concussion but better safe than sorry. Interestingly, I found out the German word for concussion and, if it was translated literally, it'd be "brain jolt" - what a great language German is. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
I meant to go and lie down this afternoon but by now it's just after seven o'clock so I think I'll just stick it out for another hour and then go to bed for the evening. I'm going to get up early and go to the doctor in the morning, just to get checked. I'm not exactly having difficulty breathing but I'm not really 100% normal either - don't think I broke any ribs but I may have bruised one, I suppose. There's not bruise on my right side but it's very, very tender to the touch. Then I'll have to find some time to stop into the opticians as my glasses also went flying went I banged my head and seemed to have acquired a couple of small scratches on the left lens. Time to find out if that insurance I bought is worth anything.
Despite all of that, I did head out this morning with friends as planned and we got the tram out to Kaiserswerth and then walked back. This is the same walk I did in January and it took me three hours then. This morning I used my mapmywalk app and discovered that what I thought was about 10km would actually be closer to 12 or 13. Unfortunately I don't know exactly because my battery ran out just before we hit the 10km mark. But, we got to 9.63km in 2 hours and 6 minutes so I definitely would have been home in less than three hours. Haven't managed to do enough to improve my time back down to two hours but will be really happy to do the mini-marathon next week in less than two and a half if I can.