Near miss in Michigan.


Legendary Member
My brother lives outside Detroit. I have just received this from him:

"I went cycling on Sunday to my usual favorite "super ride" which is an arduous eighteen mile trail winding between the glacial moraines left by the last ice age about 10 minutes away from here. Sunday was a cold, manky, wet, greasy day, one of those days where you have had enough of being indoors and decide, "what the hell" then go out irrespective of conditions. The trail was virtually deserted, only a few cars in the parking lot. I was glad of my leggings, warm top and gore-tex jacket. Nice long gloves too and my usual trusty helmet. It must have been about two or three degrees. It felt cold. After an hour or so, I decided i`d had enough and took a shortcut which would eventually bring me back onto the return trail and back to the parking lot. I noticed that very few bikers had ridden this trail, judging by the tire tracks, perhaps a couple that day. My spirits returned and the trail was pretty easy. The usual swooping down moraine flanks followed by a mad charge up the other side with a crunching and banging of changing gears jut before the top. Lots of roots, wet rotten leaves and half buried rocks. Never really a problem if one accepts a bit of bucking and jumping between the front and rear wheels; easy. Suddenly my front wheel slipped sideways off a leaf covered rock. I must have been going pretty fast and my handlebar whacked a tree, whipping the wheel around and pitching me off the bike, feet still attached to pedals. I hit the ground very hard, landing on the right side of my head. I remember thinking on the way down, "oh shoot this will hurt".

It was getting dark and I felt freezing, didn`t have a clue what had happened and my mind didn`t work when I tried to put it together. Just a blank. I was lying on my side, twisted up in my bike and managed to kick out of the pedal clips then just lie there thinking what the hell? It felt damn cold and I realized i`d better stand up and get warm. Body didn`t want to move and it felt like I just wanted to go to sleep. No good. Forced myself up and held onto a tree. Felt like shoot. My right cheek was all scoured and my helmet was full of cold wet mud and leaves. The it really got wierd. I realised I had no clue what I was doing, where I was and what was going on, Funnily enough, I did begin to realise that I must have lost my memory. It felt really bloody frightening and looking up and down the trail, I began to panic a little, not knowing what to do or where to go. I was bloody freezing, shivering and feeling like I just wanted to sleep. I had to gather myself and reasoned that I needed to keep going to get warm. Checked the trail and saw all the scour marks and recent tire tracks behind me so went off in the opposite direction. I reasoned i`d either see a sign or a person at some point. I didn`t recognise any of it and had no clue where I was going. After something like 20 mins, I met a group of hikers, stopped and asked them where the main parking lot was. They looked at me like I was just in from I explained that i`d fallen and must have knocked myself out and was unable to remember anything. The guy pointed out that my helmet was cracked and full of mud. Anyway, at that point, two more bikers turned up so I followed them. It took another ten minutes to find the car park. All that time I was trying to reason out where I was and what I had been doing. Still didn`t remember anything. I felt extremely relieved to get back to the parking lot and remembered that black Jeep was mine. It started to come back to me then. I threw all my stuff and the bike into the Jeep and started to warm up. At that point I realised that my cellphone and wallet were in the Jeep. I had been riding without either, nor had I left a "flight plan" with C****.

Getting home was a relief. I had called C**** and she freaked out a bit, wanting to come and get me or call an ambulance. I still just wanted to sleep but after a hot shower, C**** checked my pupil reactions with a torch and they were fine. I spent the next 24 hours with a bastard of a headache but felt fine by yesterday afternoon.

Moral of the story? When cycling on yer own, file a flight plan with the missus and take yer wallet and cellphone. The worst feeling in the world was the memory loss. Not knowing anything about anything, just a was a scary feeling and it quickly made me feel like panicing."


Über Member
Maybe he was abducted by aliens? Has he checked for two small marks on the back of his skull?


Legendary Member
Here's the sequel:

" Ah - it gets better. Headache would not go and felt really wierd all yesterday, kept failing to remember some basics like the year is 2007. I called our physician and he wigged out on me a bit, telling me I should have gone to hospital on Sunday to get a check out. Yeah, right...Americans sometimes have this slightly OTT attitude so I met with C**** and we scarfed down a quick ruby at the local Taj Mahal. Headache still throbbing afterwards (I`d hoped a garlic nan and some tikka might do the trick) so I finally conceded and we drove off to St Johns Mercy hospital in Ann Arbor.

How to avoid being sucked into the system....

Arrived at casualty feeling guilty for wasting their time. Met the triage nurse who after a quick inquisition, found my BP to be 160/85 and she too wigged out on me a bit for not coming in sooner. I carefully explained that it was only minor, I didn`t want to be a bother, that my headache was only about a level 4 or 5 out of 10 and that I generally felt fine. They seemed to take the potential of head injuries very seriously there. Within two minutes I was on a trolley and being stripped of my upper clothing, saline drip inserted to right arm and the staff nurse offered me intravenous morphine. Feck...what? C**** and I both reacted at that point, telling the nurse very firmly that there was no need for morphine. She had to be persuaded! Then the duty doctor arrived and did the usual physical exam, going into a pretty good description of concussion...but he proceeded to tell me that concussion is often, "lifelong and life altering" and that I must immediately cease any sort of contact sport or activity with the risk of banging my head. I asked him how long, "oh, it could be for at least a year, possibly the rest of your life". Feck.....what? Thats complete bollocks I thought and judging by the look on C****'s face, she though so too. He proceeded to tell me all about getting a neurological referral and that I needed an immediate CAT scan. Fecking 'ell....what? I could feel my medical insurance card tugging in my pocket. Ah..hah! the penny dropped. So, I submitted to the CAT scan (just to be sure) and whilst waiting, the senior attending physician bounded up, shook my hand and said, "Mr R, I'm sorry to hear all about these serious problems you are experiencing". Feck...what?

Suffice to say, the CAT scan was clear (they failed to locate my brain and must have scanned my arse instead) and I left there a couple of hours later containing a liter of saline and clutching prescriptions for Vicadin (elephantine pain killers), neuro referrals, digital rectal exams and God knows what else i`ll find in the paperwork when I look today.

Now, if I was gullible and a bit naive, as of last night my entire life would have just been altered and my insurance company would have to have paid out a small fortune. Amazing experience really. I did decide to take the day off work today to chill out...but some of that decision was also related to my avoidance of the fact that I fecked up a project account last month and only just realised yesterday."
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