Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Bad Day at West Covina

Filed under: — stan @ 9:41 pm

Today’s ride was a bit of a debacle. But it started out quite nicely.

It was a chilly November morning. It was clear, and promising to warm up nicely. I rode over to Arcadia to meet the club for a ride out to San Dimas.

Right away, I noticed that my back tire had a leak. So I had to change it right in the parking lot in Arcadia, before the ride even started.

The ride out was very pleasant. We passed a traveling carnival, and we were all amused by the “Kamikaze” ride. A bit later, we saw the Montrose Ride group go flying past us in the opposite direction. Then we got to San Dimas and started back. Then things sort of went bad.

At the corner of Barranca and Cortez in West Covina, Gene and Charlie ran into each other while making the left turn. There were no cars around, and nobody else was involved. The rest of us were about 50 yards ahead, so we didn’t see what happened. But we heard the yelling. We looked back and saw the two of them lying in the road. Gene was in a lot of pain. He said that he’d fallen hard on his hip. The same hip he’d broken once before. So we took up positions to wave traffic around, and I called for help.

Emergency calls on cell phones are a bit of a crapshoot, at least here in California. They are all sent to the California Highway Patrol, and their call center is almost always overloaded. But I had the Pasadena Police number in my phone. I’d made sure to program it into the phone after the last time I had to call for help after an accident. So I called the Pasadena Police, and they got me the number for the West Covina Fire Department. I called them, and within about a minute there was a police car and paramedics there. They checked Gene out and then took him off to the hospital. Before they left, he gave me his phone number so I could call home and tell his wife what had happened. Ben offered to stay at the scene with Gene’s bike until she could get there to pick it up. Ben also knew where the hospital was, so he could give her directions to it. And the rest of us headed off for home.

The remainder of the ride home was reminiscent of the Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow. Except we didn’t have any horses to kill and eat.

48 miles

This evening, I spoke with Gene’s wife. She said that Gene has a broken femur. He was being transferred tonight from the hospital in West Covina to Verdugo Hills. (This is the hospital at the top of “Hospital Hill” that I’m always talking about here.) He will be having surgery to put a plate and screws in his leg, and he should be home in a few days.

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