Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mountain-Biking in Germany

On my occasional walks in the German woods around the village....I'll come across mountain-bikers. The best description I would use for most would be.....aggressive and bold.  You rarely come across a guy who is doing minimum speed.  The vast majority are moving along at a fair rate of speed, and some are pushing the envelop between safe and dangerous.  Slick paths, poor weather conditions, and downward trails don't usually worry these folks.

In the midst of summer, especially in the mornings....I'll come across a dozen-odd mountain-bike folks.  Half use the improved trail and avoid most risks.  The other half are going down the hillside, at a fairly good speed and you just wonder about the safety factor.

This morning....the local news carried a story from the village just across the hill from mine.  Older guy....sixty-five years old....mountain-bike enthusiast....was doing a Saturday morning ride.  Only on a trail....not a full-up road.

Saturday conditions?  Well, we are barely recovering from a couple of inches of snow.  It's melted to some degree, making the ground muddy and slick.  The temperature on Saturday morning was barely a degree or two below freezing.

What the reporters will generally say is that this guy hit the wrong spot....with the bike going down and appears to have broken his hip.

Among a group of bikers?  No.  A cellphone in his possession?  No.  Able to stand up and at least walk for help?  No.

So, he laid there.

February is not one of those months when walkers (like myself) or hikers  take to the trails and do morning walks.  You could easily pick a trail where a person doesn't walk except once a week during these harsh weather conditions.  A guy could easily die from exposure in a situation like this.

Luckily in this case...some gal came walking along this trail and happened upon the older guy.  She had a cellphone.....called up emergency services and within an hour.....they had him carried off to the local hospital via a chopper.

You could ask a hundred questions over the episode.  Why would the guy not carry a cellphone?  Why did the person who came upon the guy happen to take a walk on a pretty cold and frosty morning?  Just how close did the mountain-bike guy come to being a statistic of a mortal nature?

Bottom can do something pretty simple and stupid.....and end up dead because you just didn't think over "the plan".  A simple one minute of silence, pondering, and planning....might save your day.

No comments: