South America is not in the cards for me. Not today anyways...
Walking along the very busy NW 72nd Avenue in Miami, from the motel to the MERFLEX office/warehouse, am thinking today we send the crates to the airlines for a firm shipping price. Then on to customs and get a firm ship date. Visions of riding South America are dancing in my head.
As I approach the NW 44th street intersection, there are several vehicles waiting to turn right onto 72nd. The young driver of a white SUV is intently look right for a gap in traffic so she can jump out into the flow. Pausing for a moment, I see there are no gaps and process to cross the well marked intersection, walking directly in from the the SUV.
Suddenly, without looking ahead, the young driver takes her foot off the brake and accelerates, hitting me, throwing my body into a spin and slamming me to the pavement....
Lying next to her front tire, my eyes are closed, unwilling to open. Am conscious, but unable to move. I hear people frantically talking but don't understand their words. Finally I hear someone ask if I need an ambulance, I nod, weakly whisper "Yes".
In my mind alarms are blaring as I mentally search my body, rapidly looking for damage: broken bones, ruptured organs, trouble breathing, rapid heart rate.... anything that might indicate life ending injuries.
So the is how it happens... one minute you are walking along, healthy and strong, the next you are sprawled out on the pavement wondering if this is where it ends. Thoughts of Patsy, the wife of a good friend came to mind. Patsy was out for her regular evening walk when a car backing out of a neighborhood driveway hit and ran over her, forever changing her and her husband's life. Her physical and mental damage was permanent; he became her caregiver for his remaining years.
By the time EMS arrived I was able to stand with the help of a stranger. By now, I felt no bones were broken, mental alarms are quiet now. breathing is returning to normal except for the short quick breath I draw with every excruciating pain felt when I move. Eyes are open, the mind's fog is slowly clearing. Am aware where the pain is, where it is coming from. Sharp pain teaches what movements NOT to make.
Luckily no tires ran over any part of my body, but there is severe pain in the back and right leg. No bleeding, multiple bruises of course.
Looking at the white SUV, I could see in the dirt on the hood where my hands reached out in defense, to protect the body. I must have been mid-stride when she accelerated as the leg closest to the SUV was not injured, but the right leg which was carrying my weight at the time of impact, was very sore.
Limping with assistance, I work my way over to the curb so the Miami/Dade EMS guys can take vitals and ask their questions.
A Deputy Sheriff arrives to do her job: issuing the young driver a ticket, and me... a ride back to the motel.
The motel office has Advil PM which I take, go to bed and sleep the rest of the day.
The next morning I assess the situation and what it means. Reluctantly I force myself to admit that South America is off the table. A multi-month adventure ride must start with a rider in tip-top condition, both mentally and physically. I am not. My back would not take bone jarring rides on unpaved roads for hundreds of miles, I cannot even swing my right leg high enough to get on a bike.
Calling home to Texas, I explain what has happened. I ask my middle son Alan, to drive to Florida to bring me and the KLR rig back home.
"Oh, and bring some pain medicine with you, I'll need it".
Where I was dealt a bad hand...
Note: Returned over the weekend to take photos of the site. Not much traffic on Sunday.
p.s. And everybody thinks motorcycling is dangerous... try walking in Miami.