Hit By A Motorbike! 😖
You may recall a post from June 2016 called “The New Bicycle” … well … this is the tale of one of my adventures (or misadventures! lol) on that turquoise Schwinn … yup, this is the account of that time I got hit by a motorbike! (Ouch!!!)
It was a beautiful summer evening in 1966 … my bestie Donna and I were out riding around Argyll on our bikes. Oh the freedom kids had back then! I was 9 … Donna was 10 … the neighborhood was basically the “territory” that we were allowed to roam almost at will. Of course, we always had to tell our Moms where we were going, who we’d be with and that we’d be home by dark but other than that, the era allowed for kids to be gone for hours at a time … free to explore, have adventures and have fun!!! Free to get into all kinds of predicaments too … 😜
As with most kids in neighborhoods across the city, many, many hours of my childhood were spent at the community playground. Ours was on the north edge of the district (both Donna and I lived on the south edge our back yards/alley/boulevard separating our houses from the parallel running Argyll Road). As was the norm on most evenings that summer (and several to follow), after supper we hopped on our bikes and made our way over to the playground … which was largely unsupervised.
Joined by my brother Russ, Donna’s brother Wayne and sister Cheryl, we maintained control of the big swings for as long as we could … each of us showing off how well we could swing while standing up, competing to see who could go the highest and jumping off while still in motion. We next headed over to the “big slide” … scrambling up from the bottom trying to make it all the way to the top, sliding down head first, proving our bravery by climbing over the rails on the small platform at the top of the ladder and then sliding down one of the long metal poles that held the slide up (those kids who lived 5 houses down from my house on 64th Avenue were dare devils and over the years, talked me into trying many, many things that I never, ever would have done on my own! lol) Before we were through, we’d been to the merry-go-round, the teeter-totters, the cross-bars and the monkey-bars too. Then, off for a bike ride Donna and I went!
For the most part, us kids always rode our bikes on the road and that evening was no exception. We took the long way travelling west from the playground. Single file with Donna in the lead, we hung a right onto 66th Avenue (at the “Welcome to Argyll” sign) pedaling past the Catholic school towards the Little Store. As we crossed 87 Street, there were a couple of cars parked along the curb so we steered to the left to go around them, staying as close to the them as possible. About 3 houses in from the corner, there were no more parked cars for the rest of the block so Donna, who was about 15 feet ahead of me, moved right to get closer to the curb. Just as I rode past the last parked car and began steering over to the curb, everything went black!
I was walking down the alley, bawling my head off … Donna’s older sister Lori had her arm around my waist, steadying me … I could see my Mom and Donna running up the alley towards us … I was bleeding from my mouth and left hand … my left elbow and knee were skinned but good (road rash) and I was limping. My head was aching … and I had absolutely no idea what had happened or why I was there!
Back at the house, Lori, an eye-witness to the accident, relayed the event to my Dad and it went something like this … Lori and Bradley, whom she was babysitting at the time, had just been at the Little Store and were walking back to Bradley’s house. (As she chattered on, a vague memory of seeing them on the other side of the road walking west came to me … yes, yes … I’d seen them just before it all went black!) Anyway, she saw Donna move right after passing the parked cars. Then, just as I was moving past the last parked car, steering towards the curb to fall in behind Donna, the first of 3 motorbikes that had been travelling east on 66th Avenue suddenly steered towards the curb in front of that last parked car hitting the rear tire of my bike! (The 3 guys on motorbikes, all of whom we knew but I won’t name here, were intending to park in front of that 3rd house.) Lori went on, telling my Dad that I had been knocked off my bike and had hit my head on the road (my helmet-less head … remember, it was 1966!). She said she ran over to me right away and when she realized that I was unconscious, she ordered Donna to run as fast as she could to get my Mom.
A policeman was sitting in our living room. He scribbled a few notes while I told him what I could remember which was basically nothing about the accident itself. Since there was no real damage to either the motorbike or my bicycle, he said that would be the end of it. As he got up to leave, he told my Dad that, considering I’d been hit by a motorbike, I was pretty lucky to have sustained such minor injuries but, since I’d hit my head on the road, he said they should keep a close eye on me over the next 24 hours just to make sure I was ok.
Motorbike v. kid on a bike … yup … I was darn lucky, that’s for sure! The left side of my face was bruised, a lower front tooth was chipped, my left index finger had a nasty, jagged cut (I still have the scar!) and I had various other scrapes, bumps and bruises. Along with all that, I also had a painful fat lip and I thought I’d probably bitten into it on impact. As it turned out, the chip from my tooth had lodged on the inside of my lower lip! It popped out as I was eating breakfast a few days after the collision (on the morning of the dentist appointment Mom had made re the chipped tooth).
On the outside, it seemed that my injuries were truly minor … BUT … knowing what I now know about a even a brief loss of consciousness due to a head strike AND knowing that after being hit by a motorbike, I was out cold for more than 5 minutes followed by 8 to 10 minutes of post-injury amnesia, in the same accident today, I would be taken to an ER immediately for a CT scan and the diagnosis would have been mTBI – mild traumatic brain injury!!!
I don’t recall much about my recovery so, similar to my left ankle sprain, it was likely uneventful. I suspect though that I probably had the classic symptoms of mTBI (fatigue, headache, fogginess, confusion, forgetfulness, moodiness, etc) for at least 6 months to a year … symptoms that were likely never thought to be connected to me having hit my head on the pavement after being hit by a motorbike! I think it’s probably safe to say though that whatever area of my poor little brain that got injured back on that summer evening in 1966 when I got hit by a motorbike has long ago healed without permanent sequelae. What? Yes it did! Stop it! My brain did so heal up just fine!!! (hee-hee-hee!)