My tri club had a New Years Day fun ride today. About twenty or so riders met up, including a woman who had just moved to the area and was new to the club. I introduced myself, welcomed her to the club, and we chatted for a few minutes before we headed out onto the ride.
She was about 50 feet ahead of me. About a half a mile into the ride, I saw her fly over her handlebars, flip in the air, and hit her head on the ground.
I dropped my bike and ran toward her. She was unconscious, and gasping for air. I prevented anyone from moving her, checked to make sure she had a pulse, and then very gently lifted her jaw to open her airway. There was another physician riding separately who also stopped to help. Another rider called 911.
While she lay unconscious, other people in our group searched her bike for some identification, as we had all just met her for the first time today and all we knew was her first name. Unfortunately, we could not find any ID.
It seemed like a long span of 2 or 3 minutes before she opened her eyes, and even then, all she could tell us was her name. Shortly after, she could tell us her parents' phone number, and we contacted them. The paramedics arrived and took her to the County Hospital.
She was pretty banged up, with some scrapes and bruising to her face, left shoulder and elbow. Fortunately, she was wearing a helmet -- I believe it is our club's policy that to come on a club ride that you need a helmet, but I see so many people riding without one -- and she sustained only a minor concussion. She does not remember the accident.
The lessons I've learned today are:
Carry ID when you ride.
Always wear a helmet when riding.
Image from torontoist.com