Friday September 30, 2011, 18 miles (29 km) – Total so far: 572 miles (920 km)
The morning brought us beautiful weather and a nice trip through Navarre Beach. This led us through Santa Rosa Island where there is nothing but white sand and dunes. The road and bike path are mostly covered by sand. About 18 miles into the ride a gust of wind pushed me into some deeper sand and I went down onto the bike path. I knew something was wrong when I couldn’t stand up. My left side hurt really badly. A sheriff’s deputy just happened to come along and he and Jocelyn helped me up. I had a lot of difficulty breathing. Jocelyn cleaned and bandaged the bleeding areas and we were on our way. I knew I wasn’t going to make it very far because of the pain. We stopped at a condo and asked the security guard where the nearest hospital was because I needed an x-ray. After resting there I must have looked pretty bad because he called for an ambulance. The hospital was in Gulf Breeze about 7 miles including a bridge. Soon fire/rescue arrived followed by an ambulance. My first ever ride in one! The fire rescue guys were great. They picked up my bike with gear and bags still attached and loaded into their pickup. The saddest part was looking out the rear windows of the ambulance and seeing Jocelyn riding by herself as she turned down the offer to go in the truck.
X-rays showed a completely fractured rib. The nurse practitioner told me to give it at least a week before continuing the trip. I will be walking around and doing some deep breathing exercises to prevent pneumonia. The rib is located in a more loose mass of muscle so the muscle will occasionally spasm against the two ends. That’s when it gets really painful. I can’t say enough about the fire rescue, paramedics, and hospital staff. They were so helpful and understanding. We had both our bikes in the emergency room with us. My nurse called her son to help take us to a motel. So Jocelyn and Larry loaded the bikes and we are at a motel they recommended. We are right on Pensacola Bay. I will spend the week healing and sorting through all the bike stuff again. We still have way too much stuff. By lightening the load I can keep better balance. So maybe Alabama next weekend!