Saturday, November 17, 2007. The day the Broga debate will finally be resolved. For on this day, Senn was to ride the Broga Classic loop, then decide which of the two loops, Classic or Reverse, is tougher.
But it wasn't to be.
We started the ride as usual at Batu 14. Present to settle the debate was Senn, Azmar, Adzim, Bacin, Faaisal, Sofian and Dicky the domestique. At Batu 18, we picked up Stupe and Shazly and we happily made our way towards Tekala. A quick stop there to regroup and we were off to Broga for the first refilling stop.
That's when disaster struck.
We pulled into Broga, had our drinks and food, and were happily chit-chatting away. Senn, however, had not arrived yet. Getting worried, I got on my bike and backtracked. I didn't have to go far, maybe about 500m, when I saw the familiar pink jersey. "Whew!" I thought, "She's alright." As she passed she yelled out that she had got lost along the way.
"Ok, it's all good," I thought as made a u-turn to head back to Broga behind her. Then it happened. Right before my very eyes, she flipped over her bike, flew a couple of metres, hit the ground and slid for a couple more metres. In that moment, rider and bike became one, a tangled mess of flesh, lycra and carbon. She looked like a ragdoll being flung across the road.
I was horrified. She lay still, lying on her front, as I rode up to her. As I got off my bike, she wasn't moving.
"Omigod! The impact knocked her out!"
As I turned her around, she yelled, "OW! Don't touch me! Leave me alone for a while! How's the Diva?"
WTF!!! You just had a serious crash, you could have broken something and you're asking about the bike?
Anyway, I lied and told her the Diva was fine (upon inspection later on, it only suffered from torn bar tapes) but she wasn't. Blood was dripping from her elbow, and that seriously needed to be looked at. Slowly, she got up. By now, the rest of the gang had arrived at the scene.
As luck would have it, she crashed right in front of a clinic. She got up and casually crossed the road to the clinic, unaided, as if nothing happened, while the rest of us were fussing with her bike.
At the clinic, we found that she had severe road rash on her left elbow, torn skin on her right pinkie, as well as minor grazing on her knees and thighs. Fortunately, nothing was broken. As she was being treated, we asked the rest of the gang to continue, it was getting late and we didn't want them to be climbing Perez when it was too hot.
Then came the issue of getting back to the car. Senn, being Senn, wanted to continue the ride. But I didn't think it was a good idea. If we did, we'd have about 100km to ride with four climbs to contend with, including the daunting Bukit Tangga and Perez. I volunteered to ride back the way we came and get the car. But she wouldn't have it. She reckoned it would take at least three hours and she didn't want to wait at the clinic by herself.
So we decided to ride back slowly. Along the way, she analyzed the accident. She was riding along and was about to get onto the aerobars. At the precise moment she eased off her handlebars, she hit a bump which caused her arms to slip off the elbow pads. This, in turn, caused the balance to shift, which then threw her off the bike.
It was a long and painful 50k ride back to the car. Because of the torn skin on her right hand, she couldn't hold on to the handlebars so she was riding one-handed most of the way. We stopped at Tekala for some nasi lemak and burgers, then took the shortcut through Bukit Hantu back to Batu 14.
When I asked her how she felt when we got home she said she felt cheated that she didn't get to finish the ride. A true cyclist she is. As of writing, she's feeling much better now, she says most of the aches and pains are gone, except for the one on the elbow.Having said that, i think she'll be off the saddle for a week or so, at least till the wound starts to dry up.
As for feeling cheated, well, there will be other rides and I'm sure these guys will be doing the Broga Classic loop again soon.
And maybe then, we'll finally get the debate resolved.