Hazards of the Road

I recently came across a post from the veteran writer/cyclist Maynard Hershon wherein he narrated the terrors of driving with an inattentive driver:

“She seldom drove with both hands and full attention. More often she manipulated the phone, studied the instructions and changed radio stations or swapped CDs, concerned that she was choosing music that I’d enjoy.

“While she did those things, tasks that were clearly priorities, she did not or could not drive in a straight line. She would veer over the center line or cross the fog line onto the shoulder. Three times she jerked the wheel to center the car on the road, apologizing to me each time.

“At one point she said: I guess I shouldn’t get into an accident with you in the car, meaning me.”

That’s bad. But it could be worse. Here’s the view from the other side of the windshield, by way of Chuck Bramwell, a well-known long-distance rider and ride organizer in California:

Many of you know Brian Stark, the Ride Director of the Central Coast Double, a great cyclist, and a good friend to many cyclists.

On Friday 11/21/08, Brian Stark was side swiped by a car then another car hit him too.

His main problem is, a smashed leg both tibia and fibula, broken ankle, fractured jaw bone, and a fractured Pelvis. He was Medivaced to Stanford Medical Center from the Templeton Hospital out of Templeton, California.

Cindi Staiger reported on 11/24/08: “Brian will have to undergo a number of surgeries for his injuries, one possibly Tues. on both legs.

Broken left Tibia/Fibula

Broken Right Tibia/ankle

Broken mandible

Broken 1st lumbar vertebrae

Broken tailbone?

Broken pelvis (on ‘non-load bearing’ area) no surgery at this point scrapes abrasions, stitches

in ICU for at least a week maybe more, fairly in and out of it

asked (in writing cause he can’t talk) if he’ll still be able to ride his bike! Typical! :>P

Estimated 6-12 months for full recovery.

…in lots of pain and surely annoyed by it all, good meds – but he will eventually be ok.

He needs all our thoughts and prayers!”

Cindi reported today, 12/02/08: “I spent Sun and Mon evenings visiting Brian at SUMC – he was moved out of ICU this weekend – he’s still in a great deal of pain but VERY thankful to be alive after this horrible accident.

He had surgery on both legs last Tues. (the right actually only has the broken ankle not the tibia) the left both Tibia and fibula were operated on. The surgeons aligned and wired the bone fragments to 5 external metal rings stabilized with vertical 2 bars around the leg between the knee and ankle. He also had exploratory surgery after the accident as there were fluids in the abdomen – it was only exploratory and there was no internal damage other than bruising. Brian will undergo surgery this morning on the mandible which was broken on the left side. He finally got the ok last night for real food (not liquid or pureed) and today will go back to the former after surgery. He really enjoyed eating dinner last night!

Brian is greatly appreciative for all the well wishes coming in…..and sends thanks to all.

He’s in pretty good spirits and is dealing considering what he has been through!

His recollection at this point is that the car coming from behind drifted onto the shoulder hit him and threw him into the other oncoming lane where upon a car coming from the opposite direction struck him. HE IS TRULY LUCKY TO BE ALIVE!!!! He has endless number of doctors taking care of him and he feels well covered in that respect.

I think any cards or letters he gets will really bring him comfort knowing his friends and large ultra society are pulling for him.”

Please send Brian a card and let him know that the California Triple Crown Family is thinking of him:

Stanford Hospital & Clinics

ATTN: Brian Stark

Department Name: ICU

Room# C310

300 Pasteur Drive

Stanford, CA 94305

We all wish him a complete and strong recovery. Please keep Brian in your Thoughts and Prayers.

What Chuck said: Send Brian your best thoughts. And a card can’t hurt, either.

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