First injury on ride home from work today....
Sorry it's long, but I just needed to share...
I was riding home today on a 4 lane rural highway and the pickup in front of me ran over and threw up one of those lawn care company signs that they place in people's yards. You know, the ones with the H shaped wire frame (not the flat steel welded type, but the 1/8"-1/4" welded wire).
I thought I was going to avoid it but, it came down the left side of the bike and, while the foam sign wasn't a problem, the end of the frame that normally goes into the ground went right through the bottom of my shoe and into the sole of my foot. (I was in 5th at this point and riding with my heels on the pegs so my soles were forward)
So, I brought the bike to a controlled emergency stop on the left side of the road with on a 2 foot berm. The cars behind were back far enough that they were able to go around safely as I was stopping.
As I sat there stopped, I realized that, due to the way the wire had embedded and remained, I couldn't put the sidestand down or put my foot down without the wire going further into my foot. So, I sat there, resting on my right foot, and calming down and trying to figure out my next move. I couldn't figure how I was going to get off the bike without dumping it.
I sat for only about 60 seconds (seemed like an eternity), before I looked in my mirror and happened to see a Ohio State Highway Patrol car coming up from behind. He didn't see me right away and had to go past me. He went down the road and did a u-turn and then did another one to pull up behind me.
So, he finally makes his way up to me and, at this point, I'm loudly, but politely telling him put the sidestand down for me so I can get off the bike and do something about my foot. He puts it down and helps me to get off the bike.
We talk for a couple minutes and then he asks if I want him to pull it out of my foot. Honestly, the pain made it feel like 3-4 inches of wire had gone into my foot so I wasn't sure what to do. Ultimately, we agreed that he should pull it out and, like yanking a band-aid off, he pulled it out quickly.
Most of the pain stopped and I was able to check my foot to see the damage, a 1/4" hole with surprisingly little blood. The patrolman provided basic first aid stuff, antiseptic wipes and gauze to clean it up. He suggested a tetanus shot ASAP.
The patrolman that stopped was a fellow rider. He said in his 30 years riding, he hadn't seen anything like this.
I rested for a few minutes, thanked the officer, and then left to get home.
I stopped on the way home and got a tetanus shot and medical care. The wire had only gone in about 1 inch, but that was enough to put me on antibiotics to prevent further infection and give me a limp for a day or two.
Three things I learned today:
Give the car/truck in front several car lengths, even if you are accelerating from a light as we were. I was only about 4 car lengths back and it didn't give me any reaction time to avoid the sign. ("Here's your sign!")
Wear better shoes when riding. I was wearing casual work shoes with a soft rubber sole. My normal riding shoes (although not official riding boots) have about an inch of hard rubber in the spot the wire went through. It may have embedded into the shoe, but not traveled through into my foot.
Thank your lucky stars the Highway Patrol is around when you need them. Earlier in the day, I was cussing at the OHP because they were doing speed enforcement in our area and I had seen no less than 10-12 patrol cars doing radar over a 50 mile trip. While I wasn't speeding, it slowed the traffic to a crawl at each one. Turns out, I was VERY glad they were around to assist.
Lessons learned here......