Last Saturday, I met a girlfriend for coffee to brainstorm on a project. As I headed out, 734’s Dad said, “We’re going for a 51-mile ride today. We’ll be out there for a while.” Yeah, on a mountain bike. He and his brother train hard. But things didn’t quite go according to plan. I figured he’d be home by mid afternoon – 4:00 p.m. at the latest. I did my best to bury my worrywart tendencies. I knew something wasn’t right when he wasn’t home by the Laker’s tip-off at 5:00 p.m.
About 42 miles into their ride, they came across three teenagers – all between 18 and 19 years old. One was lying on the trail and not moving. As they approached the young men, he asked, “Is everything all right?” “Yup, we’re okay,” the two teens still standing replied. 734’s Dad and his brother thought better of riding away. “The kid hadn’t moved and his foot was pointing the wrong way,” he said,
They stopped, turned around and started directing orders. “It was obvious his ankle was broken after we checked him out, and that he was in mild shock,” he explained.
“Got a car nearby?” 734’s Dad asked. A friend nodded as it dawned on him that things really weren’t fine. “Run home, get it and bring some ice. We’ll meet you at the top of the trail.”
They carried the kid, James, a quarter of a mile up a steep, rocky trail while the other kid stabilized his friend’s leg. James fell deeper and deeper into shock as the minutes passed. He drifted from chills and excruciating pain to nausea and euphoria and back to pain again.
When they got to the truck, they took off his helmet and sweaty shirt and put a warm sweatshirt on him. They told the teens to take James to an urgent care clinic, so he’d be seen faster.
As the three of them lifted this kid up the trail, 734’s Dad thought of what it must be like to be a soldier helping a injured comrade in the heat of battle. How hard that must be on the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moments like this one definitely create a bond. He thought about James for the rest of the week. I hope that some day they’ll once again have a chance to meet.