Ok when Bjoern posted his account of what had happened I realised that it played out a bit different for me.
We were traveling from San Francisco to Twain Harte. We had been on the road for a few hours already and the traffic was very slow. This was due to the fact that we asked the GPS to avoid Highways. So in the end we changed these settings and set off again after a coffee stop.
Finally some open road! And an overtaking lane! 😀
So off we went, overtaking a big white SUV. After overtaking Bjoern moved back into the right hand lane. There it looked like he wanted to joke around as he appeared to move the bike from side to side. I realised that it was no joke as the movements increased and then he went down. .. My heart stopped. I saw him coming off and rolling to one side, I can’t recall what the bike did. I stopped and ‘parked’ the bike on the yellow lines separating the oncoming lane. Then I ran back shouting “oh no oh no” or something similar into my helmet. Huffing and puffing, because it was on a slight hill I finally reached him. I was soooo relieved when I found him there, lying on his back but fully responsive. Two men were around him and talking to him . They appeared to know exactly what to do. And they assured me that an Ambulance had been already called. One of them proceeded expertly to remove the helmet and a cushion appeared from nowhere to be put under Bjorn’s head.
So, looking him over it appeared that he was ok, just the hand did look a bit mangled. Everyone insisted that Bjoern lay still until the Ambulance came. I went back and parked my bike a bit better on the side of the road. Police arrived earlier than the ambulance and asked me for papers, most of them I could provide them with. They asked me what had happened and I told them as best I could. I suspected that something went wrong with the tire we had replaced this morning. They went over to the bike and put it upright, but could not find anything wrong with the tire. They arranged for a tow truck to be called. Then the ambulance arrived, they cut open Bjoern’s shirt and trousers to check if there were any other injuries. Meanwhile, he had the nerve to complain about his shirt!
Luckily they did not find anymore, phew…. They proceeded to put Bjoern on a board and transport him to the Ambulance vehicle. There they measured his Blood pressure and were about to call a helicopter to transport him the hospital because it was so low. I told them that this is quite normal for Bjoern when he is under stress or in pain. They measured again and it had got a little better. So now they wanted to bring him to the hospital, but could not take me with them.
I had to wait for the tow truck. In that time I rearranged our boxes so that I would have the clothes and papers with me. But all the camping gear and the tools would remain with the bike on the tow truck. Putting the bike on the truck proved a strenuous task for the two policemen who had to hold it for quite some time before the truck driver had it secured. The tow truck driver gave me a card with the details where I could get access to the bike over the coming weekend and drove off. The policeman helped me with my bike – I had parked it in an unfortunate spot where I could not get it lifted up again – and then drove in front of me to lead me to the hospital. In the hospital the paperwork started again and then I could finally see Bjoern.
The news was that everything was ok, but his left wrist was badly broken. Unfortunately they did not have an orthopaedic surgeon in this hospital but they would transport Bjoern to the hospital in Modesto. We waited for a couple of hours then Bjoern was transported by ambulance to the other hospital. The Paramedic assured me that she would drive slowly and I could follow them on the bike. That was a bit scary because by now it was dark outside. Off we went and reached the other hospital without incident after approx. 20 min.
More paperwork, then a doctor looked Bjoern and his x-rays over. Then the paramedic appeared again and brought my keys which I had lost on the car park at the other hospital. People are just great 😀
The doctor then told us that the orthopaedic surgeon had gone home for the night. Bummer… So they would do a reduction by which they move the bones to their original location without operating on it. They proceeded to give Bjoern some narcotics which did not have the desired effect for a while. Bjoern would count to them in English and Spanish just to make sure that they don’t start too earlyJ. Finally he was out. The medicos pulled and pushed while Bjoern politely asked them to refrain from poking him… Even though he was out cold 😀
When they were finished they did another x-ray and told me that it was limited success only, but they put his arm in a splint. They wanted to send us home under the proviso that we would be there for an appointment on Monday morning. Oh, good news, but it is 1:30 at night…where do we get accommodation? A social worker from the hospital arranged accommodation for us at the Ramada Inn in Modesto and a taxi fare for Bjoern. So I donned all my motorbike equipment again and followed the taxi to the hotel. There we settled into a nice room, and I went off again to find a 24h pharmacy, unsuccessful… It was now 3:30 and I hoped that Bjoern’s painkillers would hopefully last until the morning.
Everything looks better in daylight, Bjoern is still here, with what we really have to call minor damage. We both went for breakfast, then off I went to the pharmacy nearby as Bjoern and I slept for a while 🙂