I had ridden Trixie up to visit my sister in the east midlands on Thursday afternoon and, apart from a lengthy delay getting through Tewkesbury (I had forgotten about the F1 practice-day at Silverstone), I had enjoyed a pleasant journey followed by an equally pleasant evening.
On the following day, unwilling to face the prospect of an even longer delay on the A5, I chose a different route; and after a visit to someone near Ayelsbury, I thought that a pleasant spin along the country lanes of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire would be a nice way to get me back onto a familiar route through Henley-on-Thames. Yes! The one where the have the big regatta; and which weekend do you suppose it was being held this year?
Say no more.
Anyway, the ride through the town was a lot better than might have been expected and, although there was the usual build-up of traffic as the Friday rush-hour approached, it could have been a lot worse and it was shortly after four pm when I reached the final mile of my journey.
Photos can be enlarged by "clicking" on them.........
Now, those who are familiar with where we live (for the time being) would agree that, although the scenery is geautiful, the roads (most of which are narrow lanes) leave a lot to be admired (see above); and I had just started to descend after the last climb of the day when, in a section of road even narrower than the one shown above (on the right), a car coming up the hill did one of two things (IMHO).
Either the driver didn't give a toss who else was on the road and he or she (I didn't get a good look) wasn't going to slow down for anyone; or they thought that I was riding a conventional two-wheeled scooter and hadn't realised how much wider Trixie is.
She is, after all, quite a large lady.....
In any event, my attempt to avoid being struck caused the near-side front wheel to hit the bank and the next thing I can remember is finding my face pressed against the ground, feeling a terrible pain in my left ankle, and realising that Trixie had fallen on top of me - trapping my left leg beneath her.
For a moment, I imagined that the driver of the offending car might be rushing to my aid; but I soon realised that was not going to happen and I started to cry out - partly for help and partly in pain. Mind you, what good that would have done in a remote part of The Surrey Hills is open to question.
What wasn't open to question, however, was that I was in a lot of pain but couldn't release my foot by tying to lift Trixie with my hands and arms. So, with some difficulty, I managed to drag my right leg over the seat far enough to use it to raise the trike just enough to free my left foot; however, at that point, I have to say, I was a little perplexed because my toes seemed to be at a right-angle to my knee - which remained trapped.
In the meantime, I was becoming aware of the smell of petrol (I always try to support local traders and had just filled up); and the fact that the engine was still running caused me some concern. Luckily, however, a car arrived and the driver ran to my aid - enquiring nervously, "Are you alright, mate?".
Resisting the temptation to ask, "What sort of a stupid question is that?", I managed to mutter something like, "Well. Not really." and, thereafter, I'm not absolutely sure of the sequence of events; but I do know that another driver arrived and they managed to pull Trixie away from me and engage the handbrake and the mechanism which keeps her upright.
By now, my left ankle and lower leg seemed to triggering some sort of local anesthetic and I declined their offer to phone for an ambulance; preferring, instead, to ring my younger son to come to see what was the best plan of action. He arrived quite quickly; it was - as I suggested at the beginning of this blog - little more than half a mile from home. So, although he thought I should drive his car, I decided to see if I could ride Trixie; and managed to complete the journey rather slowly - but, without too much trouble.
When I got indoors, the pain got worse and I was ordered (my wife was heavily involved with St. John Ambulance Brigade when younger) to place both feet in a bath of cold water. I did so again before going to bed and have done so again two or three times, today, in addition to taking advantage of some crutches my wife bought after her hip-replacement............