We all know there are dangers on the road and trail. Read how one team member discovered the importance of being prepared for the worst.
I’ve been thinking about this for weeks. I wasn’t sure if this was a “story” I wanted to tell.
It was my day off, and we had planned for a date night that evening. We had free movie tickets we’d been holding on to for quite some time. We just either couldn’t find the time or find a movie we really were interested in seeing. The day had felt rushed, sometimes days off are like that. I’d been trying to squeeze in all the things that I’d been putting off all week, plus training and making sure the dog still got some good outside time too.
My training ride was going well. I was out on the road bike and we had been pushing hard. When it came time to turn around, I decided I wasn’t quite ready to go back. I made the decision to continue on alone for one last climb. I’d just go hard to the top of that climb and then cruise home. That would still give me plenty of time to take the dog for a nice long walk before “date night”. The gearing on my bike was acting up, and I couldn’t seem to adjust the derailleur so I had all my gears. I figured that was okay, I needed to get out of my comfort zone of high cadence anyway. I just stayed in the tougher gear and worked a bit harder to go up that hill. I passed a few other riders grinding their way to the top and was relieved when I made it. Finally the downhill! A few miles where I could relax, cruise and work on my comfort on the bike descending fast.
I’d gone maybe two miles, when I came upon a man. He was standing on the side of the path and he was on his cell phone. As I got closer I could see another man lying at his feet. I could also begin to overhear the man on the phone and it was quite obvious that he was speaking with the 911 dispatcher. I immediately pulled over and knelt down next to the man on the ground. Speaking to him, he was unresponsive. I checked for a pulse and for breathing….both absent. I began CPR. Within a few minutes another cyclist joined me. He took over breathing as I continued compressions. Finally a third cyclist arrived and he and I took turns with compressions. It was amazing how quickly I tired, my compressions getting weaker as time went on. I know it was probably only minutes before the police and ambulance arrived but it felt much longer.
I’ve spent many years recreating in the out of doors; many activities in many different places. This was the first time I’d had to put CPR class to use.
I’ve spent many days reliving and rerunning the scene in my mind. Until recently (when I heard the reason for his death) I kept questioning if I had done everything possible; was there something more, something else, could my compressions have been better, etc., etc.
I took two things away from this experience. First anything can happen at any time to any one of us. We should live our best life and be our best self every single day. Secondly I may have just been lucky so far to have spent so many years never running into someone who needed help in the out of doors. I would encourage all of you who also love to be outside; spending time doing all the activities we do, to be ready. Do you know first aid? Do you know CPR? If you answered no to either of these questions, maybe it’s time to change that. I was so glad that I knew what to do that day. I didn’t save a life that day, but it wasn’t because I wasn’t ready.
Our author has respectfully requested to remain anonymous.
Click here to learn about CPR & First Classes in Colorado.