Nate planned an early jump on the day to beat the heat, and is already out on the road. Our corporate hosts here in Bowling Green graciously let Nate load his pockets with extra breakfast foods, cold bottled water, granola bars, condiments, and whatever else he could carry–so he’s well stocked for today’s ride!
We’ll both be laboring through the same
15-20 20-25 mph headwinds as yesterday, so our next stop is pegged at just about 60 miles, rather than pushing for the OH-IN state border.
Nate will assess the campground and decide whether we stay or find other local accommodations. (Apparently they don’t have designated tent sites, but offered a pull-through RV site. We’re just not sure if that works until we see the setup.)
I’m getting a later start, intentionally, and will stop at a local bike shop or Wal☆Mart on the way out of town to get a pump for my bike. And possibly a parasail.
Updates to follow…
Update (Day’s end): Today unfolded much as expected, with one noteworthy exception. More on that later.
Nate rode ahead, while Michael got a later start (in general) and waited for a bike shop to open. Alas, it’s Sunday, and the shop was closed while the good people of Bowling Green attended church.
Nate finished in Bryan, OH, by early afternoon as temperatures reached the mid 90°s.
His ride finally underway by late morning, Michael followed the course, continuing on Route 6 West (as Nate did before), uneventfully, for about 16 miles. Then, an unexpected event.
(Note: This is a long story…about a terrible collision on the road, but Michael and Nate are both OK.)
On Route 6 near McClure, Ohio, a bridge is being replaced, reducing driving lanes to one. Cars wait in either direction for a traffic signal to proceed across the bridge. Then they speed up to 65 mph or so.
Michael crossed the bridge and rode to a shady spot where he pulled off until traffic cleared. After eating an apple, he saw a car coming from the bridge with a semi truck close behind, so he waited until they passed to pull out and start riding again.
Almost immediately, though, Michael saw the car disappear from line of sight ahead of the truck; A sudden wave of sound; The truck jerked and bucked to a stop, crossing the lanes; Then a pickup truck flew across the right lane, rolling in air, and disappeared out of sight to the right. The leading car had apparently crossed the center line, hitting the pickup truck head on. It was all over in a second; Michael was maybe 1,000-1,500 feet behind, pedaling as quickly as the wind would allow, up to the scene.
A couple in a larger pickup with a trailer were heading eastbound and witnessed the collision from behind the pickup that crashed. They were first on scene: The husband jumped out and started directing traffic. (Idiots were trying to pull through the scene!) The wife ran to the pickup.
As Michael approached the car, he noticed a young guy leaning in from the passenger side, talking to the driver; The driver was tightly sandwiched behind the wheel, but was alert and apparently ok. The car was still upright in the lane. There were almost no skid marks on the pavement: A violently abrupt stop. The front axle was gone (it had been hurled into the field by the impact), and the left half of the front end was compressed up to within a couple inches of the driver. (The guy outside the car was possibly a passenger who had gotten out safely, immediately after the wreck.)
Michael pulled up toward the truck, which had landed upright in the field. Its front axle was also gone. Its front end was mangled. The roof was caved in somewhat, and the driver-side door was crumpled and couldn’t be opened. The wife of the couple who were first on scene was already inside the cab frantically trying to perform CPR. Michael basically threw his bike against a sign post in the ditch and ran to the truck.
For the next 10-15 minutes, the woman, another guy who had stopped, and Michael all took turns performing chest compressions. The driver, a man maybe 55-60 years old, was in a terrible position with his head and neck against the door, body half turned across the bench seat. Through the window, the woman tried to brace the man’s head while Michael continued CPR.
It took so long for paramedics to arrive. When they did, it took longer for anyone (with actual EMS training) to take over. Finally though, they applied a monitor to the man’s chest, and possibly heard a faint heartbeat–at which point they asked Michael to resume compressions. Eventually, they got a rescue board and were able to pull the man from the truck cab to continue CPR on the flat ground.
A local sheriff’s deputy arrived, asked a few questions, and then told Michael he could leave.
Update (June 15): I was saddened to learn that the driver did not survive. He had been air transported to Toledo, but died at the hospital the next day. (obit.)
Michael finished the day’s ride a couple hours later in Bryan. Nate, who arrived hours earlier, had eaten most of the town, and was preparing for bed. Michael walked to Wal☆Mart to get the pump he had started the day trying to get!
See the Relive video of Michael’s ride. (The Relive video of Nate’s slightly different route may be posted later.)