First, when I was his age, Chuck and I were jumping our bikes at the churchyards in Logansport. We had a ramp set up, but I guess it was too close to a shed that was on the parking lot. I had made the jump several times, but on my last jump, I struggled to land, and ran straight into the shed. It threw me off my seat and into my handlebars. I hopped up from the wreck, and ran straight home, I was so mad and embarrassed and hurt.. Bad day.
But not the worst bike accident I ever had. The one that hurt the most happened in New Orleans. I was biking home from the grocery store in the street, when some lady opened her car door in front of me without looking. The door took out my bike and I flew straight into the side of her door. The main impact was on my shin. It split the skin wide open, and my leg swelled up so it looked like a tennis ball was underneath. So much swelling I could barely walk for the next week. I had to have the welt lanced to relieve the pain and pressure. When the sore finally healed (it took the whole summer) the scab that fell off was big and thick as a thin mint cookie. It was incredible. I still have a lump there on that shin.
Still not the worst. The worst was actually pretty similar to Jude's. I was biking home from my job on St. Charles Avenue late one night, and I must have hit something or something hit me. It was very dark. I don't really know what happened, because I lost consciousness. When I came to, I woke to the feeling of my chin dragging along the road. I had been knocked off my bike and basically landed on my face. I got to my feet, and tried to ride home. It felt like my face was on fire, and little drops of blood were accumulating on my shirt and bike on the way home. By the time I got home, my whole front side was bloody. I took a look at myself in the mirror that night, and I couldn't see any skin on my chin at all. Just blood and scab. I had a concussion from the accident, so I threw up after that. Then I went to bed. NEVER DO THIS. I WAS LUCKY. You aren't supposed to fall asleep after a concussion, but I was super-loopy from the crash. The next day, I tried to go to school, but I was in a fog. I got to class late, and everyone gasped when I opened the door. But my fellow students were very kind. They helped me get to the Medical Clinic on campus, where the staff diagnosed my concussion, and told me it was too late for stitches. When I got home from school I discovered that I had gravel embedded in my chin. I spent several excruciating minutes digging it out, but I did a lousy job. I would find little pieces of concrete in my chin over the course of the next few months. I had a very deep cut on my chin which took a log time to heal. But I also had a great story. Sometimes I would make things up when people would ask me about it. And then, when I met Chelsey, we discovered that both of us had a scar in that same spot on our chins. So maybe it was meant to be.