In the early morning of the NTU Round Island Bike Rally 2012 along Lim Chu Kang Road, I saw a bunch of cyclists gathered around a girl sitting on the road. She bore a mild road rash on her knee and was surrounded by an attentive friend, an apologetic fellow cyclist (who might have contributed to her fall) and some helpful riders who had stopped to ensure she was okay.
I was just picking up my pace to catch up with my kakis Kenneth and Kevin who were ahead of me on that long stretch. Then I realised I had not seen a first aid kit amongst them. So I turned around and provided the necessary with Brave Soldier antiseptic wash, Brave Soldier antiseptic ointment, some gauze and a light bandage.
As we chatted, Cheryl, the plucky injured girl, remarked that the Opsite bandage I was applying on her knee looked like parafilm. She had to be a life sciences student and soon learnt she was one of my students from LSM1103 Biodiversity last semester!
I left Cheryl and friends after the dressing was done and stepped up the pace to catch up with the other Zendogs. Along Neo Tiew Road, I passed an ambulance and a crowd of organisers. I hoped the injured rider was okay and rode on to Turf Club, the next rest stop where Kenneth and Kevin were waiting for me. They said I had only been about ten minutes out.
At the water point I met the Neo Tiew Road accident victim – a roadie who had fallen on his side while still clipped on to his pedals! So he had smashed the aide of his face – ouch! After receiving first aid, he had refused the ambulance and rode on to the Turf Club stop where he told me he was dropping out as the sweat into the bandages was not going to allow him to ride safely.
I looked at his injuries in fascination while he spoke and just thought “OUCH!”
As the hills levelled out, a Brompton last cyclist crashed on her right after a junction, scraping knee, arms and leg, and twisting her ankle. We found out that Angela was tired out by the Kranji stretch but had persisted and then wobbled over an uneven patch of road and fell. We were glad no vehicle was behind her at the time. She fell was just after an intersection shaded by an expressway.
So nice again I pulled out antiseptic lotion, ointment, gauze and bandages to attend to the scrapes while she took photos and posted them to Facebook! Yes, Angela was quite unfazed by the fall, just like Cheryl earlier. I guess anyone who attempts the 128km ride is not faint-hearted!
While Kevin waved traffic from our rear away, Kenneth, who had been a medic in the army, attended to her sprained ankle, eventually bandaging it up. The Bike Rally organisers meanwhile had drawn a truck up to recover her bike and that protected us from passing traffic. We were done and left as the medic arrived.
In previous years, I only had to hand out 100+ and Deep Heat to weary and cramped cyclists, so this year was certainly eventful. Thankfully no more than these scrapes and I hope Cheryl, Angela and the roadie are all feeling better now.
I was sure glad I had packed my well stocked first aid kit for the ride and had Zendogs Kenneth and Kevin with me.