A few days ago I noted on Facebook that my son-in-law, Chad, was participating in a long cross-country bicycle race. In the past two years the weather on race day was cold, raining, and muddy. This year the weather was lovely and warm. I thought he was going to have a much more pleasant race experience. (He is, however, accustomed to biking in all kinds of weather. He is only deterred from outdoor biking or running by nasty winter weather. Then he does indoor biking or the treadmill.)
The race was Saturday. On Sunday the kids (well, they are kids to me) headed home. When Anne Marie called to tell me they were on the road, I asked how Chad's race went. Well. . . .
At least he came home alive.
Lest you think I am being overly dramatic, I am not.
The race course is not prepped to make biking easy. And this year a tractor had been along the course, leaving deep tire ridges in the drying mud from all the rain and snow we've had lately. Coming down a steep hill, Chad's front tire caught one of those ridges just wrong. Chad was thrown head-first over the handlebars. Coming down he was caught on the side of his neck by one of those big wooden wire-spools. There were also ends of rebar sticking out. His trajectory ended in a drainage ditch full of water and he was completely submerged.
He is covered with various cuts, scratches, bruises, road rash, and very sore muscles.
But. . .
He did not break his neck.
He missed the rebar, has scratches from the wood, but his jugular was not pierced.
He did not drown.
He did have a long, slow trip back to base. There was some damage to his bike.
But we are more thankful than I can express that he is alive and well. He says that next year he may do the running of this cross-country race rather than the biking!