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August 30, 2018
The Bicycle Accident

It was 3:20 pm. We had just finished our bicycle ride through downtown Paducah. We had stopped to admire the flood wall murals on the way back to the steamboat, when we were approached by one of the local hospitality volunteers.

ďDid you know thereís a bicycle path in Paducah?Ē she said? No, we didnít. She told us it was nearby, it was about four miles, and it let us ride on top of the flood wall. We figured we had a good hour before we needed to be back aboard the steamboat, so we set off to find it.

We had to ride past a couple of parking lots before we found the bicycle trailhead. It was well paved and scenic.

Within minutes of entering the trail, we saw two bicyclists approaching. They were riding side-by-side instead of one behind the other, taking up both sides of the trail. We kept waiting for one of them to move over. They didnít change. They got closer. They didnít change.

Finally, Gail (in front of Russell) swerved to the right, onto the grass, and braked. Russell also braked hard. The trouble is, he was holding his camera in his right hand, so he braked with his left hand. The front brake. His bike tipped forward, and Russell did a header over the front and left side of the bike.

Luckily, he was wearing a bike helmet to save his head. But he landed on his face. He felt his front tooth bend completely out of place. He immediately forced it back into place.

There was blood all over the trail. Fortunately, Gail was there. The other cyclists asked if we needed any help, but Russell felt he could make it back to the steamboat. The cyclists gave us a bottle of water, which Gail used to get the blood off of the trail.

It wasnít until later we realized the other cyclists had taken the bottle of moonshine we had bought for Joss.

We made it back to the steamboat, and Gail took Russell directly to the medic onboard, Larry the EMT. Larry patched Russell up the best he could, but the medics are not allowed to administer stitches outside of a medical facility.

Russell pretty much spent the rest of the day and evening in the cabin, staying out of sight. He is banged up (mostly cuts, scrapes and bruises) on both hands, right shoulder, left elbow, left knee and right ankle. He has a bruised rib. His upper lip is badly swollen. His chin is bleeding profusely and is likely to need stitches. And he may lose his front tooth.


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