We left Coimbra Wednesday morning at about 8:45 in 10 degree weather that required a long sleeve shirt under my cycling tank. We headed west toward the coast and the seaside resort town of Figueira da Foz, about a 45 km ride.The terrain was mostly flat with a few rolling hills thrown in along the way. Approximately 8 kms from our destination, there was a fairly steep 120 meter elevation gain and, equally steep descent on the other side of the hill.
I usually let Brenda take the lead as we travel, but when going down hills, I let gravity take over and, because of our weight difference, inevitably end up in front of her. In any case, Brenda does not like riding too fast and I've teased her about being "chicken" many times over the years.
As we descended the hill towards Figueira da Foz, I once again went by Brenda, but as I felt the speed becoming a little perilous, began applying my brakes from time to time. Suddenly, I heard a bike coming up behind me on my left, thinking it was one of the many road bikers we'd seen along our journey. As I glanced left, I was astounded to see Brenda about to overtake me. When I later looked at my Strava data, I was doing 43.9 km/h at the time, so Brenda was probably going close to 50.
And that's when it happened. Brenda's bike began to wobble and the next thing I knew, she lost control and hit the pavement. I immediately skidded to a stop and went to her aid, as did several good Samaritans who were passing by. Brenda had left a lot of skin on the pavement and was bleeding from a cut above her right eye. I broke out the first aid kit and tried to clean her up as best I could, but it was obvious we wouldn't be getting back on our bikes any time soon. Someone called for an ambulance and Brenda was brought to the hospital in Figueira.
After dressing her many wounds, giving her a full examination, CT scan and X-rays, fortunately, the only serious issue they found is a small fracture to her right cheekbone. Although the doctor said it appears to be well aligned, to be on the safe side, he booked an appointment with a maxillofacial surgeon for Friday afternoon at the University hospital in Coimbra
Until then, we've extended our booking here for a week to give Brenda's wounds a chance to heal and re-build her strength.
Whether we continue our journey on two wheels is yet to be seen, but as they say, que sera sera. Trains and car rental are both cheap and easy here, so we have lots of options. The most important thing now is for Brenda to heal and get back on her feet.
I'll keep you posted as things progress.
Distance traveled today: 38.9 kms
Elevation gain: 349 m
Moving time: 2:53.07
Average speed:13.5 kmh
Total distance traveled: 188.9 kmsRead more