Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pack First

I have always felt you should live your life like a wolf pack. I basically raise my kids like wolves. In a good way of course. But the other night was a perfect example of this. I have spent a lot of time this summer with my friend Matt Aumiller. We have gone on road trips to single speed races, we have worked on a bunch of bandit rides, weekly Cutler Enduro has been unreal. He even goaded me into taking my kids on their first real mountain bike ride in Cutler. He is a true friend. And a badass. On Monday he called me to ask me to meet him on cx bikes in Cutler. I was deep into Staples back to school shopping. My wife usually does this. If you want a nice slice of Hell on earth go to a Staples with 5 million back to school kids and their moms. My kids were great. We got in and out of there as fast as we could. But no way was I slipping out to ride. As we left I saw a rider up the road and I thought for a second it was Matt popping out and heading over to one of the Aqueducts. It wasn't. When I pulled into my driveway my cellie started blowing up. Looked down and saw it was Matt. I almost didn't pick it up cause I knew I wasn't going to be able to ride. But I picked it up. It was basically a 911 call. He'd gone off a boardwalk in Cutler and was stuck in the reeds. 

Now I have always wanted to be a wilderness first responder. This is not how I envisioned getting that opportunity. I didn't really know where he was at first. I tried to call him back as I was heading over to Cutler but there was no answer on his cell. By the timing of when he had called me at Staples I had a feeling he was on the West Roxbury side. So that is where I headed. I got there in about 5 minutes. I brought a bike so I could find him. As I pulled in I heard the sirens. A Needham Police Officer pulled in next to me. I told the officer where I thought Matt was and that I was riding in to find him. The cop followed me on foot. About 1/4 mile in I saw a bit of a yardsale on the bridge and a scene out of Paris-Roubaix. Rider in a ditch tangled in his bike holding his shoulder. I dropped into the reeds and helped Matt up on to the boardwalk. He couldn't get up because he was all tangled in his bike and on his right side which was all busted up. As I got him up on the bridge and we started walking back the officer came running up. We walked Matt back to the cars. Dedham Fire showed up just as we were coming off the boardwalk. They wanted to bring a wheeled stretcher down and strap him in there. I told them we could meet them up top in the meadow. They gave him the once over then strapped him into the stretcher with a neck brace. I told them to take him to Faulkner or Newton-Wellesley aka a real hospital. Instead they took him to Glover. They have changed the name to Beth Israel but you can change the name but you can't change the hospital. I wouldn't take my dog to Glover. If I had a dog. He waited a long time to just get pain meds. He finally got out of there with what we all knew...broken collarbone. I feel so bad for him. He has had such a rough go of it.

I went back the next day with a hammer and nails. I pounded down some loose boards. The crazy thing is we have been rolling over those loose boards on our 29ers all summer long. I guess a cx bike isn't a 29er. Crazy accident. So glad I was there to take the call and to find him. My wife still can't believe this story. Not sure if it makes her more or less ok with this Wolf Pack we call the NECX...Matt heal up my brother.

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