Ambulances with bike racks

The New York Times and AP are carrying a story this week about a recent addition to the ambulances in the city of Fort Collins, Colorado: bike racks.

The reasoning behind installing the racks:

… increasing numbers of cyclists who had bicycle accidents or medical emergencies while riding.

Some people were reluctant to leave their bikes locked up behind at the scene — whether because they were fancy recreation bikes that cost more than some cars or because they were the patient’s main form of transportation …

Plus, ambulance workers were spending too much time going back to unlock the bikes once patients could retrieve them.

I’ve thought about the “what if” scenario before – what would happen to my bike if I were hurt and taken away in an ambulance?

I once had a medical issue while riding my bike.

I was in graduate school, and I used my bike to commute to and from campus. I’d donated blood that day, and had been so busy I managed to miss lunch.

As I turned a corner several blocks from home, the world started to close in around me – a dark tunnel with sparkling stars.

Uh oh! I was going to pass out!

I managed to get pulled over to the curb and laid down in the grass before I lost consciousness.

I quickly felt better, but I was disturbed by the number of cars that passed by with no one bothering to check on me. Finally, a woman who lived across the street from where I lay came home in her minivan and rushed over to me. She walked me over to her front porch, plied me with fruit juice, and insisted on putting my bike in her van and driving me the rest of the way home.

My little episode was thankfully not serious enough to require transportation to a hospital, but, if it had, I would definitely have felt better about my bike coming along with me, versus leaving it abandoned on the road, even if the bike cost only a couple of hundred dollars. It was my main form of transportation!

Have any of you needed a ride to the hospital while out and about on two wheels?

Copyright 2015 by Katie Bradshaw

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