Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Cycling at its....not so finest

jasonb@Tsali commute or not commute, that is the question

Backpacking has been put on hold. There is a basic necessity in backpacking and that is the ability to walk, this is an ability that I temporarily no longer possess. In addition to backpacking I also take a liking to Cycling...
Growing up on a dirt road, there were no skate boards, or 10 speeds, only bmx bikes. Many miles I pedaled on a diamond back bmx with a free wheel, only my foot between the frame and back tire for brakes...this Flinstone breaking system was only for emergencies anyway, we prefered  the "power slide" method of stopping. My first long distance cycling event was on that very same bike. 73 miles in the cystic fibrosis bike-a-thon. Roughly 291 laps in a giant parking lot, that was middle school and I was to dumb to even relies  what I had accomplished but I was proud of that shiny first place trophy.
F fwd a few I got older I grew to large for bmx, basketball took the bikes place, It was more suitable for a fellow my size...eventually as those sports slipped away with the high School years I found myself on the bike again. Mountain bikes had came along way and I scored myself a used Schwinn. At the time I didn't know what mountain bikes were and I just saw it as a bmx bike with big ole wheels. Cycling has become for me, much like backpacking, a short break from the demands of everyday life. Even the short 10 mile commute to work on my bike has become something I really enjoy. Starting the day in the coolness of morning, working up a little sweat...smelling the smells of the outdoors and seeing the sunrise over the mountains has become for me the perfect way to start a day.

No matter how many times you take to the road, always In the back of your mind is the thought of getting hit. I reckon I've always been a touch more concerned with a dog running out and wrecking me to be hons
est, but maybe that's just the case cause that very thing happened to a good friend right before my eyes. I always have been extra careful, trying to pick routes and times to ride trying to minimize the amount of traffic I have to negotiate. I feel like I have been pretty lucky being incident free.....Well, a couple of Tuesdays ago my luck ran out!
Leaving work that day I took a shorter route home that gets me there a little quicker, this route includes a portion of the main hwy up Young Harris mtn. Traffic is not terrible through there, its four lanes and there are huge shoulders, not to mention myself and everyone else that rides around here have hit that mountain hard hundreds of times. I've always felt perfectly safe riding this stretch of road. On this Tuesday the unthinkable happened. Headed east up the Mountain a Tahoe crossed over all four lanes and hit me head on.. BOOOM!...It happened so fast I didn't have time to even be scared...let-alone react! 65 mph... No squealin breaks, no tire marks left, just wide open and right into me head on. 

after a little searching, they found all the pieces of my bike.
modified unicycle for sale

Let me just say for the record, getting hit by a truck feels exactly like you would imagine. After I finally hit the ground I sat up and looked around thinking, "well....guess I aint dead". I took inventory of my head and my guts and everything seemed fine so I directly jumped up and noticed I was considerably bloody but only from my arms and legs. I thought "well..guess broke bones aint to bad " ( It was crazy how calm I actually felt considering) About that time I looked up and saw a friend from work was stopped in the road just down the hill behind me, as he made his way towards me on foot he exclaimed "Man!!...I thought you were dead". I hobbled in his truck and he drove me to the hospital.

After a few Xrays and ambulance ride to Gainesville for the night  my outlook was good, not one single broken bone. I did have some major bruising and some serious swelling, but a couple of weeks on crutches should cure all that. They stitched me up and sent me home the next day. I cant even begin to explain how grateful I am that the good Lord spared me that doubt it was nothing short of a miracle.
 The question I've been getting the most is Will I ride again?...My answer is heck yes!!!...someone once told me "you are not defined by your past but prepared by it." I think that's good advice...
 I encourage you to grab your past and use it in a positive way to prepare yourself for the future, be proactive in where you wanna be and what you wanna do and don't let your past hold you back! Whatever the things are you like to do, round up your family or just a few buddies and have at it, none of us are promised tomorrow.

+Jason Byers +Gary Bradley +Ryan Anderson 
-saw em


  1. Holy crap, Jason! Glad you're okay, but what happened to the Tahoe driver?

    1. Hey was crazy!..I think the guy is still in jail. Gonna take a little overnighter on the A.T out by NOC next month. Come on and go with us if you can get loose. Shoot me an email and I'll give ya the details.