#1 – The fall
At KM 120 @LEL, where I nicked the kerb and fell on the pavement, two cyclists crossed me and were about 10m ahead when I kissed the earth. One of them was a fellow Indian with whom I was riding from the previous control, and around this distance he hitched on with another German cyclist I think with whom he was riding 10m ahead.
They stood there and asked if I was ok. I picked myself up, ignored the bleeding knee and said I am fine. They went ahead. Only after some time, I figured that it was a bad scrape that needed cleaning at least with cold water, which I did.
#2 : Another fall
Continuing on, I rode on covering another 287kms with the bruised knee crossing two more controls. When I reached the fourth control Thirsk, my left leg was stiff as a ramrod with virtually zero flexion. As I rode into the control and stopped, I could not get off the bike and therefore fell again.
This time my Lorenzo my dear friend from PBP ran towards me and picked me up. Not the distant virtual ‘Are you ok’?
We all fall in life, but bounce back due to people who selflessly help get you back on your feet, be it a friend or a stranger. As my dear friend Krishnan KP said today “You are not living if you are not compassionate”
At the control numerous volunteers helped me. Graham and Andy dropped me at the Thirsk station and lugged my bike up and down the station steps. Kristian another fellow cyclist who I befriended at Thirsk railway station, helped me get the bike to/from train and took a lot of effort to get me a cab to Harlow from the Kings Cross station. At Thirsk Dr. Vaibhav Dangat, a cyclist from Pune who aborted due to an spine issue, saw me hobble, examined me and told me not to worry.
Two falls, two reactions. Which would you prefer?
Be compassionate. Give selflessly. Life is indeed beautiful.
Thank you Lorenzo, Kristian, Graham, Andy, Dr Vaibhav and the numerous volunteers at Thirsk. It is people like you that make life wonderful.