3 memorable sentence to the begining of my year 2009:-
a) Can u pick me up this morning, my car tyre has a puncture
b) The peloton is too fast, we need to save the legs for the upcoming lenggeng climb
c) After this accident, i think i will have to lay of cycling and pickup remote control helicopter
The story unfold in early morning of 2009, when i receive a text from Adeline, to say that her car has had a puncture and she needs a lift to Batu 18. I am usually cautious when this type of things happen, especially when i have had my schedule drawn up the night before as to when i should leave the house and when i should arrive at Batu 18. We pushed off from her apartment at 6:35am and reached Batu 18 at 7:25 am.
We pushed of late at about 8 am and reached Semenyih at Haji Khalili's house after a short stop at Tekala to regroup. Haji Khalili's hospitality is fabulous. Shout out to him, his wife and his neighbour.
Upon pushing of from Semenyih, we plod on cautiously towards Broga. The peloton at this time has already picked up speed and we where thunderously riding into the Broga right of turn at quite a phenomenal speed. Just about 5km out of Broga, i decided to drop of the peloton as I knew we were approaching Lenggeng and there is a hill climb after Lenggeng town (actually its an excuse becoz I was dropped). Farid (Firdaus brother) passed me and i shout out to him, "Save your legs, we have a climb up next just after Lenggeng town", to which Farid nodded and slowed down together with Jaja.
Just as I finished the sentence, and came down the hill, we could see in front of us, the first peloton had stopped and bodies were strewn by the roadside. Out of the 8 people in the peoloton, 4 went down while the other 4 narrowly escaped. I could pick up the silhouette of Adeline sitting in the middle of the road dazed. As I arrived, I could see Firdaus lying on the grass and Azahari lying faceup with his arms pressed to the forehead. Blood was gushing from his forehead as we tried to apply pressure to the keep the blood from spewing out. Alim and me worked out a system to use what ever cloth available (Kash's sling, my glove) to apply and tie Azahari's forehead to stop the blood. Meanwhile, everyone worked as a team to get the bike organized to one side and while others help the other injured to the nearby house. Passers by called up the ambulance while we camped out at the nearby house (Haji Mokhtar). I am so proud and happy to see such graciousness of the Malaysian public and how the team worked in such an emergency.
Summary of the casualties were as follows:-
a) Azahari (Axy) - Broken shoulder, 2 inch deep gash near forehead (20 stiches on forehead and 10 stiches near ear)
b) Azri (Pine) - Dislocated bone on shoulder
c) Adeline - Concussion (broken helmet), gashes all over face (lips and chin), shoulder, hand
d) Firdaus - major gash on shin and thigh, state of shocked.
Two ambulance took them to Seremban Hospital for Xray and treatment (lessons learn - bring ID when cycling and wear a helmet)
Tuan Syed Hasyim and Ahmad Ramli took all the broken bikes back to Batu 18. Our sincere and heartful thanks to these Old Putera Boys, in being there for us. Farid and me packed up the bikes in the respective vehicles and pushed of to Hospital Seremban after hearing that Azahari had to be admitted.
Upon arriving at the hospital at about 4pm, we were sad to see our colleagues in such deplorable state in a crowded ward. There has been many casualties in the new year, that the wards are fully packed (what use to have two beds now housed 3 beds). After discussing with Azahari, we came out with a plan to check him out of Seremban Hospital and bring him back to KL to check him into Ampang Puteri Hospital where he will be closer to this family. It was during this time that he shared his concern of perhaps not being able to ride a bike for the next 6 month to a year and he may need to change hobby, once his wife sees his injury. This really touched and moved me.
Arrived at Ampang Puteri at about 630 pm and placed him at the emergency room where another Xray had to be done and his wound got stitched up and washed. He insisted that he is OK and assured me that his family is on the way and bid farewell as i need to send back another casualty back to her house to face her mother. I left him at about 7pm and called to check on him every 45 minutes. Send Adeline back and reached home at about 9pm after having a light meal along the way.
This is one major casualty that has left me quite scarred, and i need to evaluate my riding routes and style. Anyhow, i thank everybody involve and was touched by the solidarity of all riders involved. My only regret was not being able to keep my promise to stay on to accompany Kash in her maiden ride - next time Kash. She has also covered this crash in her report here. (Thanks Kash for the photos)