Claud has fallen

As soon as the front wheel hit the tramline, I knew we were going down. We we going so slowly and we were so heavy; ending up sprawled across the wet cobbled street was inevitable.

We had only travelled a couple of hundred metres from the hostel when we had to cross an area of cobbled streets, cris-crossed with tramlines. I was certainly nervous about the tramlines, but there was plenty of room each side for bikes.

However, we soon entered a cobbled area that was full of parked lorries, delivery vans and even road sweeping wagons. Stopping crossed my mind, which with the benefit of hindsight would have been the best decision. Instead, I crossed the section of tramlines to go past them.

Scene of the crash: wet cobbles and tramlines.
Scene of the crash: wet cobbles and tramlines.

The front wheel slipped into one of the tramlines and we were toast. After going down, I was OK, but Louise was struggling to breath; I think she was winded. The handlebar had hit her on the stomach/ribs and she was in trouble.

The people who came to help were amazing, there were almost too many of them. The guy from the bar put a chair out and gave us a couple of bottles of water. Another bar owner said we could come inside and get warmer and asked if we wanted a warm drink. The general consensus from the local people was that this kind of accident happens a lot. Didn’t make me feel much better though.

Louise spent some time gathering herself, but it was clear she was in pain and needed checking out. We were directed to the hospital about 1k away; Louise wanted to walk to see how it felt. Even on the way when we asked directions, the guy offered Louise a lift in his car. Hats off to the people of Ghent.

Having checked in to the hospital, the
team gave Louise a thorough checking over and sent her for a CT scan. At this point it did cross my mind as to whether the adventure was over. Fortunately, the scan revealed nothing more sinister than bad bruising which is nonetheless painful.

Just got to hospital
Just got to hospital

The problem with an accident such as this is that the stoker has no warning, no chance to brace, they just go down. In this case landing on the handlebars. However, fundamentally this was down to a bad call by the Pilot. I felt awful.

Bit of a bruise ..........
Bit of a bruise ……….

On being discharged, while we were still in the hospital we secured a room in a hotel for the night. We parked up Claud and had a mooch around the town, which it was nice to see without the torrential rain. A lunch and a couple of beers were followed by a rest at the hotel.

More painkillers required........
More painkillers required……..

We will need to revise our plans, but will await to see how the stoker feels in the morning. She is sore and no doubt will be stiffer in the morning. We can stay here longer if required, we will just have to take a longer train journey. No harm in that.

Lying on the hospital bed, Louise said one thing: ‘I am not going home’.

Painkillers kicking in........
Painkillers kicking in……..

Chapeau, stoker, chapeau.

16 thoughts on “Claud has fallen”

  1. Hope Louise is ok. Sounds nasty with wheel in tramlines. When trams started in Edinburgh there was a whole raft of those bike accidents. As you say the difficulty with tandem is the pilot can see /feel what is happening – the stoker doesn’t know anything about it until on the ground. Chin up and hope feels better in morning. And good for you Louise vowing not to go home!

  2. Hope you are ok Louise.No doubt the pilot is taking good care of you. Take it easy. Amsterdam isn’t going anywhere ………

  3. Lovely Louise, I do hope you feel better soon. How traumatic for you and Mike. If you fancy parking the bike and flying south for a few days of sunshine – you are both very welcome. 😄 ️xx

    1. Thanks Theresa we are meeting Emily in Amsterdam but reassessing in Frankfurt in June that sounds lovely xxxx

  4. Hope you’re both ok, xx
    Praps a couple more beers, for medicinal purposes only of course 🍺
    Seriously though, hope you both feel a bit better in the morning x

  5. Crikey folks, what an adventure! OK, sack the pilot, promote the stoker to the front seat, they do say the girls make more careful and safer drivers! Put it down to experience and enjoy the excellent Belgium beers……good luck!

    1. Thanks Alistair, good to hear from you! We are working our way though the beers, only about 9,578 to go……

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