The Uselessness of Turf Wars


Yesterday between rest stop one and rest stop two I noticed the support van going in the opposite direction. I wondered about this, perhaps stuff forgotten at the last stand. I never found rest stop two and was low on food and water by the time I reached the end. Famished I jumped off my bike to eat but instead noticed one of our riders sitting on the seat of the van in obvious pain. I went over to find that he had fallen early in the day and injured his right leg. They were getting ready to take him to an urgent care after riding in the van all day.

I asked to look his leg and knew within 20 seconds that he had fractured his hip, probably the femoral neck by my exam. I turned to the route leaders and told them to call the rescue squad immediately but one hesitated because … he had picked him up and knew best.

“ The immediate care will be good enough”

I looked them in the eyes and gently but forcefully said “ Call the rescue squad now”.

They did. 5 minutes later a firetruck and an EMT ambulance arrived. I explained I was an MD and we had a fractured hip on hand. They literally pushed me aside and ignored me. They were in charge.
They cut off his riding shorts, checked for bruising and pulses , moved his leg around as he cried out in pain, and then decided there was probably no break. They wanted him to stand.

I said “ No. He has a broken hip and needs a stretcher right now. “

4 turned to an EMT and said “ He will decide that not you”.

The EMT looked at the rider and said there was no leg length discrepancy so probably no break.

I looked him in the eyes and as gently as I could said “ If it’s non displaced the leg lengths will be the same”.

He hesitated then agreed to a stretcher. The scowling crew took not kindly to me forcing the issue so I left the scene.

Transported to the hospital he was found to have the fracture I described and is now on the OR schedule for a hip replacement.

Today as I ride I ponder the uselessness of turf wars. Over and over again they get in the way of meaningful progress or group cooperation. How many times have I witnessed this at my place of employment, among friends, even among family members. Why should it ever been part of the riders care?

Deep in thought I ignore my traveling companions most of the day. Along the way Flossie finds friends to try to cheer up my mood but to little avail .

The ride is over dangerous bridges and through heavily populated areas of Coastal SC. Traffic , small shoulders, thousands of turns and a slow pace over 65 miles made it a long difficult hot day.

But… every day has its “silver lining to a cloud moment”…last night my air mattress developed a leak in the seam and I awoke flat on a hard floor. Today at rest stop two I was able to replace it for 12$ at a Walmart!!! I can sleep freely again.

Tomorrow we cross into NC and leave this beautiful state behind.

Rain is in the forecast but it should be done before noon. More importantly after tomorrow’s ride we have a rest day…and I can rest, eat, sleep late and….wash clothes!

Flossie, Angel and more importantly Mother Nature all agree the stench means it’s high time…