Biking Safety

RECEIVED Fri., June 13, 2008

Dear Editor,
    Oh man, that illustration in yer magazine of the two dudes on bikes seemingly about to crash into each other sez it all [“The 'Chronicle' Guide to Motorcycle Rally Weekend,” June 13] … at least to a trauma nurse working at Brackenridge Hospital. I’m guessing the dude on the left has a head full of meth, coke, and beer, while the future whiny little paraplegic on the right had one Kamikaze too many on Sixth Street.
    Ah yes, and here they meet, at the Capitol with hundreds of other middle-class yahoos, tooting their little horns and filling the city coffers, while the cops check out all the pussy.
    Most will make it out alive, but the herd always gets thinned a bit; a few will die on the scene, a few more in the emergency room, and the rest will hang with us from one week to as long as three months … fractured skulls, broken arms and legs, punctured bladders, spleens, and lungs … a few amputations. Invariably, a few old ladies lose the backs of their skulls during a really cool wheelie, and lots of 'em go into DTs from years of unchecked drinking, 'cause we don’t serve beer with breakfast; certainly not through a feeding tube.
    In writing this, I don’t presume to speak for any of my co-workers. We all have ways of coping … mine is to rant to you, dear Louis. It’s my 10th and last year doing this kind of work (for obvious reasons) and every year, it’s the same old shit … more stress placed on an already overwhelmed refuge meant for the city’s poor and unfortunate, with totally avoidable trauma and heartbreak; enough to go around almost until next June.
Tom Bowman, R.N.
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