I love biking I also despise it too. I must bike or do some other exercise to keep my brain working properly, so I bike six days a week, a few times a week I get in a bad mood and grudgingly force myself to go biking. I do however start enjoying it 30 min into my ride. Biking isn’t just my hobby it’s my medicine. Biking gives me more than any anti depressant could ever give. With all the love I have for it, it only rarely transforms into something more than just a “ride”. I’m lucky enough that a few times I’ve had experiences that have penetrated their way into my consciousness. These places are all over the country but the experience I’ve had most recently is also the closest, Draper, Utah.
The last week of June it was hot as it ever gets at 11am but I headed out biking anyways, It was one of those grudgingly mood rides starting out. Then i felt like I needed to listen to uplifting music, about five minutes into my ride I found an insane amount of energy and went the fastest I had ever pedaled up that canyon, as I was flying I was in a pretty good mood but I was really confused on how I was going so fast, about ¼ mile left of the trail I ran into a group of five people and a man on the ground getting cpr. I’d never been in a life-threatening atmosphere before but I remember every little sentence of detail about what happened, I’ll try to keep the things I recall in this experience to be relevant.
I heard them talking the group of three that was switching on CPR and when I pulled up it had been a minute since he had a pulse and the one in charge of the CPR, which was luckily a nurse seemed desperate and frustrated, it had been ten min since he collapsed and the police and ambulance weren’t even close. Everyone around started really getting scared and no one knew his last name but luckily he befriended someone at the parking lot and rode up the mountain with him. After a minute or two another man pulled up and asked if the man had received a blessing, they replied “no” somewhat annoyingly but the man wasn’t detoured he could tell that the man shared the same faith as him and knew he would want one in the situation, I helped with that frantic blessing to the higher power. The nurse continued CPR threw the blessing but afterwards something changed. I got up from the ground, the weeds, looked into his eyes and I saw his spirit leave. I cant really explain it more than that, but the group of six of us knew it was over. The reaction of the six was divided evenly with anger and frustration of some starting to yell “WEAR IS LIFEFLIGHT!!” and others held their head solemnly continuing to give CPR but knowing it was over, I turned my attention to the two children of the nurses and tried to talk to them about their day so they wouldn’t know what had just happened. Then the ambulance showed up and the majority of the group of us left to let the professionals take over. I went to a bench at the end of the trail and cried my eyes out in confusion and desperation. I few minutes passed and I asked a father and son if I could go down the mountain with them because I didn’t want to be alone.
I came home and cried some more and the next day was a whole lot of processing what happened feeling awful his family wasn’t with him and confused on why I got to that scene so fast on my bike. I felt like the ordeal wasn’t over and there was something more coming. I saw the son and daughter on fox 13 the next day. I could tell the police report they got wasn’t very accurate they thought someone just found him on the mountain and started CPR after that, they also thought only two people were there. I felt in my gut that I had to let them know what really happened to him and that there was someone with him his whole ride and that he had a nurse by his side the whole time and a blessing was done for him. My mother I guess knew that too so she called fox news and told them to give the family my cell phone number. I got the scariest, most intimidating call that afternoon; they wanted me to come tell them how their husband, father, and grandfather died. I knew this was why my heart was hanging the past few days it was that this family needed closer.
I walked threw their door with my wife and encountered more than 30 people desperately wanting me to tell them what I knew. So I give about the same story I give above probably with more emotion and tears and I could feel the relief in that room as I told it. I imagined my father dying, thinking he died alone and that pain of “what if” going threw my head. I realized that me being there talking to them was answering all the what if’s they had. The family was really nice and it seemed like I already fit in with them. After a while visiting I drove home confused and overwhelmed but I realized the relief and comfort of me telling them that he got a blessing and that he wasn’t alone when he collapsed also that he had a nice conversation with another man that ride was the most relief I will probably ever give others, I thought about how unusual the circumstances were that led me to the experience and how even though I didn’t play a big role in trying to save the man’s life I played a big role in providing closer for his family and for me.
My perspective has changed quite a bit since late June I appreciate every ride just a little bit more and I appreciate myself and the potential I have of overcoming any of my ocd or little quirks I have because I know when needed I can do important things.
About a week after the funeral we went up to the spot where he passed, his family me, and my wife in the red shirt and the man’s family who pulled up to give him a blessing are in the picture, hes the one taking the picture. We built this cairn, and all summer not a single stone has been moved. I pass by it almost every ride I go in this canyon and think of the experience and how life can be very unusual and very awarding.