On a winter’s morning in Rotterdam, in early 2016, I fell off my bike. Easy to do with a strong wing, snow on the bike track and more fatally, a layer of ice underneath.
I wasn’t wearing a helmet, which wasn’t obligatory in The Netherlands (after this incident, I promptly went out and bought one).
The fall off my bike was like in a dream.
One minute I was on my bike, the next minute I was sprawled flat on the ground. There was no sense of the bike keeling over and me falling.
As soon as I got up I knew that there was a problem.
There was blood on my clothes and on the snow. The blood was coming from my forehead.
Two other bicyclists stopped and helped me up and offered to phone an ambulance. One man looked at my forehead and said that it would definitely need stitching. For some reason I didn’t want an ambulance. Instead, I held a handkerchief to my head and rode home with one hand. The sunglasses helped in keeping the blood out of my eyes.
When I got back to my apartment, I put fresh clothes on and got a taxi to the casualty department of the nearest hospital……