Cycling News

Mother’s Day: She’s always been right about helmets

Alex Marais on her bike on a gravel trail.

Mother’s Day 2019 started as a normal Sunday. My mom, Alex, had gotten up early to go out for a road ride, my dad had gone to work. I was still at home, asleep, before my own shift started at nine.

While we often rode together as a family, my mom going out alone wasn’t unusual, though not ideal on Mother’s Day. We had planned a dinner at a new Mexican restaurant that evening. My parents would meet me from work, and we would enjoy dinner before going home.

Mom always wore a helmet. After that day, there was no way you could react to her mantra— “Don’t forget your helmet”with a “Yeah, yeah. I know.”

When I woke up that morning, there were several new voicemails on my phone. This was unusual for any day of the week and panic-inducing this early on a Sunday morning. Just this once in my life, the panic was justified.

The first voicemail was from a woman I didn’t know. She had found my mom lying by the side of the road unconscious and had called me, after calling an ambulance. She didn’t know who I was, though she had correctly guessed I was her daughter. By complete fluke, I had gotten a new phone recently (also the result of a much less severe bike crash) and my mom had my new number taped to the back of her phone.

The second voicemail was from a paramedic. She reassured me that my mom would be OK and told me where they were taking her.

I panicked and did what is many people’s first instinct in an emergency: I called my mom.

I found out later that my mom’s phone had been so destroyed in the crash that it was a miracle my mom and the nurse had been able to pick it up when it rang. But they did. My mom was reassuring to the point of the absurd, telling me that she would take a taxi home later and we’d go to the Mexican restaurant for dinner. Just call dad then go to work and I’ll see you later.

I did call my dad. I got him at work, in his office and promptly sent him to the wrong hospital as I hadn’t listened to the third voicemail, telling me they’d taken her to a different hospital. Eventually, he got to the right place and found my mom.

Somehow, I got to work on time. When I showed up and asked my manager if I could have my phone on the sales floor with me because my mom was in hospital, I was met with an empathic, “Why are you here?”

I didn’t stay my full shift. At lunch, a coworker drove me to the hospital so I could see my mom.

She didn’t take a taxi home and we never did go for dinner at that Mexican…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…