There’s so much that sticks out in the mind of Dr. Kurt Kuhlman concerning that hot and muggy Sunday afternoon.
His daughter was home from medical school over the Fourth of July weekend, and as the two have done for a dozen years, they took off on their bicycles for a “short” 40-mile ride.
“We did one of our old routes we used to do when she was in high school, taking back roads from Shawnee Township to St. Marys High School and back,” Kuhlman recalled. They were near Buckland, about 15 minutes from home, when trouble stole their father-daughter bonding time.
“The front brake wasn’t working properly on her bike. She was traveling at a high speed and when she applied the brake, the bike flipped forward and catapulted her over the handlebars headfirst onto the asphalt,” Kuhlman said.
Out in the middle of the country with an injured daughter, Kuhlman will never forget what happened next.
“In a span of 15 minutes, four cars drove by and all four stopped to assist us. One lady who stopped was pregnant and with her elderly mother. She drove back to her house to get us an ice bag and water bottles. She even brought an umbrella to shield my daughter from the 90-degree sun. Others gave us all sorts of stuff to take care of her. One guy stopped and directed traffic to make sure no cars ran us over. I am just so taken aback by the generosity of people I’ve never met in my life.”
That is why he decided to contact The Lima News.
“We are so grateful to live in a community where complete strangers will do so much to help someone during a time of need,” Kuhlman said.
Had his daughter not been wearing a helmet, Kuhlman hates to think what may have resulted.
“This could have ended her medical career before it ever started. I think she would have received significant brain damage,” Kuhlman said. As is, she suffered just a mild concussion, fractured her left humerus, dislocated her left elbow, lacerated her nose and had extensive road rash.
“The takeaway here is the helmet,” Kuhlman emphasized. “Wear a helmet, and when buying one, make sure it’s a good one. This shows even the most experienced bike rider can wreck.”
The accident won’t keep Kuhlman off his bike. The 1981 graduate of Ottawa-Glandorf High School loves the workout. He’s a triathlete who has competed in Ironman competitions as well as running in the Boston Marathon.
“If I had one wish it would be that when people driving a car pass a cyclist, they allow for a three-foot distance between bike and car. That’s the law, yet I’ll have people come within a foot of running me over.”
His daughter, who did not want her name used in this column, is expected to make a full recovery.
“Even her bike made a complete recovery,” Kuhlman said. “It took the bike shop like two seconds to fix the problem.”
“Just think … all of that and it took just a few seconds to fix.”
ROSES AND THORNS: A dozen roses get handed out from the garden.
Rose: Can you put 11 school superintendents in a room and get them to agree on a plan for reopening schools? Allen County pulled that off when the leaders of all the county’s public school districts along with the Allen County Educational Service Center, Apollo Career Center, the Allen County Board of Developmental Disabilities and the West Central Learning Academy met over the course of several weeks.
Rose: State Sen. Matt Huffman had the backing of at least 16 colleagues when he proposed legislation that would empower public and private schools to decide when they will open their buildings for the 2020-2021 school year. Although the proposed legislation never came to a vote, it is exactly what Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ended up putting in place.
Rose: The quick reaction last Sunday by Shawnee Township firefighters kept a small fire on the roof of the middle school from causing extensive damage.
Thorn: Hello, will you move it? That’s what the driver of a truck pulling into Ottawa Feed and Grain had to be thinking as part of the trailer was left sitting on a railroad track as the man waited for another truck to move. Sure enough a train came and his trailer, as they say, was history.
PARTING SHOT: The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.