A split-second decision during a motorcycle charity ride on Sunday saved Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender from serious injury.
Fassbender was on a leg of the Ride for Life for Prostate Cancer in Mission. His riding friend, who was ahead, managed to manoeuvre around grass cuttings, but Fassbender was unable to miss them.
“The grass cuttings are like grease,” Fassbender said from his home on Monday morning.
“I hit it and went off the road.”
He saw a cliff and, in a split second decision, bailed from his bike and rolled down the side of the road.
The cliff, a 30-foot drop, contained stumps and barbed wire, and a lake at the bottom.
“I was fortunate that I saw it coming,” Fassbender said.
“I got off my bike to save myself,” he said. “It’s not an experience you want to have.”
He praised North Fraser Fire Department firefighters and B.C. Ambulance paramedics for the swift way they handled the emergency, which led to a three-hour visit to a local hospital.
Fassbender said that X-rays showed no broken bones, but he is nursing badly bruised ribs and a damaged lung.
He was wearing a helmet and full protective gear.
Fassbender said that being in good physical shape helped him escape more serious injury and will speed his recovery.
In March, he signed up for a 90-day fitness challenge, and last month reported that his muscle tone was improving and he is sleeping better.
Fassbender works out three times a week with a personal trainer with Innovative Fitness in Langley.