Ed Bible describes himself as the guy who has to sit down when visiting a hospital, so uncomfortable do medical maladies make him.
Yet on the afternoon of June 29, it was 50-year-old Bible who came upon a crushed and bleeding Michael Torckler, a professional cyclist and native of New Zealand who had been struck by a car while riding on steep, isolated Pine Flat Road above Alexander Valley.
It was Bible, two months removed from a half-day of CPR and first-aid training required of him as a Santa Rosa city employee, who turned Torckler on his side so he wouldn't choke on his own blood, who urged him to breathe and who told him to hang on until help came.
What Bible doesn't acknowledge is that help already was there.
"I definitely owe that guy my life," Torckler said this week as he prepared to fly home to New Zealand to further recover from injuries that include more than 15 facial and skull fractures, a broken arm, a broken hand and torn knee ligaments.
Torckler, who spent 12 days at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in the intensive-care and the acute-rehabilitation units, doesn't remember anything about the collision or what Bible did for him, but he knows the stranger's intervention likely saved his life.
The veteran city employee was just wrapping up maintenance work at the Mayacmas pump station on the Geysers pipeline about four miles up from where Pine Flat Road meets Highway 128 in Alexander Valley when he heard what he thought might be an accident involving heavy construction equipment nearby.
Then he heard two men shouting. Soon, a passer-by approached Bible to ask if he could call for help.
Unlike everyone else on that lonely stretch of road where cellphone service is spotty to nonexistent, Bible had access to a two-way radio in his Santa Rosa city maintenance truck.
He called 911.
It was only then that he saw the reason for his call.
Torckler, 25, was lying on the side of the road, bleeding profusely. His carbon-fiber bike was shattered, but his helmet was in one piece and still strapped to his head.
"It wasn't a pretty scene," Bible said. "I didn't know if he was going to live or die. It was to that degree."
"I saw that he was a young guy. You want to do your best to make sure that he is able to continue on."
Bible crafted a pillow for Torckler's bleeding head, rolled him onto his side to drain the blood from his mouth and encouraged him.
"His breathing was shallow," Bible recalled. "I said, 'Come on. Come on, breathe,' and he would gasp for air."
"I tried to get him to squeeze my hand and he couldn't," Bible said.
Doctors later determined Torckler's right hand had been broken.
Bible guessed it was about 20 minutes after his radio call to 911 when emergency crews arrived. A helicopter landed on a wide turnout about a half-mile from the scene.
"The response was impressive," Bible said.
"I asked the paramedics, and they said he lost a lot of blood and he doesn't look good," Bible recalled.
A trauma surgeon at Memorial who worked on Torckler said his injuries were extensive and complex, but it was remarkable that he wasn't in worse shape, considering the impact.