Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I got in a fight and lost....

Ok, not a fight with another person but with the asphalt. I went out last night for a ride on my road bike. On my way home it started to rain, so like any silly cyclists I picked up the pace to get home before I was too wet.

That was my first lapse of judgement. You should know if you don't already that road bikes have very thin tires with zero tread and are kept at very high pressure. In addition, this particular bike weighs in at about 18 pounds and is normally carrying a load (me) of about 165 pounds. As a result the relationship between me and my bike is not very balanced and pretty top heavy.

Second lapse of judgement. Understanding the above facts I probably should have slowed down... but I didn't. In fact, while rounding a corner an interesting thing happened. Those high pressure, zero treed tires, connected to my 18 pound bike, carrying a 165 pound passenger, on a wet road, removed themselves from the road. In slow motion these are the thoughts that went through my mind. "oh, great!; this is going to hurt!; I hope I don't mess up my bike!; Maybe I could just power-slide this thing; Nope I am going down; Hey look, there is a car! I hope the driver sees me! I bet I look like fool to them; Ouch!!! (at this point I had hit the road, my body made that thud that only a body coming in contact with pavement can make and then the sliding began.) "this isn't so bad; hey look I am still clipped in and my bike is now up in the air as I slide on my leg and back."

 Note: This is not a pic of me, but it does look like it hurt.

Coming to stop in the middle of the street the driver of the car pulled up with big eyes and covering her mouth she said, "Oh my gosh! Are you ok! That looks like it hurt and you really slid." At this point my pride kicked in and began acting like everything was just fine, that I meant to do that and I felt nothing. I waved her on and then picked up my bike to inspect it.

The bike looked good, only a couple scraps. I then began inspecting myself. Here is what I found. I had lost the skin and hair on my left forearm. I had similar issues with my right leg. Not so bad. I grabbed my bike jumped onto it and began pedaling. I got a block or so and looked down and noticed my white handlebars had turned more red than I had remembered them. Pulling over I began looking for the source of this new paint job and found that I had ground down my left pinky finger and it was having trouble retaining blood.

I didn't want to get my bike all bloody so I held it out to the left as I pedaled home. I walked into the bedroom and told my wife that I had crashed. At this point I wasn't interested in pride any more I was looking for sympathy. I think I embellished the story and added a few more details to increase the level of sympathy. It worked and she spent some time helping get cleaned up. It also had the effect of causing her to be concerned rather than upset with me.

I took a shower, went to bed and awoke this morning feeling great until I got out of bed. That is when I noticed that though my burns felt like burns I now had this pain in my shoulder, wrist and lower back. I guess the impact of the crash did a number on my muscles or joints or something. So now I sit in my office before work begins pounding out my story. I can't use my pinky finger to type and my body aches in multiple locations. I am not that old but I sure feel like it today.

Ok, that is my story. Sorry it was a little long. My bike and I have made up. I promised my wife within earshot of my bike that I would not ride in the rain anymore or at least I would slow down coming into wet turns. 

I honor of those who fall.


  1. Yeah, sorry no photos. I haven't had time.

  2. You need one of those cruiser bikes with the big fat tires and a tractor seat.. That is what we use for biking here in rainy Oregon!

    Happy to hear that you are not in the Hospital...

  3. Yep, that probably would have helped.

  4. Well, little Hazel prayed specifically that Daddy would be safe and I'm sure that helped in the crash not being so bad, it could have been a lot worse!


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