As you may or may not know, I work for an insurance company here in Seattle. The Mighty P! Michelle and I also have our insurance through them. Insurance is one of those things we all have to have, but dislike. We all have it, though, because no matter how careful you are, someday whether its your fault or not, you are gonna have an accident.
Why am I telling you this? Because on a bike, the same applies. Not the insurance part, but the fact that sooner or later, all bike riders crash…
Now, it starts at an early age!
Ok not THAT early!
But I distinctly remember when the training wheels came off my first metal steed, biting the dust many times! I would take off down the street of our trailer park. I bounced off many a car, or wiped out completely. The day I made it to the end of the street, turned around and came home without crashing, is the day I became a “big boy” bike rider in my own head! (It may be the day my mom started turning gray as well!)
As I grew older, and crashes got bigger, I learned 3 things: 1) Always check the bike first. I will heal, but the bike is how you get home. Make sure it is ok! 2) If possible, always get cleaned up before mom see’s the blood (I once snuck IN my bedroom window to get cleaned up after one particularly epic crash and burn (ok yes I did jump from a higher parking lot to a lower one, and lower one was gravel, but I was practicing my James Bond escape moves!)) and 3) Chicks dig scars! (ok, that one might just be in my own mind!)
Fast forward to adulthood! 2008, just starting my cycling career. I am 43, NOT 13 anymore, not quite as bullet proof, or as flexible. Also maybe not much smarter!
There I was, one February, day, training for my first Chilly Hilly in 7 years. The weather had cleared, the sun came out, the recent snow had melted. I was out for a fast 15 miles, I rounded a corner… and went down like a shot! Ripping my favorite cold weather
hiking I mean, now biking, pants (They have duct tape on them to this day.)
Yep, I forgot to account for the loose gravel we put down on the streets here in Western WA when it snows. After it melts, it takes a few weeks for the street sweepers to clean it up! Loose gravel and road bikes do NOT like each other! Once again, I checked the bike first, then myself. And off I went to finish the ride!
Later that summer, our hero crashes yet again! This time because he forgets he is NOT 13! In downtown Tacoma there were a set of stairs. only 3 or 4 tall. Do NOT ask me why, but suddenly I thought it was a great idea to jump the bike from the top! After the wipe out, Homeless Tommy came over to make sure I was OK. The look in his face clearly said “You are a dumbass!” More road rash, and I had to straighten the handle bars a bit on that one. Good thing the original tri cross was tough!
There have been others since the great Tacoma wipe out. There are the classic “Turtling” falls when you don’t quite unclip in time. There have been a two where I was just going too fast for the wet pavement and crashed and burned. As told in One thing I haven’t told you
Hell two weeks ago, I was walking along the Burke Gilman trail, minding my own business, and simply tripped and wiped out!
So, why the post today? Well there I was this morning. riding along. minding my own business, on the 5 mile ride to work. There is a trail overpass that winds around and up to the bridge. It is clearly marked with a yellow line down the center.
I was as far over as I could get as I was heading up hill. when around the corner, going like a bat outta hell, is a douchewaffle in my lane! All I could do was hit the fence next to me to try to avoid him!
I yelled, he yelled, and he slammed on the brakes, almost losing it completely and wiping out. (which woulda been bad as the dumbass didn’t have a helmet) And we missed each other, but not without injury!
YEP! Ripped one of my favorite jerseys! The one I got for riding the (HARD) Reach the Beach ride this year!
Oh, and it dinged me up a bit as well! I will heal, but the shirt won’t! (Time for more duct tape)
The guy did stop and apologize. And as they say, shit happens. But it has made for a grouchy morning!
At least I was still able to catch a bit of the sunrise afterwards!
Be careful out there people!