Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fall down go boom

My riding technique is nearly flawless and my "bike awareness" level is top notch. I'm as good as it gets. That's to say as good as it gets as long as I never do anything where I could possibly lose control of the bike. When it comes to the "take no risk" theory of biking I stand without peers.

So, being the master of the bike with near perfect form, I'm always surprised when I crash.
Now I haven't crashed in a few years but I read this article in the New York times and I got to thinking. Have I ever crashed bad enough to make me think of quitting the bike?

The worst injury was several years back when I was riding to the ear doctor's office and I was going along a path I often take when suddenly a big ol' hole (BOH) appeared.

Some one had decided to put in a new bit of sidewalk right at this particular point where I switch onto it for a block or so and hadn't bothered to inform me. The metal plate that was supposed to cover the BOH had left a bit of a gap off to the right which I was able to find without any difficulty.
My front wheel disappeared into the BOH and I was airborne.

Being of sound mind I analyzed the situation and decided a roll was in order. My analysis of the situation had taken longer than I thought and my roll was a tad late. Instead of landing on my back left shoulder and rolling with it I landed square on my left shoulder and only managed a good thwack. There was no roll.

After a once over I figured all was well and was off to the doctors but there was this growing pain in my shoulder.
The ear doctor asked me what was wrong and after telling him he took a look and told me that I'm an idiot because I clearly had broken my collar bone, there being a big lump there where bones were trying to make their way to the surface.

The emergency room was packed and I was impatient and thought, hell, I'll go to my regular doctor. Well, a week later I finally called since I could no longer sleep and the pain was getting worse.
A reprimand, sling and pain pills and a few weeks later I was back on the bike.
I never thought of not riding again.

There was the time I was mountain biking and over cooked a sharp downhill turn to the left and landed in some thorn bushes. That wasn't so bad actually. I lay there thinking, ok, I'm in one piece, this could have been worse.

Here's a tip on thorn bushes - once you've made the decision to enter them it's best to just keep going til you've reached the other side. Don't linger.
After I managed to free myself I still had to get my bike out. Blood was spilt.
A pretty miserable several days followed but all's well that ends well.
I never thought of not riding again.

Then there was the spring where I broke my foot playing tennis. Yes, it's true. Hard to believe I know.
Spring is not a good time to find oneself on crutches and I never thought of not riding for 8 weeks. I got some bungie cords and rigged up a little system where I could attach the crutches to the bike and get to where I needed to go, remove the crutches, and hobble about.
Worked great.
After being reprimanded by my doctor I reduced my riding to a few times a week and didn't mention it to him again. He thought I was being a good lad and laying about all hours of the day.
Worked great.

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