15 December 2008
Over the bars, Part 3: Utter stupidity
I will ride in any kind of weather, but I will not ride on ice, I tell people.
On this night, I remembered why. Thank God my leg was not broken, so I could kick myself.
About two weeks ago, I rode in through the rain (nothing unusual). The temperature dropped while I was at work.
On the way home, I took it pretty easy. Upon discovering that it wasn’t *that* slick, I started to pick up the pace a little. (I was riding the Raleigh Super Course with Wald bars on it — a nice setup — I like to push it a little, when I get the chance.)
Alongside Commonwealth Stadium, approaching Alumni Drive, there’s an asphalt walking path. It’s smooth, and it declines slightly — a perfect place to accelerate. Out of habit, that’s what I did.
I noticed, as I approached the intersection, that a car was coming and that I would not beat it across the street. I barely touched the front brakes. Then I realized about four things in the same two seconds:
– The tire was skidding.
– I was not slowing down.
– The front wheel was turning.
– I was about to make intimate contact with the pavement.
The wheel slid such that it was at about a 90 degree angle to the frame, and over the bars I went. Well, almost all the way over the bars — I sort of got hung up on the bars, and landed on my right side.
I got up and rode home none the worse for wear. Again, it could have been much worse. It’s easy to sprain or break a wrist, or break an arm, in this type of a wreck.
What did I do wrong? I didn’t follow my own advice — go slowly when there’s a chance of ice.
When I did figure out I was on ice (which was before I braked, by the way), I should have guided the bike onto the grass before stopping.
But no … someday I will learn …