“My Shortest Bike Ride EVER” isn’t exactly the catchiest title I’ve ever come up with, nor is the featured photo anything worth looking at. Therefore, I definitely want to thank anybody who ventured to read this post despite those immediate shortcomings.
Come to think of it, a more sensational title might have been “My First Wipe-Out of the Winter.” There is nothing like the possibility of blood and gore to attract readers. Nevertheless, I’ll tell you right now that there was no blood and no gore. (Damn, I’ll never make it as a master of suspense.) But there was pain. (Yes! I’ve redeemed myself.)
It all happened yesterday. Early in the morning, The Feeshko and I set out to walk the dog and we discovered there was a thin coating of ice on the streets. The Feeshko has only recently begun walking without crutches after her knee surgery, so she wisely turned around and left me and Diggity to go slip-sliding away by ourselves.
Generally, my post-dog walk routine involves changing my clothes and getting ready for a bike ride. Not yesterday though. Being the ultra-safety conscious rider I am, I held back and waited until there was less ice on the road. I spent most of the morning in the Greg Room. I waited. And waited. And waited. And sulked.
Perhaps the best feature of the Greg Room is the view I get of the street that runs in front of our house. [See the featured (and only) photo.] I can keep track of everything that goes on out there, and when the big truck that spreads salt on the roads passed by, I knew it would soon be time to get out on my ride.
Before heading out though, I walked out to the street for a visual inspection. I’m pretty smart that way. Aside from a few icy patches, the road surface looked pretty good. I hopped on The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong, slowly coasted down the driveway, made a left turn, and started pedaling up 14th Street with great care. Satisfied that the road was safe, I stood on the pedals and began my acceleration. A half-block later, I turned right onto the oft-used path that takes me past the middle school.
More accurately, my handlebars and front wheel turned to the right, but the bike itself slid straight ahead and I followed the bike. The unsalted path was still sheer ice. Despite my best efforts to regain control, the bike tipped over and part of me landed on top of it while the other part of me landed on the pavement. Upon impact, I voiced a very audible “OOUUUHHHHHHN!“
Of course, when it comes to winter cycling in Minnesota, wipe-outs come with the territory. I endure a couple of them every year. I’ve even written descriptions about them in the past. But, alas, I must be getting old because this crash seemed a little more painful than most of the previous ones.
I slowly disentangled myself from my bike and managed to stand up. I took a minute to pick up the bike and straighten out its handlebars. My body hurt too much to walk, so I got on the bike. I don’t know what one would call the cycling equivalent of “limping” or “hobbling along,” but whatever you’d call it, that’s what I was doing as I pedaled back home.
Once I explained to The Feeshko why I was back so quickly, I sat down and took inventory of my aches and pains. Bruised knuckle of left index finger. Very sore left thigh just above the kneecap. Sore left wrist. A bruise and minor abrasion on the inner left ankle. Overall feeling of having been mugged. No broken bones, no lacerations, no gushing blood.
I spent the rest of the day taking it easy in the Greg Chair which is located in the Greg Room. I read. I napped. I watched college football. I spent some time at the computer. I looked out the window shown at the top of this page.
I’m not trying to elicit sympathy with this post or trying to brag about my crash. (Everybody already KNOWS I like to brag — especially when it comes to my self-image as a “Tough Guy.”) So this post is just another case of me writing about a cycling-related subject because that’s what I enjoy doing. To me it’s fun, and, in this case, therapeutic.