My Shortest Bike Ride EVER

“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.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

12 response to "My Shortest Bike Ride EVER"

  1. By: Suzanne Posted: December 20, 2020

    Yikes! A good warning to the rest of us! Not sure I would have been able to pedal or limp home.

  2. By: BobinVT Posted: December 20, 2020

    Wow, glad that you are OK. I had a much less dramatic super-short ride yesterday. Got about halfway down my snowy, rutted road and said nope, I am not a tough guy today. Turned around and headed home. GPS reported 0.2 miles.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 21, 2020

      I think you beat me by about .1 mile.

  3. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: December 20, 2020

    We saw enough of your blood and guts on the ‘bolt in shoulder’ incident a few years ago, so we don’t need anymore.

    I have an ice in Australia story. Many years ago I was snow skiing at Mt Buller in Victoria and we went to the hotel for drinks and dinner then we proceeded to walk back to the hostel later that night in the dark, slightly inebriated. It was like an ice skating rink and on a slope. It was only a few hundred metres back but took ages, we were all over the place, would have made a hilarious video. So I can see how ice would be bad to ride in.
    Hope you make a quick recovery.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 21, 2020

      Thanks for the Australian ice story, Led. I can picture your troubles. Our driveway has a slight incline and there have been quite a few times where it was so icy that it’s impossible to shuffle your way back up. You have to walk on the grass to get back to the house, which isn’t all that pleasant either when there’s a foot of snow to wade through.

  4. By: Scooter Posted: December 20, 2020

    Well, that’s scary. I’m glad it was no worse than it was – falls are no laughing matter once you get of a certain age.

  5. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 20, 2020

    Glad you are OK!! It all happens in a split second.
    Next time you do a Gravity Check, find a softer place to land! 🙂

  6. By: Laura Posted: December 20, 2020

    Ouch! Glad you are OK.

  7. By: NancyG Posted: December 21, 2020

    At least only a few “owies” (I had such difficulty being allowed by google spell to use that word). You might be tough, but be careful as well. Toughness can only do so much. Glad to know you are ok with no serious injuries.

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 21, 2020

      It looks to me like you spelled “owies” exactly right.

  8. By: Bill Stone Posted: December 21, 2020

    WordPress won’t allow me to place an image in a comment, so I will try to use words to paint a picture of the cartoon you would have seen. Imagine a patient in a hospital bed. He is completely encased in plaster for broken bones from head to toes. His arms and legs are held up by pulleys. The caption? “Just tell it to me straight, Doc. Is my bike ok?”

    • By: gregblood Posted: December 21, 2020

      That’s a good one because it’s pretty true. Now I’ll try to describe a cartoon I saw this morning. (It’s not related to cycling, but it IS related to the holidays.)

      Two guys are looking at a big bottle of water that was placed on the mantle above a fire place. One of the guys seems to be wondering what that’s all about. The other guy explains, “That’s the remains of Frosty the Snowman. He wanted to be cremated.”

Leave a Reply