I crashed my bike the other day – okay, crash may be a bit hyperbolic. I did have a mishap, but it was nothing serious. I was heading up a sketchy hill with a lot of loose gravel and just as I was thinking, “I should clip out,” I was on the ground before I knew it.
Cornering on an uphill, when your tire slides out, and you’re clipped into the pedals, usually means only one thing – you’re going down. It always means the fall will be ungraceful. Without the ability to put a foot down to catch, all you can do is hope to guide gravity a bit with some frantic body english. I splayed out over the handlebars and managed to break my fall with gloves on both hands taking the brunt of the impact. My right knee however, smacked hard into the top tube of the bike frame.
After a second to pause and do an internal system check, I popped up and went about my ride. I really didn’t notice the knee until the next day, but it has been pretty tender since.
As falling off my bike is something that comes very rarely, I had to think hard to remember the last time it happened.
I was riding the Ant Hills in Houston and decided to take the much more technical route in an area that gave us a choice. Dave took the high road as I bombed in and out of the trees, over vines, around rocks, and up and down gullies and ravines. As this was the first time I had taken that route, I should have done it slower to scout it a bit, but I was having a blast.
I broke out of a heavily wooded area and saw something I wasn’t expecting – a straight drop of about thirty feet with a narrow bridge crossing a ravine smack dab at the base. I was halfway down the drop before it even registered that this was not going to end well.
In an effort to cut right and line up with the bridge, I slid hard. The bike reacted more than I expected and my right shoulder smacked hard into an Oak tree about ten inches in diameter. I remember the impact, I remember instantly laying on my back on the tiny bridge, and I remember my bike flying through the air directly toward my head. Then it went black.
The guy that was down there watching it, tells me that my left arm shot out, grabbed the bike by the frame inches from my head, guiding its momentum enough to miss. Apparently, then I just lay there silently. He said that about ten seconds later, I kinda looked up and just lay there still for a bit.
I do remember waking up on the bridge and trying to decipher how I got there, but have no memory of the attack of the flying bike. I walked up the other side of the hill back to the easy trail where Dave was waiting with a look of triumph for having beaten me to that junction.