I’m typing this post gingerly and mostly right-handed, because tonight I was in my first real bike crash.
Erin was working late tonight, so I stopped by her office for a snack with her before going to the gym. The gym is all of four blocks from her office, and I made it three. I was going west on K, and at the corner of 17th and Connecticut, there’s this little island of sidewalk between traffic turning right onto Connecticut and the intersection (smack in the middle of this shot). I tried to cut across that, since I was in the right-turn lane, but didn’t realize that there wasn’t a cut-out on the other side of it. Now, taking a bike off a curb when you’re my size is best done delicately, lest you roll the tire off the rim or suffer a pinch flat, and I kind of panicked as I realized (at the last moment) that I was dropping off a curb. I must have grabbed my left brake, because my front wheel locked up and I went ass-over-teakettle into the intersection.
Thankfully, no cars were coming. My chin broke my fall, and my left wrist took most of the impact (see?). The bike came right over on top of me, with my feet caught in the toe clips, so I lovely pattern of chain grease on my right arm.
In the moment, I thought I was fine. I untangled myself from the bike, hopped up and leaned it against a light post, assured passers-by that I was OK, and ran back into the street for the U-lock that had been hanging on my handlebars. Then I hopped back on and continued on to the gym. Once I get to the locker room and saw my chin was bleeding, I figured I should probably just call it a night.
So now I’m back home. The adrenaline has worn off and the Advil hasn’t kicked in yet. Once I got cleaned up, it really wasn’t that bad- no gravel to dig out of my palms, thankfully - but I’m going to hurt in the morning. I don’t know if I need to replace my helmet or not; I’m not even sure if it touched the ground, but I’m certainly glad I was wearing it.
Anyway, it was my own damn fault, of course - I got cocky and tried to take a shortcut, and karma saw me do it. I just hope Erik is proud of me. I mean, this has to be a right of passage, right?