Sunday evening Travis (aka the life partner), came to my place and brought his bike inside. The next thing I know, he’s bringing another bike inside. Wait?! What?! That wasn’t his bike. It was my new commuter bike!
The budding bike geek residing in me was so tickled. Not only was she a beauty of a bike, but she was also several pounds lighter than my current commuter. I was elated! Time to make sure the seat height was right, switch lights from current bike to new, and apparently-take Athena out for a spin! (Yup, I name my bikes.)
To Kwik Star we would go, as it was a close destination for late night snacks. Athena is a smooth ride. The hub barely makes a sound. I won’t lie: I felt like a ninja, as well as the luckiest girl in the world.
Rather than go the traditional route to our destination, we opted to go over this little wooden bridge, one you have to cross over with enough speed to keep yourself going up a larger hill, and then you’re at Kwik Star. (Go to the car wash, you'll see the bridge I'm talkn' about.) I was tickled. I did it successfully without fail. All in all, I’m still learning handling skills for different situations. I by no means classify myself as a know-it-all, or someone who can tackle every kind of riding. I’m very much a beginner with mountain biking or street riding.
When we left Kwik Star and I headed down the grassy hill to the little wooden bridge, I was hopeful everything would go smoothly. Nope.
For whatever reason, my “beginners luck” ran out. After over a year of riding, complete with doing some stuff I shouldn’t have done (and coming out unscathed), I completely and utterly biffed it.
I couldn’t try to tell you what even happened, and that is why accidents are so scary. It can happen so fast you don’t know what’s going on until you’ve planted yourself into Mother Nature’s bosom. I had several things running though my head quickly, but first it was the shock of pain and not being able to breathe. I’d never experienced the air being knocked out of me before. I’ll be honest and say it’s something that can just not happen again.
Once I was comforted by Travis, I wiggled all my extremities and limbs slowly. Ok…everything is attached, nothing severely hurts, and nothing is at a weird angle. Then I felt my teeth with my tongue, and barely managed to ask “Are my teeth okay?” to which Travis said “Are you SERIOUS?!” he didn’t understand my vanity. I had to work on Monday, and knew I had hit my chin. I didn’t want to have half-teeth in my mouth. I wanted the whole darn things intact.
I managed to get onto my feet, blood trickling around my knuckles (a lesson learned about why people wear gloves when riding), and proceeded to do the “bike crash walk of shame” back to my house. I had my new bike for a whole fifteen minutes and crashed. Way. To. Go. I was more embarrassed over it than anything, and of course more concerned over my bike than myself.
My bike was lucky. All I did was break the seat. The handle bars were easily straightened back out, and the wheel needed to be trued. That’s it. She really is a war goddess. I, myself, am extremely lucky for all that happened. I didn’t really hit my head, break bones, or dislocate anything. I was wearing a helmet (which for all practical purposes is something I always recommend, especially when you think about how hard I hit the bridge. After all, that impact could’ve been on my head).
It just goes to show that no matter how inexperienced or experienced of a rider you are, and even if the situation doesn’t look like it warrants it, accidents can happen. So this is a message to all of you bikers, new and experienced:an accident can and likely will happen. I was just lucky I didn't biff it sooner (or during the winter months), and I was also lucky it happened when someone was with me.
Be aware that regardless of what kind of biking you do, and if you bike the same thing 1,000 times, you are not granted immunity. These are lessons learned from a bike rider who thought perhaps she was just that darn good.