… And So It Happened

I can’t help wonder if I jinxed myself.  I’m superstitious that way.

Recently I wrote a post to celebrate Mary J Melange’s declared Bike Month.  I talked about my various learnings along the way to becoming a cyclist – particularly #3 Keeping The Rubber Side Down.

… but I failed – again. This time in a most spectacular way.  Warning – this might be uncomfortable.

Earlier this week I crashed while crossing a set of railway tracks which are located at an awkward angle to the road.  I’ve crossed this particular set of tracks a dozen and one times without incident, but that day I think I hit the 2nd rail a little too quickly at an angle that was a little too sharp.

My back wheel slid out from underneath me and I bounced rather ungracefully off the pavement.

I wasn’t so lucky on this fall. In addition to the inevitable road rash and impressive temporary colour changes on various parts of my body, I broke my collarbone.

It is said there are only 2 types of cyclists – those who have broken their collarbone and those who are going to.  I have now joined the ranks of the former.

Thankfully I wasn’t cycling alone and, as proof that the world is still full of good people, several motorists stopped to help … including the guy who called 911 and stayed with my cycling partner until her husband arrived to pick her up and our 2 bikes.

The condition of my helmet is evidence of why I believe that not wearing a helmet is folly and that the value of wearing a good helmet cannot be exaggerated.

It is crushed on the side of impact, having absorbed the shock of my head hitting the pavement. There are deep scratches in the side where I then skid on the road.  My helmet did its job brilliantly and I shall mourn its loss.

My oldest son quipped that I just like riding in ambulances, but we all know too well how much worse these cycling accidents can be.

In the past 48 hours since my crash, I’ve had time to reflect on the impact of this accident. My major goals for the year are now burnt toast.

I will be unable to join the 18th annual People With AIDS Bike Rally from Toronto to Montreal in 4 weeks. Nor will I be able to recover and be sufficiently trained for my planned bike tour of Thailand in October – a trip from which I will now have to withdraw.

I think the Universe is trying to send me a message.  I’ve been forced to slowdown dramatically (as I painstakingly peck out this post with one hand) and this new slower state will be my new reality for at least the next 6 weeks.

Perhaps I’m not meant to be a long distance cyclist after all. Right now my 60-year-old bruised and broken body is suggesting I should find a new sport.

That’s what happens when you live life on the edge … sometimes you fall off.


  1. Though I don’t ride with fear I do worry when I feel a knee pain that I could be sidelined again. I HATE being sidelined.
    Your accident sounds horrible…I am certainly glad you believe in helmets. Anytime I see a person riding without a helmet I want to stop them and lecture them on the importance of helmets. Your story would certainly be much different if you had not worn one.
    Prior to my first century you shared the following…
    You will finish, the only question is…how long will it take and how much will it hurt?
    I thought about that statement when you first told me about your accident. If you just replace the word “finish” with “heal”


  2. Sorry I missed this post, Joanne. I just read your follow up. Yes, accidents happen in a split second, with devastating consequences. Years ago, I fell and broke my femur and was on crutches for 6 months. Then a year later, I had the pin taken out, which meant crutches for 3 months. My husband and 11-year-old son were marvellous, lifting me in and out of the bath etc. . It’s when we are so incapacitated that we realize how much our partners and kids really love us and would do anything to help. I’m so happy you’re improving by the day, and hope you will be fully recovered very soon. xx


  3. Oh Joanne, that’s awful! So sorry that you’re going through this – and so glad your helmet did its job. I hope that your injuries heal quickly and that you can get back to doing the things you love. All the best, Terri


  4. My heart breaks for you Joanne! I know how much you were looking forward to the summer events planned. If there is anything you need, I am not that far away my friend! I know that we can’t ride on the 15th but depending on how you are feeling, if you are up to a little runaway, I could take you for a drive & maybe stop for lunch somewhere?


  5. Oh No!
    Sorry to hear about your accident and I’m glad to hear that you wear a helmet (blows me away how many people in Toronto don’t). I hope you are on the mend and have a quick recovery. It seems like a relaxing summer is in order and after a busy couple of months much needed. Take Care!


    • It makes me crazy when I see people riding without a helmet! It’s such a simple form of life insurance.

      Healing isn’t going to be nearly fast enough for me. You’re right though – after the pace of the past few months, a rest isn’t so bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So sorry to hear this, Joanne, but I’m also glad to know that it wasn’t much worse. Thank goodness for your well made helmet! I am always nagging children in our neighborhood about not wearing their’s. It stinks that all your plans now have to be changed. I hope you find new goals and that you heal quickly. Take care.


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