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.