I’ll be 43 in August. I’ve used a bicycle as my primary means of transportation since moving to Portland 17 years ago. As an adult cyclist, I consider myself to be lucky: I have never gotten into a bike vs car crash. Yes, there have been close calls, but no contact. Yes, a lot of other folks I know who regularly ride have not been so lucky. I’m not bragging, or saying I’m doing something “right”, just making an observation.
But this doesn’t mean I haven’t crashed on my own. Now, I haven’t done that a lot either. There’s only been a few significant ones, like the time during the Big Tour in 2011 outside Dauphin, Manitoba where I ate it on pavement after drifting into the gravel shoulder. The most spectacular crash was in November 2011, where I ate it (figuratively and literally) on the streetcar tracks on SE MLK. This one required a trip to the ER and stitches, and I still have the scar above my upper lip.
And on Friday I added another single person bike crash to the list, albeit a minor one.
I was riding the Crested Butte from N Mississippi Ave to work on SE Hawthorne. I decided to swing by my bank, which meant I needed to ride a block of sidewalk on MLK. Getting onto sidewalk from pavement, I noticed that there was mud on the edge of the sidewalk. I tried to overcorrect to avoid the mud, but I still managed to hit the patch at an angle, making me lose control. I fell on my right side, managing to hit knee, elbow, and scrape the side of my head. Ouch.
I lie there for a second, making sure nothing was that wrong. No bleeding, no ripped clothes. I got up, muttering “nothing to see here, folks”. There was a bit of an audience, as traffic was stopped at the light, but no one asked if I was okay. Thanks, folks.
And thankfully, I’m not that injured, just a bit bruised and sore. No ER visit this time, thankfully. I mostly feel stupid in that way that you feel stupid in these situations. The bike is mostly okay, but there is some damage, which of course is ironic because I was just picking up this bike from the shop!* The right side of the handlebars scraped pavement. The brake lever and grip has abrasion, but the right shifter took the brunt. The old Deore shifter has bent and lost its faceplate. These shifters were the replacement for the much cooler looking (though not as functional) first gen Deores that came with the bike. I don’t know how much longer this tweaked shifter can last.
But to be honest, while these shifters are more functional than what came before, I never really liked them. In fact, originally I wanted to use those Sun-Race shifters sold by Rivendell, as they could be tucked on the “inside” of the Bosco bars. But I was convinced by a bike shop to use the Deore shifters, since they oh-so-conveniently had a set available. So maybe this crash was a blessing in disguise? 😉
Anyways, I hope to not crash again anytime soon!
*I got brake work done.