I wrote this in April, 2012. The weather had been extraordinary. It began the first week of March when the temperature hit the 80's. Right here in Chicago mind you, where, normally, there'd still be dirty slush on the ground and snow or cold rain appeared routinely on the menu. On the RoadSummer arrived early this year. By that I mean summer cart-wheeled, pom-poms twirling, smack dab into winter’s rump. Three months early. Caught me (everyone) by surprise. We mid-westerners rubbed our eyes in disbelief. Gob-smacked. Laughter and gaiety ensued. Gawd! She’s so magnificent.What is one to do but saddle up and revel? And that is what I did. Pulled the jersey from the hanger. Squeezed into lycra shorts (fitting a bit more snug than I remembered), donned helmet and gloves, pumped up the tires and ventured forth on bewildered legs.I hadn’t planned on pushing pedals in early March. Hadn’t planned on venturing farther into the hinterlands by April’s end than I had by mid-July of last year. I rode amazed. Pedaled slightly daft. Spinned my wheels through landscapes each and all waking astonished. Never experienced anything near like this. Mouth agape, I swallowed way too many insects every bit as disoriented as I. Nature had erupted in an orgy of buds and blossoms. Almost overnight, my world morphed to fragrant green.I was deafened by the chorus frogs/spring peepers. Hawks dotted the skies, soaring and cavorting. Redwing blackbirds rushed to stake their claims. Though farm fields remained dusty brown, they hummed with anticipation. Livestock felt it, too. They didn’t graze complacently. Noses raised to Heaven, they twitched their tails in glee.It’s been surreal, this bacchanalia. I asked more of my muscles than prudence cautioned. I couldn’t help myself. I knew there would be a price to pay. But I also knew this opportunity couldn’t last. Carpe diem. There would be cold days still. Soon. Nothing this amazing can persist. I would rest when the cool rains came.I’ve ridden long and hard. All in the name of Amazement. I sport the crazy tan lines of a cyclist: pale forehead, tanned cheeks, vanilla thighs, chocolate knees, white feet, white palms and dark fingertips. I’ve been buffeted by gusty winds, blinded by unseasonable sweat. All in the name of Pleasure. I even found myself pedaling through a dense cloud of honey bees. Bees bounced off my face and helmet, bees bounced off my arms and legs. Bees clung to me and my front fork. It’s been a crazy season. Not a single sting.I ended my last ride yesterday with a nasty crash. I hadn’t realized how much I had exhausted my legs on the longest ride of this utterly improbable season. Legs cramping, I failed to disengage from pedals when a car roared forward in front of me. I fell hard to ground, right hip bearing the brunt. Bruised and bleeding, hip screaming, I soberly rose, saddled up, pedaled slowly home.I didn’t cry. No need for tears.I've been happy.
...I failed to disengage from pedals when a car roared forward in front of me...I do that all the time, putnid......legs cramping, cars roaring in front of me, plenty of warning with a red stop light ahead (between the two of us, I've done it on a SPIN bike!!) I try to pretend I meant to do it.I didn't cry either.Write faster!!Vivienne
I am also familiar with the Artie Johnson technique of dismounting without uncliping the pedals.B
I've done it too. The worst (and most stupid) was reaching for the ringing cell phone in my pocket, shouting to DW "Don't stop. DON'T stop! DON'T STOP!!" and of couse she stopped and I went over the bars (the right hand had the phone so I pulled the front brake) -- skidding smartly along asphalt and the grass with my bike hooked on one foot, across my back. The hip bruised from waist to knee.I've said it before but for months, even years, I thought my injuries from this and other falls gave chronic discomfort. But after seven days of guided stretching in the morning during a vacation, a miracle occurred and I was cured (Halleleuia!!!). I do stretching now somewhat religiously.Back to the story -- a woman in a car, stopped -- thinking the old guy might be dead. I stayed down on my nose, asked DW to get the bike off my back, and eventually got up and got on the bike. Cry??? The nice lady would have thought I was weak. DW knew better. I'm STUPID!Bob -- Hockeypop
Can't say I've done spectacular falls.....I'm more the slo-mo faller as described by my fave pundit Dara at around the 7.30 minute mark in this skit (the whole thing is worth watching but, if you're anything like me, you'll spend the rest of the morning watching Dara on YouTube.....you were warned!)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC8kbQc6zCc
I gotta say, it kinda cheered me to know that we all shared similar experiences (I kinda figure ALL cyclists who clip themselves in eventually find themselves prostrate on the ground...still clipped in).You'll chuckle to know, Vivienne, that I, too, once tumbled from my Spin bike whilst teaching a class. Call it a case of irrational exuberance. Thing is, the way we had the room set up, I was stationed on a platform raised two feet from the ground (facing the entire class). I didn't just fall off the bike, I tumbled off the platform, too. No one woulda believed I actually meant to do that. Yes, indeedy, B and Bob, we all gots our stories. I tumble often enough just trying to mount my bike. My right hip is so corroded that it's an adventure every time I try to sling my leg up and over just trying to mount the bike. Then come the unexpected stops that either leave me freaked out when the rear wheel rises some three feet off the ground when I slam on the brakes, or I fall sideways whilst trying to unclip on the WRONG side. Comic relief comes with the territory.I don't mind losing patches of skin. I consider them "badges of honor." I wasn't all too happy, though, when I bruised three ribs and fractured one earlier this past year (I hate that it hurts whenever I laugh). I really get distraught when I damage the bike.Loved the Dara skit. So true, so true.
You'll chuckle to know, Vivienne, that I, too, once tumbled from my Spin bike whilst teaching a class. Call it a case of irrational exuberance. Thing is, the way we had the room set up, I was stationed on a platform raised two feet from the ground (facing the entire class). I didn't just fall off the bike, I tumbled off the platform, tooWell, I've done the falling of the (Spin) bike and I've done the falling off the platform......it's very impressive that you've done both together!I've seen plenty of "falls" in the cycle studio over the years, mind.....to the extent that I now often remark that no-one falls off a Spin bike unless they deserve to
...to the extent that I now often remark that no-one falls off a Spin bike unless they deserve to In that context, were you, perchance, doing any of these bat-$h!t crazy moves?http://vimeo.com/1770174My daughter taught classes alongside this guy and gave me the heads-up! that he'd put something like this up on Youtube
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