Saturday, June 13, 2009

The crash...or damn, that was embarrassing!

The bike trail I ride is very hilly, about half of it is uphill and half downhill. Naturally, the downhill is my most favorite part. The uphill makes my heart rate get up to 156, the downhill makes me smile.

I love speed, the faster the better. When I was younger I use to get quite a few speeding tickets. Until I found out radar detectors are legal in Washington. The greatest invention ever. I don't speed recklessly, I only do it if the roads are dry and very little traffic.

But back to the bike crash last night. I came home around 6pm and my husband was asleep. He'd had a week from hell and I knew he was exhausted.

So I went for an evening bike ride alone. The weather was perfect, 72 and sunny. It was my first ride since my bike was tuned up and the old guy at the bike shop gave me a lesson on changing gears out in the parking lot.

This is sad to admit but at 53 I've never really known how to change gears so I always rode in a low gear to get up the hills, then downhill I just had to coast. Now that I know about shifting gears correctly, I was able to go really FAST downhill. Just so you know, that's not necessarily a good thing.

I was flying down a hill at about 32 mph when suddenly there were people blocking the path. I should have just slowed down but I panicked and clamped down hard on the brakes, so hard that I came to a sudden and very unexpected stop. I didn't think my bike would stop so quickly. To go from 32 mph to 0 mph in about five seconds is a little disorienting.

As soon as I stopped, I quickly lost my balanced and just fell over, with the bike on top of me. One of my more humiliating moments in life. One of the guys came over and asked if I was okay. Even though my elbow that had just hit the pavement was shredded, I said I was fine. I struggled to get the bike off of me and back to my feet. The seat on my bike had somehow turned sideways. It has a lever that you flip to adjust the height so it was easy to get it twisted back into the right position.

I hopped back on my bike and took off. After I got down the path and out of sight of the group that had just witnessed my stupid move of the week, I checked out my elbow and arm. It wasn't as bad as I thought, just tore off the skin and a little blood, not much. My knee got twisted and it hurt. This morning my back is stiff and sore, my knee is okay and my elbow doesn't look as bad as I thought it would, so I'm okay.

My husband's advice when I got home, slow down or you're going to really hurt yourself. What fun is there in slowing down? I don't want to bike like an old lady, even though technically I am an old lady (almost 54!).

I have a young heart and a young spirit and even if it was kind of embarrassing when I fell, it was sure fun doing 32 mph flying down that hill. Maybe I'll slow down a little, at least until I get better at the stopping part. That's kind of key, learning how to slow down and stop without flipping over.

Have I mentioned I love biking? It's the most fun exercise I've ever done, besides dancing, and well, that other thing, both of which take two people. For solo exercising, it would have to be the bike. Best ever.


antgirl said...

I love hearing about your bike adventures because you are obviously so passionate about it. You sound so lit up and bubbly. That's really fantastic.

~ugly girl with a beautiful heart~ said...

Ouch! You're a total trooper! I would have pulled over after I got out of everyone's view and just bawled! I can't help it lol. I love biking too!

Ida said...

How many times do I have to tell you, you are NOT old. I know because I'm older than you are and I'm NOT old. LOL
Glad you weren't hurt any worse than you were, bruised ego is hard to recover from at times. Luckily, you probably won't ever see any of those people again!!! LOL