The Bike Accident

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I decided to get off my bum this afternoon and go for a bike ride... you know, fresh air, exercise and all that. It was a beautiful afternoon so I strapped my iPod to my arm, jumped on Dave's bike and hit the streets. I've been thinking about starting to ride to work now the weather has warmed up a bit, so I figured I'd ride up to Holy Trinity and back, just to get a feel for long it takes.

I ended up taking the scenic route, up Eighth Line, round the back of the Trafalgar shops near Walmart, back down Sixth Line past the school, and onto Upper Middle. It was nice riding along, listening to some music and just cruising. Well, it was nice until I crossed Upper Middle and went to get back onto the sidewalk... I was going quite fast, rode across the main road while there was no traffic, then turned across a driveway entrance to rejoin the footpath, when disaster struck.

I've been trying to work out why I did such a stupid thing, and I've worked out it was the result of a subtle design difference between Australian and Canadian driveways. In Australia, nearly all driveways are built flush level with the surrounding grassy nature strips along the road. In other words, the driveway is on the same level as the grass of the footpath. This means that when you ride from the road to the sidewalk ,you can shortcut across the grass to rejoin the sidewalk... you just go from tar to cement to grass to cement. What I'd never noticed before was the difference in design of Canadian driveways, where they often have an actual curb bordering the sides of the driveway, effectively meaning you can't take that little shortcut across the grass. I've now noticed this design difference. Unfortunately, I noticed it when I was only a couple of metres away from this curbed edge doing about 40km/h...

I realised the impact which was about to happen, but by that stage there was nothing I could do about it - too fast, too close. As if in slow motion, the front wheel hit the curb and I went arse-over-tit, straight over the handlebars. I landed on my hands and whole left side, coming to a screeching halt on the concrete, and about half a second later the bike landed right on top of me.

It took a few moments to regain my senses and crawl out from under the mangled bike. My knee was bleeding, my hands were aching and scraped, the iPod had big scratches where it hit the sidewalk (still works luckily!), and the front wheel of the bike looked like a pretzel.

I limped back home, carrying the bike since it couldn't be pushed. A nice couple eventually stopped and offered me a lift back home, which I was glad to accept.

I need to go to the doctor tomorrow and get my hands checked out. My thumbs are really sore and I can hardly move them... other than that I'm ok, just a bit sore and sorry. I used to race bikes and have done lots of riding over the years, but I've never come off a bike like that. I don't recommend it... it really hurts!

PS: Dave, I will get your front wheel replaced... sorry about that! The rest of the bike is fine.

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