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Sometimes It’s Better to Just Fall

Bicycling has become one of my favorite ways to stay active and exercise, and most weeks I can manage to get in 3-5 bike rides around the park (when it’s not 1 million degrees with 100% humidity outside). The bike path that loops around the park is roughly 6 miles long, well maintained, and a very short distance from my apartment, which means it’s my go-to route for bike rides.

IMG_6749The last few days have been ideal weather for cycling, so I was eager to get out on the trail today and enjoy the sunshine and wind blowing through my hair.

For the first half of the loop things were going perfectly– the uphill climb that usually makes me downshift a lot  was actually manageable (almost easy for once), and I zipped down the hill ready to finish up the last half of my workout and head home.

I’m not sure if I was enjoying the beautiful weather too much or just zoned out, but somehow very unexpectedly I managed to feel myself starting to fall off my bike.

In the split second that I realized what was about to happen a million thoughts went through my head as I tried to remember what the proper way to fall would be to ensure the least amount of damage (to myself or my bike), or if it would be possible to somehow correct my balance and prevent any falling. (I’m pretty sure time stood still while these thoughts were rushing through my head.)

At the last second I managed to brake and stay upright, but then immediately regretted this decision.

In the process of stopping suddenly and trying to catch my balance I managed to wind up with part of the handlebars pressed against my sternum and my upper thigh smashed against the middle portion of the bike frame… both of which I knew would leave me with some lovely bruises.

After assessing the damage to myself and deciding I would be able to physically ride home (just in a little bit of pain), I decided to check for any damage to my bike. Other than the seat being all turned around and sideways, I didn’t see anything that looked unsafe or damaged and got back on the path to complete my ride.

In hindsight, falling and risking a couple of skinned knees and torn leggings would probably have been the better decision, or even calling someone to collect my bike and me from the trail to drive me home would have been an even better choice. By the time I completed the last 3 miles and dismounted at my apartment, the bruising on my leg was hurting so much that I actually used the bike as a crutch while I limped over to the elevator and down the hall.

With the weather being nice enough to keep the windows open and AC off, I’m hoping the recovery goes quickly so I can get back out there on my bike– I will definitely pay more attention to my actions and surroundings going forward.

One Response

  1. I like how you find an interesting lesson even in something as simple as falling off a bike, or nearly doing so. Remember RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation – for those bruises.

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