Some days, there is something magical about riding the bike to work. The gears tick along, and the wheels whirr on the pavement, the wind is at my back, and – almost miraculously – the operators of two-ton bicycle death machines decide to yield properly at intersections. The bike path is mostly clear of gaggles of sauntering, lane-blocking pedestrians; dog-walkers keep their friendly hounds from barking at my heels, and all is well with the world. I even remember to keep my lips closed as I smile my way down the path (thus discouraging unwelcome insectoid guests in my mouth). I happily greet people with a quick “g’mornin’ – on yer left” to warn them of my passing. (N.B. I follow the rules of the road and of courtesy, which allows me griping rights when others don’t.) And I love the ride in. I really, really do.
And today was, for the most part, that day: I had a great ride in (almost floating on the balm of self-satisfaction for having changed my first flat, all by myself). And the ride home would have been equally great, had I not tangled with my own clumsiness. You see, when I geared up and got on, I hadn’t latched my pannier (the Detours Toocan Pannier ) and, a few blocks away from launch, my foot started smacking the bag. When I pulled off at the nearest open area, I failed to unlatch from my clips, and – well – there’s no other way to put it: ungracefully flailed and flopped over (HARD!) onto the pavement. Gash on my knee: 2 inches. Bruise on my hip: 7 inches (likely). Damage to my dignity: countless. Many thanks to the folks who inquired after me (most of whom continued on when I bravely stated, “nope, fine, just clumsy”); most thanks to the very kind fella who stopped, and waited, until I was up, dusted off, helmet re-set on head, and responding to questions. The ride home was fine – a little twingy, and the blood running down my leg was a bit unsettling – but I made it, and though I’m a bit sore, I am fine.
My friend James tells me that people who really ride bike occasionally spill a little blood, but in so doing, earn their bragging rights. I guess I got a few more of those today…but I would feel better about that were it not such a stupid, avoidable, clumsy accident. D’oh!