I’m still not quite sure what happened. The light changed, I got out of the saddle, or at least thought about it, then my bars twisted, my entire body followed, and I slammed into the tarmac.
“Oh, this again…” I started to think. And then a bike rode over me, which honestly didn’t seem right at all, and then everything got heavier. Something pressed my head onto the road and I stupidly thought, “I’m glad I have my Oakleys on,” as I continued to slide across the road under the additional weight of a guy on a carbon fiber bike. On my face.
My brain either stopped or started working at that point. Still pinned onto the ground like a beached mermaid, I blubbered horrified apologies, until it was suggested that I pick myself up. The carbon fiber bike guy had skinned and cut up his chin. The guy behind him turned out to be Watanabe-san, a teammate I’d never met before but know on Facebook. I wanted to die of embarrassment.
Everyone was, thankfully, okay [bikes included]. A bit banged up, I waited for my hands to stop shaking before clipping in to ride home. My left arm hurt, and I didn’t want to see what shape my knee was in. Still running on adrenaline, I had weirdly grateful thoughts, like how glad I was that I had on a Giro helmet, because I could stash my Oakleys up there with my one functional hand. The light in front of me turned red and I pulled on the front brake. Bad idea.
I hailed a confused cab driver to take me home. Damage was assessed, and hospitals called. My left arm was useless by the time I got to the ER, but wasn’t met with much sympathy. “You fell off your bike? Hmm, well, you can raise it, so I don’t think it’s broken,” the doctor said, almost bored. X-rays confirmed he was right, that I’d only banged up my nerve. He gave me a sling before looking at my knee.
“So, do you play any sports?” he asked.
“...Oh, so you were on one of those race bikes? How fast were you going?”
“I don’t know. Not that fast. I was at a light and it changed…and then I fell…and then the guy behind me kind of ran over me.”
Ah well, shit happens, right?
[The arm’s better today [I can type!], and hopefully I’ll be back on the bike in a few days. Thanks to everyone who emailed/tweeted/Instagrammed!]