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.
“Yeah, cycling.”
“...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!]


Last summer, I encountered my first pack of roadies.
Plodding home from work, mostly zoned out, a male voice behind my ear called out:
"On your left."
As those words hit my brain, I instantly found myself floating in a sea of matching spandex. Six or seven cyclists drew up alongside me before passing by effortlessly, as I struggled to hold a decent line. Oblivious to everything but the goal [wherever that was], they swept by in perfect coordination and cadence. The proximity to the adrenaline, pure abundance of power, and muscle leaving me positively dizzy.
It's true what they say. Roadies are fearless. A "me and my team" mentality that can verge on the obsessive, and one that takes a kind of neurotic commitment that I respect and admire. It seems like a mentality that forces you to build character, or at least learn how to Shut the Fuck Up and Deal. Because, as a friend once put it:
"Cycling's different...your heart won't give out before your legs do."


And it's so true. In cycling - any kind of cycling - you'll always hit that point where you're tired and panting, but there's just a little bit more hill to conquer, and while your heart's still functioning, the only thing that's not listening to you are your legs.
That's when my heart really wants to explode. The desire to do well/conquer/go faster...and finding myself with no go. I was useless last night, and these aren't days to be useless. I need to stop cutting out of the library before 10pm, stop desiring sleep, stop feeling the pain in my knee and the stiffness in my sciatic nerve. And, in a sad way, stop thinking about pretty much the only that makes me happy: bicycles.


These days are kind of like riding fixed, but brakeless, clipless, and helmetless, all that's keeping me from an ugly crash right now is a hope and a prayer. But as I attempted [in vain] to keep up with two cyclists this morning - a Ridley and a Guru that looked like it lacked a third dimension - I spotted a hawk clutching a dead squirrel. It was sort of oddly comforting, and changed my mood for the better as I coasted [freewheels are ah-mazing] into the library.
I still might need a big dose of fearless from Team Shut the Fuck Up and Study...but I have a feeling [or at least a hope] that I'm going to make it through finals in one piece.

expecting the unexpected

gravity works

I had a post all planned out. It wasn't about hats, or even biking, really, but there was a plan.

And then this happened.

I wasn't really surprised though. It had been about 4 months since I last crashed, which meant I was about 4 months overdue for one of these.

The weird thing is that it didn't hurt that much until I got a real good look at what a mess I was. But I guess I was expecting that too. That and the burn of bactine and picking pieces of skin off the inside of my bloody, ripped up underarmour leggings.

My impatience is already creeping in. This better not take more than a week to fix itself.