This week, I fell off my bicycle for the first time in my adult life. So I thought tell you about that and reminisce about the other times my bike has screwed me.
I fall off my bicycle for the first time in my adult life
I wish I could tell you that an act of valor to spare a baby in a runaway stroller resulted in my bloody elbow, messed up hand and a bruised boob.
Have you ever bruised your boob? It’s weird. I can’t show the cleavage of my ample bosom for the next week or so (I’m sorry, world) without looking like I was beat up by my lesbian lover.
Note: I say lesbian lover even though I’m straight because I feel like punching a boob sounds like a cheap shot another woman would know to do.
I’d like to preface this story by saying that I am actually a decently experienced cyclist. I bike to work everyday at my new job, and biked as often as I could to my old one. I also go for longer bike rides for fun in the evening and on weekends. I wear a helmet, warn unsuspecting pedestrians with my bell, and very emphatically use my arm to signal my movements in traffic. By my own personal standards, having not cycled with anyone else in years so I have nothing to myself compare to, I’d say I’m skilled. The only other cyclists that usually pass me are those assholes with super skinny tires and padded biker shorts.
So how did the fall happen? Stationary.
That’s right. I was standing still when I fell. How does that even happen? I somehow make it happen.
I arrived at the bike compound at work to see two men on their bikes fumbling for their access keys at the gate. I heroically announced I had mine handy as I hopped down from my seat, bike between my legs, and penguin walked to the door to lead us through. I felt pretty stupid shuffling my feet with a pole between my legs as the men followed behind me, so I stopped to get off my bike. I usually do an elaborate leg swing to get off (that’s what she said), but I didn’t want to risk kicking either of the men in the face (former dancer, you see). But I somehow didn’t lift my leg high enough and my foot got caught on the seat. I went down faster than a desperate street-walker. And hard. I even screamed. It all happened so fast! The bike was on top of me. It was very graceful.
One of the men who witnessed the fall works in my department (of course it couldn’t have happened in front of strangers who I’d never see again). He helped me up and was kind enough to engage in conversation other than, “Are you some kind of idiot?” as we locked up our bikes, walked through the building and rode the elevator to our floor. It wasn’t until we parted ways that I realized my elbow was bleeding profusely the entire time.
I swear I’m not a wuss, but it was a painful fall. And I was just stationary! People often fly off their bikes while actually biking! I can’t imagine! I know my bloody elbow and messed up hand are a result of smacking the concrete; the bruised boob I suspect was the handlebar’s doing on my way down. It just snuck right in there, the sneaky, skinny bastard. It’s three days later and I still feel sore, but my elbow and hand are healing. My boob bruise is now a lovely shade of dark purple and green. Come and get me boys.
My bike falls on my head in my kitchen
I think it’s so cool when people hang their bicycles in their apartment. Ok, ok, I really think it’s cool because Jerry Seinfeld did it. Since my apartment lacks space for my bike, about a year ago I bought a couple of heavy-duty hooks and hung it in my kitchen. I was pretty proud of my handy work, so I took a picture.
I don’t like asking people for help and am convinced that I know how to do everything. I’ve spent many a hours over the years doing two-person jobs like putting up big, heavy curtain rods, hanging big, heavy mirrors and repositioning big, heavy furniture alone because when I want something done, I want it done NOW. So I just do it. And it gets done. Properly? No, not usually. But the job gets done. Just don’t look at it too closely.
I didn’t solicit anyone for help when I put the bike up in my kitchen. I may or may not have even used anchors for the screws. I figured the test of me using my full body weight to pull down on the hooks was test enough.
The first few times I put my bike on and took it off, it worked fine! As you can see from the picture, in order to get the bike onto the hooks, I had to raise it over my head using my brute strength.
One time, while taking the bike down, I neglected to first raise the bike high enough to pass over the upturned hooks. With the bike high over my head, I accidentally yanked the hooks right out of the wall and before I knew what was happening, the bike tumbled on top of me as I fell to the kitchen floor.
I patched the wall, swallowed my pride and asked my dad to install new hooks. No bike on head accidents in my kitchen to report since. Huh.
My bike falls off my car on the highway
Years ago, my brother and I decided to bring our bikes to the annual summer trip up north to my dad’s campsite (the same scene where you might recall It’s all fun and games until you shit in the woods took place). Since my car doesn’t have a hatchback (you also might recall I drive a sexy 2001 Ford Taurus), we secured the bikes to the back of my trunk using something like this:
Except the one I used was shit. I couldn’t even find a picture of something similar online, probably because it’s been taken off the market. It had more foam than steel.
I strapped our bikes up and away my brother and I went at 6:00am on a Saturday morning.
I was driving. A few minutes after we got onto the highway, something caught my eye in the rear-view mirror. The strap securing the two bikes together had come loose. It flapped in the wind for a second and then took off into the sky. Before I could even think, “What the…,” my bike flew from the rack and onto the highway. At 120km/hr.
Luckily, we were on a stretch between the metropolitans of Sarnia and Wyoming, Ontario at six o’clock in the morning, so the highway was virtually deserted. Well, except for the lone transport truck coming up behind us. The driver saw what had happened and switched lanes in plenty of time. My bike had settled about 100 metres behind us in the right lane by the time I had slowed to a stop on the shoulder.
Without hesitation, I put the car in reverse and drove backwards on the shoulder to where my bike was chillin’ in the middle of the highway. With no other vehicles in sight, we were able to scurry onto the highway and safely pull it off. Oddly enough, there was virtually zero damage done to it. A couple of scrapes on the paint, but that was it! It took some time to figure out how to fit both bikes in the back seat, along with our luggage and other camping crap, since there was no way I was trusting that bike rack again. But we did, and we were on our way.
I should probably mention that I didn’t ask for any help installing the bike rack.
My bike brings me a new friend
One time, I was biking home from work on a nature trail along the river. A sizeable spider landed on my handlebar. When I noticed it, I brushed it away and felt it smack my helmet on the right side of my head on its way to hell. That’s how big it was.
I biked straight to the grocery store, did some shopping, biked home, took off my helmet, changed clothes and relaxed on the couch. Twenty minutes later as I sat watching TV, I felt something on my left shoulder. I turned my head and came face-to-face with THE SAME SPIDER from my handlebar.
This means that the spider hit my helmet and STAYED in my helmet while I biked to the store, grocery shopped, and biked home. Then it clung to my head when I removed the helmet and changed clothes, and crawled through my hair and down my neck to my shoulder. This was AN HOUR after I thought I had brushed it to doom.
Needless to say, I killed that spider and made damn sure it was actually dead this time.
I guess my bike stories aren’t so bad. Better than these: