New bike, new bruises

January 29, 2007 at 5:37 pm (getting physical, past, present)

In fourth grade I decided to start riding my bike to the school bus. The bus was bad enough with the 6th graders monopolizing the good seats in the back and the pudgy girl-bully throwing out insults whenever the mood struck, I didn’t need to face the gauntlet of walking home from the stop every day. Bikes were faster, I reasoned, and I always enjoyed riding mine around the neighborhood. On the first day of the school year, I gathered my backpack (onto one shoulder only, as was the style), mounted my bike, and set off.

A few blocks out disaster struck. The front wheel hit the lip of a driveway at just the right angle and my off-balance backpack pulled me down to the asphalt below. Blood dripped from my chin, welled in the fleshy part of my right hand, and started to darken the knee of my tapered jeans, but I was more shocked than hurt. I walked my bike back to my house where one of my parents cleaned me up and drove me to school. Walking in late to the first day of fourth grade is tough. Walking in with a bandaid on your chin because you crashed your bike is mortifying. Sure it’s not wetting your pants, or calling your teacher “Mommy,” but for a vain little girl, it’s a blow.

Yesterday, as I crashed the brand new bike I was test driving, I was thankful for the perspective that comes with adulthood. I was moving slowly, trying to get my second foot in while coasting, and thought I had more room to maneuver around the (parked) car. I didn’t and down I went. At 10 I would have been embarrassed, at 26 I’m thrilled to have my first crash out of the way and to have had it happen at 2 miles an hour instead of 20. My right hip bone and right shoulder are throbbing (which should make my swim tonight interesting), but I’m just too damn excited about my new bike to care.



  1. winnekat said,

    oooh a new bike! Link please.

    (Glad to hear the crash was minimal. If you’re going the clipless pedal route, I *definitely* recommend practicing on grass first. By the third fall, I was so happy I wasn’t on the road.)

  2. BS said,

    Not so sure I can track down a link for you. It’s an entry-level road bike with slightly more upright positioning.

    I’ll go the clipless pedal route eventually, but am taking one triathlon expense at a time.

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