Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Matter of Time

There are certain things in life that are inevitable, given time. Death and taxes are for certain and if you ride and race on the road long enough, so is meeting the pavement in the most unpleasant ways. In ten years or riding on the road I can count on one hand the number of times I've hit the deck, twice. Although I've ridden around, through and even over crashes in road races I've never gone down in one, the one thing you learn from riding mountain bikes is handling and it comes in handy on the road just as well.

The first time I went down on pavement was about 8 years ago, while practicing sprints my chain dropped from the 53 to the 39 causing me to slam my chest onto the stem then fishtail until finally laying it down at 30mph. Big patch of skin missing from my hip but nothing major.

Last weekend after the Bagel ride, I had a close call coming into my neighborhood after the ride. I always practice my high speed turns on the intersection at the bottom of the hill but last week for some reason I decided to not hit the turn hard and it was good timing. I hadn't noticed that my rear tire had a slow leak and was well below a reasonable pressure for leaning hard into turns at speed but I was still traveling fast enough for the tire to start to roll off the rim. Fortunately I reacted quickly enough to correct myself but it was almost too much and was close to pulling a Joseba Beloki '03 TdF maneuver and flipped sideways. Bike handling to the rescue.

Today I wasn't so lucky and now I have two road crashes to my palmares. After another Bagel ride I again wasn't looking to take this turn at speed, although I did check before hand to make sure my tire wasn't going flat. As I approached the turn I leaned into it as usual and prepared roll through it until I noticed a wet spot in the faux brick crosswalk. Already leaning I knew grabbing a handful of brakes was the quickest way to hit the deck. Instead I tried to stand the bike up and straighten out my line and roll straight through the intersection. No dice. No sooner did I try to sit the bike up I was on my head in a heap in the intersection. It was a weird fall, even though I was moving I pretty much just hit the ground and stopped, maybe with a slight skid for good measure. Fortunately I was wearing knee warmers and arm warmers, the latter of which were pulled down so when I hit the pavement they bunched up partially covering my naked hands. Even with the knee warmers, I lost a fair amount of skin. Let's just say this wasn't in my plan for preparing for Granogue this weekend.


Chris said...

dang! shoulda ridden the trails. conditions were perfect.

how's the bike?

heal up in time for saturday.

Chris H said...

shifters are all busted but seem to work and the front wheel is bit out of true.

The thing that really pisses me off is that it was anti-freeze and no one had the common sense to wash it away, it was like someone flushed their radiator right there.