The other day I’m out riding my bike. I’ve just left my apartment and am headed left, towards the light. The plan is to turn right onto the main road and hit a few hills. I’ve been missing my bike! Trouble is, the light’s red and there’s a car there, also turning right. I come up slowly behind it, clicked into my pedals but ready to click out, waiting to see what it does. The car starts to go but then stops, starts again and stops, and (those of you who are cyclists know where this is going) . . . Crash! I’d lost my momentum; I knew I was going to fall, and I did.
I toppled hard to my right, and even on the ground had difficulty getting out of my pedals. My left calf was smarting, but I didn’t pay it any attention. A passenger in a car waiting to turn left beside me had rolled down his window so that I could hear him laughing at me. I ignored him — didn’t look over — and finally got upright again. The indecisive car had finally moved on and my lane was clear. I peddled on.
It wasn’t until about ten minutes later that I realized my calf was still stinging. I looked down and was surprised by what I saw. My calf had hit my front derailleur when I went down, and blood and grease were etched nicely, chain-ring fashion, into the back of my leg . . .
I finished my ride — what’s a little blood? — but when I was cleaning my injury when I got home (that stung), I couldn’t help remembering that lovely passenger and the way he’d laughed at me. Jerk! Did he have any idea I could have actually hurt myself when I fell? Has he ever even ridden a road bike?
Those of you who are avid cyclists may be laughing at me, too. Perhaps it’s been years since you’ve fallen off your bike. But the fact is, you know you’ve done it, and, despite that man’s ridicule and likely assumption, my ego wasn’t bruised. I’ve fallen off my bike before, and I will again. It happens in cycling in the same way it does in life, and every time it does, I learn better how to keep it from happening again: Next time I’ll be sure to click out ahead of time, just in case.
No, my ego wasn’t bruised when I fell. If anything, I was proud of myself for falling and riding on. My faith in humanity, on the other hand . . .
Why do we revel in kicking a man when he’s down? Don’t we understand that that could be us?
Update: My laptop is currently at the shop! Here’s hoping Apple can fix whatever damage was done under warranty. If not, I may have to quit blogging for a while . . . Ha! I hope not!
Images: Mine and Pinterest