Saturday, January 18, 2014

Not the Master of my Bike Domain

We've been having some warm weather and snow free roads so I've been riding the unstudded Vaya to work, depending on conditions. We've also had a lot of fog in Spokane this week - normal for this time of year - and it settles on the streets overnight and freezes. Monday, there was only some frost on our street in the morning so I took the Vaya.  It's funner and quicker than the mountain bike. The Clement X'Plor MSO tires with little knobs on them have some grip on frosty roads, but I was careful in the corners. I hadn't had any problems before.

After awhile I didn't see any more frost, and let my guard down. I got to the intersection of Ash Street and Broadway Ave. One-way 2-lane Ash deadends here and in order to turn left I move from the right side of the street to enter the middle of the right lane. There's a car about a block behind me and for some reason I get a little nervous about them coming up from behind me, and I keep my speed up. The light is green.

taken a couple tears ago from the right-hand lane 
I check behind me and the car moved into the left lane. I relax and enter the intersection just before them. Then whoosh! My wheels slip out from under me and I'm on the ground. My left elbow hurts as it took most of the brunt of the fall, my knee smarts a little, also. Nothing feels broken, thank god I'd never live that down at work. I get up, do the reflexive look around after a fall, and walk for a little bit.

If I'd been riding the studded tire bike, I think I would've crashed then also as the ice hasn't been thick enough for the studs to grab into. Just needed to slow down a little and pay attention.

I wasn't going to tell my wife, but slipped and mentioned it to her. Then I was relaying the story to some of her co-workers. Pretty much this wasn't a good advertisement for riding bikes, as one focused on the fact I'd crashed in the middle of the street with traffic.

Crashing like this on my normal route hurts my pride more than my elbow. Lessons learned. Pay attention, don't get distracted. I tell that to myself all the time. Ride with confidence like you belong.

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