Saturday, May 05, 2012

More damage

To me. The bikes are fine. In fact, it took Scott longer to put the bike on the back of the truck than it took for the bike mechanic to shift the horn/brake assembly back into position on the side portion of the handlebar. Apparently, the actual metal part of the handlebar was completely unscathed. I had no idea that the horns could bend so much! Now I just need to take a Sharpie to the edge of the brake handle and Circe will be back at 100%.

Friday night I rode my hybrid over to B's house and then rode the trails around her house with her. It would have been a faster trip to her house, but she's getting used to riding again and is on a hybrid so I took the slower bike with new combo platform/SPDs. These SPDs are pretty tight as I discovered when I lost momentum going up a hill, lost my balance, and couldn't unclip before falling sideways into a ditch full of thorn bushes.

Good times.

B. pulled my bike off me and then hauled me out of the thorns. She also kindly pulled a couple of thorns out of my upper arm. I washed off the blood and we resumed our ride. I felt fine when we got back to her place and decided to ride back home. The traffic was kind of heavy for a Friday night, but I've gotten pretty comfortable around cars. I amused myself by hitting and maintaining the 25mph speed limit on a residential street which meant that the car behind me couldn't (well, not legally anyway) pass.

I hopped on the W&OD in Old Town Herndon for the trail leg of my trip and ran into a bit of trouble when the trail was CLOGGED with teens who were ignoring the concert happening on the green behind City Hall. I slowed way down but when a girl darted out in front of me, I went down hard on my right side.

The kids around me were horrified and helped me up, gathered my belongings which had fallen from my basket, continually asked if I was okay, and apologized again and again. I thanked them for their help and told them that I was very nearly a professional faller and I was okay. One of the boys said, "In that case..." and began to clap. I bowed, we all laughed, and I hopped back on for the final leg.

When I got home, Scott was horrified to see the bloody scratches on my left arm and leg, fresh bruise on my right arm, and streaks of blood from knee to ankle on my right leg. He's looking to develop a line of cycling clothing made of bubble wrap for me. I think I may simply need to go back to wearing leggings over my cycling shorts. I never got banged up like this when I was fully clothed.

Due the cuts and bruises and stiffness and soreness, I stayed home from the group ride today. I was disappointed to make that call this morning, but as of tonight I've realized that was the best choice. Scott and I will take our own trip out to Purcellville and back tomorrow. Oh, and he's going to loosen the clips on my pedals a tiny bit so I can yank my feet out more easily and not escalate injuries.


  1. Welcome to the spring 2012 crash club. I feel your pain, literally.

    I am no fan of clipless pedals. I used them for a couple of years and never got comfortable with them. And, no matter how much I fiddled with them, they never were nice to my knees. (I haven't ruled out newer systems. Speedplay Frogs look interetsing.)

    At one point I used a set of old school cleats on my shoes. I loved them but good luck finding replacements.

    So it's toe clips and straps (and Powergrips) for me. I give up some efficiency but I save on Advil.

    Hope you fell better soon.

    1. It's interesting that you mention your knees... I feel like I'm riding pigeon-toed when I'm clipped in and there's a little pressure on my knees. I figured it was a function of wide hips or something.

      I hadn't heard of Powergrips; I'll have to take a look at those.

      And I'm much better, thanks. I'm assuming you meant "feel" rather than "fell". :) No falls today.

  2. I like clipless pedals for certain purposes, particularly mountain biking and fixed gear, where I think they are a real help. And currently all but one of my bikes have them. After commuting for two years on plain old platforms, though, I am transitioning back to platforms for street and probably road riding. I am also trying out Power Grips, too, on the fixie, since they support normal shoes and seem more forgiving than clips and straps. I tried a few different types of clipless, but once I found Crank Bros. eggbeaters, I was sold. I found them easiest to get in and out of, but they also take some practice to get used to. The normal vs. "special" shoes is a bigger deal for me than I once thought, and ultimately is what is most compellingly pushing me away from clipless. Shoes you can't really walk normally in just seem wrong to me.

    1. Oh yeah, I can totally see how clipless pedals would be great for a fixie. My shoes, and pedals, support recessed cleats so I can actually walk in the shoes. The rubber soles don't hurt, either. If I wind up hoofing it thanks to a busted bike, I want to be able to walk semi-normally. :)

  3. Hi, Melanie Susanne. My name is Marsha and I live in Florida. I just discovered your blog!
    I clipped in for years, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that it's much easier to ride faster when you are clipped in. But I have wonky feet and ankles, and, despite trying EVERY option on the market, I couldn't stay with them. While I now ride unclipped, I've found I still use stiff bike shoes and sandals. Mountain bike, commuter, and sneaker styles have soles that don't slip around when you walk. Check out mountain bike shoes for good-looking styles adaptable to street wear. And don't miss Keen's commuter bike sandal line or the Keen Coronado Cruiser sneaker(VERY cute). The trick to cycling without being clipped in is to concentrate on extremely even pedal pressure rather than pounding away at the pedals. Stay in a lower gear and keep a higher cadence.

    1. Hi Marsha and welcome aboard! Oh my goodness, those Keen sneakers are adorable. And I bet they're a lot more comfortable than Converse sneakers. Most of my outdoorsy shoes are Merrells, but I was happy in the Keen snow boots I wore for the few actually cold commutes this past winter (on platform pedals, obviously :) ).

  4. Oops. Sorry for misspelling your name! My typing and spell check skills are pitiful...