Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Yeah, I know, I've used that headline before. But this time it's about me, not some dude losing an arm.

So as I may have mentioned before, by brother-in-law roped me in to riding the STP this summer, which means I need to get my butt in shape. And my legs, arms, back, neck, etc. And a great way to do this is to do the ol' bike commute. Good for me, good for the environment, blah blah blah.

Today was the first bike commute of the year, and I wanted to break it in easy. So rather than riding both ways I loaded the bike on the bus in the morning (which was great, since it was like 40 and raining out...), then rode home this evening. Which is where the "ouch" comes in.

So I'm sitting at the intersection of 8th Avenue and Westlake down by Lake Union, trying to cross Westlake to continue my ride north. Problem is, there's no light there. And there's a lot of traffic. Well, finally an opening in the traffic appears and I stomp on it. Problem is, I'm in the wrong gear. Waaaaaay too high a gear. So the crank moves slowly, and isn't where I think it's going to be when I stomp down with the right foot to get things going faster. So I hit the pedal with my toe rather than with the ball of the foot, and since I use SPD clipless pedals I sail right off the thing and stamp the ground instead.

But not just the ground, no, that would be too easy! My leg's momentum is forward...I'm expecting to hit the pedal and keep rolling in a circle...and my left foot is on the up-swing...so when I slip off the pedal there's no pressure keeping the crank going around and, naturally, it backs up. Right in to my shin.

Now, at this point, I'm thinking "ouch." I'm also thinking "I'm half way in to the first lane of a busy road and there are cars coming...crap!" So I stomp again, a bit more carefully this time, and make it safely across, swearing at myself and gravity.

Luckily I was wearing tights, so I didn't see the extent of the damage to my leg. It hurt, but I've had similar scrapes before and know that half of the battle is ignoring it. And it's much easier to ignore a wound if it's not bleeding at you. And besides, the tights are, well, tight and so provided a nice compression bandage. And they kept chunks of skin from jamming up my cleat...

Anyhow, it stopped hurting after a few hundred yards, and didn't start hurting again until I got home and had to take off the tights to find...a pretty minor scrape, actually. Probably got some protection from the tights, 'cause it's not as long or deep as I might have expected. It also, thankfully, didn't glue itself to the tights when it scabbed up, so I've got that going for me.

I'll take tomorrow off anyway, though, and let it rest. Then Thursday is the slightly bigger test, riding both ways - in the dark in the morning, no less!

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