A post by Brian Dollard, The O.G 2FN
So a few weeks back I all but stopped working out because of an injury. I sprained my left wrist (and probably my right) and may have done the same to my left elbow. It’s incredible to find out how much a bit of pain in certain joints can seriously affect your mobility.
My brother decided recently that he was going to start cycling again and for a number of reasons I wanted to join him. On our first night out he and my cousin met me at my house around 11:30 at night. We made a quick stop at Stewarts to fill up our tires, and then set out at a reasonably quick pace averaging 15-20 mph. About a mile and a half into the ride we made a turn onto a fairly busy street, where a light further down the street had just turned green. I decided it would be smart to turn onto the sidewalk to avoid making oncoming drivers anxious. This decision turned out to be my downfall. Literally.
My brother and cousin kept to the road as I looked for a safe opportunity to join them. After about a block, nearly keeping pace with traffic, there were no visible openings to join them in the road. Then I looked up ahead of me and saw a kid on a bmx bike headed straight towards me. At this point I am on the right side of the sidewalk and he is in the middle. As we are playing an impromptu round of chicken, he decided to weave suddenly. My reaction was to hold my course straight and wait for him to get out-of-the-way. He didn't. There was about five feet left between us when I realized I had run out of options, at which point it made sense for me to bail out over the handlebars to avoid becoming a bloody tangle of bike chains, gears, and human limbs.
All I remember is losing the feeling of traction of the tires on the ground, and feeling like I was floating for a moment. I don’t quite remember the impact but apparently I landed on both of my palms, and one knee. I must have tucked and rolled too because I was back on my feet quickly, looking down at my bike all tangled up with this kid.
I remember immediately asking if he was alright, and then my cousin asked me if I landed on my feet after flying over my handlebars. That would have been WAY more impressive and a lot less painful. I wasn't in a huge amount of pain right away, but I was fairly bloodied up on my hands, ankle and knee. My front bike tire was a bit “taco-ed” as my brother put it, and my handlebars were actually 90 degrees in the wrong direction. The handlebars were an easy fix and my brother disengaged my front brakes so that they didn't drag the wheel and make it impossible to ride.
The kid rode off unharmed, and after ten minutes of calming down, I decide that I could continue, as to avoid completely ruining our first ride together. My palms were a little sore pressing down on the handlebars but nothing I couldn't manage at the time. I was probably still riding the high of the adrenaline and what other chemicals are coursing through my brain to deal with the accident. I soldiered on completing our 10 mile bike ride before heading home and cleaning up my wounds.
It has taken several weeks to feel fully recovered, and it has been a pretty painful experience. I thought I'd share a little bit of wisdom so others can avoid this! For all of you bike riders, Keep to YOUR RIGHT when approaching oncoming riders!