Monday, May 11, 2009

Diagnosis Chronic Clumsiness

I was cruising. Thoroughly enjoying my Mother's Day gift, I was busy pushing myself. Bonehead rode behind me in his patient and relaxed way, because in all honesty the man could ride circles around me if he wanted. But he's sweet, and when I requested a bike ride for Mother's Day, he let me lead and set the pace, which was a doozy for me, but kind of a stroll in the park for him.

My new SPD clipless pedals and shoes were clicked into my bike for the very first time in the real world and not on the trainer. I felt like a bike goddess. I liked them, I felt much more efficient.

I was thoroughly enjoying myself, biking around Busse Woods on the bike path, brazenly calling out "On your left" as I passed an assortment of rollerbladers and walkers. We witnessed a deer in the woods, and got closer than I ever had to one before. The wildlife was abundant and I was truly enjoying myself. Riding around Busse was much more exciting than the vast expanse of corn fields around my home. Truly, I was cruising and exhilirated and oh so happy.

I looked back for a moment to say something to John, and wound up off the trail in a swampy and muddy area. The water was not immediately trail side, but as I tried not to panic while whipping through the uber soft dirt on the side of the path I noticed its stale smell.

I tried to get my bike back on the path, and for some reason never ever thought to either unclip or hit the brakes.

I know, its like watching a horror movie unfold before your eyes, isn't it? At this point you're screaming at me, "Take off your freeking high heels and run you idiot!! Everyone knows if you keep them on you'll twist an ankle and lumbering dude with the chainsaw who never ever runs will catch you!!"

Yeah. So I'm trying to get my bike back on the path while tethered to it, going about 14mph and NOT hitting my brakes. Come get me chainsaw dude, I'm all yours.

Here's a tip in case anyone finds themself in a similar situation: turn your wheel at a 90 degree angle to the huge bump that is the side of the path. Because anything less, say 89 degrees perhaps, will have your bike flying and you trying to shoot off like the ball attached to one of those Paddle Balls. Only you can't shoot because you're permanently attached to your bike because you never ever thought for a nanosecond to unclip so you wind up attached to it mid air with your life flashing before your eyes.

I most certainly did. I flashed.

There wasn't much to see, really. Just a gag reel of trips, drops, spills, breaks, and knock overs. I caught a brief glimpse of my upcoming eulogy: "She was never known for her grace and had no business being on a bike to begin with". And copious amounts of tears from lots of guys who all looked suspiciously like Dwayne Johnson.

And then interrupting the stillness of the forest and quieting the chirping birds, along a well shaded path in Schaumburg's Busse woods not far from Woodfield mall where I SHOULD have been, a loud crash was heard followed by some skidding and the sound of my skin velcro-ing and unvelcro-ing across the pavement. There may have been a loud, "Oof," or a swear word but I'm not sure, my last coherent thought before the ground introduced itself to me forcefully was of my beloved grieving boy toy, Dwayne.

Struck hard by instant pain and thoughts about whether or not I should check for broken bones before moving, I opted for the jump up like a jack-in-the-box approach because i felt like the biggest idiot of the day. From behind me, people I'd just been all gung-ho to pass were yelling, "Are you OK?"

"I'm fine," I lied. Oh how I lied. My wrist screamed, my elbow was throbbing, and my leg looked like lunch meat that had been dropped in the dirt.

As the people I'd passed mere moments ago walked by me, I moved off to the side of the path and used the opportunity to drink some water. And pretended that I'd just wanted a water break all along. 2 minutes later, I let John know I was ready to continue, gingerly mounted my bike again, and pressed on to do the full 20 miles.

At my next water stop (because I'm 100% not coordinated enough to pull a water bottle from its cage on my bike frame, open it, drink it, and put it back all WHILE MOVING) I asked John, "Did I look like a total Jackass?"

He smirked his assurance and said, "Yeah, you kind of did, sweetie."

Then we continued on our way.

In retrospect, I usually really remember the first few minutes or the last few minutes of a ride, but mile 7.5 of my Mother's Day ride will be forever etched in my memory. And probably on my shin a bit, too.

Plus, it's going to be a solid two weeks before I can shave my leg again. Road Rash. Ouch.


Jafael said...

Ouch indeed! At least it was a memorable Mother's Day? (Glad you are mostly unbroken!)

for a different kind of girl said...

Oh, my, woman! This will serve as my warning for when I get my bike out later this week. Granted, I don't have the clip pedals, etc., but I promise you, I, too, can not drink from the water bottle while pedaling, either. Gone are the days when I used to cruise downhill without holding onto the handlebars!

Hope the aches and pains go away soon, and any bruises on the ego go away soon, too!

Johnny said...

But you looked like a real pretty jackass!

Honey Mommy said...

Hooray for a new bike! I love my bike and I love cycling! I have to admit though that I crashed a twice when I started riding with my clipless pedals and shoes. Oh the fun!

p.s. my husband is faster than me too, and I still like to ride with him.