Thursday, April 19, 2012

Surviving My First Fall

Last night after work, I was riding my bike downtown to get to a meeting. I've ridden downtown a few times, last night makes three. There are bike lanes, but it's a lot different from my normal route. There are more buses and the traffic is a little more dense than I'm used to. There are also more pedestrians; basically there are people everywhere! I try to be more careful and aware of my surroundings when I ride downtown.

Anyway, although it was my third time riding downtown, yesterday was the first time I needed to make a left hand turn on the busy street. As I got in the left lane, I looked down and realized that there were tracks in the road that the street cars use. As I saw them, I remembered that people have warned me to be careful. And I had heard of and seen others get their bikes caught in the tracks and fall. But before I could even finish my thought of "Oh, I need to be careful!" I was already on the ground. My rear tired had gotten caught in the track as I was attempting to turn left and I was down.

It happened so quickly! I fell on my side but somehow also hit my left knee on the pavement, it stung and throbbed pretty bad, but I could still move just fine. I had also attempted to catch myself with my right hand. I got up and noticed that I had stopped traffic (which was good, otherwise I would have been run over) and walked to the side of the road, nearly everyone who saw me (and there were a lot of people) asked if I was alright. A few other bikers stopped to ask if I was okay, too. I told them I was okay, but I felt a little  quite shaken up. I was also a little embarrassed. A moment later a muni worker was at my side confirming that I need to be more careful on the tracks and they are very dangerous. I muttered something like, "Yeah, I realize that, it just sort of snuck up on me."

As I walked, I took notice of what hurt and was thankful I could still walk; also thankful that my bike looked okay. I saw that I had torn my jeans at the knee and my knee was pretty scrapped up but not bleeding.

I called my husband who was also downtown for the meeting. I cried on the phone. He came rushing to my side and pushed my bike the rest of the way to our meeting. He hugged me and told me I was brave. I cried some more. He even talked to someone to get me an ice pack for my knee.

It really wasn't that bad of a fall, I could have broken something (or worst case scenario: gotten hit by a car). I was fine, just a little scuffed up and shaken up. My bike needs to be fixed up a little; the rear tire was slightly bent but it's really not that bad.

I kept thinking about when I was a little kid, falling off your bike seemed like a normal thing, but now that I'm older, it seems so out of the ordinary and almost stupid. Like it shouldn't happen after I turned 10! But in reality, everyone falls off their bikes. Everyone has their stories (many ending much worse than mine). That's just a part of being a bike rider.

I'm a bike rider, and I survived my first fall (even if I did cry a little)!


Beth said...

Em! I am so glad that story isn't worse! My second thought is that I think you are super cool for riding your bike downtown! I wish the Springs was more pedestrian/ biker friendly. Hope the next ride is smooth! Glad you're okay!

MSDeyle said...

Yes you did survive it! I'm glad you weren't hurt more seriously!

Leah M said...

I'm so sorry! And that was very brave, and I'm sure I would have cried too. I remember riding for the first time as an "adult" in COS and falling and skinning my knee my first day out. Then, I fell a lot mountain biking, but that was more controlled and felt like I was 10 again.. not such a big deal. But that pavement (and traffic!) is definitely more scary.