I did a really silly thing today — I fell off my bike.
I don’t mean I crashed. That’s acceptable, this wasn’t. At 5 kph I fell off, in front of all the witnesses getting off the seabus. Doing something I’ve done hundreds of times, riding off a curb. Riding off a small curb.
When you disembark the seabus and walk out onto Lonsdale Quay, there is a large promenade with the road off to the left. With my bike shoes it is easier to ride than to walk, so I get on the bike, then weave through the people while going no faster than a pedestrian. When I get to the curb, I slowly go off it (sometimes there are no people and I go faster and bunny hop off it; that would actually have been better today). That’s when it happened.
All of a sudden I was going over the handlebars, in the air, and I could feel the bike flipping up behind me and ready to come down on me.
My mountain bike instincts kicked in, I hit the ground on my side (arms up to shield my head), and rolled — the bike came down lightly on my legs. I heard a shout “are you okay?” (damn, I had really hoped nobody would notice that piece of embarrassment), I replied I was, as I stood up inspecting for damage. He didn’t believe me, came closer and checked a couple of more times.
But I was okay — I wasn’t even scratched! Thank goodness for safety gear and reflexes.
I brushed myself off, looked around and realized what had happened. I had come off the curb right where the storm drain was; my front tire had gone into that groove and stopped dead.
Hundreds of times. Literally. Never a problem.
But isn’t that always the way it is? The place where you are most likely to get in an accident is the place where you least expect it — because that’s where you get lazy and stop looking.
Well to me, riding off a curb is no longer an “mind off” event!