walking around in tap shoes and pyjamas since 2010 - my cycling log (opens in new window)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Falling Down

Last winter, I rode my bike my former roommate's bike a lot, and only fell down once.

By 'a lot,'I should explain, I mean that I rode to work and back five days a week (sometimes six) and sometimes to the grocery store or whatever, because while I enjoy walking, I prefer it as a form of recreation, and not as a form of transportation. In other words, I was riding my bike more than most people do in the winter, but less than, say, this year.

...Which is good, because that almost stands to excuse the fact that I fell down FOUR times today — and two of those times I wasn't actually even riding my bike. Heck, once I wasn't even touching my bike. I locked up, took two steps away, and boom! I went down like a politician on judgment day ;)

As if that wasn't embarrassing enough, two of today's falls took place in my immediate neighborhood. One of them involved a pothole that I ride past EVERY ... SINGLE ... DAY. The other involved trying to walk from a particularly slick little middle-of-the-road ice rink to the sidewalk, which proved to be ... no less slippery at all. Boom. What's that throbbing pain? Oh, it's just a giant contusion right on my ego.

The third fall of the day took place right outside the shop. I pulled up, rolled onto the sidewalk, unclipped, took a second (stupidly) to reflect upon how impressed I was that I'd managed to make it the rest of the way to the shop without going splat! again ... and as I swung my right leg over the saddle, my left foot slipped. Splat! Down I went again.

I don't suppose it's necessary to explain how grateful I am that nobody from the shop was out at that precise moment.

At that point, all I could do was laugh. I was fine, the bike was fine (once I straightened out the brake lever ... jeez) ... so there really wasn't any other answer. Much as each gourmet develops a palate for moldy cheeses, I suspect each cyclist comes to appreciate a fall's unique bouquet and tooth (ow! my knee!).

So the riding is a bit rough in some areas in town, in case you hadn't noticed (or, like some of our friends, are still trapped in your house because your driveway is an icebound ski-slope). It looks like we have slightly warmer weather coming up, so maybe things will thaw a bit and there will be less falling down in the immediate future.

Stay safe out there, and remember — tuck and roll.


  1. Tuck and roll? I hope I don't have to!

    I've ridden to work every day this week. I'm running studded tires, so the most dangerous part of my commute is my back steps. :)

    I needed some studded shoes or something...

  2. Crampons and ice axe to cross the street!

  3. Ow! Be careful out there. It's odd that you guys got mega ice, and we got snow with just a little sleet, even though we're not that far apart.

    You might want to consider some studded tires.

  4. It is odd how the storm broke down. I think we're a little more likely to get ice in the city because the temperature is usually a few degrees higher -- but this storm didn't really quite break down that way, either.

    I seriously had to stop and consider whether those little ice-grippy studded silicon thingies would fit on my bike shoes ... LOL ... crampons and an ice axe probably would've helped! I think the most embarrassing part is that I'm from New England, where we have lots of cold weather, and I normally take pride in my ability to maneuver on frozen stuff ... apparently, that doesn't apply when I'm wearing cleats or on a bike with slick tires.

    Do y'all have any thoughts on how well studded tires handle on pavement? I've been debating the purchase of a pair, and if this winter continues to be as precipitation-y as the past couple of weeks would suggest, I think they might be well worth the investment.