Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gravity Always Wins

I haven't been doing much training lately because, other than being out of town, I'm back to planting a ton of litte bitty plants. I'm almost done, so I do plan on hitting the gym (and the weights) tomorrow. (For the record, gardening and composting are righteous workouts in and of themselves.)

Nevertheless, with a lack of anything else to say, it's time to tell the story of my right leg. You see, back on Memorial Day, I learned a lesson in physics while on a bike ride. I was on paved path A. I realized that I wanted to be on paved path B, where my friend was. I had already come to a complete stop. I looked down and saw some gravel between path A and path B. OK, no problem, I thought to myself. I know it's gravel and I'll be fine since I'm aware of it and it's only, what, five feet?

Um, yeah. Little did I know that under the gravel lay an inch of fine powder and silt. I barely had time to think, Oh, this might be a bad idea, before I found myself on the ground. It had happened so quickly that I don't believe I even had the time to consider about unclipping.

Awful road rash, and not even a macho story to go with it. For those with a strong stomach, you can find pictures chronicling the wound and the healing process here. The first two pictures are on the same day (one shortly after the accident and one at home after cleaning as best I could). After that, it's a picture a day until I got bored. It looks quite a bit better now, but I'm still taking steps to reduce scarring.

This might be a good time to mention that I also have a purple big toenail on my right foot, a souvenier from my kayaking trip. The strategy was, "If it looks like we're going to roll over, just get out." Sure enough, we did dump somewhere down the river, and my toe found a nice rock. People assumed that the purple toenail and the roadrash were related, but they weren't.

Now, onto more recent events. While in San Diego, as you know, I went running. Let me tell you something: If San Diego won't spend the money to fix their sidewalks, then there's no hope for any other city's sidewalks. They are absolutely awful... Bad enough, I daresay, that I felt a little homesick. On one run, I pondered the terrible state of the sidewalk, and noted that I should probably pick up my feet a little.

About a block later, I stumbled. I have no idea on what, but I stumbled. This time, I was able to think it through in slow motion. Oh, shit. Wait, no, I can stumble my way ouf this. Just step a little bit, oh, here I go, and... DAMN. Mere inches away from my old road rash, I have another wonderful bit of road rash. Beautiful.

So, let's recount: A purple toe and about twenty-five square inches of road rash, earned from three separate events.

I have no idea what my right leg did to gravity, but it's sorry. It would like to call a truce. The white flag is flying high.

Now, onto another tidbit. For the record, I always carry a camera with me on rides. However, the camera is rarely used because, while I enjoy the splendid views, I'm rarely willing to stop to take the picture. That's the weird irony of cycling: I ride to beautiful spots, but am unwilling to stop and take any pictures.

But then I read, in VeloNews's Race & Ride Guide, a little blurb about a particular camera. In it, is this tidbit: "Having a smal, flat, digital camera with a big back screen and string loop is key to snapping quick shotts while you're rolling, without crashing." Wait, do people really snap pictures while riding?

I slowly recall that I read this charming and funny blog post by Fatty of Fat Cyclist (no relation). I hadn't thought it through at that time, but it does confirm that, indeed, people do click and ride.

You know, when I was in elementary school, I rode my bike while reading a book. I may have only done it once, just to prove that I could, but I did do it. I wonder if I should work on the skills necessary to take some photos while rolling. I might be able to do it, with some slow practice.

My right leg begs me not to even try.

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