I turned in my grades. On time. Yay.
So I went for a celebratory bike ride, thinking that I'd have a short ride today, then a long one, maybe 30 miles tomorrow, starting early in the morning.
It's now really early in the morning, and I can't sleep. Let's just say for a celebratory ride, it wasn't so great.
First, a guy passed me almost like I was standing still. I'm such a whuss. He had muscles where I have none, I'm convinced.
I turned around after the 9 mile marker (which means I've ridden about 8 miles, because the trailhead I use isn't at the 0 mile marker).
There are a couple really nice wood bridges along the ride, spanning little rivers and such, marshy areas. They're a little narrower than the main path, but pretty smooth riding, with nice high sides. I saw a Sandhill Crane off one the other day, stopped and watched it for a good ten minutes.
I rode towards one of the bridges, and saw two people, the guy in front, and someone I'll just call the -- in back. They were coming towards me, not riding fast, but then, neither was I, because, did I mention, whuss? As I close, the -- in back decides to look over the bridge rail to my right, and crosses into my path to do it. And rides there. I slow down.
The guy in front and I neared, like normal people, each holding to the right side of the path (being that we're in the US and all, this is the usual practice).
Somehow, I can't quite believe that the -- isn't aware that I'm oncoming (since I've seen them for like 45+ seconds, and at a fairly slow speed, remember, I'd been passed earlier) and that -- is in my "lane" such as it is. I put on my left (front) brake (the right/rear one has slowed me down mostly), and am almost at a stop, and yell, and the -- hits me head on. We whacked helmets, I think.
I fell off my bike, backwards, because all the inertia at that point was with --. Yes, weak and whussy here. I don't think -- fell off --'s bike at all, but I'm not sure.
The -- apologized. The -- had been looking at the bridge. No kidding?
I should have swerved to my left, where -- should have been, but where the guy in front had been just a moment earlier. But seriously, I couldn't believe that a bike rider was that completely unaware, and I thought -- would swerve into --'s "lane" at the last moment, as so many do.
I'm such an whuss. I think I was more scared than hurt. I can imagine all the bad stuff that can happen when someone just isn't paying basic attention. And that reminds me why I'm not buying myself a motorcycle any time soon.
I rode back the 6-7 or so miles to the trailhead, then drove home. Meanwhile, my left hand started hurting, and I developed a rather impressive bruise on my thigh. (However, on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is the worst pain you can think of, I think of Fox's Book of Martyrs, and being burned alive, or drawn and quartered, or what the heck, just broken on the wheel, so let's put my pain at about a point oh five on that scale. And can I just say, I hope I never get drawn and quartered or broken on a wheel?)
My friend came by to assure me that I should just continue icing my hand, and a couple of us went out to dinner, which was great. Thank goodness for friends. And Ibuprofin. I took three, talk about a walk on the wild side.
In the hours since, some more bruises have asserted themselves, but the swelling on my hand hasn't gotten worse. I think some part of the other bike must have hit it because I was pulling the left brake extension lever (and I have those old double brake levers, one traditional in the turn down part, one an extra bar just in front of the lazy person's handle bars on the horizontal part; they used to be on lots of bikes, but I don't see them much these days) so it was exposed, and the left brake was twisted off kilter afterwards.
My bike helmet doesn't even have a scratch on it. My bike's reflector broke, and the left brake handle thing got twisted, but that seems the extent of the bike damage. -- wasn't hurt, nor was --'s bike, I think.
So, all in all, a not bad accident.
I've been thinking lately about when I'd fall off my bike. I guess I've done it now, and can quit worrying about it.
ps. My new Oakley M Frames were the BEST part of the ride; the road dust was MUCH more manageable!