Not how I wanted the ride to go.
I lead the Sunday morning beginner/intermediate ride at the bike shop. It is one of those things I really enjoy and today promised to be a great ride. The weather was great, the attendance was excellent and I had a nice route planned for the group.
Two miles in to the ride things went bad.
I crashed. Hard.
I lost my focus for just a moment, took a wide line through a turn, clipped a curb….
Helmets work. They really do.
I came away from the crash with some nasty scrapes, bumps, cuts and bruises, a wrecked helmet, a mild headache (no concussion) and a major bruise to my ego.
The bike is fine. A couple of minor repairs and it will be as good as new.
I was able to ride back to the shop while the rest of the group rode on and enjoyed a really nice ride in the country side.
I keep a first aid kit in my car and was able to tend to my wounds and then I went over to the nearby pharmacy and picked up some more stuff. After the manager arrived at the shop I was able to go in and shower up, get the rest of the wounds cleaned and bandaged and then I worked the day at the shop. Sold a few bikes.
Mostly I feel sore, stiff, and stupid.
I did what I always preach not to do. I allowed myself to become distracted and lost my focus. BOOM.
Don’t do that.
I am sure this is a lesson learned for me. Painfully, but learned.
Glad the bike will be OK.
To top it off, I broke a tooth tonight.
Sometimes it doesn’t pay to get out of bed.
BUT this is where working at the shop pays off for me.
Today a young man of 9 or 10 came in with his Dad. He got his very first grownup bike and I had the privilege of setting him up and helping him select the bike. I had the pleasure of seeing the joy on his face as he test rode the bike. I saw his smile when Dad said “let’s get it”. Later in the day I helped a woman select her first road bike. She discovered riding a year ago. A woman in her forties, she hadn’t ridden since she was a child. Then she decided she wanted to get fit and a year ago she bought herself a Hybrid. A friend talked her in to training for triathlons’. Her Hybrid just wasn’t going to cut it. After having a professional fitting done I worked with her for a little more than an hour. She was a little confused by the range of available options and we worked through it until it became clearer for her. Then we went outside and she test rode a bike. We worked on the shifting, how the brakes work, the differences in the handling compared to the Hybrid. When it was all done, she had selected a bike, was comfortable with the selection, and was excited about getting out on the road on her new road bike.
These are the things that put a shine on the day.
There was also a some gentle, touching moments to the day.
A mother and father came in today looking for a used children’s bike for their son. A child of about 8, he appears to be non-verbal autistic. He loves to pedal a bike. I helped them select one of the used bikes, actually one I had taken in the day before. A bike with 20-inch wheels, with training wheels already on it and in nearly new condition. This little boy, alone in his world. He lit up when he sat on the bike.
The father, in labored English, explained to me “my boy is special needs”. I told him I understood. He thanked me and asked if I knew where they could find help for their son. I gave him the email address of Autism NJ, the organization that benefits from The Ride for Autism. He, his wife and his son left with smiles.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe today was a very good day.