Everyone falls at some point in time, and for me, it happened to be on my first bike ride. We convened on the north side of Memorial Park and rode to the south side to the Picnic Loop. While this may not sound like a daunting task, riding on a street was terrifying for me! I’ve been afraid of riding a bike on a street for as long as I can remember, much less on a borrowed road bike for the first time in over a decade (not counting the one time I tested out a bike in the parking lot of Bicycle World).
I practiced turning and stopping/starting, but by the time we reached the loop, the sky was quickly getting dark and we had to rely on the park street lamps to light our way. Upon completing the first loop, I was instructed to take a right turn. I was unprepared for this, and as my mind raced to determine how much I needed to slow down to turn or if I should just go straight, the turn quickly approached. Before I knew it, the bike rebelled and ejected me, throwing me to the right! BAD BIKE. Just kidding. I’m not sure what exactly happened– I think I half tried to turn and half tried to stop, and just ended up falling to the right side, and with my foot still in the pedal cage, I took a nasty fall, hitting the pavement and rolling into the dirt ditch. Ouch.
My friend that had been right behind me told me later that he saw my right knee turn white (as the top layer of skin had been scraped off) before gushing blood. Awesome. Both of my knees were scraped up, the palm of my hands, and my right knuckles. A few of us jogged the 3/4 mile back to the cars while two guys walked the bikes back. I was a bit embarrassed by my fall and perhaps I felt the need to prove myself or something, so I decided to finish the rest of the workout and run the loop, instead of going home to clean up my battle wounds. On hindsight, it probably looked a little ridiculous, me running with blood dripping down my legs. I cleaned off my legs around the 2 mile point, but by the time we finished the loop, there was blood going down my right leg again.
Gross, right? Ah well, these things happen and I have every intention of mastering that bike once my hands heal! The group is training for a sprint tri in July but I’ll probably have to sit out on that one and find a later one to sign up for. Minor setback. Note to self: replace the cage pedals with platform pedals.