Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This post was previously going to be about ways to make cycling more comfortable, and include a few of my observations about ways to enjoy riding a little more. However, it has become necessary to focus on one for the moment:

If at all possible, do not crash. Crashing sucks, and the next day, you’re very sore. That hurts. Today’s crash was really scary – moreso than being hit by a car, even, in its unexpected suddenness.

For training on rainy days, I’d set up a fixed-gear cycle. These brutally uncompromising beasts are like the bikes of old, and have their rear wheel fixed, hence the name, to the cranks. This means absolutely no slacking, no coasting. I’m learning that they’re also rather dangerous.

Last summer, I cut the end of my thumb off whilst working on said fixed wheel. Today, I learned why a stretched chain is dangerous. Since there’s no derailleur to take up slack in the chain, and no freewheel mechanism, if the chain isn’t tight enough, it can pop off. Today, as I went around a slightly downhill corner, this happened. Suddenly, immediately, the rear wheel was jammed, locked, useless. I slid down the road a little bit, like this, trying to bleed off as much speed as I could, and then the tire whipped sideways, and I went down. I hit my head a bit, I guess, because for a few minutes I had no idea what had happened.

So, now, I’m very, very sore, and cycling isn’t going to be at all comfortable for the next few days.

As a further note, my right elbow seems to take the brunt of every crash I crash. It’s just permanent scar tissue. What, should I wear a friggin’ set of DOWNHILL pads?


  • At 9:06 PM , Blogger ryan said...

    See, if we were in Portland, this would be the time I'd buy you a scotch.

    And you never told me about the thumb, that's some serious business.



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