Friday, January 8, 2010

Smooth as glass but slicker than snot!

I had to ride home at 10:00 this morning to meet up with the delivery men that were bringing my new windows and door.  That's a whole 'nother topic in itself.  How I will install 11 windows and a door in the middle of winter is beyond me, but it will get done. 

Back to the story.  I was in a hurry to get home and the roads where really smooth so I took it a little fast for the road conditions.  To me, it just looked like smooth hard pack and that is almost as easy to ride on as pavement.  There were no ruts or slush, generally good stuff.  So I'm cruising along and suddenly notice the sheen off of the supposed 'hardpack'.  That's when it happened.  I don't know if the front wheel slipped first or if the back wheel just decided it wanted to take the lead.  All I knew was that I was sliding down the road sideways and soon to go down.  I threw my left foot out to catch myself which, in turn, launched my bike out in front of me as I continued to slide one-footed down the road.  That didn't last more than a split second before that foot went up in the air as well leaving me flying through the air only to crash down on my left hip and lower back.  I sprawled out on my back in the middle of the road  trying to collect myself.  Then I remembered that I was lying down on  a busy street.  Luckily there were no cars behind me.

Slowly I lifted my bike up while shaking off the pain in my hip and pushed the bike off the road.  But something was wrong.   The back tire wouldn't turn.  As I examine the back brakes I found that one of the brake pads was pulled so tight that it wedged itself underneath the rim of the bike.  I gave it a good tug but it didn't budge.  I finally released the brake cable from the arm of the brake mechanism and jerked it free. 

After reinstalling the brake cable and testing the functionality of the brakes, I mounted the bike and tried again.  No more than fifty feet later, the bike did the same thing.  Going much slower this time, I was able to catch myself without going down.  I recovered and slowly crept through the intersection, turning onto a different street.  The intersection was so slick that I couldn't pedal through it.  I had to push the bike through with one foot as if it were a skate board or scooter with cross traffic quickly approaching.  The other roads on the way home were much better. 

I got home and sat down to wait for the delivery men. As they arrived, I jumped up and felt the dull aching in my hip and lower back.  The spill wasn't as harmless as I thought.  It sure beats cracking my elbow like I did last winter though.  I can't wait to see pavement again.

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