my first fall

Today I had my first spill on my bike in a long time, almost longer than I can remember. The last spill I do remember happened in exactly the same way. This morning I was biking to work and all was well for the most part. I got to an intersection where I leave the main arterial for something of a short cut. I've taken the corner a number of times, in conditions much slicker than those I found this morning. But the recent freeze/thaw cycle left a patch of thick and slick ice right at the apex of the turn and my front tire slid out. As happens with that sort of thing, before I knew it my butt was on the ice, sliding.

Typically as I make this particular turn, there are no cars, but this morning a car was coming toward the intersection, a white Jetta or Passat, couldn't tell which. When the front tire slid out, I knew the next stop was the street, and it was. I had a brief moment of panic because I didn't know exactly where the VW was, whether it was slowing way ahead of the intersection or bombing into it. Thankfully, they were slowing. When my butt hit the ice I had visions of either me or the bike, or the both of us, sliding in front of the car and getting whacked. Thankfully, again, that didn't happen. A second car slowed and the driver, a woman, hollered to see if I was okay. I was, and am, and told her so, saying thanks as well.

The only damage was the plug at the end of the handlebar popping out. I jammed it back in. My butt cheek also took a hit, and was tender for a few minutes, but shows only a slight abrasion, like a very mild rug burn. No pain right now, and there probably won't be any. The weirdest bit is getting back on the bike a little shaken. The fall brought back a memory of a fall many years, decades even, back when I was in a race and fell. That was much different though, because we were racing on very wet, hence slick, blacktop. I went into a corner too fast and the bike just slid out from under me. I slid so much it scraped away a section of my rear derailleur. That time I got back up on the bike, made another circuit of the course and fell again in the exact same spot. The first fall hurt, but the second fall was murderous. I dropped out of the race at that point.

I touch on all of this because that was the thought haunting me the rest of my ride in. Every time I had to take the slightest corner, I would be a little hesitant, timid. It hurts to fall on your butt on ice, and more so on concrete. To fall a second time in short order, that really hurts, a lot. But it was just one fall, that's all. I also have to thank my winter tights that provided a bit of padding. Still and all, I'll be back on the bike tomorrow. No blood, no foul.