Monday, 10 August 2009

Midnight ride to Bognor - The big fall

So on Friday night I cycled to Bognor overnight and it was amazing. But it was a night of firsts: first time I've been to Bognor; first time I've come off my bike on the road.

We met up at Hyde Park Corner and I was hugely excited. We stood and chatted as people arrived, including A2, one of the people instrumental to my cycling. He and A are the Mr Miyage to my LaRusso. So we had the safety talk about calling directions, stopping at red lights (it's a CTC ride so they're very strict about these things) and we set off. Then I fell over. Twenty yards from the start. In the road. In front of 80 people.

We were riding in a close pack and I'd just had my front brakes changed. Someone came close in front of me, I swerved and braked hard and went over. Apparently it was a 'perfect wipeout'. I also bounced my head off the road but was wearing a helmet so it was only many hours later when I thought the incident through that I even realised I'd done it. More importantly, Reg is fine. I blocked two lanes of traffic but got up and soldiered on. The group and A2 were hugely solicitous and assured me I could go home but I was determined to do the ride. I had grazed my right knee quite deeply and my left inside shin but never mind.

What I couldn't tell the concerned A2 (who is male), was that the handlebar had jammed into my boob and lady bits. My left boob now looks like a baboon's arse and there's black bruising on my pubic bone and right inner thigh. Ouch. It hurt for the first hour but subsided significantly after that and I started to enjoy myself in earnest. The sky was clear, the moon was up and it was beautiful.

I'd fooled myself into thinking not everyone had seen but my illusions were shattered as quite a few people sidled up next to me throughout the ride to ask if I was ok and to regale me with the tales of their first public fall (many of them were first-time cleat users) and the various hilarious things they'd done on a bike. I'm sure they were only telling me to make me feel better and it worked.

When I got home Mr Weenie was remarkably non-giggly when I told him of my injuries but he assumed they weren't too bad. As the clothing came off he was suitably shocked (he'll be the only person to see all of them). But, to be honest, although my pride is damaged it's like everything else. Now that it's happened once I'm less frightened of it happening again. I was in a controlled ride, with people who stood and blocked traffic until I was up and safely out of the way, I wasn't alone, I wasn't in a collision. Never mind.

I shall post pics and more about the ride itself later......

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