Saturday, June 27, 2009


It was a big day for Juli today -- first crash on her road bike.

I'm not celebrating this, other than that I'm glad she's OK. But we've all been there, and we'll probably be there again. And probably so will she. The trick is to learn from these sorts of things.

The crash was a two-wheeling classic. I entered a cul-de-sac a few miles from our house, looping a wide path around the outside, with Ava in tow on the trailer bike.

Juli carved a tighter loop, aiming to cut me off.

But her inside pedal was at the bottom of the stroke. And her MKS track-style pedal was upside down, so the raised cage extended farther down than usual, eating precious clearance (small wheels, 165 crank)

The leading corner of the cage touched down, pivoting her rear tire up and off the road. Freed from the tire's grip, momentum was able to carry the back of the bike in a straight line, rather than being forced to follow the arc of her original turn.

We've all seen the tangled sort of hop/trip/skip/crunch that followed. She stayed mostly on her feet, but came away with a bruise from the saddle on her inner left thigh, several chainring teeth worth of scratches on her lower calf/Achilles, and an accompanying bruise.

As I was massaging the bruise, working the ouch out, we talked about what happened. I showed her the bent corner of the pedal cage, and gave her some pointers about crank position when cornering and a kiss on the nose. I straightened a few things out on the bike and pedaled it around a bit to make sure it would get her home OK. As I guessed she would, she threw a barb my way, implying I loved the bike more than her. I brushed it off, and she let it drop. She drew no blood, and let's remember... she's not yet 9. But her instinct to lash out is both familiar and worrisome.

Ava watched all of this play out, as she does. Watching, listening and learning.

Then we rode on. Each a little older.

All for now,


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