Friday, May 7, 2010


Well... that certainly sucked.

I just crashed on the Schwinn. I'd taken it grocery shopping, and was riding back to the house, with every intention of hitting Starbucks on the way home. The road was pretty rough, and on one particularly bad stretch, I had the double-pleasure of also being approached from behind by a landscaping truck. I was going maybe 15 when hitting a gully around a storm drain (I couldn't swing into the road around it, given traffic) bounced my handlebar bag up and out of its decaleur, tossing it right into my path. I thought briefly to myself "Oh, this isn't going to be...", then found myself flying up and over the bars.

I landed flat on my belly -- on my knees and palms, mostly. My left middle finger got a little chewed up, and I've got some abrasions on my right ribcage, my right thigh and my right shin, too. My palms were pretty well protected by my sacrificial Pearl Izumi mountain biking gloves. The knees are the worst, and they're currently gauzed and taped up, and burning exquisitely. I had to toss the long-sleeved tee I was wearing, and my riding shoes have some cuts on the toes. I think my right rotator cuff will ache a lot more tomorrow, too.

The Schwinn made it through mostly OK. The front wheel is potato chipped, so I'm going to cut the Specialized cartridge bearing hubs out, set them aside for a future wheelset, and toss the rest. A new set of 27" wheels will be mounted tomorrow. The brake levers both took a little abuse, but no big deal there. My Rivendell ShopSack looks like it's now been well-used (though today was the first time I actually used it). And I'll have to un-tweak the fenders, I'm sure.

My handlebar bag is a little chewed up, too, but the big loss is my iPhone, which was new in January. It still works just fine, but the screen is smashed -- held together by the laminate thing I put on it. Bummer. Strangely, the jar of pickles in the handlebar bag survived intact.

Fortunately, my ex-wife works nearby, was heading to lunch and was able to come get me and bring me to the house. The bike wasn't rideable, so that was a very good thing.

Lessons? The big one is that decaleurs are not foolproof. Any bag so mounted needs a bungee or a strap to hold it down and in-place on rough roads. I got lazy there -- that's usually how I rig the front bag. Even so, I'm likely to toss the decaleur altogether after this crash, and go with a different style of bag and mount. Maybe the new Riv bag with the Nitto mount.

The picture, by the way, is from my iPhone, of the bike sitting outside the supermarket maybe 10 minutes before the crash. This is largely how it's going to Europe. Maybe a different handlebar bag, and the basket will come off so the saddlebag will go on. And the wheels will be new, of course.

Anyway, keep the shiny side up, as they say... It's rough out there.

All for now,


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