So I thought yesterday was pretty interesting, as far as cycling goes, but I think today’s adventure is even better. As part of my ride to work, I take a bike path that extends from 111th ave to 104th, sandwiched between a commercial and residential area. Well, as I was pedaling along, approaching 107th ave, I noticed a dark something on the path, which slowly resolved into what appeared to be an abandoned bike. But, as I got closer, I realized, this bike wasn’t abandoned after all: it’s accompanied by it’s owner, who is unconscious, laying face down on the pavement beside it.
Now, my first thought was, this dude got into an accident and was knocked unconscious. So I checked to make sure he was breathing (just observed his back rising and falling), and called at him to see if he would respond. Nothing. Nudged him a bit. Nothing. Nudged a bit more. Still nothing. At this point, I figured he was probably just passed out, but if he passed out on his bike, he might have suffered a head injury, thus it was probably best to call an ambulance, so I pedaled down to The Brick, which was just 50 meters away or so, and they called 911, who dispatched emergency services to come check him out. Meanwhile, they asked me to wait around until the EMS folks showed up.
The EMS guys arrived just a couple minutes later (they were remarkably fast, IMHO), and proceeded to attempt to wake the guy up. Last I saw, he was slowly coming to, though he was only half conscious at best.
So that’s cycling day 2. What will be in store for day 3? It’s anyone’s guess!
Well, I finally got myself some new wheels! Yup, I dropped some bucks and replaced my five-year old mountain bike with a brand new hybrid from Red Bike. A Rocky Mountain Whistler 30, to be precise! It’s a hybrid commuter bike, meaning it has a mountain bike frame, for good upfront maneuverability and a low balance point, with narrow street-bike-style tires. Perfect for a guy like me to who uses his bike primarily for commuting, but likes to hit a trail on the odd occasion.
Anyway, on my very first day riding to work, I was presented with a painful reminder of how potentially dangerous cycle commuting can be. Now, first off, I’m fine, the bike’s fine, and nothing was injured except my pride and my groin… which only makes sense, given they are indelibly connected.
So, the scenario: I’m at the intersection of 124th street and the Yellowhead (a major throughfare, one of the biggest east-west roads in the city), waiting for the light so I can head south. The light changes. I stand on my pedals and start powering through, shifting up as I go… this is how I usually handle intersections. Anyway, not even half way through, the chain stutters on the rear sprocket, probably because the derailleur needs to be adjusted. Result: my feet slip off my pedals and I land… on the crossbar. But it gets better! I managed to keep upright, somehow, but was left in a rather interesting position: coasting across Yellowhead trail, sitting on my crossbar, and with no way to get my feet back on my pedals, aside from stopping my bike. Well, being in the middle of a major throughfare, I felt that was unsafe, so… I coasted through the rest of the intersection. Supported only by my groin on the crossbar. This hurt. A lot.
Now, before anyone worries, the boys are just fine. As one of my co-workers pointed out, the nice thing about these sorts of situations is that, usually, one is leaned slightly to one side or the other, and so the crossbar simply went past my package and straight into my hip/pubic bone. Had things not “worked out” so nicely, I likely would have fallen off my bike immediately, probably vomiting on the way down.
So, there you have it, Day 1! Good times.
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