About a month and a half ago, Evan gave me a bike for my birthday. It was the best birthday present I’d ever received in my life… aside from the flight home to Hong Kong from my parents. (Though these gifts do beg the question: did I deserve it? Any of it? But that’s a whole other discussion.) Still, the bike was spiffy.
picture lifted from http://americancycle.com
Sadly, I didn’t get to ride my bike for a few weeks because I went to Hong Kong. But I’m back now, and I got to ride my less-than-new bike yesterday. The verdict? It’s awesome!!!!!!
But what happened later wasn’t so awesome.
And I should have seen it coming.
It all began when I rode my new bike across the city, savouring the smooth-shifting gears, delighting in the melodious ding-ding-ding of my bell, so happy to be riding my bike that the potholes and characteristically Toronto-ish bits of garbage on the road were barely noticeable to me. BLISS.
I arrived at my destination: Story Planet. Katherine told us that one of the volunteers wouldn’t be coming in because she had been in a bike accident. I hear she’s okay, but a bit scraped up. Then she told us about an old colleague (who’d been in a bike accident) who claimed that the weirdest part about being in a bike accident was having to write the email reporting that he wouldn’t be coming in to work because of it. (“Hey, everyone. I was in a bike accident. DON’T BE ALARMED!!!! Okay, be alarmed. But I’m okay. My bike, on the other hand…” Yeah, that’s a pretty weird thing to type up. As is this blog post.)
Anyway, we overheard a six-year-old student proclaiming that she’d just learned to ride a bike without tires.
my bike without tires
Wait, WHAT?! She clarified: “without training wheels.” She was really proud of her latest two-wheeled accomplishment, though I hear she has trouble getting going and needs a bit of help. Anyway, with all this talk of bikes, I should have seen it coming.
On my way to meet Evan, I rejoiced once more in the smoothness of my new wheelz. In fact, I raved about how much I loved it over dinner. I even had Evan leave the restaurant to double check that I’d locked it up properly — it’s so awesome that I’m pretty sure everybody wants to steal it.
I SHOULD HAVE SEEN IT COMING!!!
This is what was coming:
We rode home. I braked too hard at a zebra crossing. I flew over my handlebars. My bike flipped over my head. I was sprawled on the road like a squashed bug. Thankfully there were no moving cars nearby. A pedestrian who was about to step into the crosswalk asked if I was okay. I said I was okay. I said, “That was crazy!” He said, “That was crazy!” He double-checked to see if I was okay. I double-checked and saw that I was fine. He crossed the road. Some guy on his phone went on talking on his phone like nothing had happened. Evan was a block ahead of me like nothing had happened.
Then I looked at my hands.
MY KNITTING SAVED MY LIFE! Look what my accident did to my wristwarmers!
my knitting saved my life!
And look what my accident did to my hands!
my hands are fine!
If I hadn’t been wearing my wristwarmers, I’d be all scraped up. And if I were all scraped up, then my life would be ruined, because I’d be making all kinds of excuses to get out of doing stuff — important stuff like playing Candy Crush and washing my hands and writing back to important emails, and my life would be RUINED!!!!
The moral of the story? Always keep your knits about you.
One last note to self: brand-new bikes tend to come with brakes that are actually responsive. Maybe too responsive.