I fell today. And I wrecked my bike. And, remember the beginning, I am fine.
See, it was hot this morning but sort of cloudy and looking like it might rain and looking like it might get cold EVEN THOUGH the weather report said it was going to just get warmer than the 61 degrees it started out at. And the rule of thumb in this regard is you are supposed to start out a little chilly because you warm up when you ride.
But I listened to my internal worrier and put on my arm warmers (these are like long gloves without the fingers), disregarding all signs that were telling me I would not need them. And sure enough, almost as soon as we started riding, I got hot. At only 4 miles into the ride. And even though our foursome has said, again and again, DON'T APOLOGIZE for asking for something, like wanting to stop, I didn't want to make everyone stop when we had just gotten started so, instead of stopping or asking for everyone else to stop so I could take off a layer of clothing, I decided to take off my arm warmers while I was riding.
I slipped them down to my wrists and, still not cool enough and still not wanting to make everyone stop for me, I took them off, one at a time and, one at a time, tucked them into my jersey pockets, the ones at my lower back. So far so good. Except not really, because one of them was not really in the pocket and when I straightened out my jacket, one of the arm warmers slipped and went onto my back wheel and fell down right into my derailleur. And that, my friends, meant that I came to a stop. Instantly.
And that, as you might imagine, is a bad thing, instantly stopping while riding. I went down, landing on my left knee, my left elbow, all the things on the left side of me. And the arm warmer, tangled in the rear derailleur, broke the thing, bending it up and out and, well, in completely the wrong place for it to be. I bent my handlebars, bent my left brake lever, my left everything. And that was it for riding my bike.
The way this got to be a good story with a good ending is that Marci, a rider from New York City who is riding for the Davis Phinney Fund for Parkinson's Disease, has a boyfriend named Michael who is here visiting for a couple of days and right after I fell she showed up and so did everyone else and we created quite a spectacle there on the side of the road. Enough so that even the Sherriff stopped and THEN we were a BIG scene. Jan got out her first aid kit and gave me some antiseptic cleaning pads and some ointment and we cleaned my skinned knee and shin. And Marci called Michael and Michael came (we had only gone 4 miles) and just then so did Nancy, the SAG driver for the day. In a very short time a decision was made, not completely by me (I was not exactly thinking very clearly right then), that Michael would take me back to the motel, where I would get Nancy's (the SAG driver) bike and Michael would take my bike to the bike store to get it fixed. Michael is a rider too and knows what he's doing and, well, that seemed okay, sort of, I mean, aside from letting a stranger spend his whole day fixing my bike and me getting on someone else's bike and continuing to ride. So that's what happened. Michael and Carol and Linda (the staff gals) helped me fit onto Nancy's bike and Michael took me and Nancy's bike to where my three friends had gotten to - about 9 miles beyond where I left them. I got on Nancy's bike and Michael left with my banged up Trek. Total elapsed time: 30 minutes. Maybe.
So I got to ride Nancy's bike today, all but 9 miles of the day's 72. Michael ended up taking my Trek to three different stores to get it fixed and now it is back and I am clean, though kind of bruised and more than a little bit sore.
But nothing on me really broke. And the broken things on the bike are fixed. And Michael is an angel, a Guardian Angel. And so is Nancy. And so are my three buddies who took care of me when I rejoined them. Not to mention Linda and Carol, the staffers, and Marci and all of the other riders who have all hugged me and have expressed wonder and commiseration as the day has gone on.
And now I'm sitting on my bed writing to you. I think it is going to have to be okay that I am not going to be able to ride those 9 miles right now. I think I'll be okay with that. Maybe I'll ride some other 9 mile stretch sometime. Maybe. Maybe not. Frankly, I grateful to be here, safe, clean, and just a little bit scratched.
Oh, today I saw two Great Blue Herons and, when I arrived, Marci gave me a penny. Gifts of my spirit guides.
Masterton. Over and out. I'll be in touch tomorrow.