Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ouch is Small Price to Pay for Joy of Biking

On a Friday evening ride, my chain skipped, dropping my sandaled feet down and scrapping the topside of my toes.  It hurt, but I just shook it off and kept riding.  When I awoke next morning, I was reminded of the stumble, when I hopped in the shower and felt a sharp sting of pain, as the water flowed over my toes.  As injuries go, this was a very minor one, but it got me thinking about all the scuffs, scraps, cuts, and bruises that I've gotten, over all those years of biking.  I also thought of other people I know out there who have had some nice abrasions, lately.  I started thinking about that scene in Jaws when they showed their scars and the stories that go with them.  They were some good stories, and maybe they were even true.  Perhaps we could all compare our scars and the stories that went with them?  It seemed to be a real bonding moment for them, before the shark tore their boat apart.

I got my first bike scar when I was only 8.  We were visiting some family in the suburbs and I went riding around the woods with their son.  I didn't know the trail at all and hit this tree when I rounded the corner at the bottom of a hill.  I flipped over and seemed to land okay.  But I had a gash just below the knee of my right leg.  It didn't bleed much, but I ended up with 27 stitches.  It's smaller now, but still visible.

I have multiple scars on my ankles, due to the fact that I like to wear sandals.  Plus the ankles are close to all that machinery.  The only other one that is still visible, is from when I hit the front corner of a car that had pulled out from between some buses.  The cyclist in front of me went over the hood, but I had enough time to avoid that fate.  Still I ended up with a seriously bent wheel and a big bump on my shin.  That was 2 years ago, but there is still a dark spot from the swelling.

I'm happy to have all my scars, because I'm grateful that nothing worse has happened.  They remind me that I am not impervious to everything on my bike.  Much worse things have happened to people I know.  My aching toes are a nice reminder that I need to be careful out there.  You too!


Anonymous said...

To be honest, I don't remember getting any scars in about 25 years of cycling. Once I had to jump off my bike because the brakes didn't work, but since I didn't wear summer clothes at that time nothing happened to me apart from getting a little bit dirty (I landed on a green).

anna said...

Ha, great idea ;-). I don't have any cycling scars though. Well, I fell off the bike a few times as a child (simply due to careless driving) and the first times in the winter (icy roads and such) and also had a collision with a car once, but only got some bruises that stayed for a couple of days or weeks. I have way more scars from sledding, although I very rarely do that.

Jen said...

I have to say that I was relieved after my first crash. I knew it would eventually happen so I had a bit of angst everytime I would leave the house. On the fateful day, I lost it going over some train tracks. Thank God there wasn't a car behind me but like a true cyclist, I checked the bike first and then checked myself. The bike was fine and I was pretty scraped/bruised and couldn't move my arm for a couple of days but it was ok. When I arrived at work, I called my husband (also a cyclist) and announced proudly that I had survived my first crash. That was five years ago. I hadn't crashed again until a couple of weeks ago while learning how to clip into the pedals on my road bike. Like a dork, I crashed in my own driveway while trying to get out of the clips. Oh happens.

m e l i g r o s a said...

I remember all of them, and they are all from fun times, except from innocent fights in grade school but other than that they all evolve bikes, basketball and the outdoors. good times/ xo.meli

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your toes -- I can sympathize:)

At the risk of sounding overly-dramatic, I think starting a blog of cycling scars would be pretty awesome. A team effort. Might scare folks, though. :)

Jon said...

One year, when I was mountain biking 5 days a week, I kept a video log of my "owies". I'd point the camera at the scrape, gash, broken collarbone, or wahtever and shoot 3 seconds of tape (the shortest time increment you could program into the camcorder). At the end of the year, I had an interesting 2+ minutes of video.

Yes, I crashed a lot.

i wish I had that vidieo, but i suppose the ex threw it out.