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!