Spontaneous Adjustment

In the grand tradition of my dad's blogs, I will heretofore document my bicycling injuries.

I've been pretty lucky, all in all. I can't recall so much as a scrape that I've received since some idiot in La Mesa driving a Green Mustang ran me over. (OK, he only actually ran over my wheel. It still wasn't fun.)

In fact, I think that means that my previous bike - the Raleign SC-30 - has so far lived its entire life without an accident.

The new bike - which I have so far had less than a month - can no longer claim the same.

Because of my particular measurements and riding preferences, I purchased an adjustable stem. Before leaving work, I made some adjustments to it (raising it higher).

Unfortunately, I did not torque it adequately. As I was comming to a stop at the stop sign in front of the information booth at the north entrance to UC San Diego, it decided that my adjustment was incorrect and in fact should be ALL THE WAY DOWN.

The result was a fairly minor fall, all in all. Two scrapes, a couple of bruises, and a chomp from my pedal.

- Left Knee

- Right Knee

- Pedal in left Achilles

Blood connects most immediately with other humans, but the worst of has been the bloodless bruises. My steering column had an intimate date with my chest, resulting in invisible bruises that leave me groaning every time I attempt to adjust my torso. And a huge bruise around my left knee is silent until I try to do any of the everyday tasks - tying my shoes, picking up my cat, or just resting it against the car door - that I take for granted.

All in all I count myself lucky. Beyond the inconveniences, so many I know have suffered so much worse. It makes me wonder if I'm just a wimp w.r.t. injury.

And to put it in perspective: Not far past the fateful stopsign are a pair of long, steep descents. If the stem had collapsed on one of those, at 30-40MPH instead of nearly zero, I can only imagine that I could have wound up #6.

Instead, I instantly got up and pulled the bike off the road, hopped around for a few moments dumbstruck, and sat down for a few minutes. Knowing how much it hurt on the inside, it felt incongruous to watch everything continuing on as normal around me. Cars stopping and continuing on, kids playing on the grass across the street with their parents, bicyclists completely unquestioning of the akimbo angle of my handlebars and oozing blood.

After that, fueled by adrenaline, I just tightened my handlebars and continued on home. In light of how my ribs have hurt for the next few days, and the massive bruise on my left knee, I'm rather astounded at how normal the ride was after that.

At least I got a nice sunset out of the ride:

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