As you know, I have recently become a bike commuter. 7.67 miles each way is my daily journey to and from work. I recently had what I like to call a bike incident. I don’t think it can quite qualify as a bike crash or a bike wreck, so I am calling it an incident. I don’t have any pictures of my experience so to make it more vivid I am going to make my own pictures.
It was a Thursday evening and I was riding home from work. Everything was going really well and I even spent the majority of my ride trying out different ways I could hold the handle bars and getting more comfortable in the down position where you act like you are in the Tour de France.
It was something like this:
Notice the big heavy backpack that I truck around with me.
The worst part of my commute is always 3900 South and always on the commute home because there is so much traffic and there is really no room for me. For those who aren’t familiar with the road it looks something like this:
So you can tell there is really no extra room outside of the lane for a biker. And then when you add tons of traffic and stop lights and busses it gets really intense.
Back to my story. I was riding home and I started going east on 3900 South. There was lots of traffic. I got stopped at the light at 500 East and pulled up next to the car in the right lane, like this:
Then the light turned green and we all took off. I was going kind of slow and curved out a bit to let the cars get around me. As I came to the end of the intersection I had to cut back in on the very skinny road that was already full of cars. As I did this went across the gutter and across a big sewer grate that looked like this:
This was no small little sewer grate; it was a big heavy duty cast iron big hunk of metal. Well as I went over I don’t know what happened but I think it kind of slid backward and so it created a little slit between the edge of the grate and the road. As my back tire went over it, I hit it at the perfect angle and my back tire slammed downward into the hole.
I screeched to an abrupt halt and my bike seat went places that it was not welcome nor appreciated. I jumped off my bike and grabbed it and ran up onto the sidewalk. I immediately heard all of the air whooshing out of my tire and the rim was all scratched and bent. I walked over to a parking lot so I could get away from the road and all the traffic and kind of hid behind a parked Suburban because I felt like an idiot.
Luckily Jeremy didn’t have class that night so he came and rescued me and comforted me through my traumatic experience. He also took my bike to the shop that night so that it could get fixed quickly so I could have it for my ride this week. So it wasn’t quite a bike crash or a wreck, it is classified as an incident and I hope I don’t have many more.