Slippery when wet

May 23, 2011|By Doug Miller

OK, that didn’t go so well.

Friday I posted about my adventures on Bike to Work Day, when I had to negotiate some detours on the Columbia pathway system. But I wrote that post before taking my ride home. If only a few obstacles had been the worst of it.

After a week of steady rain, the sun had been out for much of Friday. The pavement most everywhere had dried out, and the caution I had exercised that morning apparently evaporated too. I’ll have scars to prove it.

Since that little section of pathway at the southwest corner of Lake Kittamaqundi has been closed while they move some mud around, I’ve become pretty adept at slowing my descent toward the lake just enough to turn onto the mulch detour without losing too much momentum. On Friday I absently took that turn as I normally would, not stopping to think about how shady it is on that part of the pathway.

I remembered as my rear wheel slid out from under me on the still-slick blacktop.

I’ve taken spills before under similar circumstances, but this was was the worst, probably because I was headed downhill and still had some momentum. My right arm took the brunt of the fall, and I jammed my shoulder and tore holes in my elbow and forearm. I also got an s-shaped gouge on my left leg from the mounting bracket of my new hand pump and some minor scratches on my right knee.

I got up, hollered a few choice words and, once I’d collected myself, got back on the bike and pedaled home. Not much else I could do.

The abrasions look nasty and are still a little tender, but the shoulder was the worst part. It hurt worse on  Saturday than it did Friday. The pain woke me in the morning, and it hurt to reach up with that arm all day. Fortunately, it was better Sunday.

Anyhow, let this experience be a lesson to you cyclists (and especially to me). Don’t let a little sunshine ruin your day.

And just so you know, I’m not letting this put me off of Bike to Work Day, or riding to work on any regular day. I’m just hoping that what didn’t kill me has made me a better rider.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.