I like following rules. Not that I always do. But I like that following rules usually means others can expect certain things from me, it helps promote safety and I like self governing…if I follow the rules someone else has no reason to hold me accountable for what I did wrong. I get all the credit for doing it right.
But when I don’t follow the rules…. I am one of them.
Today, I was one of those bikers. One of those idiots on a bicycle who think they don’t have to follow the rules. I have seen them. They ride three and four abreast on bike trails or roads, thinking others must go around them. They don’t appreciate children learning how to ride, or being wobbly on their trail. They blow through red lights. They graze the runners/joggers/walkers. They refuse to acknowledge others (maybe not a safety issue…but it irks me).
Well, that’s what the others would have thought today, lumping me to that category of “those damn bikers”. I personally think I do have to follow the rules. Which makes this even more difficult to admit to. It’s simple and stupid but could so easily have turned in to something worse.
It’s hot today. But we are riding our bikes. It never feels quite as hot when you’re riding your bike. At least to me. Though it does drain me of energy quicker than a cool or just warm day. I wanted to get a good ride in and was kind of frustrated that it was sunny, hot, a day off….but I had to go to work for an hour training in the middle of the day. That’s like ripping a favorite pair of bike shorts right there.
So we head out early. I hope to do at least thirty miles. Maybe we’ll even go for another ride later in the day Husband suggests.
We are fully enjoying our ride. Went a few places we hadn’t been before. On the return we came to a funny section. If you had never been there before it may be confusing. It was to me. The trail just ends on to a sidewalk at a very busy road. Up or down the road a few hundred feet or so is a cross walk. But even having been there once before it’s confusing which way to go. Where is the trail on the other side? Or do you go to the light and it picks up there. I knew, since it was the return leg that the trail actually picked up right across the road. I was hot, and tired, and didn’t need any extra distance.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I got to the sidewalk that there was no traffic coming from any direction. None!
Why go up/down the road to the cross walk when I can go straight and be right back on the trail in 2, maybe 3 seconds. Why? Well because the rules say to follow the rules. Up there is a cross walk. Up there is in all likelihood, a better safety situation. Up there, is probably where I should have gone.
I crossed from where I was. No traffic coming. As I rolled across the road a car was at the stop light up the road. He (I assume it was an aggressive he, I’m sorry, no gender bashing intended) saw me and sped up! I sped up and it not being a cross walk or bike path friendly part of the sidewalk, there was a huge curb. The lane he turned in to was one of two lanes. He took the lane I was in last, and sped up. I couldn’t slow down. I am totally assuming but assume I shall….. he saw one of those asshole bikers just do whatever they want and he’s going to scare the crap out of them. I just want to let him know, he did. I did not slow down for the curb. I stuck my left foot out, hit the curb with it, and propelled the front end of my bike over the mountain of a curb. Leaving only my momentum to haul the hind end of bike and self over the curb.
Adrenaline rush commenced and crashed.
Stoopid. Stoopid. Me.
Husband catches up with me. Of course he had more sense than me. My left foot was cramping like crazy. He asked if I was okay. I said sure, but that was stupid of me to do. He said he thought I wasn’t going to make it. I was surprised. I asked why. He said I hit the curb at an angle. I told him the front tire didn’t even hit the curb. He said he knew that, but my back was leaning over too far. I told him there were no cars when I started, the guy turned and sped up. I told him I should have known better. It was stupid (and lazy) of me. He said there’s a difference between being stupid and taking a risk (me) and being mean (the car driver). I told Husband I hate these self realizations that make me look so stoopid. He chuckled and said “blog”. How’s come I can’t have self realizations that turn me in to a genius or something?
Here’s the thing, if I had been with an inexperienced rider, a child, my child, my grandchild, my friend/sister in law or thought Husband needed my guidance (he’s been riding decades longer than I) I would never have done that. I would have gone down to the light and cautioned my charges that safety, above all else, is not something to cheat. A good bike ride always ends up with you in one piece, no risks taken, no damages done. So why did I do that today? Hell if I know. Maybe it was a good refresher course to remind me of what I should and should not be doing. So next time I will not do that.
I couldn’t figure out why my left foot was cramping so bad. I still don’t know why. I do have a casualty of being so stoopid. Only problem is I don’t know why. The middle toe on my left foot is bent in half. It’s not broken. Or if it is broken it doesn’t hurt. Yet. But I took my sandal off and couldn’t figure out what my toe is doing. Interestingly, if I was back at that sidewalk and debating on whether to go straight across the street or go to the cross walk, the toe is now pointing me in the direction I should have gone. Karma?
Sorry if foot pictures gross you out. I’m not a fan of them either. But think of this as karma toe.