General consensus is that April’s the cruelest month, but for the second June in a row I’ve taken a decent spill on my bike that left me battered up.
Last year it was all my fault — mechanically speaking. Nothing random about it. I’d set myself up for a fall because earlier that day I’d matched up a set of cranks to a bottom bracket they weren’t designed for, and when one collapsed later that night (thankfully at slow speed) I managed to fall in such a way as to leave a lightning bolt laceration down the right side of my torso that looked pretty frightening — especially because whatever bike part I’d come in contact with (either the headset or the brake lever or handlebars) had actually started off by puncturing me between a couple ribs near the top most point.
Yesterday I fell not because I’d done anything mechanically questionable, but rather because I made the tactical mistake of trying to cross over a defunct and dusty service spur of railroad tracks on the right of all the backed-up traffic traffic on eastbound Jefferson approaching La Cienega. I went over them at a good angle so as to not get slotted into the tracks, but I went over a segment of one rail jutting out from the rough and tumble curb that had enough sand and dirt on it to take away any traction my front tire had. Putting rubber to steel is already a risky thing, but to factor in a layer of grit between the two substances makes it that much more of a hazard.
So basically the front of the bike slipped out from under me and I went down growling and sliding with my left knee (the torn pants leg of which is thumbnailed at right; and no the gore is not clickable) and the inside of my left elbow receiving the majority of the damage.
I was up in a flash with the driver of the nearest car to me looking horrified and asking kindly if I was OK. I did a quick check of myself and my bike and shrugged and “I think so,” having found nothing damaged other than my ego and the wounded knee and the chewed-up stinging dirt-encrusted roadrash on my elbow and I got back on my bike and road forward about a half mile or so beyond La Cienega to Redondo Boulevard where I pulled off and administered some rudimentary first aid before getting back onward and getting home where I doused the injuries in hydrogen peroxide, which hurt a helluva lot more than the actual wounds. In the morning-after they look relatively clean.
Falls happen, and if I only average a couple a year than I consider that acceptable. But in this instance on this particular day the spill was a bit of a buzzkill given that I’d discovered at the beginning of the ride home that my “Pothole of the Week” award-winner had been repaired and beautifully.