Anatomy Of An Almost Fail

Well, the bruised inside of my right thigh might argue with the “almost” part, but the fact that I managed to stay upright on the bike following such a catastrophic — and no doubt laughable-looking — pedal slippage is remarkable.

I was stopped on 4th at Western. Long-ish wait, made minutely longer by the fact that a guy heading north on Western didn’t just run the yellow, no. His light had been red for a full second and he still came barreling through along the curb lane.

This did not phase me, because I saw him coming the moment the light turned yellow. What distracted me as I started to mount up after he passed was a car behind it that I hadn’t seen and though it was coming to a stop, it’s presence in my periphery was enough to trigger an alarm wherein I looked sharply right while at the same time trying and to clip into my left pedal, which did not go as planned.

However it happened, my right foot then unclipped out of its pedal and scraped my thigh along the top tube until it met with my crotch (but thankfully  just enough to the right not to crush a… uh, you know).

From there it was me semi-doubled over the handlebars and lurching forward my feet a-splay and my shoe cleats all a-clatter on the asphalt while the front wheel waggled widely back and forth and I did my best not to fall down and thus look any further the already-confirmed fool to the drivers assembled and no doubt amazed at the odd sidewinding dance unfolding before them across the bows of their vehicles.

Miraculously I  prevented my front wheel from reaching gimbal lock and somehow my right foot then my left regained their rightful places locked into their respective pedals, and I was able to continue on with a nothing much more than a wounded ego. And an angry thigh.


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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."