Me. Folding. Bike.

December 17, 2008 — 5 Comments

Today I rode my bike around, and I had never blogged or shared photos, so I decided to go ahead and take some today. I got more action than I bargained for, as you will see below. To those concerned, I am totally okay. ^_^

I was up bright and early this morning, rising with the sun.

I actually went back to bed after I took this image. But I was awake that early!

I actually went back to bed after I took this image. But I was awake that early!

I had a few moments before boarding the train so I posed my cute and adorable folding Dahon Boardwalk. Seems so harmless, doesn’t it?

Notice the slick lines and slightly flat tires.

Notice the slick lines and slightly flat tires.

I don’t normally fold it all the way up on the Amtrak, but I do make it smaller by folding in the handle bars and sliding the seat in.

Who would want to steal a half-bike?

Who would want to steal a half-bike?

At this point our story takes a wicked turn towards… disaster! I made it back to my home station fine, but as I was entering onto the street I realized that I wasn’t very visible to traffic. Since my bike is single speed I have to stand up and pedal to gain momentum. Standing on my bike I glanced over my shoulder to make sure any cars behind me would see me. It was then that the most curious sensation came into my world. It was like my handle bars decided to detach and fly off to the left.

Fortunately I was able to react after a moment of complete disbelief. Realizing I was taking a spill I decided to not brace for impact, and instead spread my body out in a star, with my palms going in front of my shoulders. I was basically mimicking a starfish doing a push-up.

I hit, slid, and turned.

After voicing a creative complaint using the most colorful language I could muster given the situation, I proceeded to jump up and out of the street, in case there was in fact a car behind me. There wasn’t, so I picked up my partially folded bicycle and limped over to the sidewalk.

Two pedestrians were nearby and rushed over to make sure I was okay. Kindness of this sort from complete strangers make me go a big rubbery one, and I took great pains to assure them that I was not, in fact, in shock, and that I did live nearby. When asked what happened I casually observed that my folding bicycle had decided to activate at the most inopportune moment. Laughing, I strode off, and yelled over my shoulder, “I hope this doesn’t turn you off from folding bikes, they are actually really cool!”

I don’t think I convinced them.

So, the damage…

Skinned knee... or the Eye of Sauron?!

Skinned knee... or the Eye of Sauron?!

As you can see, my hands are nearly completely unscathed. I was somewhat shocked myself. Or something.

Shock, or masochistic glee?

Shock, or masochistic glee?

Turns out the culprit was a not-very-tight-at-all lever that happens to also be, um, bent.

Look at that gleaming polish job!

Look at that gleaming polish job!

After an excruciating shower in which I loudly hummed the Mario Bros. theme song, I cleaned my wound. And for those of you still reading, I give you a direct and slightly hairy comparison to maiki’s knees!

Not exactly the bee's knees, but impressive none the less!

Not exactly the bee's knees, but impressive none the less!

So… where does that bring us? Well, the real travesty is two-fold. Firstly, I let my bike go without maintenance for too long. I knew the tires were a little flat, and I know that I should check all the foldy bits occasionally to make sure that they are, um, not going to fold while I am riding it. The other thing is, I really like those pants! Fortunately I can patch them up fine, they ripped on a seam.

I used to get in major accidents when I was (much) younger. I was thinking about it as I was limping home, and I decided that I am not going to let this get me down. I just need to pay more attention to my bicycle, and learn from the experience. Given that I work for a bicycle coalition, I feel like I should know better. And that is why from here on in, I am going to become a bicycling rockstar!

Ride on, maiki. Ride on!

Ride on, maiki. Ride on!

And one extra bloody pic for the freaks out there!

5 responses to Me. Folding. Bike.

  1. ow your poor knee! i hope it heals quickly

  2. ouch! I’m always afraid my Ritchey Break-Away will do something like that. or the carbon bars on my road bike will break. then again, I’m afraid of the garbage disposal in the sink, too.

  3. I’m glad it wasn’t a too serious of a spill buddy. Neosporin will do wonders for that knee of yours, unless you really enjoy that happy burning sensation. :)

    Ride on!

  4. We have band aids. You could use a few on that owie if you want to protect it from the elements. hint, hint.

  5. Maintenance and status checks. Definitely the most boring and most essential parts of any vital system — from bikes to jetliners. Even applies to work and relationships. It’s just gotta happen, and there’s a heavy cost for getting lazy…

    - Amy Gahran

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