It’s believed –in Britain at least – that if the words “Rabbit rabbit rabbit” are the first words you speak on the first day of the month, you are ensured good luck during the rest of it.
Let’s just say I don’t live in Britain.
For on this first day of July, those were the exact words I blurted as I rolled out of bed and made my way to the bathroom to change so that me and the family could hit the road for a little bike ride. And it was indeed a good ride down the San Gabriel River Trail and into the local park where I parted ways with the family so that I could head down to the beach, my usual destination when I ride 20 miles. The trail was recently repaved and makes for a most excellent ride.
When I arrived at the beach, I sat and drank a bottle of water, took a moment to catch my breath, sent Ann a text to let her know I was heading back, and made my way onto the bike path again. So far, so good.
I was averaging about 16.5 MPH on the way back and felt great. I couldn’t recall the last time I had such speed consistently. As I approached the bridge that crosses over to the other side of the path, I saw a few oncoming riders and figured I had enough time to make my left turn in front of them and onto the bridge to safely cross.
That’s when I really realized I wasn’t British.
As I turned onto the bridge, it all happened to fast for out of nowhere, another rider appeared from my left and by the time either of us had the presence of mind to hit the brakes…
…we made contact. He slammed into my wheel and did the damage you see here.
I honestly had been wondering when something like this would happen, which is why I make it a point to hit the trail early Sunday mornings: there are fewer people out. At the time I hit the trail today, however, it was pretty busy and with more people comes a higher possibility of something like this happening. (I had fallen before but it didn’t involve others.)
And it’s funny. Getting into an accident on your bike (and with another cyclist) really isn’t unlike being in one with a car. There’s the sound of contact which is awful no matter the mode of transportation, that initial shock of what just happened, the surreal moment when you wonder if what just happened did just happen, realizing it did, then the discussion between the two involved in the accident.
In our case, we acknowledged the crash and were more concerned over the well-being of the other. The good thing is that the guy who hit me was one of the coolest guys and wasn’t upset over what had just happened. In fact, we pulled over and he checked to see if there was anything he could do to get my wheel back into shape.
As is obvious by my picture, there wasn’t. We talked things over for a few minutes and came to the conclusion that as long as we were both fine (neither of us hit the ground) then that’s what mattered. We both apologized, slapped each other on the back, and parted ways – he, on his bike and heading south down the trail and me, having to walk 2 miles north carrying or pushing my bike with the front wheel propped in the air.
Before I started my walk, I made a call to Ann to let her know what had happened and told her to ride home with Anthony, grab my bike rack, drive back to the park and meet me to tow me home.
I then made my way down the trail or, more appropriately in today’s instance, the Walk of Shame for almost 2 miles:
Despite my feeling that I looked like an idiot hauling my injured bike, I was more than pleased with the other cyclists on the trail who asked if I was okay or even if I needed help. I told them all, smiling, that I was fine and I had a ride coming. It gave me some hope knowing that should anything happen again (and I hope it doesn’t) I can practically depend on someone coming to my aid.
And although I wouldn’t recommend it, the walk either carrying or pushing my bike while propped made for one hell of a biceps workout as they were sore beyond belief by the time Ann arrived. When she did, I attached the rack to my car, put the bike on, and we headed home.
It was later on in the day after doing some yardwork – just what I wanted to do after a morning like this – when I discovered that I did apparently make bodily contact with the other cyclist’s bike because that’s when I noticed this welt forming on my left arm:
It’s fine and only hurts when I touch it. Hey, if that’s the worst that my 43-year-old body endured from all of this then no big deal. Much like after my other accident, I will get over it and live to ride another day. It may not be any time soon since I have to buy a new wheel (note: I accept PayPal) but I will be back.
With my bike out of commission, I’d say I’d stick to running but not even that is safe.
And as far as the “rabbit rabbit rabbit” thing goes, this is your proof that it doesn’t work and that maybe I should start August by yelling “DUCK! DUCK!”