Paul Strickland

Paul Strickland


I crashed my bike for the first time yesterday. The first crash with this bike at least…

I was riding down a hill and around a corner, and on this particular stretch of road there is a pothole that I normally avoid by riding out into the middle of the road. A car was coming in the opposite direction this time, however, so I tried to avoid both the car and the pothole by heading to the side of the road. Unfortunately, going that way led me straight onto some loose gravel.

I was lying on the road before I realised what had happened. Judging by the damage to my bike (slight) and me (sore, but could have been worse), my wheels slid sideways on the gravel and I hit the road on my side.

The car that had been driving up the hill had stopped, and the driver asked me if I was ok. Slightly dazed, I said I thought I was, whilst checking myself for broken bones. Everything seemed to be working as it should, so I picked up my bike and looked it over. The driver asked me again if I was ok, before he went on his way. Had I been less shocked, I would have thanked him for his concern — too often I see the bad attitude of car drivers towards cyclists.

My bike was in a reasonable state. For some reason both of my brake and gear shift levers had been twisted inwards, and there was some scuffing on my pannier rack. But I checked the brakes and the drivetrain and it was perfectly rideable.

Adrenalin got me home without much trouble, and then it was time to inspect my wounds. I knew my knee was bleeding — I could see it through my clothes. Also damaged were my hip and elbow, but grazing and bruising was all I suffered. Fortunately everything that hit the road was covered in at least one layer of material, but I think it could have been much worse had it been warmer and I been wearing less.

After all that then, there is a bike to check, adjust and tune, and some healing to do. Walking around is a bit painful at the moment, but hopefully it won’t last too long and I’ll be able to get riding.

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