Friday, 16 August 2013


Well last week, after just over 5,500 miles of communting on my bike, I managed to face-plant the pavement in a bike accident for the first time since childhood.

It was just a normal Monday morning cycling to work and not in much of a rush.  It had rained a hour or two earlier and the raods were wet but I have ridden in much, much worse conditions.  However, I turned left from a main road onto a side street and BANG, the bike shot straight out from under me, dumping me unceremoniously on the road! 

I had no time to catch myself, and my hands, elbows, knees and face all hit the floor with a quite bump.  I got up pretty quickly and made sure that my teeth were still intact (which mercifully they were) but the amount of blood I managed to wipe on my sleeve and spit out told of at least one decent injury.

I pedalled the last couple of miles to work so that I could assess the damage:

  • Deep cut on top lip where face hit the floor
  • Deep cut inside top lip (but thankfully not all the way through as an exploratory blow revealed)
  • Skinned knees
  • Bruised elbows
  • Bruised hands
  • Bruised pride
The deep cut warranted a quick trip to A&E where they stuck me (literally, with Super Glue) back together but I was back on my bike the following morning.  The only damage to the bike was a broken bottle cage which I have still yet to replace.


The damage to my lid

Lessons learned:

As I stood up fromt he road, I noticed a large patch of oil/diesel which is what I presume I crashed on.  Diesel is the bane of the cyclist/motorcyclist but is very hard to spot on the move.  It turns a wet road into little more than an icerink - I can't overstate how quickly the bike went down!  Keep your eyes peeled folk.

As I sat waiting in the hospital, I actually though "fat lot of good wearing a helmet did me" as I had only felt my face hit the floor.  I took the helmet out of my bag for a look and found a deep dent/scratch in the front of it!  If I hadn't had it on, the damage to my face would have been much worse.  That I hadn't felt that particular impact must be (in part) because the polystyrene shell absorbed some of it. 

The crash had nothing to do with the quality driving of the observational powers of car users.  It could have happened on a short ride as much as a long one and no other vehicles were involved.   Yet wearing a helmet saved me from more serious injury, of that I'm in no doubt.   It's up to you of course but I'll always wear a lid from now on.  Having dinged the black one significantly, I have bought another this week (an nice blue and silver Bell, of which more later).

Hopefully it'll be at least another 5,500 miles before another fall from the bike but one in a year and a half of riding isn't bad going I reckon.  Just one of those things.

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