I got my first two wheel bike when I was six or seven. My uncle found it broken down in an alley and fixed it up it for me. It was an original ‘fixie’ – no brakes, the pedals just kept going. I flew all around the neighborhood on it for years.
I got my first real bike – one with 26 inch wheels – when I was 10. Santa Claus brought it and because we had a cold snowy winter in 1950 here in Chicago I wasn’t able to ride it outside for a month. So, you can see that I have pretty much spent my life behind bars – handle bars.
It has been nearly a month since my oral surgery on April 11. You can read the details here. I have been clocking my recovery since then. In the past week I managed a couple of 30 mile days, so I had pretty much concluded that my body finally made it back to normal. My night’s sleep had returned to around the usual seven hours from more extended hours, too.
Unfortunately, I had a setback yesterday. I fell. More accurately, I flew over the handlebars and landed on my hands and knees on the street. It happened at an intersection with which I am very familiar. There is a parking lot near Lake Michigan where boaters can leave their cars. Lately, it has also been used by construction workers repairing the bridge over the Lake. Cars enter it from the south, having just left Lake Shore Drive. Cars exit it from the north.
I had slowed down and even noted a car coming from my right as I approached. There is a stop sign on the street for cars coming in both directions, but they often run it, so I was wary of that. My mistake was not noticing the car coming from my extreme left. He was leaving the parking lot, but not through the usual exit. I hit my brakes with both hands in a panic stop, but because I was leaning forward, I pitched over the bars. He also hit his brakes … I fell short of his path.
Because I always wear cycling gloves and a helmet they both kept me from getting badly torn up. My hands were not cut from the street because of the leather padding and my head didn’t meet concrete directly. My knees got banged up pretty badly, but thankfully, the skin didn’t break.
One amazing aspect of the fall is that my Apple watch went into SOS mode. It alerted me and said that I appeared to have fallen and asked if I needed help. I responded that I did not need help. I felt gratified to know that I could have gotten help if needed. There was a follow up query that I also answered. I have since learned that if I had not answered positively, the watch would have called for help.
This happened less than a mile from my home, and I pretty much concluded my ride at that point as my aching knees made pedaling difficult.
I am taking it easy today and not going to ride. I don’t want to compound these minor injuries I just picked up.