Monday, May 09, 2011

Good Morning:

I've been riding my bike of late. Not because I want the exercise, but because I keep finding shit wrong with my truck.

So, the other day I pick up my brake drums after having them turned at the parts store (this is fast becoming a lost art,btw) and am on my way to the nearest non-hydration liquids dispensing emporium. I'm going uphill against the wind with 30 pounds of steel in my backpack when a gust of wind pushes me to my left. With all of the weight that was on my back I couldn't stand up fast enough to jerk the front wheel off the pavement and right the bike. I tried going a little left and looping back and a car with three young ladies in it (that was probably going at least ten miles over the posted limit) was suddenly about ten feet off my port bow. She was standing on her brakes and I was going all ahead starboad rudder but it wasn't enough. I ran smackydab into her passenger side just ahead of the passenger door, bounced off, went to the ground and AMAZINGLY stood up, picked up my bike and got out of the road (a four lane state highway at rush hour) without getting run over.

The young lady driving the car was, to put it mildly, freaked right the fuck out. I was a bit abashed, m'self, but, other than a few sore spots and a massive case of "Jeezlouise, you stupid old coot! (sotto voce)" I was okay.  My hip and knee did hurt the next morning, but I'm fine. I had a helmet on which certainly would have made me less uglified if I had whacked my head on the pavement and I was wearing a very slippery nylon windbreaker with a thick sweatshirt under it and dungarees with decent shoes.  The factors of speed, weather, pavement conditions, etc., were not going through my brain in the seconds before impact.  Nor was I "afraid".  Most of my brain's activity was focused on my hands and feet.  What little wasn't being used for motor control was involved in, "WTF!!!ing". 

I don't believe in anything but statistics/statistical anamolies as an explanation for why some stupid things that folks do result in them being able to write about it later and other stupid things, being done, lead to closed casket funerals/Darwin awards.  In the instant case, a statistical anamoly allows me to be able to sit here, typing, instead of being involved in some rather unpleasant alternative scenarios.

I have no words of wisdon on this.  I do have a few suggestions.

Always wear a helmet when on a bike (people or ponypowered). 

Call a friend and have them pick-up the brake drums for you.


Live long enough to develop a sense of humor about making bad decisions.


Mr. Mack said...

This made me laugh out loud. Been there, both with the turning of the drums (which, yes a lost art) and having t-boned a car while biking. Glad to know you survived it. Stop insisting on working on that truck yourself. Eat the repair costs....have a drink.

democommie said...


At this point of my travelling along the financial arc, I can choose to "eat the repair costs" or eat food. Fortunately, I can still have the drink as I wisely invested most of my "rainy day" fund in imbibables.;)

mutzali said...

Glad to hear you're ok (relatively speaking).

democommie said...

Hi, Mutzali:

Good to hear from you. The bicycle is now chained to the porch where it will stay out of trouble for the moment!

Richard said...

All bicycles should be chained to porches, all the time. On account of we live in America--not some socilaist place where there is "public transportation", "high-speed rail" and, yes, BICYCLES.

democommie said...

I thought I saw a comment on here the other day, but then blogger went in the shitter and I couldn't access anything until today. The glitch seems to have been systemwide and other people have reported losing comments.

Bukko Canukko said...

Up here, I had the dubious pleasure of riding my bike to work (only 10 blocks from the house, thank the FSM) in like 5 cm of fresh snow (that's 2 inches, to you non-metrix) twice last winter. That'll put your reflexes to the test. If I wasn't so damn cheap, I coulda drove the car, but damned if I'll pay the $8.50 per shift it would cost for the hospital's parking garage. That's my price for risking broken bones -- $8.50.

I usedta scoff at helmets until I met this super-fit 60-something cyclist at the hospital where I worked in San Francisco in 2003. He was 20 years older than I was but had more muscle than I did when I was 20 years younger than I was then. And when I was taking care of him, he had JUST regained the use of his right hand, and was starting to walk unassisted. He told me about how he was practicing for a race by zipping along on something insane like a 20-mile ride when he hit a bad patch of asphalt on a pretty civilized riding track outside Sausalito and went flying over the handlebars. Landed on his head and woulda left brains all over the pavement if his noggin hadn't been helmeted. He was probably going to have a full recovery, with enough physical therapy.

Ever since then, I feel naked if I don't helmet up, just like I feel when I don't have my seat belt on in the car. I'm a risk-taking SOB in a lot of ways, including when I'm on the bike, but some things are too crazy even for me.

P.S. One of the weird things I saw in France on our recent trip over there was how almost no one wears helmets on bicycles. Odd, from what you hear about Europe being nanny-statish. And generally, countries that have socialized medical care will make a big deal out of doing things to keep people from injuring themselves, because when they've gotta be patched up, that's an expense to the entire society.

democommie said...

Bukko Canukko:

I see we're both up late/early (depending on whether one has been to bed in the last 24 hours).

I've broken a couple of helmets--twenty or so bucks v a broken skull, not a bad deal.

Them french people in france don't wear helmets? Well, they smoke--a lot--too. Maybe the "Nanny State" is "Mommy Dearest".

Bukko Canukko said...

I'm not up early -- I'm working a midnight shift on the psych ward. Two obese raving schizophrenics, one of whom I had to butt-spike with a syringe full of tranquilizer, a sexually preoccupied old man who'd be homeless in the U.S., and a "first-break" (i.e. the first time he's presented with mental problems) 17-year-old schizophrenic youth who's singing Beatles songs. Beatles by a yoof of today? Don't they have their own music?

democommie said...

Bukko Canukko:

Beatles, even sung offkey, is much preferred over most of the stuff that's out there on the MSairwaves.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Holy ratfuck, ya ol' coot! Feeling suicidal, are we? Give a bitch a heart attack. Only guys laugh about shit like this, is one thing I've learned in life. Dunno, mebbe the warring chemicals in my bloodstream have slaughtered what was left of my "sense of humor." Anyway, glad to know that you bounced back, literally, and were able to enjoy yer imbibables.

So, when Rapture Day hits, where ya gonna hit first, to go scavenging in McMansions?

democommie said...

Dear Miss Antichrist:

It's so good to hear from you! I was hazing issues with Verizoscum over my internetztoobz since day before yestiddy and I spent a very long hour and a half cursing with them (on the LAST call, the first three were not timed) before "Rachel" (whose last name was prolly Gamputrasingh) got my modem back up and running.

I am glad to know that you are still with us and that you have not yet learned the meaning of the word, "don't give those motherfuckin' scumbag cocksucers and inch!";)

I love Diane Rheem but I wish that you'd go give her some, "don't piss in my ear and tell me it's rainin' you lyin' sack-o-shit", lessons.

Please drop by any time you can find the way and always bring the whupass when yuz seea teh trolls!