Glad I was wearing a helmet

I’ve been cycle commuting for quite a few years now including last year’s first ime ever all through the winter and never had a crash, until yesterday.

Oh, I’ve crashed off the mountain bike many times on trails, most notably one causing a shoulder separation on the Maah Daah Hey trail in 2005, even a couple of crashes on the road bike, but never while commuting to and from work until now, well except for this, but that really doesn’t count.. It was a cool -3°C and the roads were dry and clear, there was some frost on the car windshields on our street but the riding seemed fine. I’ve just crossed the Norwood bridge and I’m making the turn into The Forks to go under the bridge and ride up the river walk to work. Normally, I go down the road a bit into The Forks and then hop the curb to get onto the path down to the river. On this occasion I made a bit of a last minute decision to turn up onto the sidewalk where there was a nice ramp (no curb hopping required).

This last minute decision necessitated a sharper and quicker that norman turn and that’s when it happened. In a blink I’m down on the ground, I hear the “clunk” sound as my helmet bounces off the concrete. One second I’m upright and the next I’m down. Zero time to react. It seems that the frost on the road has formed an invisible scating rink! Even after the fall I really can’t see anything on the road but it’s pure ice. The right hip takes the biggest hit and later as I’m changing at work I note the road rash on the hip, elbow, shoulder and lower leg, a full right side impact. Thankfully, no damage to the bike or the nice new jacket.

Things stiffened up over the course of the day while sitting at the desk, and the ride home was a little tentative, no crazy risk taking manoeuvres for sure. It will likely take a few more days for everything to return to normal but I’m very glad I had the helmet, without it I’m sure it would have been much worse.

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