Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a comedy of errors / a tragedy of gravity

I kicked my week off with a bang. Actually it was more of a thud, followed by a short slide.

Sunday night I set my Cross Check up in winter mode - changed the 46 tooth chainring to a 43, swapped the 16 tooth freewheel for a 15 fixed gear, tightened all the bolts on my fenders & rack, swapped clipless for flat pedals and greased the hell out of everything.

My Monday morning commute was cold but uneventful. No bonehead drivers cut me off, there weren't any slick spots to avoid. Everything went fine until I was literally 70 feet from the office, when all hell broke loose.

I cross a good size bump as I leave the street & enter the drive that leads to the parking garage. It's a 2 inch lip where the concrete meets the pavement. 99 times out of 100, I ride right over it. One out of 100 times, my pannier gets ejected from the rack & lands in the sidewalk.

Yesterday, my pannier ejected. Since I'm riding fixed now, I can't coast. My left foot came around & knocked the pannier in to the rear wheel. It buckled a support for the fender, which caused the support to snag a spoke, which caused the fender to roll up inside itself & lock the rear wheel.

Right about this time, I found myself momentarily free from the confines of gravity. I was adjusting my glasses when my fender revolted, so I only had my bad hand on the bars. With flat pedals instead of clipless there was nothing holding me to the bike. Thus, I achieved a low orbit for about a half a second...

...followed by a rather harsh landing on my right shoulder. Ouch.

I walked away mostly unscathed. Unfortunately, my rear fender was torn to shreds. The back tire won't spin because of it, so tonight I'll have to take it off & pop a new one on before our next bout of precipitation.

Not to self - keep both hands on handlebars at all times.

No comments: