Posted by: Nick Walters | May 28, 2009

Two crashes (bike + computer) = arse. Double arse.

After work on Thursday 30 April, I was on my way to Sainsbury’s on the bike (Bellinda),  riding  along the Feeder Road in the cycle lane. It had been raining, and conditions were wet, the rush hour traffic was heavy but lane discpline is good on the Feeder. I intended to turn right into Cole Road which leads to the Showcase Cinema and then from there to Sainsbury’s. I therefore indicated (I’m a good cyclist), and moved to the middle of the road. There was nothing coming the other way, so, great, I thought, I can nip across onto the cycle lane on the far side. I briefly noted the muddy puddle in the gutter, which obscured the true drop of the kerb (2 inches, rather than plane with the road as I foolishly assumed). I hit the kerb at too shallow an angle, and – OOPS! The bike aquaplaned, and I hit the corner of a brick wall with my right shoulder, chest and leg. I lay there stunned for a bit, cursing myself, as the rush-hour traffic zoomed past, no doubt relishing the demise of a hated, bastard cyclist. Yay for them.

Woe for me, though:

IMG_1022

I blame myself, I was going a tad too fast, my snap decision to zip across didn’t take the conditions into account, and that naughty puddle hiding the kerb from me…

Oh and Bellinda was unharmed apart from a bit of damage to the handlebar tape.

Someone stopped and helped me clean it up a bit, then I somehow managed to ride to Boots to buy some Savlon and anti-septic wipes. I even made it to Sainsburys. The next day I could barely walk, and phoned in sick. I ended up off work for two weeks – this coincided with the time my old PC decided to die, so I couldn’t even go online to amuse myself. Thankfully someone lent me box sets of The Wire and I went through the first 2 seasons pretty quickly.

Back at work and back on the bike now. Knee still a bit wonky – hurts like hell if I bend it the wrong way – and I am off to Cornwall on a cycling holiday soon, though I doubt I’ll be able to do the Falmouth – Lizard trip that I’d planned.

The wound has almost healed over and looks like this now:

IMG_1030

I recently revisited the scene of the accident, there were no bloodstains on the wall or even bits of Bellinda’s distinctive blue handlebar tape. It was immediately apparent that the drop kerb wasn’t plane with the road and could only be mounted at a virtually straight-on angle with racing bike wheels. Curse that muddy puddle!

Anyway, this is only the second accident I’ve ever had in, what, 25 years of cycling? The first time was someone else’s fault, they pulled out from a junction without looking and knocked me off. Was able to claim for damage to Bellinda, but this time, I cannot claim, as I can hardly sue a muddy puddle. Or a kerb, or myself.

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