Tuesday, October 11, 2011

the ride

Six years ago, I took up biking in a serious way. Good bye car, hello open road. Within a month I crashed. My wheel stuck in a crevice and I went over, head first. The helmet cracked, I got out with a severely bruised hip and a few lessons to remember about biking.

This year I took up mopeding in a serious way. Good bye car, hello free parking anywhere. Today I crashed.

Let me tell you, falling from a motorbike and bouncing head and ribs first along the road takes some getting used to. But again, I learned a ton in the course of this. If I can ever sit again without pain, you’ll see me back on Rosie. She’s great – me, I’m just human.

The day had a fine beginning! Since last week, the countryside has changed around here. The fields and forests are dryer. Louder in their rustle. Lovely to look at.


Rosie and I scooted out and made the trip to campus in no time. I let out a few tsk tsk around campus as students cycled and mopeded in the oddest ways, helmet-less, carefree, as if nothing could happen to them. I am not like that. I have a full motorbike helmet and today – the leather jacket that was made for biker people. I watch all intersections. I am on guard!

A long day at school. It’s midterm week and in addition to the classes, I had exam Qs to write, students to reassure – the usual though lineup for a mid-October Tuesday. I was very happy when, at 4:30, I could pack my bags and head out to meet Ed at the cafĂ©.

I never got there.

Rosie was waiting, ready for her ride, standing under a now bare tree.

DSC09271 - Version 2

I hopped on, looked in all directions and set out. Singing! The day was done, I had a long wonderful evening before me. Yay.

A few minutes and I am on Park Street. And here’s where I relaxed too much. I followed a truck past a busy intersection. We both burst the speed and made it even as the light began to flicker yellow. But for reasons I wont know or understand, immediately after crossing the intersection, the truck put on the brakes. It was so unexpeceted and I was too close. To avoid a crash, I swerved and fell.

My head bounced a few times against the pavement and I thought – wow, this is one hell of a good helmet. I don’t feel a thing.

My ribs and leg had no such protection.

But, you gotta love Madison. I’ve seen this time and again: an accident happens and there are people offering every assistance you could possibly need or want within seconds.

Sure, I spent the better part of the evening having my bruised bones examined and made much of. Ed came and promptly dozed off in the ER room. My daughter was there too, story telling, entertaining the both of us.

I’m home now trying to figure out how one can remain comfortable when half of one’s insides (the left half) are sore. There are a lot of nerve endings around ribs. One has to wonder why nature felt it necessary to place them there, but so be it.

I’m walking away with a few mementos from this fascinating day of 11.11.11. Mostly, I’m happy that I can walk away. I’m not deterred from Rosie rides. Not in the slightest. Only I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t follow closely behind trucks. If they stop, you’re dead meat. Unless you’re wearing a superb helmet and your friends’ leather jacket. Then you’re just bruised meat.