The world of sports is littered with moments in time where a person has been subjected to “less than stellar incidents” that they would no doubt love to take back. For example, running the wrong way after a fumble in football, making an own goal in soccer, belly flopping off the high dive, or being Bill Buckner in general. Cycling of coarse has many of these infamous moments, perhaps the most embarrassing of which is the always dreaded Flop of Disgrace, where you forget to clip out after stopping, resulting in a slow motion flop which always does more damage to ones ego than to ones bike or body.
Well today I put the Flop of Disgrace to shame, setting the bar extraordinarily high when it comes to the “Oh No He Didn’t” moments in cycling. Let me set the stage, after all, this was, as my friend Manuel said, “a Cirque du Soleil performance”.
Having not ridden in over a month I was beyond excited at being able to get my two wheeled fix in, waking up before 5:00am from the shear excitement. I had my breakfast, kitted up and prepped my bike for the days ride. I headed out the door with a huge smile on my face looking forward to meeting up with the old gang and cycling down our favorite boulevards here in SW Florida. I hadn’t told anyone I was going to be in town, choosing instead to surprise the gang….and surprise them I did!
I spotted them from far off and decided to make a Sagan-esque entrance, power sliding my bike up to them. I shifted down, picked up some quick speed, mashed my rear brake and kicked out my tail. Unfortunately my overzealous enthusiasm had me coming in a wee bit hot, requiring a little bit of front brake love. You know where this is going…
The front brakes bit hard, sending me and my bike cartwheeling in, as Isobel commented, “the single most spectacular endo over the handlebars that I have ever witnessed……perfect 10”. Yep, 180 degrees of air followed by a serious face plant right into a handicapped parking space.
Although I hit the pavement hard, I was cracking up while my friends were absolutely amazed at my acrobatic arrival. Gus helped me up, all the while cheering my exploit, as they all looked me and the bike over for any damage. Needless to say, there was a little carnage both of the fleshy and carbon kind.
The initial impact was equally divided between my noggin and the aero bars of my bike. Luckily my brain bucket absorbed the blow saving my head and face from an up close and personal meeting with the tarmac. The bike on the other hand took the full force right onto the left aero bar, snapping it in two…carbon fiber is light and strong, but brittle at the same time, ditto with the helmet as it too will have to be replaced…better it than my head though. The secondary impact was completely on my left knee, leaving me with a nice patch of blood red road rash as well as an instant bruise…and mind you I am hard to bruise.
I acknowledged the cheers as I dusted myself off, straightened the brake caliper and put the chain back on….pretty impressive when you can knock the chain off, even when you have a chain catcher, and then took a few quick laps around the parking lot to see if everything both on the bike and me was in working order.
The bike was fine, save for the cracked aero bar and a small scratch on the left brake caliper. My knee was sore, bruised and bloodied, but apart from some mild swelling, it felt ok to ride on…hell, it would have had to be broken to keep me from riding. Luckily the gang was in recovery mode, which was just what the doctor ordered after my prolonged absence from cycling, not to mention my newly sore left knee. The 45 miles felt great, and although I’m writing this blog with my leg propped up and my rather swollen knee wrapped in ice, I’m certain I’ll be back on my beloved Mistress tomorrow. The one thing I definitely won’t be doing is attempting any power slides.
Saturday, Jul 20
Route: Coconut-40 + Airport Loop + Endo Surprise
Ride Time: 2:25:05
Stopped Time: 1:18:21
Distance: 45.75 miles
Average: 18.92 mph
Fastest Speed: 27.58 mph
Cycle This Month: 45.75 miles
Cycle This Year: 3232.04 miles