Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Had a spectacular crash Monday night ...

File under (a) dumbass move, or (b) lesson learned.

Went out w/Doug and Jess - they were on their road bikes (both Orbeas) while I opted for the fixie just to see how it would treat me on a faster ride. (I'll post more on the fixie in the near future.)

We headed west to ride the Medicine Lake loop, and I was leading. Had a good amount of speed build up after a decent downhill, and took a turn a little too fast, leaning to the side further than I should have been. My right pedal connected w/the pavement, and I went down hard. Doug was behind me, his bike connected w/mine and before he knew it he was in on the action. My bike and I went down in a furious jumble - I went down sort of on my left side, banged my hip and momentum rolled me on to my back, just in time to witness Doug flying over me like a pro wrestler coming off the top rope.

As he sailed overhead, I somehow thrust my hand upward and kind of levered him away from me in midair (don't know if I was subconsciously trying to slow his fall, or if it was an act of self preservation on my part - it happened way too fast) and thankfully he didn't land ON me. And thankfully he came out of it in even better shape than I was, or I would have felt like even more of a tool.

I sat there for a moment seeing stars (which was cool - I checked my helmet and I don't think my head hit anything, but stars were cool nonetheless.) We both seemed pretty OK (my hip and one wrist are a little sore today, but nothing major). How I got a small patch of road rash on my hip *underneath* my spandex, while the spandex remained unscathed and in place is a mystery to me.

No major damage to either bike, although my front rim is doing a little shimmy-shimmy-shake-shake now, but nothing that can't be trued out.

What I learned:
  • when riding fixed, don't lean into the corners as much if avoidable
  • maybe opting for the 170mm cranks (to be interchangable with my road bike's components) wasn't the best idea - 165s might be a better option
  • lower profile pedals (I'm riding wide "campus style" platform/spd pedals) might be a good idea too

Sunday, August 07, 2005

About time I get back on the Sat night ride

Wow, it's been months and months since I rode the Sat night ride, but with the beautifully cooler weather, seemed like a great time. I was also heartened by the number of riders that were out for last week's ride, so I thought I'd check it out again.

Not nearly as many riders this week though ... Eric, Eric, Mister Moose, Trevor, Dave, some women who's name I forget, and some tall guy who's name I don't think I ever caught. No one really had a route in mind, so we settled on riding back through downtown, and eventually heading out west Hopkin's way to start.

From downtown, someone had the bright-ass idea to start heading north, with no idea where they were leading us to. I'm sorry, but if you're in the front of the group, running reds and pushing the pace, you *are* in fact leading, no matter how vehemently you protest and claim you're not.

So we were around Broadway, and I proposed that since we were already a ways north, we cross to the east side of the river, ride Marshall north a ways, cross back to the west side of the river, ride Memorial Parkway west, then down into Theodore Wirth for a beer stop, down Wirth Parkway to cedar lake, then pick up the greenway and head out to Hopkins. But no one wanted to hear it. So instead we ended up doing this big loop-d-loop almost back into downtown via Bryant and some other side streets. Not a huge deal, but whatever.

Picked up Hennepin, and rode into uptown. In the Art Fair area, the outermost lanes were occupied by art tents, leaving only the two inner lanes open for traffic, which was backed up for several blocks. Now this was *great* fun - our little group split in two, flying down Hennepin and flanking the standstill traffic on both sides - one group on the car's right side, the other riding the yellow centerline. Total blast!

Picked up the greenway, rode to Hopkins for beers under some overpass out past the coffeeshop.

The return trip proved more interesting. Dave caught the edge of the pavement where the greenway zigs across the railroad tracks, and went down hard. Eric was following pretty tight, got caught up in it and went down with him. Dave picked up a bloody elbow dripping down to his fingers, while Eric became the proud owner of a messed up pinky after it connected with his chainring.

Further up the greenway, encountered two fellas on bikes hanging out at one of the blue safety phones. They stashed their beers behind the phone as we pulled up - apparently thinking we were the authorities or something. Turns out they were stopped because one of their bikes had lost it's crank on the non-drive side. Trevor pulled out his toolkit and went to work (good samaritan that he was) while the rest of us cracked beers. Somewhere during this episode, and drunk middle-aged guy on a bike (sans headlight) almost t-boned our woman rider, and started talking smack. Spewing gems like "whad're ya trying to block the trail?", "you couldn't even ride ten miles ... you're not even *old enough* to ride ten miles", blah blah blah. What a riot, all we could do was laugh.

The rest of the crew headed to Minnehaha falls, but I headed home, being only a few blocks from my pad.