So that happened.
I went for a ride on Saturday from my place in Woodbridge down to the Newport Dunes RV Park and back.
This was my third time out being clipped in to my Scott Speedster and while it was awesome in many ways it was not without incident.
I really need a lesson in shifting. Jason at A Road Bike 4U gave me a quick overview but I need to just go out and play with it and understand what happens when I change gears. I was coming up a hill and shifted in to the wrong gear. At the top there was a person standing in the way and I was trying to push down on the pedal, couldn’t make it turn over, forgot I was clipped in and you can guess what happened next…
All 6′ 4″ of uncoordinated timber came crashing down.
That’s not a bad gash by any means and it highlights why I took up cycling. That knee has been through wars. It’s a nasty, vascular, hyper-extended, sprained and strained joint that has never been happier than it is now on the bike.
I heard there are two kinds of cyclists: those who’ve never fallen and those about to fall. I am now a full-fledged member of that second group.
Before I got to the top of that hill I was passed on a long straightaway by a couple of guys. I didn’t mind it at all as they were probably 15 years younger and hauling ass.
Then came the girl.
I was going at a pace (I still don’t have a speedometer) I felt comfortable at. One I felt I could maintain for 90 minutes or so. She was going fairly fast and seemed pretty determined to get ahead of me. I could tell she had to work for it because she started coasting as she got ahead and I gained ground on her pretty easily by shifting into a higher (lower?) gear.
But there was still a gap and now I was a bit pissed. Was I in this bad a shape? Was I that old?
I decided to try and catch her and did fairly well getting up to her halfway on the hill.
I somehow found the right gear and we were side by side when it happened.
Her chain slipped.
“DAMN IT!” she yelled.
“You ok?” I said.
Not knowing what to do I kept going. As a newbie I really didn’t want to embarrass myself or her. And I could hear someone behind had stopped to help her.
Should I have stopped? What would you guys have done?
Anyway, I felt triumphant until I got to the top and took my little fall.
Payback from the cycling gods.