Yesterday Ruby and I had an early morning date. I thought we’d cruise up through Ahwatukee for an hour or so, getting in some hills and giving me ample time to catch up on podcasts. (I also needed to shake off two nights of shenanigans not conducive to tri training. I swear the best way to get over a hangover is a long, hard workout. Or greasy food.)
The first hour was perfect; the weather was warm, but not abusive. The hills were tough, but conquerable. I was feeling strong and glad I’d gotten up to see the sunrise while pedaling like a madwoman.
It wasn’t until I made the final turn heading home that things went awry. I had already biked 30 miles and my shoulder and neck were starting to ache. Instead of looking up, I looked down at my knees, glancing up every now and then to provide my back with some relief. Dumb move.
I didn’t see the large, orange metal merge sign until it was too late. I was about two feet in front of it, going 19 miles per hour, when I barreled into the sign and went flying out of the bike lane into traffic.
Thankfully, there wasn’t a car there to run over me. I hit my head on the asphalt, the sign came toppling down on me and my legs, of course, were still stuck in my pedals. When I finally sat up straight and realized what had just happened, I noticed I was bleeding. And my head really hurt.
A man who was driving behind me stopped and ran over to see if I was okay. The police were called and it quickly became an embarrassing scene I wanted to escape. I told them I was fine and I didn’t need paramedics, but, “Could you just help me get my chain back on my bike?”
My hands were cut and bloody, but I got the chain back on, got back on the bike and thanked everyone who had stopped. It wasn’t until I got about a mile away that I realized my bike took a serious hit too. Poor Ruby needs new handlebars. And I need a new helmet. And to pay more attention. It is going to hurt to spend another $200 on tri gear this month.
However, the irony of crashing into a merge sign? Priceless.