Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The Fall--A Valuable Biking Lesson


Yesterday I took a significant fall with my bike. 

Rest Spot on Loxahatchee River Bridge
Tequesta, FL
February 19, 2022

I headed out for a 15 mile or so ride and was cruising at about the 2.5 mile mark in Tequesta headed over the Loxahatchee River bridge when the fall happened. I love that bridge and usually stop at a spot to look at the river and get a sip of water. 

Yesterday there was a crew power washing the bridge and the rest area. They were using a highly chlorinated solution to cleanse the concrete. As I approached they did pause spraying the noxious mixture, but what I had not considered was the power-washing hose which had been carelessly run for well over 100 feet from the truck on the side of the street diagonally across the wet sidewalk to the other side where the crew was doing the work. As it turned out, it was a recipe for disaster that I did not recognize. 

As I started riding down the bridge, I ran out of room to remain on one side of the hose--and here is where I made a nearly catastrophic mistake, I aimed my bike over the hose, but given the length of the hose and the angle across the sidewalk, it was a shallow angle of attack. As I crossed the hose both tires were swept from under me and I crashed into the side rail with my shoulder, back, and elbow; finally landing on the sidewalk on my knee--which has a nice, and at the time bloody, scrape. 

Blood? Yes there was blood. Pain--not so much! The most painful injury was one finger which managed to get a piece of glass imbedded into it. I always wear a helmet and so I do not know if my head hit anything on the way down. 

I got up, shook myself off and considered ending my ride by either returning home or calling Chris to come and fetch me, but being a "guy" and after determining that my bike was undamaged except that the chain had come off, I decided to ride a for bit and check things out--both me and my bike. 

In the end I continued my ride although I shortened it to 11 miles. When I arrived home Chris tended to my wounds and discovered the damage to my back. All-in-all I am not much worse for the fall, which could have been much more serious. 

The lesson learned? Don't ride over hoses with a shallow angle of attack.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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