I experienced an embarrassing fall last Thursday, and thanks to some sort of bizarre personality disorder, I feel compelled to write about it in detail on the Internet rather than just suck it up and hope too many people didn't see. I didn't have the camera mounted that morning (arg!), so I will have to make do with a long-winded description of events, beginning with some introductory groundwork:
1) The day began poorly. When I started getting my stuff on to leave the house, I discovered that my customizer had worked some more on my sunglasses. I thought they were perfect the way they were, and said work was non-commissioned. My customizer further reduced the weight of the sunglasses, but in so doing, decided that they no longer needed to be integrated, which was really one of their best features. Now in three or four pieces, I could no longer work out how to use them, and my customizer wouldn't tell me. I left the house with no glasses.
2) I am a lazy, lazy person. When I was a kid, I was forever getting in trouble for pulling my shoes on and off without untying them. My parents said it would wreck my shoes, which indeed it does. I still do it, at the cost of ruining shoes more quickly than necessary.
3) I have never learned to trackstand. Many fixed gear riders figure out how to trackstand at some point, since it is easier on such a bike. I can achieve just-barely moving status, but I can't stop fully and stay clipped in. Thanks to my aforementioned laziness, I have never tried to master a proper trackstand, so it is no surprise that I don't know how yet.
4) VC (Vehicular Cycling) concepts have taken over some parts of my brain. At intersections, I behave as a car or motorcycle would. This is a very good thing.
So Here's What Happened:
Riding along without glasses is just no good, especially when you are as blazing fast as I am. Tears streaming out of the outer corners of my eyes, I arrived at a 4 way stop right near South St. Hospital. There was only one other car to wait for, since they got there first, by a good second or two. They did not proceed, and instead sat there, looking at me. I was sitting there doing my almost-track-stand. I motioned for them to proceed, but they did not, instead gesturing that I should. It was too late. My almost-track-stand was out of time, and I started to fall over. I got my usual first foot out of the pedal quick enough, but I was falling the other way, and I couldn't get out of the other pedal, because my foot was drifting around in my worn out, loosely tied shoe, unable to disengage the cleat. I got out of that pedal on my way down, but I was beyond saving by then.
The people in a few cars behind me, a bunch of people at a bus stop and of course the two people in the car who had waited for me all watched a grown man (who appeared to be crying) gracelessly struggle to stay upright and fall jerkily to the ground. I was completely unhurt, not a scratch.
Go and figure. I fall immediately outside a hospital, and don't get hurt at all. Anyway, I raised myself and my bike from the pavement with the kind of speed that is only attainable by the highly embarrassed, banged my front wheel on the ground in anger, and rode off. As I was getting up, the woman in the passenger seat of the courteous car was looking at me with a big fat grin on her face as they finally passed through the intersection. At the time it made me angry. Now, however, I am not. What isn't funny about watching a 200 pound man in spandex shorts and reflective stuff fall over while at a dead stop? Nothing, that's what. Man, I wish I had video.
Thanks for reading! I still can't trackstand, but my slothful ways with my shoes have been mended (for now at least), and my new cheap sunglasses are kept well away from my customizer. He's gone over the edge. Such a shame...
Keep it upright; You're Much Cooler That Way.