Michael's Blog

Stupid, funny things.

21 June 2007

The Bike Wreck I Wish Everyone Had Seen

I moved to Provo and within a month I wrecked my car. For the summer, while I was waiting to get another car and while I was paying for the repairs of the car that I hit, I rode my bike to work. I worked at Independent Study which is located in South Provo. The ride was close to 10 miles and I rode it everyday. At the end of the ride to work there is an right turn that starts an s shape curve into the parking lot. The turn is also downhill.

Most days I would hit the turn and slowly glide around the curve and hit the parking lot with no problems. One day, however, I was in a fun mood and so when I hit that hill I decided I was going to take it as fast as I could. I sped up as fast as I could and started my turn. The first turn was a right turn and I hit the corner perfectly. The gravity raised my speed to levels I hadn't felt before. I then prepared for the harder left turn. I knew I would have to take it really wide to be able to make it into the parking lot. I hoped no cars would be coming out. I leaned from the right to the left and started the left turn.

See the route and location of the crash at Google Maps

As I rounded the corner I could see there was no car coming and I was relieved but now I was worried about a new danger. I was going so fast and I wasn't sure if I was going to make the turn and avoid the curb on the right hand side of the street. I tried leaning as far as I could. I was amazed that I could actually lean the bike all the way to almost a 25 degree angle with the ground. I was afraid that at any moment my wheels would stop gripping the concrete and I would lose the bike and slide, surely scraping my arms, face, and back into hamburger.

I barely made the turn. Once again I was relieved and once again I was worried about a new danger. I was still leaning at my 20 degree angle but now I was trying to go up onto the parking lot. That meant over the bump and the sidewalk.

It is amazing all that you can think about in a few milliseconds. I thought, "I am such an idiot." and "What was I thinking." Fear shot through me like a bolt of lightning when I realized that I was going to go up the ramp and surely crash.

I hit the bump that led up into the parking lot and it threw me but I landed OK. Unfortunately my bike tires hit the curb where the grass started. When I hit my bike stopped and my pedal hit the cement. I flipped off of my bike and landed on my hands and knees facing the opposite direction.

So there I am staring at the grass on my hands and knees. What does a normal person think at that moment? Frankly, I would have no idea. My first thought was, "Am I really OK?" I tried to feel some pain. Aside from a few little scrapes, I didn't feel anything. The next thought was "Did anyone see that?" Oh how hoped that when I looked up there would be one of the video guys standing there filming me. Or at least someone who had just parked and was entering the building. I flipped around and looked--the parking lot was empty. Not even a bird was around. I scanned for security cameras that may have caught the action. I cursed KBYU's crappy security. I had no documentation of the event. No way to share my good fortune except to tell the story. (I didn't have a blog then) Who would believe it though?

I sat on my butt and basked in the sun for a minute. I felt the grass in my hands and took a look at my bike. Soon I got off the ground and picked up my bike. My bike suffered the same amount of damage I had. The pedal was busted and there were a few scrapes but that was about it. Nothing that would prevent me from riding it home that afternoon.

I went into work and excitedly told my story to my co-workers. I think those who worked with me back then appreciated me breaking up the summer monotony of I.S. I thought it was a good story but it wasn't received with the same enthusiasm with which it was delivered. Most just smiled and shook their heads. Little did I know the story wasn't finished.

I worked and started the long ride home. It was extra hot that day and that always put me in a bad mood. Also the broken bike pedal was a lot more annoying than I thought it would be. Then for no reason at all, cars kept honking at me as they went by. I was off the road but about every 4 cars someone would honk. I hate it when people honk at me. Finally I reached my apartment. I went in, got some water, and as usual, I went to change into some shorts so that I could cool off. As I took off my pants I noticed something funny going on with the seam in the back. I held up my pants and the butt seam had split about 6 to 8 inches.

I thought "No wonder all of the cars were honking at me."


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