unceremonious dismount

Friday one week ago, all was well with the world, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, I was just setting off on a quick 15 miler and it wasn’t too hot.  It had all the makings of a beautiful day.

I coast up to the traffic lights and catch up to one of my friends who is second in line, tap on his window and catch up for 30 seconds or so.

I see the light is about to change, so I say cheers and push off, only thing is, I am totally in the wrong gear, I hadn’t bothered to shift down, as I normally do, no problem, just push harder.  First car is gone and I’m on my way, one revolution, two revolutions, then nothing…  the most unreal feeling in the world pedalling hard and next second pedalling fresh air.

The bike I use for commuting is quite compact, i.e. I am normally seated quite upright, and with me standing and stomping on the pedals my centre of gravity was forward of my handlebars.

In Afrikaans they have a wonderful saying for what happened next. helmet, poepol, tekkies, literally translated means helmet, arse and trainers, in that order, and over the handle bars, but hey “that’s just the way I roll” 😉

Needless to say there was thankfully no major damage to myself (not counting my pride in front of my buddy), just a bit of bruising and some skin off the elbows, and I ALWAYS wear full finger gloves.  The bike now unfortunately has a totally disintegrated shifter, not sure if that was me hitting it or the bike landing on the ground.

This has left me to ponder the importance of bike maintenance, and by letting it slip I was potentially becoming a hazard.  The chain has been stretched for a while now and the only issue to date has been when going over very bumpy terrain, it would jump a tooth and make me think “I should really fix that”.

I have been putting off getting it replaced because I was looking into getting a cyclocross bike for commuting, and didn’t want to waste the money on the old bike (well over 20 years old and weighs a ton)

So another lesson learned,

Till next time and keep the rubber side down.

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