I am, indeed, enjoying my off season. So when some teammates started talking about a fall century, I paused for a minute. 100 miles? Yeah, I'm not recovered enough for that right now. But a metric century? A flat one? Where do I sign up.
We were set to ride Foxy's Fall Century in Davis this weekend. There were Friday dinner plans and shared hotel rooms and tons of fun with some great friends. And when I got up yesterday, I was pretty excited to spend a beautiful fall day on my bike.
We rolled around 8am, a group of about a dozen of us. I was back with the friend I've been riding with all year for the first eight miles. It was cool and clear, and just like in Moab and at the Gran Fondo, there was a hot air balloon hanging over the course for the first several miles. It was gonna be a great day.
|From the start of Levi's Gran Fondo two weeks ago.|
About eight miles in, a group of girls rolled up alongside me and asked about my Moab jersey. We were chatting about the rides and their mountain bike expeditions in Utah when somebody behind us shouted "car back!"
I slowed to let the girl next to me pull in, while she accellerated and slammed into my front wheel in an effort to get clear of the car. I knew what was coming, and before I could yell at her I was on the ground. Almost face down. On the opposite side of the road. I'm pretty sure the crasher went down too, and so did one of her friends.
I banged up my knees and shoulder, and my hands. I tore my jersey and one of my new legwarmers. I've got a bruise on my left cheek, my gloves are trashed, and my glasses may be broken, yet I didn't hit my head. Or bust any teeth. I am very lucky, and incredibly thankful for the angels sitting on my shoulder. It could have been way worse.
Thankfully, a ride support volunteer was right behind me (he was the guy who gave the car warning), and he bandaged up my bleeding fingers and checked out my bike. We were both fine, but my day was done. I'd ridden 9.61 miles.
I've never crashed before. I've never been directly involved in a bike incident that's involved anybody other than myself. Yes, it was terrifying. No, there was nothing I could have done differently. I didn't stand a chance against this girl who just didn't know what she was doing. And while I'd like to say it'll never happen again, I know it's a risk I take every time I get on my bike. And it's a risk I'll keep taking, because the rewards so far outweigh the risks. And the responsible riders far outnumber the irresponsible ones.
But it's not a risk I'll take again for a few weeks. My skinned knees and bruised palms (and fingers, shoulders, and probably parts I don't know about yet) need to heal. And my bike needs a check up. And I need to replace my new Garmin.