On Sunday some bloody idiot received a torrent of abuse. I was riding at a fair pace in the middle of my side of the road because I was about to take a right turn towards home. It’s a leafy suburban road with lots of parked cars and a 30mph limit, but that didn’t stop muggins, who hooted at me and then over took giving me a look of the evils. Quite what he was intending to achieve with this little manouvre is anyone’s guess, but I decided I’d ask him at the set of lights he’d then had to screech to a stop in front of.

Interestingly he made the perhaps unwise decision to wind down his window. Which only made the vitriolic torrent of abuse that then poured forth from my angry lips a lot louder for him than it would have been from behind the relative safety of 4mm of glass. I don’t think I’ve had a swearing out burst like that in some time and a litany of profanties about said driver being the illegitimate child of a pig dog and likening him to womens gentitals through vulgar phrase certainly made me feel better, even if it did have passers by left jaw dropped and staring. Fact is he was a 100% cock not so much for the stupid overtaking, but for conducting said move at a junction whilst simulatneously smoking and holding a mobile phone.

Now I’m not sure if what happened tonight is some kind of bizarre karma or just plain luck, but tonight I had a Near Death Experience (NDE) for the first time in a few years. I’d picked down the commuter again today because after buzzing into work on the Ti Deluxe yesterday, I fancied a quicker ride in today. Ride in was fine and so was most of tonight’s. One minute I’m jamming along with the flow of traffic, buzzing past wing mirrors and keeping pace with the cars, next minute something has gone very wrong.

At first I thought the chain had snapped, there was that sudden loss of drive that when you’re flying along suddenly destroys your balance. Next thing I’m straddling the top tube and doing a tank slapper all over the front of the bike, I’m seriously out of control veering across both lanes of traffic sideways. I remember thinking that the only thing that could make this worse was being rear ended by some of the traffic behind me or ending up in the oncoming traffic lanes. I’d like to claim it was Ryan Leech-esque bike handling skills that saved me from eating tarmac, but I suspect that lady luck had more than a little say in my fate.

Somehow I didn’t go down. I kept that bike upright and finally managed to bring it to a stop. Hobbled off it and dragged it over to the pavement. Damage assessment part 1: sore inner left thigh and arse cheek and mangled right calf. Damage assessment part 2: snapped pedal axle. Damn that’d do it.

Eeek Ouch

Eventually I spot the pedal body and finally get a chance to extract it from the middle of the carriageway. Stop for a minute or two to calm down a bit and get the wind back in me. No one stopped to see if I was okay, which was nice. Eventually figured I’d try some single pedal action and made it about 500m before I worked out the rear tyre was punctured too. That’s be me walking home then.

Reckon that was as close a call as I’d like for a while – I feel lucky the Ti axle sheered so cleanly, I’ve about four contact points from the loss of control in my right calf – if it had broken and left a more jaggedy metal stump, I’d be writing this after a trip to A&E (which was conveniently on the way home). Had a nice brew and a chat with Jon and Paula tonight which helped take my mind of things a bit. Their son Alex has generously offered a bike for a friend this weekend which is fantastic. The commuter’s off the roads now until I get various bits sorted out. Wiggle have emailed me to say the Truvativ BBs still aren’t available and that’s just rubbish.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

2 thoughts on “NDE”

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