A couple of days ago, I had my first crash in over a year of regular cycling. As these things go it was fairly minor, more of a falling over than a proper crash. But today I did it properly.
It was a classic “front wheel slips away” event and I went down on my left shoulder. It was several seconds before I felt like moving again and when I did I was sorry I hadn’t waited a bit longer! My shoulder was very painful and I could hardly move it. I think I may even have dislocated it slightly, because when I “did a Riggs” and pushed it backwards, there was a bit of crunching and the pain (mostly) went away.
I think my chin was the second impact point as it’s skinned nicely and looks silly. The beard may have to be sacrificed temporarily to get it cleaned up properly. My helmet’s sun visor was scraped, muddy and knocked loose, so I suspect the helmet saved me from a full-on tarmac headbutt. I’ve lost skin from knees and elbows too.
The bike buried itself in the foliage and mud at the side of the path but suffered only minor damage. I had to straighten the handlebars, realign the brakes and reset the back wheel into it’s quick release clamp, but after those few roadside repairs it was good to go again. Needless to say, the remaining 7 miles of commute was taken at an easy pace.
I’ll be contacting Sustrans and Newtownabbey Council to see if they’ll consider laying some high friction surface on the short section of the Newtownabbey Way that goes through the Monkstown Woods. Even in dry weather it remains slippery with moss and is treacherous even on a mountain bike. I think I’ve learned my lesson now and I don’t think I’ll be back along that path by road bike if there has been any rain at all in the recent past, which is a shame as it’s such a pleasant route.