Well, I finally got myself some new wheels! Yup, I dropped some bucks and replaced my five-year old mountain bike with a brand new hybrid from Red Bike. A Rocky Mountain Whistler 30, to be precise! It’s a hybrid commuter bike, meaning it has a mountain bike frame, for good upfront maneuverability and a low balance point, with narrow street-bike-style tires. Perfect for a guy like me to who uses his bike primarily for commuting, but likes to hit a trail on the odd occasion.
Anyway, on my very first day riding to work, I was presented with a painful reminder of how potentially dangerous cycle commuting can be. Now, first off, I’m fine, the bike’s fine, and nothing was injured except my pride and my groin… which only makes sense, given they are indelibly connected.
So, the scenario: I’m at the intersection of 124th street and the Yellowhead (a major throughfare, one of the biggest east-west roads in the city), waiting for the light so I can head south. The light changes. I stand on my pedals and start powering through, shifting up as I go… this is how I usually handle intersections. Anyway, not even half way through, the chain stutters on the rear sprocket, probably because the derailleur needs to be adjusted. Result: my feet slip off my pedals and I land… on the crossbar. But it gets better! I managed to keep upright, somehow, but was left in a rather interesting position: coasting across Yellowhead trail, sitting on my crossbar, and with no way to get my feet back on my pedals, aside from stopping my bike. Well, being in the middle of a major throughfare, I felt that was unsafe, so… I coasted through the rest of the intersection. Supported only by my groin on the crossbar. This hurt. A lot.
Now, before anyone worries, the boys are just fine. As one of my co-workers pointed out, the nice thing about these sorts of situations is that, usually, one is leaned slightly to one side or the other, and so the crossbar simply went past my package and straight into my hip/pubic bone. Had things not “worked out” so nicely, I likely would have fallen off my bike immediately, probably vomiting on the way down.
So, there you have it, Day 1! Good times.
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