It’s a beautiful sunny day. The wind is a bit gusty and brings with it an edge to the relative chill in the air but the sky is blue and the sun is out. You are gliding along the road, chatting with your ride partner. The hills haven’t been too tough, which is nice because you are riding your old school road bike.
As you come up to a stop sign, gently squeezing the brake levers, your left heel instinctively kicks out to the left to untether from your pedal … and nothing happens.
There is a moment of recognition: Oh junk – I can’t unclip on my usual side.
There is a moment of pause: precariously balanced as your bike glides to a stop.
There is a moment of desperation: a click of your right heel kicking out of the pedal.
There is a moment where you know your weight is already over to the left and there isn’t time to shift it to the right.
nope – you’re going over.
The fall is in slow motion – first the bike leans into your thigh, gently pushing it outward. The tethered ankle contorts and stretches as your knee bends to accommodate your top tube. Your hands somehow remain on the handlebars as you relinquish control and simply allow gravity (and the road) to embrace you.
* * * * *
I haven’t fallen off my bike in a long time – over a year at this point. It felt like slow motion and I ended up not with the usual abrasions or light road rash but with a twisted ankle and pain radiating up my calf. I took a few minutes to walk around a bit before we hopped on our bikes again and finished our ride home. Once I had showered, I spent time icing and elevating and picked up an ACE wrap. Seems to be a minor ankle sprain coupled with a nice bruise on my calf where my bike and I landed.
It happens to everyone. 😀