The Fall

Picture this:

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.Β 


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. πŸ˜€



Author: Laura

wife. mother. kick-ass girl. all mountain, all road adventurer by bike.

12 thoughts on “The Fall”

    1. LOL – I don’t regret tossing the old toe cages. Those suckers were going to kill me. πŸ™‚

      This morning I have less pain (wore the ACE wrap all day yesterday) but the joint is still unhappy with lateral movement. I’m taking it with me to Colorado and will probably end up wearing it during the ride to keep things happy. πŸ™‚

    1. This is all true … but doesn’t make for a very rad story. πŸ˜‰ haha

      I accept my ego blows as gracefully as possible.

    1. I’m thinking I may need new cleats. It’s only been a year and about 2000 miles on these … But I’d rather exchange the cleat and save my feet. Lol

  1. Ohh…I have not made the jump to clipless yet. I REALLY need to. I have heard a couple things.

    1) You wlll need to fall 2 or 3 times until you are good with the clipless
    2) When you do fall, fall on your shoulder, and do not stick your arm out (lest you break your collar bone)


    But I will make the swtich soon.

    As for you … I am glad you are feeling better…and hopes your sprain is not too bad.

    (By the way, the description of the realization that you are now going to fall was ohhh soo good.)

    1. The first time you fall, you will wobble hilariously and move your hands off the bars to try to break the fall. I have done this twice and both times resulted in scrapped knees and palms. This time I just let it happen and feel that even with a sprained ankle I made out better than usual.

      Falling is never fun … But if you can accept it as a part of life, it makes the bruise to the ego less aching. πŸ™‚

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