I was riding along on Saturday morning, out for my first solo ride on the new bike. Gliding on auto-pilot through the stifling humidity of the forest, and lost in reverie about handlebar rise and rake, I found myself face-down in the dirt, arms pinioned beneath my stomach and my legs arching over my head.

Generalized pain washed over me. Here we go again.

I rolled over to my back and looked at the tops of the pine trees, ever-retreating into the sky. The ripples of pain subsided until there was one throbbing pebble above my right knee. An eyebrow-shaped cut solved the case, stem to knee contact caused by a sawed off stump protruding 4 inches above the trail. In a forest full of trees, this tree defied the will of the bureaucrats and was marked for shoddy removal.

I stood and recovered the bicycle– still a complete stranger, an internet date, a wing-man’s lament. Due to be replaced, I feel no commitment to this temporary ride.

I tried to shake it off and continue as planned, but the disappointment, the ache, and the swollen lemon growing on my vastus medialis obliquus sent me homeward. I escaped the heat and the sand to join the bench full of sick and wounded riders this holiday weekend. I got off easy. The million-dollar wound.

And that reminded me, it is once again Shoulder Season.


9 Responses to Thumped

  1. It’s always such a surprise to find yourself empty-handed, flying through the air. I have to say, as I often do, there is something very clarifying and good about a body-slam you walk away from.

  2. Oh man! Glad you walked from that one. The last one of those I had left me unconscious for 30 seconds(according to my following friend) and bloody raspberried from left shoulder to hand. A detailed forensic investigation( I should be an NTSB crash investigator!) and reverse engineering of the crash “scene” revealed the culprit. That made it way easier to get back on the bike and charge.


    Keep on Jauncho!

  3. Glad you walked (rode) away. Your shoulder season comment reminded me of a line I had rattling around in my head for years while I was still writing songs. I never could finish the verse, much less the song:

    Summer isn’t gone, but it’s gone too far.

    I know: Good, right?