The 198th Moon

Crescent Moon 8 Feb-2This is a painful post to write – literally. While spinning around a around-about this morning at a becoming pace I spun out on a patch of some superbly camouflaged and totally unanticipated black ice. I absolutely never saw it coming. One moment I was riding along, happy as a lark, the next moment I wasn’t.

Even now, as I sit here feeling very sore and sorry for myself, I don’t quite get it. Although it was nippy this morning, with frost forming on the windscreens of cars, it wasn’t all that cold and what’s more the roads were dry everywhere – everywhere, it seems, but back side of this one particular roundabout where a fine veneer of ice covered the bitumen. I went down pretty hard. It hurt lots. Six hours later, it still does.

The tendons in my shoulder are letting me know all about themselves, twitching twanging white hot little knives reminding me constantly of the wonderful complexity of the human shoulder; it will be some time before I lunge across the table for the salt, I fear. No more boarding house manners for yours truly (a bright spot, my wife might say). My elbow hurts a lot and my hip and my knee and my lower back.  My nifty new Howies base layer, which I recently trialled and liked so well, now has a hole in it, as does the elbow on my much loved Rapha softshell jacket

As for the bike – and naturally this wipe out, my first in more than 16 years, had to happen on my beloved custom tourer – well, the rear derailleur is twisted out of line, as are the rails on my Brooks B-17 Special saddle, which is also quite scuffed up.

At that it could have been so much worse. For starters, and from the bicycle’s point of view, the frame doesn’t appear to have suffered any damage at all, not even a scratch. The derailleur hanger will need replacing, and probably the saddle (how and why the saddle took the brunt of the fall mystifies me still) and while movement in my shoulder is quite painful and debilitating, this too will pass; nothing appears broken or dislocated.

And while I am not thrilled about the hole torn in the elbow of my nice Rapha softshell, I see they offer a free repair service for garments that are torn in a cycling accident. Look for a review of this helpful service in coming posts. As well, now that I am cataloguing the lucky aspects of all this, neither my rather pricey (and for me, irreplaceable) Lupine headlight nor my camera were broken in the fall. They are fine. In fact, while trudging home beside my bicycle – eight gloomy miles – I saw this beautiful crescent moon hanging over the sea at Bexhill.

Thinking I might as well retrieve something out of this calamitous outing, I paused to set up my tripod and snap a few photos (God, did my shoulder hurt setting up that tripod!) and was gratified to see the G1X functioning perfectly. While I was doing this I found myself thinking back to my post last month marking 16 years since I last hit the deck.

Today’s episode brought a close to that nice accident-free run – 16 years and 1 month, to the day. That’s 197 moons, just shy of my double century. Here’s hoping the pretty golden crescent I photographed this morning will mark the start of a much, much longer run.




  9 comments for “The 198th Moon

  1. Ron Clark
    February 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Sorry that happened to you, Roff, especially when in addition to everything else it resulted in an injured 8 mile walk home. I can’t imagine how you bent the rails on a saddle either; I’ve never seen that happen in a crash. It’s a great picture, but man, you definitely paid a price to take it…

  2. February 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Here’s to a speedy recovery.

  3. February 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Sorry to read about your tumble and, although obviously in a fair bit of pain, not too badly off from the experience. It is weird the way shock travels through bodies and machines alike resulting in damage where you would least expect it.

    Hope you and the bike are back where you both belong, on the road, before long.

  4. February 8, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  5. david
    February 8, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Roff, Do get well soon

  6. Roff Smith
    February 8, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Many thanks. I think I am more sad about my poor battered bike than anything else!

  7. Shamrock33
    February 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Hi Roff, take it easy and rest that shoulder. I had a minor (compared to yours) tumble not so long ago – didn’t clip out in time so I can empathise with your story. Stuff happens, I guess!


  8. February 8, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    Ouch! I hope you feel better soon. It could’ve been worse, and the bike can be repaired.

    • Roff Smith
      February 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

      Thanks – and my thoughts exactly!

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