Last night, I left an offering of skin to the asphalt gods. And this morning, I woke up with bruised thighs, a scraped up and very sore left pinky finger and wrist, a wrenched back, sore sternum and it felt like Mike Tyson had made contact with my chin. Bike commuting is so much fun.
As I unlocked my bike last night, someone sitting in a nearby car rolled down his window and asked how far I rode every day. That turned into a conversation about life and doing things drastically different. After about 10 minutes, I told him I had to get going before it got to late. Oh, how I wish I had stayed there a little longer. I didn't get to much more than a couple of miles down the road when I made the mistake of riding through a puddle.
It had rained a couple of hours earlier. But, it had stopped by the time I left. Since this new job is along a new route, I'm still getting used to where every little nook and pot hole is. But, they are a little hard to see when they are shrouded by a puddle. I actually remember looking at the puddle and thinking that I hoped there wasn't anything under it in the millisecond before my front wheel got lodged into it. The next thing I knew, I was being propelled forward and thinking this may not be so bad. Apparently, in that moment after my wheel stopped moving and before my body met the concrete, I became quite the optimist. In some ways, it all happened in slow motion. But, on the other, I didn't have enough time to put my hands out. I probably should be thankful. I might have broken a finger or wrist if I did do that.
The first body part to interact with the pavement was my chin. Followed shortly thereafter by my left hand. I laid there for a split second in anguish. I didn't get up right away. What finally drew my attention away from my pain was the ass in the pickup truck behind me honking. Was he just concerned about me? No. I don't think so. I got up, moved my bike and watched as he made his way into the driveway and on to the bar. Silly me. What was I thinking, getting in his way.
“Dude! Are you okay?” I looked up to see a guy standing outside a nearby restaurant with two women. I collected myself and looked over the bike. I had a flat tire. The front wheel turned. So, it didn't appear to be so bent out of shape that I couldn't fix it. I saw blood on my right hand. But, it had come from somewhere else. I took off both gloves and initially thought I had found the source of the body fluid leak. But, then I reached up to inspect my chin. Yep. That's where it was coming from. My hand had pulled away with a healthy amount of the red stuff. And my nose hurt. I decided to walk over to the stranger who had inquired about my health and ask if he could tell how bad my face was messed up. He told me that it didn't look to bad. But, I was welcome to look myself in the mirror of his truck. His wife/girlfriend handed me some napkins from her purse. I thanked them and stood there for about a minute collecting myself before walking away. I didn't really want to walk 5 miles. But, I also didn't want to spend the money for a bus. I walked about a block before I decided to sit a bus stop and rest.
There, in the bus shelter, I sat down with my right hand applying pressure to the underside of my chin and reaching into the pocket with my left hand. I pulled my iPod Touch out and immediately noticed the shattered glass. Oh great. From there, I gave up. The bus it was. I only had to wait about 30 minutes. I spent the time tweeting and posting about my adventure in pain to Facebook. I chatted with a good friend. Then, when the bus did arrive, the expressed concerned. Seeing my bloody face and blood covered shirt, I don't blame him. I had to walk about a mile to get home from the bus stop. And to add to my fun, it started to rain again during the last quarter of a mile or so. I had never been so glad to be home in my life. From there, I stripped and stood like a zombie in the shower. Every so often, remembering that I needed to clean my wounds.
This morning I felt sore, but rested. I laid there inspecting myself. Sure enough, the pain on my thighs had resulted in bruises. That must be where they hit my handlebars. My left hand and wrist was and still is in some serious pain. But, I don't think I broke anything. As I fell asleep last night, I just knew my whole jaw would hurt like the devil in the morning. But, thankfully, it wasn't the whole jaw that did hurt. No. Just my chin. And hurt it does. It feels sensitive. Almost like there are broken shards of loose bone floating around in there. I sure hope that's more of my imagination and less reality. The bridge of my nose is relatively sore. But, again, I don't think anything is broken. My back is wrenched and sore. And my left arm hurts like the devil.
Needless to say, I called into work. There is no way I could work tonight. Another friend has asked if I want to eat dinner at his house and visit. I really wish I was up to it. But, no. I think the best thing to do is just sit at home with a glass of water and a giant bottle of ibuprofen in close proximity.
I'm so glad I wore my helmet.