Ouch! So that’s why Americans call the autumn ‘fall’

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The front wheel looks pretty straight from here – sadly, looks can be deceptive

Well, that’s not the greatest week I’ve had for a while.

Wednesday last I was moving some furniture and think I’ve given myself a bit of sciatica (self diagnosed so not necessarily accurate). I managed to run with it on Thursday and cycle with it on Saturday as, once it warms up, it’s perfectly bearable and no problem at all on the bike.

I ran again yesterday before we went to have an excellent supper with some friends who also very kindly put us up for the night in Berkshire. Julia is an astonishing sportswoman and suggested that I take my bike and join her and some Tri-club and other friends for their Thursday morning ride.

It was a really good ride (87km – 54 miles), done at a good pace, with good company. Unfortunately, as we were heading back we went round an entirely innocuous looking bend that the two or three folks in front of me took at the same speed, on the same line and without excitement – but I failed to follow suit. My front wheel simply slid away from under me and as I looked up from the road I saw the following rider going over me and the bike, before also hitting the deck.

Fortunately, as to the three important things (in clear order of importance):

– happily, the other rider, a charming lady, escaped any serious injury (I think nothing more than a bruise from the fall and a tiny cut at the side of the eye from her crash helmet)

– my bike is not hurt too badly. The already deteriorating bar tape has been finished off on the right side and once the handlebars were rotated back 90 degrees it was rideable – but slowly thanks to a front wheel buckle

– I’m OK and the bang and road rash on my right hip means that I am now more balanced with the sciatica in my left leg. The banged and scraped right elbow and banged right hand have no left side equivalents but that’s OK by me.

I’m optimistic that the wheel is repairable. It’s rather annoying as I was thinking of putting on the winter wheels earlier in the week – the only reason that I didn’t was that I wasn’t sure how fast today’s ride would be and I was concerned that I might need all the help I could get to keep up!

The road was no more than slightly damp and I don’t think it was muddy or covered in leaves. I really like the (new) Continental 4000 Sii tyres I have on the bike but I’m left wondering how good they are once the weather starts to worsen – I’ve never seen any suggestion that they are a problem. Pretty much inexplicable – I guess I was just unlucky and hit a patch of oil.

It appears that a fall hurts the same whatever the reason for coming down.

First fall in four and a half years – I’ll be happy if it’s another four and a half years before the next.

6 thoughts on “Ouch! So that’s why Americans call the autumn ‘fall’

  1. Jeff

    It’s amazing just how easily we can fall. It’s never expected. It’s never wanted. Even though we have copious amounts of rain in the area where I live, I’ve not fallen when the pavement is wet, but just today, I nearly fell when riding over sand (leftover from hurricane Irma). Let’s hope that your next fall never actually happens. Heal fast and be careful out there.

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    1. The Omil Post author

      Thank you Jeff – i really appreciate that. After avoiding mud, leaves and gravel it was typical that I’d come off on something I hadn’t even seen and which still mystifies me!

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  2. TaityRay

    Hope you’re OK! No one wants a fall. I had one earlier in the week on a flat smooth road when a handlebar made contact with a pannier. Nightmare! Luckily no broken bones!

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    1. The Omil Post author

      I’ve decided to put it in the ‘just one of those things’ box rather than agonise over how it happened. Typically I heal pretty quickly and I’m feeling much better already. Many thanks for the message.

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