Rubber Side Down

Given my cycling upbringing, I am constantly amazed at how much I forget the cardinal rule:

Rubber side down.

I remember in middle school the first time I rode a road bike with skinny tires I ended up waking up sitting on a fence bleeding with a dislocated thumb. More recently, I’ve crashed every year here in Eugene. Freshman year, I was not accustomed to the slippery pavement that accompanies the Pacific Nothwest’s eight month wet season. I tacoed a wheel that promptly got stolen. Sophomore year, I crashed twice. The first time, some guy cut me off going down a hill and rode off ( a theme that will seem familiar soon). The second time was on my own stupidity. My trumpet case slipped and I went over the handle bars (which had been bent from the previous incident). This led to my dad performing a heart transplant in the form of replacing the shifter for my front derailer.

In my latest over the handlebar adventure, I was going down a hill with an intersection at the bottom of it in a clearly marked bike lane. I was watching the traffic to see if anyone was turning. There were no turn signals, so I thought I was good. The white car looked a little suspicious as I was about to pass it. Then it began turning. I tried to stop, but my bike doesn’t the best of brakes, probably because of the aforementioned abuse. I bounced off the car, and then on to the pavement. As I was trying to pick myself, my bike, and the cans I was returning to the supermarket off of the street, the guy who hit me rolled down his window, uttered something to the effect of “my bad, dawg,” and then sped off on his merry way. I was too preoccupied with getting hit to think about checking out the guy’s license plate number.

Its interesting how I react to crashing on my bike. I moved my stuff off of the road, checked my bike, which was fine, and then talked to some nice ladies who had stopped to help me out. I didn’t even think about whether I was ok until some one asked. The damage report was surprisingly short: a very notable gash on my finger (not on the trumpet hand, thank God), and a little scrape on the knee. After consulting with the very nice ladies, my mom, whoever was in the band office at the School of Music, and the marching band director, I filed a hit and run with Eugene’s finest, and headed down to the health center.

The last time I had gone to the health center, they cut my face a couple times and shipped me out to a hospital that stabbed my arms with needles for a week straight. So I wasn’t expecting much help on my bleeding and partially numb finger. Thankfully, I got in to see the doctor within 10 minutes of walking in the door. They superglued the gash on my finger, and I was out the door (that is, after a lengthy lesson about why I should have been wearing a helmet). Word on the street is that tomorrow is when I’m going to wake up in extreme pain.

I guess there should be a lesson to be learned here. Wear a helmet. Say no to Kyle picking you up on his tandem, given his track record. Watch for cars. When driving, watch for bikes, and if you hit one, stop and make sure they’re ok.

This is probably cause for some long rant about sharing the road and biker’s rights, all of which I support wholeheartedly, But I’ll leave that to your comments.

Stay Safe,


P.S. If you see a white POS with a kyle sized dent in the passenger’s side, and a messed up mirror, being driven by a college aged student, let me know or feel free to exact revenge.