Monday, September 28, 2009

On Bicycles

I fancied myself a bit of a daredevil when I was a kid. We used to ride bicycles around the neighborhood looking for things to jump off of. Or over. It got worse when Billy Wenz started getting paid to ride his bicycle. He was amazing. The kids would all gather around and watch him do tricks. There was a low hill with a hedge on it and he'd ride straight up into the hedge, flip-turn his bike 180 degrees and come back down smooth as silk. Sometimes all the kids would lie down in the street and he'd jump right over us. No ramp needed. This was circa 1976, before anyone ever heard of X-games.

There was a big hill behind the cemetery which backed up to my house. We called it the sky jump because you could jump off it and land in a pile of soft dirt. The short free-fall was quite the rush. One day, I had the hare-brained idea to see if I could jump my bicycle off it. Of course, all the kids gathered round (see, even then I loved being on stage), mostly to see the carnage. It was worse than you think. The jump and free fall were great, but I gauged the landing wrong. My back tire hit too hard, forcing my front tire hard into the hill. It must have hit a rut because the handlebars spun 180 degrees and I went right over - face first into the one spot on the hill with no soft dirt. I think part of my face may still be embedded in that hill.

Fast forward to 2009. I'm no longer the daredevil I once was. I am; however, a 42 year old doctor who let himself get out of shape over the last year. Recently I took up Dacia on her offer of some company during a short 13 mile trot around Napa. That means I have to get into some semblance of shape. My runs have increased in distance and speed, and this morning I ran for 46 minutes. I still had some energy, so what did I do? Out comes the mountain bike!

I got some clip on shoes that nearly killed me before I figured out that you could loosen the clamps. It's been a while, but how hard can it be? It's like riding a bicycle, dammit.

Long story short - I fell off my bicycle while still clamped in. I was on a foot bridge over Highway 101 and landed hard into the fence rail, hurting my left thumb and bruising several ribs.

I'm a daredevil again!

9 comments:

KenP said...

There has to be someone out there who's prototype for the middle age Grandpa Simpson.

The search is closing in.

SirFWALGMan said...

I think they got your jump when you were a kid on video. http://failblog.org/2009/09/28/bike-jump-fail-2/.

BamBam said...

HAHAHAHA.......

OK, there's THAT out of the way!

Just another in the long line of things that we can say, will keep us brudders for life.

Some day we might need to discuss a little trail ride with "the kids." What ccould go wrong with me, a bunch of 20-somethings and my Gary Fisher?

:)

Falstaff said...

Nothing worse than that feeling when you're clipped in and you know you're falling over, and there's nothing you can do about it, then - BAM! Yup, on my ass again.

Then of course you look around to see if anyone saw you fail.

DrChako said...

Only everyone on the 101.

-DrC

pokerpeaker said...

Sweet work, Doc. Keep it up. And I mean the running, not the slamming into fences and stuff.

BWoP said...

Scars are sexy!

Sean D said...

See Chicks dig Scars!!!!

The Sister of DrChako and Mrs. Chako said...

Dude...I think I spit water out my nose while i was reading this. The flood of memories. You riding with WENZ (good god almighty), the fence, the parked car, the stitches, the scar that still defines your crooked-ass eyebrow. The hysterical laughter that emitted from me just now when I read that you were aware that they all came out to see Wenz perform and your carnage. Great stuff!