Grace and I set out around 5:30 in temperatures of about 90 degrees and full sun. The first road we take can be a little busy with traffic, and for some reason yesterday was a lot worse than usual. We had to wait in a long line of cars, none of whose drivers would make room for us to pass on the already slim shoulder, just to learn that the only hold up seemed to be the 4-way intersection.
We stopped at a tiny country gas station since I hadn't made time to stop for water on the way to our meet-up point. I had my debit card with me and brought my gatorade to the counter but learned they had a $5 minimum for cards. So I added some water and twizzlers (the closest thing I could find to energy food) and we went on our way again.
The next 15 miles or so were pretty uneventful and we covered some good, new to us roads with gorgeous rolling farmland views, little traffic, and beautiful early summer Crape Myrtles. Unfortunately, one of the new to us roads was a downhill, rocky dirt road, so we decided to get off and walk our bikes down it. A few more good hills back on the smooth road, and we were back on track with our familiar nearing-the-end-of-the-ride landmarks in sight. With about two miles to go we were feeling good and speeding along and came upon the last 4-way stop intersection. I had stopped for cars and by the time Grace whizzed up it was clear so she went ahead and I lifted my right foot to clip in and get moving. I lost my balance though and just toppled right over to the left, with my left foot clipped in and unable to catch me.
It was more embarrassing than painful - one of those rookie mistakes that a seasoned road cyclist would laugh at. Fortunately the only witnesses were Grace, who is just as much a rookie as I am, and a fat dude on a motorcycle. I got up and tried to start going again, but quickly realized that the bike took more of a hit than I did. The left (front) brake got all out of line with the handlebar and even if it was functional, I couldn't reach it properly. Knowing there were a few downhills ahead I didn't feel comfortable proceeding with out it, plus I was starting to feel really lightheaded and nauseous and was having trouble breathing normally- probably a little panicky and a lot overheated.
Thankfully we were only about two miles from the cars, so I took a seat and Grace went on to get the car and retrieve me. I started to feel better and then really perked up when I remembered what was in the pocket of my jersey...twizzlers! I chowed down on those babies and felt a lot better.
I've got a nice bruise on my thigh complete with a very clear ring-like imprint of the end of my handlebar which must have hit my leg head-on on its way to the ground. The bike will be heading to the shop tonight with high hopes that it will be fixed in time for Sunday's race. I'm glad I bought the extended warranty!
A blessing in disguise...this will probably help me get closer to acheiving #21 on the 30 before 30 list...21. Learn basic bike maintenance and take good care of my bike!