Monday, June 27, 2005

Only My Dignity

"Are you alright?" A couple of young ladies in a passing cab inquired about my physical well being.

I could have had a fractured femur and I would have wobbled away from there. I think the first thing that went through my mind as my bike slid out from under me on a slick Sixth Avenue was "How embarrasing." Not "Oh God, I hope I don't die," or "Wheeee!" To be sure my adrenaline kicked in and I hopped back on the righted bike as if nothing had happened.

And then the inquiry from the cab. To which I smiled and replied, "Not really." And off they went. I guess their question did not hold its literal meaning, but something more akin to: "Holy shit! That was crazy!"

I wish I could blame my fall on a crazed driver or an oblivious pedestrian. But no. I simply tried to turn and brake at the same time, and the tires on my Trek would not cooperate. In the realm of NYC cycling accidents, this one barely counted. I got off with black grime all the way up one side of my body, and the feeling that my insides had been shaken vigorously.

It reminded me of the one other time I have fallen from my bike in this city. Going all of 7 or 8 mph up a slight hill, my shoelace slowly wound itself around my left pedal. By the time I was aware of this phenomenon, my foot was tied to the pedal. I tried to stop and plant my other foot in order to untangle. Instead, I toppled, slow-motion-style into the street. A dramaless crash, it didn't even have the "wow" factor. Inevitably, a lady in a minivan pulled up beside me and asked if I was hurt.

To which I replied. "Only my dignity." A lame quip indeed, but the bast I could do under the circumstances.

No comments: