Wednesday afternoon we returned to Endurance House for a follow-up fitting on our tri bikes. I had new pedals installed on the bike and cleats installed on my new tri shoes. A few adjustments were made to my aero bars. We also changed the seat because of some pain I was experiencing. I am testing a new seat that is currently on loan for me to decide whether or not I like it. Before leaving, I grabbed a new hydration system as well. When we left, I felt like I was walking out with a different bike.
With the weather nice this week, and rain forecasted this weekend, we decided to do our long ride Thursday afternoon. We took the dogs for a walk and noted how windy it was. We decided to go on the ride and fight the 20 mph wind.
At mile 5, I was stopped to cross a fairly busy divided highway. As the traffic cleared on the left, I pushed off with my right foot to get to the median. Then unexpectedly a car turned into the lane I was about to cross. I hit my brakes, halfway into my mount. My left foot was clipped in, and my bike began to tilt. I reacted quickly, and was able to unclip my foot, but my reaction wasn’t fast enough. My body was already committed. I fell to the ground, knee first. Again.
With cars passing by, I scrambled to my feet and walked my bike to a nearby bench. I sat down and just cried. Nick, who had already crossed the street, came back to check on me. I told him to continue his ride, I need a few minutes alone to compose myself. My knee was throbbing and pretty beaten up, and my ego was crushed.
Once Nick returned, I knew I had to ride back home. People told me when I started this sport that it wasn’t going to be easy. I would fall sometimes and I would have to pick myself up and keep going. I didn’t have any broken bones and there was no damage to my bike, so giving up wasn’t an option. I got back on the saddle and began to pedal. The wind was at our backs for a little while, so I wasn’t fighting it with a bum knee. At the end of the bike path, we took an alternate route north to avoid some of the street traffic as well as a few of the climbs.
As soon as I pulled in the driveway, I jumped off my bike and went in the house. I grabbed my phone and snapped a quick picture of my knee. Then I went straight to the medicine cabinet, grabbed some gauze, antibiotic ointment and a bandaid. I proceeded to clean and dress my wound. A quick shower allowed me to decompress and wash some of the worries (and dirt and tears) away.
I was extremely frustrated after my fall. I get so mad at myself for not being graceful on the bike. I understand I have new pedals, and there’s a learning curve when you make a change like that to your hardware. But I just want to ride my bike. I want it to be easy. I want it to come natural to me. I know once I put more miles on the bike, I will become more confident in my ride. Until then, let’s hope my future rides are just that, a ride.