Friday, March 4, 2011

Remember To Pedal

I had been riding fixed gear, almost exclusively, for about a year.  Thousands of miles had passed under my constantly-spinning cranks, and I felt more at home on the "direct-drive" bikes than any other.  So, it was not any kind of big deal, that Saturday morning as I pedaled my way down Iliff Avenue toward Kaladi Brothers.

The city had been doing some water main work at one of the intersections close to University Avenue for quite some time.  They were close to being done, and actually had a section of pavement gone, for about 50 feet, and the road base was ready for repaving.  Thing was, the road base was about 18 inches below the existing pavement.  So, basically, there was a hole in the road, from curb to curb, 50 feet long and a foot and a half deep.

I knew it was there.  Even if the "Road Closed" signs had been removed, I had been riding past this construction for weeks.  And, well, it was a big hole; hard to miss.

As I approached the edge of the hole, moving along at between 15 and 20 mph, I decided to jump into the hole, at speed, and then bunny-hop out of it.  I planned to barely slow down.  I reached the edge, made my jump, and realized as I was in the air that I had stopped pedaling, with the cranks parallel to the ground as if I was on a freewheel bike.

Of course, when the wheels hit the ground, the cranks immediately began spinning.  I didn't fall, but I came damn close.  I managed to stay in control, but...

I was fast approaching the 18" vertical wall at the other side of the hole; the bunny-hop back onto the road surface.  I knew that there was no way I was going to make that hop, so I grabbed a big handful of brakes, almost went over the bars, but managed to stop before I reached the other side of the hole.

My heart was pounding, I was a bit rattled, and confused about why I had stopped pedaling like that.  But, mostly, I was embarassed.  I just really hoped that no one saw me spazzing out on my bike.

I gave a quick little sheepish look around, but I didn't see anyone pointing and laughing.  So, I continued on to the coffee shop. 

I rode home on Warren, to avoid the hole.  The next time that I rode down Iliff, the hole had been repaved.  I was pretty glad, to tell the truth.

x

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