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Me and Gravity McGee

Do you know how sometimes you find yourself in the grips of something ever and ever so much larger than yourself, powerless to affect the course of action? Well, last night, while riding out at Blue River Parkway, Gravity took me in a rough embrace and whirled me into a particularly violent tango, whether or not I felt like dancing.

To elucidate, I managed to catch the left-side of my handlebar on a tree, bringing myself to a dead stop and pivot-vaulting me off the front of my bike down what I chose to call a cliff. Perhaps it might better be called a very steep hill with a 10' drop off the top, or the abrupt path down into a ravine. One way or another, I found myself flung bodily down this descent in an exciting and dramatic fashion. Jeff, who was behind me, probably got one hell of a show of me flopping and rolling down the hill, bouncing over rocks and muttering, “woah, wooooah, woah” as though my tumbling body were a runaway horse to be calmed back to a walk.

I came to the stop at the bottom of the hill, as one does. I looked up, for the carnage of my bike, and to see where the heck I was and what to do next.

Jeff was standing at the top of the hill/cliff looking down with a somewhat aghast expression.

“Are you all right?”


“You sure?”


“Need some help?”


I was able to climb up the regular slope part of the hill just fine, but when it came to the drop-off, I needed a little help from a friend. There was a tree growing out of the side of the rock wall just behind where I crashed. Jeff braced himself against the tree and hauled me up to that point. Then he climbed the rest of the way up to the top and hauled me the rest of the way up. My bike lay on the side of the trail, not much worse for the wear. I almost always crash on the non-drive side.

Coincidentally(?) my bad eye is my left eye. Could this explain why I'm always crashing on the left side?

I took stock of myself. Nothing hurt in a particularly worrying way, my keys were still in my pockets, my glasses still on my face. I did a corny little cheerleader routine, with some hand-clapping and a “ready? let's go,” and go we did.

Because I was pretty warm and had been and continued to be exerting myself, my collection of superficial little cuts bled quite impressively. By the time we got back to the Sand Trap, my left shin was covered in a faux-finish of dried blood, and my right leg had several rivulets frozen in time on it, too. My left elbow, which had only just recently become un-scabbed is slated for another week or so of crustiness. At the time, my right foot hurt from smacking it on a rock (I think) and my ankle was hurting again, but this morning I find it no worse than it was when I woke up yesterday morning. Which is to say I can nearly walk normally once again. Thank heavens I was wearing my boots. After I got home and had a bath, you can hardly tell I'd had a wreck. All the cuts are quite small, and I think the bruises will bend in with the ones that were already there.

So, the lesson I learned last night is, “when Gravity comes at you with a rose clenched in its teeth and a gleam in its eye, pray for a flat ground.”

Thanks especially to Ben, for the lift home, and Jeff, Lori, Kim, and her nice husband whose name I've forgotten (like the dumbass I am) for bearing with my slow, klutzy self. And Kim's adorable, active, happy dog Calypso, who ran the trails with us. That is one happy dog!

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