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I’m not sure if I’m just a lousy cyclist, or if there’s a certain proportion of falling-over-per-mile that every cyclist averages and I’m simply fulfilling my quota.

One way or another, I seem to be entering another of my streaks of wreckage, kicked off by a little offroad falling-over out at Lawrence when we got back from the Dirty Kanza. Several of Joel’s co-workers and some other friends of ours had arranged a meetup out at the River Trails. Melissa patiently bore with my slowness and tendency to randomly plummet ass-over-teakettle. They have these little log piles out there. One of them is kind of big and I’ve never given it a go, but I have ridden the two smaller ones and they’re pretty fun, but somehow, I guess I didn’t get up enough speed before I hit the one and I stalled out on top of it and crashed over into the mulberry bushes alongside the trail. Nothing tells on a Klutz like a mottling of purple goo and foliage in her hair.

Now despite the fact that I fell over a good three or four times at Lawrence, I didn’t sustain any actual damage. And at Friz on Monday, I think I was the only person who didn’t bite the grass multiple times. So obviously, I was slacking on my quotas and had to make up for lost time on my way home.

I’d been a little off-kilter all afternoon; I felt like I was drunk, all spacy and un-balanced. I went home a different route from usual, and overshot my turn into the West Bottoms and had to back-track. As I was lining myself up for the second go-around at that turnoff, I completely failed to take note of the expansion joint that diagonally intersected my trajectory, and just as you’d expect, as I leaned into the turn, my tire caught in the expansion joint and my bike flipped left while I flew to the right. I sorta-face-planted, skinning my right shoulder, left knee, and both palms. Also, somewhere on my way down, something dug a small but deep gouge in my left shin which bled enthusiastically for the rest of the evening and kind of oozed all the next day. Now, it is scabbed over nicely and looks surprisingly civilized and insignificant:

Please excuse the hairiness of my legs…they are really out of control right now and I’ll be tending to that in just a few minutes. Let the record stand that “ElastoPlast” med tape makes a great impromptu leg-wax, if you don’t mind adhesive boogers clinging to your skin afterwards.

The way that gouge bled, I had resorted to using cut-in-half panty-liners taped on with med-tape as wound dressings until my platelets finally got organized enough to do their job.

As usual, I was really, really lucky with my wreck. I wrecked perpendicular to a curb. The way I landed, my jaw just grazed past the curb. I felt my chin skim past the concrete, but apparently it didn’t really make contact. I got home expecting to see mild abrasion under my right jawbone, but didn’t see anything more severe than some sweated-on dirt.

I don’t know how many times I have counted my lucky stars after I’ve had a good wreck. When I face-planted on the way to Landahl, I was so fortunate I didn’t knock myself unconscious on the side of the road. Also fortunate that I didn’t break my glasses or teeth.

Likewise when I got hit by the truck, it could have messed up my face a lot worse or (I have a real horror of this potentiality) knocked out my teeth. Instead, all I suffered was a broken collarbone, three stitches, and a serious divot in my savings account. Also a destroyed (favorite) bicycle, which was pretty near as bad as all the rest of that combined.

And my (apparently) most visually stunning wreck, falling down a gully at Blue River Park netted nothing more than a few small bruises and cuts so minor they didn’t even leave noticeable scars.

I guess if you’re going to hit the ground with the frequency and vehemence that I do, it’s just as well to be kind of good at it. Or at least “lucky” about where you land.

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