Splattered Cyclist Leaves the Scene of the Slime
OK, this time I'm really back, I promise.
Shall I start with my latest bike wipe-out story, or my latest car-death story? Hmmm, how to choose? I have so MUCH to tell you.
OK, I'll start with the present and work back. Hopefully nothing interesting will happen before I fill in the blogging gap between NOW and THEN.
Just this past Saturday. I hop on the Bromp and head for the Hollywood Transit Station. (And for all you furriners, this ain't THAT Hollywood. Please. I don't live within spitting distance of that writhing tarpit of fatuousness.) Anyway, I'm riding along, minding my own business. Fortuitously, my partner Lindi (not her real name) decided she'd ride along with me as far as the coffee shop near the station, so she's right behind me. Fortuitously I say because unbeknownst to us I was about to need some assistance. Just as we're gliding past the Hollywood Library IN the bike lane, travelling in a perfectly straight line, my cute little wheels slip out from under me and I splat onto the pavement. I lie there smackered witless, my head sticking out past the bike lane directly in the path of oncoming cars, my body lying across the bike lane directly in the path of oncoming Lindi. Fortunately both Lindi and the cars stop, in the nick.
Taking inventory, I was sure I'd broken at least a knee and a hip, and possibly a hand. My helmet had tapped the ground but not enough to dislodge my brain, like those other times. Those of you belonging to Portland will be heartwarmed to know what happened next.
In the ensuing seconds no fewer than three cars stopped, whose drivers and passengers emerged and approached with worried faces, inquiring about my heath. One of them helped Lindi pry my body off the asphalt. Another one, a woman in her seventies, even asked, "Did I do something to cause you to fall? I just passed you, but I thought I gave you plenty of room..."
(Can you imagine someone being that adorable in this lawsuit-happy nation?)
I told her no, there had been plenty of room, it was clearly the fault of the leaves. This launched an impassioned discussion among the group about the treacherous qualities of wet leaves.
"I'm very opposed to leaves on the bike path!" said one indignantly, as if the leaves deserved a good talking to. When we'd all had our say we dispersed, exchanging thanks and wishes of safe travel.
The city does a pretty good job of keeping up with it, but sometimes the leaves win, temporarily. The bike lane there on Tillamook was laquered with a good strata of humus. The next morning, Sunday, riding the exact same route at around the same time, I came upon the city street cleaning trucks at work with their big scoopers and water squirters and round brushes.