Recently, I was cycling as I love to do. As I came to an intersection I unclipped before really checking out my situation. As soon as my left foot came out of the pedal I realized I was on a slight dip angling down into the street. Before I could make a needed adjustment, I found myself falling – albeit slowly – toward the street. As can happen in these situations, time slowed. I saw an on-coming gray car with a dint in the right front fender – had he hit another falling biker? I could see my husband cycling my way and thought, ‘well, he is going to be rather pissed if my head gets squashed right here.’ He won’t know that the sun was in my eyes and that it wasn’t intentional stupidity.
As I fell I thought about the time something similar happened – uh oh, is this a pattern? I had seen a turtle in the middle of the road and stopped to move it into the grass before a car came along, only to find myself falling toward the turtle. Time had slowed down then, too, and I thought, ‘oh good grief, now I am going to be what squashed the turtle.’ I had reached my hand out so that I would not land on the turtle, and as a result, spent the next 30 minutes cycling in discomfort, an hour at the ER and a week in a brace, nursing my saving-the-turtle sprained wrist. The ER doc asked me if I had been drinking – yes, but only Gatorade – when I told him about time slowing down and me forming a concave, protective dome, much to the chagrin of my left wrist.
Now, as I fell, I thought about that turtle and the ER and the brace and did what anyone would, I curled into the fetal position so that all my weight was distributed down the left side of my body instead of wholly on my wrist. The car past, inches from my head (encased in what now felt like a relatively flimsy helmet) and I unclipped by other foot, and very ineloquently pushed myself up to standing.
– Becky Sharpe, President & CEO