Cyclo-therapy: 'Gallingly, my colleague not only had a decent crash story to tell, but also no lasting damage'
Saturday 23 May 2009
Much as we cyclists evangelise the sport, often irritating non-believers with our holier-than-thou smugness, there is one inescapable truth which all pedal-ers must face up to: the chances are you're going to fall off.
It is the biggest reason (ahead of, say, indolence and an aversion to sweat) why not everyone is dashing to the bike shop or digging out their hibernating bicycles for the summer time.
My first tumble finally came on the way to work the other week. As I rose out of my saddle to build speed after stopping for some lights, my cleated left shoe unclipped out of the pedal. Foot hit asphalt and front wheel flipped, causing the fixed back wheel to rear up and catapult me over the bars.
X-rays revealed a "shoulder separation" and doctors consigned me to public transport, in a sling, for SIX WEEKS.
To add insult to injury, mine was a lame crash story. Not so my colleague, Jamie. He got taken out by a car a month later and ended up burying his head in the man's windscreen.
Gallingly, he not only had a decent tale to tell (and the blue-light treatment; I had to be rescued by my mum) but also a wad of insurance cash and no lasting damage. Not fair.
An old school friend was yet another cyclist I know to have come a cropper in recent weeks. Then I hear that the writer Toby Young has been demonstrating to readers of his blog how to lose blood and terrify people.
The bald author landed on his helmet-less bonce after being hit by a car. "I looked as if an alien had burst out of my forehead," he wrote alongside a link to a gory photo.
Bad luck all round but (and I hope you've stuck with me this far) fear not, says CTC. The national cycling organisation's recent "Safety in Numbers" report, presented to Parliament by CTC president and snazzily besocked news anchorman Jon Snow, records a 91 per cent increase in cycling in London since 2000 and a 33 per cent decline in casualties.
It's a similar story elsewhere, the theory being that more cyclists means that drivers – increasing numbers of whom also ride – are more aware of their two-wheeled colleagues. Jamie, Toby and I are back on our bikes now, hoping that they're right.
Frilled shark: Australian fishermen capture terrifying shark from the deep
Devon beavers can stay living in the wild, Natural England rules
Keep off the grass: Research confirms that highly manicured lawns produce more greenhouse gases than they soak up
Winter floods lead to sharp fall in climate change scepticism
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...