The Most Terrifying Thing About Road Cycling

12.9.2010 | 2:44 pm

When you’re mountain biking, there are many, many things to be afraid of. For example, you can — and should! — be afraid that you’re not going to clean the ledge you’re dropping.

Or that you’re not going to clean the ledge you’re climbing.

Or that you’re going to get sucked into a rut and endo.

Or that you’re going to lose traction, slide out, and collect a whole bunch of gravel in the bloody place where your knee used to be.

I could go on.

The thing with road bikes is, it has nowhere near as many obstacles to worry yourself about. Sure, there’s the biggy: cars. And if you ride in groups, there are other riders to worry about. And of course, there can be something that makes you lose traction with the road. Gravel. Water. Oil.

Other than that, there’s just the road.

Except, there’s another kind of obstacle. An easy one to forget, until you suddenly are right there and it’s too late and your doom is certain.

This has happened to me.

Which is Stronger: Pain or Humiliation?

It was 1990. I was 24 years old. I lived nine miles away from WordPerfect Corporation, where I worked as a technical writer, writing documentation about programming with macros.

Most days, I rollerbladed the nine miles to work and back. But a couple of friends I had met at work had convinced me I should buy a bike and start riding it to work.

One of those friends was Bob Bringhurst.

As a person who is highly susceptible to peer pressure, I went a little crazy and spent a ton of money on that first bike — a Bridgestone MB-5. It cost $350.


I rode to work a couple of times before I ever took the bike offroad. I didn’t have any problems.

And then, one day, as I rode the final blocks in to work, I heard another bike coming up behind me (bikes were noisy back then). I looked over my left shoulder and saw my friend Bob on his own bike, catching up.

So I sped up a bit.

I looked back again maybe thirty seconds later, and Bob was continuing to gain on me.

I didn’t have a lot more speeding up I could do, but I gave it what I got.

Five seconds later, I looked back again, to see if I was now holding Bob off.

I was not. He was seconds from catching me.

Disappointed, I turned to face forward again and accept my defeat with grace.

And then, suddenly, I was sliding in the street on my chest and face.

For I had not known the incredible danger the seam between the asphalt and the concrete curb can pose.

While I was looking left over my shoulder, I had evidently been drifting right (this is remarkably common, and I promise you it is a very scary thing indeed when your driving-permitted child does this while checking to see if it’s OK to change lanes). My wheel had dropped into the little gap, and that was it. Down I went.

I got up. Bloody. Shaking. Clearly hurting. And embarrassed as I had ever been.

“I’m just fine,” I lied, hoping Bob might perhaps just ride by.

Bob came to a stop.

“Why did you fall?”

“I was moving over so you’d have room to pass and hit the curb,” I said, now lying just because I was hoping that eventually I’d hit on a storyline more interesting than mundane truth: that I had just been KO’d by a very narrow crack in the road.

“Uh, see you at work,” Bob said.


And then I got back on my bike, vowing that I would go back to rollerblading the very next day, and would never ride a bike again.

Older and Wiser

Of course, back then I didn’t know exactly how scary a tiny crack in the road can be. It’s extraordinary: if I drop my road bike’s front wheel into the most insignificant hairline crack, it suddenly feels as if my whole wheel has been swallowed and the handlebars are being wrenched from my grip.

Even worse, that little crack on the road is completely invisible to pedestrians, people in cars, and other cyclists. To them, it looks like you’ve just decided — on a whim — to nearly (if you’re lucky) crash your bike.

Now, of course, I know.

And every time I cross a crack — a tiny little crack, especially one patched with that gooey tar stuff — lining up with my front wheel, my stomach jumps into my throat, and I hope that my wheel won’t get sucked in.

Or that at least nobody’s watching.


  1. Comment by aussie kev | 12.9.2010 | 3:06 pm

    it’s the painted white lines when its raining that scare me


  2. Comment by Mike Roadie | 12.9.2010 | 3:18 pm

    Aside from drifting right while glancing left, the other thing that routinely happens is looking at something in front of you to try to avoid (rock, bottle, roadkill, etc.) and then running right over it because your bike was following the path your eyes sought out.

    At last year’s RAGBRAI, one of the packs were flying down a steep hill that had a one-inch gap near the yellow center line. By the time we got to the descent, some poor fellow’s wheel had been grabbed by the Gap Monster and the ambulances were on their way. It was horrible and bloody–the thought of it shook me up for the rest of the day.

    BTW, I survived the NOLA trip this week by eating mostly salads and oysters and avoiding large portions, junk and booze.

    I can’t wait to see what Monday AM brings!

  3. Comment by Dave | 12.9.2010 | 3:20 pm

    Glad to know I’m not alone. I did the exact same thing a few months ago. This is the first year I started riding and that was my first big crash I sprained both of my wrists. I always keep an eye out for those cracks now.

  4. Comment by Todd Dale | 12.9.2010 | 3:39 pm

    I hit a deer at 40 mph on a downhill. That will stay in you mind for a while, not to mention the scares.

  5. Comment by Jim | 12.9.2010 | 3:51 pm

    I’ve been told by a reliable source that riding across such a crack typically results in vertebral fractures in the anterior spinal region of members of one’s matrilineal family line. You should exercise caution when riding around such cracks.

    My reliable source also tells me that you should also be careful to ensure you fit through bathroom doors because fatness can hinder such movements, and you should also ensure that if you are caught by the toe that you holler like a tiger to secure your release. Additionally, the chocolate M&M’s “taste betters” than the peanut ones.

    You should probably head my source’s advice.

  6. Comment by Dan | 12.9.2010 | 3:54 pm

    I’ve been losing weight for the last 11 months, but this ten pound challenge has gotten me off of a plateau I’ve been on for a long time. In the last 24 hours I’ve finally passed the 50lbs lost mark (since Jan. 4). Hopefully I can keep this momentum for another week or two.

  7. Comment by Lisa | 12.9.2010 | 3:56 pm

    It’s the drivers that aren’t paying attention that scare me.

  8. Comment by AngieG | 12.9.2010 | 4:00 pm

    I was moving over for a car on a narrow country road. I hadn’t noticed that the asphalt on the far right had developed a little burm from car traffic. To my road tires it was more like descending the rockies after I hit the top of the burm. I descended that burm right on to a strip of gravel shoulder with a muddy ditch to the right. No worries I’ve always wanted to try Cyclocross. Besides I am a confident cyclist. All this while I mentally chanted,”Don’t look at the dich, don’t look at the ditch” Yep, you know it! I looked at the ditch and proceeded to ride right into it. Not Good. Me and my pretty road bike somersaulted into the mud like Walter Payton diving for the endzone (although I think I was more flayling arms and violent cursing).

    I hopped up with a little wave to the stunned people in the car, “Hey there, I’m ok” Of course I had to land on the money side of my pretty road bike. Which left me riding the 10 miles back home in one gear and then making a trip to the LBS for triage and repair.

  9. Comment by Eric L | 12.9.2010 | 4:01 pm

    My mountain bike wrecks all seem to have gone in slo-mo, with a couple of epic last minute recoveries. My road bike wrecks have been swift and surprising. …like finding out the limits of your slicks on a wet street turn. WHAMMO!

    ooh ow. A deer at 40mph?

  10. Comment by Dan O | 12.9.2010 | 4:08 pm

    Nine mile commute on Roller Blades?

    That sounds more painful then crashing the bike…

  11. Comment by Dan in Sac | 12.9.2010 | 4:10 pm

    Wait, you were a blader…. for years?!?!?! I’m rethinking our relationship. It’s not you Fatty. It’s me.

  12. Comment by Geo | 12.9.2010 | 4:22 pm

    When I bought a bike a few years ago after having not ridden since high school or so (20+ years), I was riding it home from the store and saw a crack in the road like you describe and scarily realized it could swallow my wheel. I have since kept an eye out for them and have a few in my neighborhood. I come close to verbally calling them out even it I’m riding alone because I want to make sure I miss them.

  13. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 12.9.2010 | 4:36 pm

    Now we know the beginning of those ‘magnificent awesome quads’ 9 miles on rollerblades??? Sounds like Fatty should have been living in the beach cities of
    Los Angeles. Imagine what this blog would be like with that history.

    David H. (formerly of those same beach cities)

  14. Comment by jeff | 12.9.2010 | 4:43 pm

    Descending from Swan Mountain outside of Frisco after a rainy night, didn’t trust that I could hold my line in a turn, went off pavement into gravel for just a second before I brought it back. I wondered if I could finish the CRMBT with a broken collarbone ala Tyler Hamilton.

  15. Comment by Chris | 12.9.2010 | 4:54 pm

    This very crack, of which you speak, is guilty of causing me to crash into a construction fence(meaner and tougher than a regular fence) chipping one of my front teeth and cracking the front of my helmet. I won’t go back to my rollerblades though…

  16. Comment by roan | 12.9.2010 | 4:57 pm

    AH ! You being in Utah, surprised you didn’t mention blowing sand. Nothing like a downhill run coming around a curve and the cross wind has a stream of sand blowing across the road.
    Have cycled to Spirit Lake on Mt St. Helens where they patched the road surface with a thin asphalt 1/2-1″ cover. That maybe OK for cars but a road bike breaks through and some cracks were up to 3 inches wide and 6 inches deep where the roadway was slipping away.

  17. Comment by chuck | 12.9.2010 | 4:57 pm

    It the Utah drivers that scare me more than anything!! just kidding Elden!

  18. Comment by Andre | 12.9.2010 | 5:13 pm

    The Bridgestone MB-5!! I loved that bike!

    (The manual that came with it was a work of art. I still have it buried somewhere.)

    Mine was stolen circa 1996.

    I think you got a better deal on your bike than I did. I paid around $500.

  19. Comment by Yahoo!Rob | 12.9.2010 | 5:47 pm

    I’m lucky to have avoided most major wrecks on my road bike, but for me, the most terrifying thing about cycling has a social component. When I was new to clipless pedals, I came to a stop at an intersection and tried heroically to clip out of my pedals. No luck. My frantic struggle as I was falling (in slow motion) over only served to add to the humor for the MASS of people who were watching me. The worst part was that I had been playing catch-up with a car full of beautiful girls, and I was right next to them when it happened.

    …my buddies tell me that everyone has a ‘can’t unclip’ story…..but they can’t tell me when it’s happened to them….

  20. Comment by Clydesteve | 12.9.2010 | 6:00 pm

    The cracks will always get ya.

  21. Comment by genaro | 12.9.2010 | 6:06 pm

    gotta watch those cracks … holes, leaves, gravel, oil, puddles, curbs … etc.

  22. Comment by Barb | 12.9.2010 | 6:29 pm

    I did the look left, drift right thing and hit the curb a few blocks from home. Embarassing! Luckily, only roadrash.

  23. Comment by Chris from Aus | 12.9.2010 | 7:08 pm

    Tram tracks, particularly in the wet, damn those things, they have brought me down twice, you would of thought I would of learnt the first time!

  24. Comment by Lucky Cyclist | 12.9.2010 | 7:21 pm

    You know what the hardest part of roller-blading is?
    Telling your Dad you’re gay.

  25. Comment by Paul Guyot | 12.9.2010 | 7:23 pm

    Is it because I’m left-handed that I tend to drift LEFT when I look left over my shoulder? Or, am I, as is often the case, just doing things wrong again?

    I crashed for the first time last week… not on the road, but on my very first mtn bike ride.

    Fractured finger, sprained ankle, sliced up calf, sore neck.

    I’m sticking with the cracks for a while.

  26. Comment by Tom | 12.9.2010 | 7:56 pm

    HA funny you should mention this…

    I’m already riding again ;-) Can’t keep me down!

    October 19th 2010
    Millbury bicyclist hit by car in Westborough
    A bicyclist was hit by a car at Ward’s Corner, at the intersection of West Main and Nourse streets, at about 12:15 p.m. today, police said.

    Police found Thomas A. D@##$#, 48, of 7 #$%@#$^%$ lying in the street suffering from leg and arm injuries. Mr D@#$%# was treated by paramedics on scene and taken to UMass Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, police said.

    The driver, Robert N. $#%@#, 67, of 5 Oldham Road, struck Mr Q#$%#@$ with a 2001 Buick LeSabre, police said. The driver of the car was not injured in the accident, police said.

  27. Comment by Obstinate Roadie | 12.9.2010 | 8:33 pm

    Small dogs that take out your front wheel and invisible potholes half-filled with dark gravel. These I dislike. Fear is too strong a word.

  28. Comment by evil3 | 12.9.2010 | 9:17 pm

    I feel left out seeing as how I am yet to have one of those issues. Really my last crash that I got hurt on was when I was ele. school (I’m now 22) when I ran into a parked car. Then in that same year I also know I clipped a fence (I was a kid so I was on the sidewalk) flipped or rolled over (something like that), but never even got a scratch (really I don’t understand it, but I know it took place).

    With that said since I stared to get back in to riding in high school I have been free of indecent for the most part (there have been times that I slid the rear wheel around a turn an scared the carp out of myself, but nothing major yet).

    But I am 22, so there is plenty of time for things to take place, if the bike gods feel it is my turn in line.

  29. Comment by BIKING JIM | 12.9.2010 | 9:51 pm

    I live in New Haven,CT I commuted to work by bike year round, I’ve been hit by more cars then I can remember and the only thing I fear is not riding. I now work the evening shift and leave work at 2:30am and can no longer bike to work because getting killed SUCKS but I dream of the day when I can be back on my bike every day in traffic.

  30. Comment by kaf | 12.9.2010 | 10:10 pm

    Suicidal squirrels scare me.

  31. Comment by Mark | 12.9.2010 | 10:47 pm

    A cyclist was killed here a few years ago when he got sucked into a crack and went down; broke his neck. I can’t recall how many times the local cycling club and individuals have been to the city about that stretch of road (I went down there once, but not due to the cracks, it was debris jamming my fender) but to no avail. I’ve finally learned the correct line through it, just like a MTB trail!

  32. Comment by AllisonH | 12.9.2010 | 10:55 pm

    Okay STILL chuckling from Lucky Cyclist’s oh-so-perfect roller blade snipe.

    That was just so good.

  33. Comment by Ellie | 12.9.2010 | 11:11 pm

    Oh man… you should try commuting on streets with streetcar tracks. Not sure if these terms are used elsewhere, but here in Toronto, there are two terms used for common ways cyclists get injured: tracked and doored. Tracked is when you get a wheel caught in the streetcar tracks… and then there is NOTHING you can do about it, you’re pretty much guaranteed to go down. My boyfriend (who used to be a courier – very experienced city biker) still has a nice scar on his elbow from getting tracked. I was lucky in that the one time I got caught, I was just starting and thus going slowly enough to put my feet down – but the loss of control was terrifying. Getting doored can cause a lot more damage – it’s when an idiot in a parked car opens their door without checking to see if a cyclist is passing. Unfortunately on most of the major east-west arteries downtown, there isn’t enough room to give parked cars a ton of space and still avoid the streetcar tracks.

  34. Comment by Tina Z | 12.9.2010 | 11:16 pm

    joggers, especially the ones with earphones, are mighty scary. I was flying by one, while shouting out “left”, when he suddenly turned directly into my front tire, sending me (and my bike) flying head-first into a steel light pole. my ear was smashed, but was sewn right up in the ER. never thought a jogger could be so dangerous.

  35. Comment by Lauren | 12.10.2010 | 2:57 am

    Fatty – I hear ya! Ya know what is almost worse than the crack you refer to? The crack/crater between asphalt and railroad lines. A few years ago in the ULCER, bike traffic was slow going over the tracks as usual. Someone cut me off, I swerved to miss hitting them, and my wheel got stuck in the crack. Next thing I know, I am hitting the pavement harder than anything ever known to man. No bueno. It was almost as bad as riding in the 3 million degree weather around Utah “Fishy McFisherson Digusting” Lake.

  36. Comment by Bruce Bebow | 12.10.2010 | 6:26 am

    Fatty, did I miss the announcement regarding Team Fatty 2011 Livestrong Challenge? I can’t find any recent, related posts… Thanks!

  37. Comment by Cyclingjimbo | 12.10.2010 | 6:37 am

    Seems like most cyclists who spend much time in the saddle have a similar horror story. Mine was when I was doing a 10 mile commute some 30 odd years back. I caught an edge and went down hard. Major shoulder separation, surgery and several months of recovery before I was back on the bike again.

    Shallow angles and train tracks / cracks / edges do not mix. Bad stuff happens, and the pavement always wins. They are lurking out there all over the place, justing waiting for us.

  38. Comment by McBain_v1 | 12.10.2010 | 6:56 am

    British road hazards:

    Teenagers in souped-up little mod cars yelling out of windows and throwing beer cans at you as they go past;

    Zebra crossings covered in rain water – the same friction co-efficient as lubed glass;

    The raised ridge of squashed tarmac caused by HGVs driving too close to the pavement;

    Knackered drain covers which are almost certain to result in an unplanned and painful endo;

    Glass outside any pub or boozer – why the patrons think the right thing to do with their dead beer glass is sweep it into the road is beyond me

    Bus drivers (in any part of the UK – I think that you can only drive a bus if you are universally unable to perceive cyclists whilst at the wheel);

    Temporary grit road surfaces – awesome if you are on a BMX and want to demonstrate just how big a power-slide you can do, disaster on a 23mm road tire when cornering;

    Big American cars parked on the road – seriously, these Chrysler monsters are just too wide for our roads;

    Road works where lads coming home from the pub thought it would be clever/funny to remove all the warning bollards;

    Pensioners on those mobility scooters who randomly make excursions from the pavement onto the road – those scooters must weigh a tonne!

    Groups of really attractive lasses who leer at you, temporarily boosting your ego and making you do daft things like seeing how much quicker you can go – just as you approach a red light, leading to much brake squealing, heart-stopping attempts to stop before being crushed by a bus, HGV, car or all three.

    What hazards are unique to the US then? Geezers with guns taking a pot-shot at you? Rednecks in pick-ups throwing clay-jugs of moonshine at you? Gorgeous beach babes on roller skates distractign you?

  39. Comment by gargoyle | 12.10.2010 | 7:37 am

    @McBain_v1 –
    Hazards unique to the US? Don’t know that they are unique to the states, but idiots in large SUVs talking on their cell phones are terrifying. More than one has tried to end my life – none have succeeded, yet.

    Rollerbladers and joggers with their %#@!$* iPod ear buds stuffed in their ears and at deafening levels so they can’t hear anything else makes for fun times.

    And honestly? As a cyclist and a driver? Cyclists dressed in black, out at night, after dark, without any lights on their bike or their person. I’ve nearly ended the lives of a few of these fools without intending to, since they can’t be seen until you’re on top of them. I’m pretty sure that as a cyclist, if you kill another cyclist with your car, there’s a separate corner of Hell reserved for you.

    For what it’s worth, “Big American cars parked on the road” are as disliked here as they are there. Many of our roads weren’t designed for them either.

    And there aren’t as many guns and rednecks as you’d think.

  40. Comment by Skippy | 12.10.2010 | 7:47 am

    Whilst Telemark skiing today for the first time this season I had the chance to consider all the times I had been “Doored” and “Tram lined”. In fact I recall blogging about both in the past year. We all know the results of dropping into ruts and the adverse effects to body and confidence but many will also recall the “Giro d’Italia” etappe in Milan where the Whole Peleton had a “Go Slow” because of the risks that were imposed on them by the Tour Management who had sought “exciting racing” by sending the racers over tram tracks at various points on the circuits that day. Even though I was racing around the course whilst the racers were in a different area , I was paying close attention to the tram tracks . Alone I could manoeuvre but the racers would have no chance and if one had gone down then several others may have been injured also. Lance got blamed for the “Go Slow”, but any sensible racer would have been reluctant to chance their luck.

    Visiting Milan City Centre at any time on bike requires strong nerves as the only safe way to ride a Road race Bike is in the middle of the tracks regardless of the impatience of the other traffic. Being beeped does not hurt and the impatient only lose a few seconds but take a tumble and they lose far more time particularly if they connect with the cyclist. Melbourne, Grenoble and Innsbruck all have tram tracks and when they are dry are safely negotiated but add rain or snow, oh boy , you need to hope your guardian angel is on the job. At least being in the tram track centre you need not worry about “Dooring” !

  41. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 12.10.2010 | 8:20 am

    After some gravel took me down on my motorcycle (going like 5mph, mind you), I’m terrified of gravel on my road bike. How can those skinny tires hope to compete when the incredibly wide in comparison motorcycle tires couldn’t? Aaaaahh!

  42. Comment by misplaced texan | 12.10.2010 | 8:50 am

    you know the hardest part about rollerblading, right?

  43. Comment by Nom | 12.10.2010 | 9:13 am

    when I was about twelve years old, I was riding my bike barefoot down a fairly steep hill. My right foot slipped off the pedal and went between the spokes and the fork. Those spokes don’t look sharp, but they took ALL the skin off the bottom of my foot. It still creeps me out 40 years later.

  44. Comment by Mark Johnston | 12.10.2010 | 9:14 am

    I second the Jogger comment from Tina Z. And I am a runner but rarely run with headphones. That happened here in Dallas a couple of months ago. A jogger wearing earphones turned directly into the path of a bike rider who was probably going a little too fast on a shared walking/running/biking trail (Katy Trail). Jogger went down hard and died of massive head trauma. Be careful and smart out there folks. One split second is all it takes.

    BTW, I am also still laughing about Lucky Cyclist’s comment. Literally LOL!

  45. Comment by CramCake | 12.10.2010 | 10:31 am

    Huh, that happened to me in high school in front of all my friends. My front tire was grabbed by some mysterious claw in the road, and I was thrown up and over my handlebars, landing on my chin and right elbow. After I regained consciousness, my friends were super confused as to why that happened, and why I was standing in the middle of the road, blood gushing from my chin, with a broken elbow. Lost some serious cool points. But gained a scar and an elbow that pops?

  46. Comment by Bee T | 12.10.2010 | 12:07 pm

    Hey Biking Jim, I’m also a poor, sucker resident of the Frozen Wasteland people know as Connecticut. (I moved up from the Beloved South, and have regretted it ever since.)

    CT is the only place I’ve actually been hit by a car- hit-and-run in Greenwich, by a black SUV. It was a mummy-dearest type on her cell phone. Thankful, the helmet protected my brain, and the road rash was enough to get me sent home from work for the day. I actually got up and rode the next three blocks to work, and didn’t even realize I was bleeding- a lot!- until I freaked out the secretary!

    Roads haven’t scared me that much… but train tracks hold a place of terror in my life.

  47. Comment by Brian | 12.10.2010 | 12:42 pm

    Yet another reason for using wide tires. I still respect cracks, but they’re not as daunting on 35-40 mm tires as they were on my old race bike.

  48. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 12.10.2010 | 1:23 pm

    Heard that. I miss a lot of lovely scenery while road cycling because I’m boring holes into the road ahead looking for glass chips and cracks.

  49. Comment by a chris | 12.10.2010 | 5:29 pm

    McBain and Gargoyle, I’m in the UK and I’m nodding vigorously at most of both of your points. Cyclist with earbuds and oblivious behaviour was this morning’s encounter and I had a good rant about it to my husband who was riding with me.

    Bus drivers in Cambridge (UK) seem MOSTLY to be deliberately avoiding hurting me, for which I am grateful (and respect them all the more) but there are some odd drivers who are not. Taxis seem more pushy with cyclists as a class.

    Attractive females have no effect on me generally (nor I on them), as a heterosexual female myself, but you (McBain) remind me of a funny experience I had riding a motorbike as a teenager. Got smiled, waved, and giggled at by some girls as I went by in my high school jacket, ponytail sticking out the back of my full-face helmet. I did not have the nerve to go back, take off the helmet, and reciprocate their friendliness.

  50. Comment by TimRides | 12.10.2010 | 11:52 pm

    Our club has had way too many broken bones this year due to cracks. Concrete, blacktop, you name it, we’ve managed to encounter cracks in pretty much all road surface types. Maybe it was the heat this summer, but the cracks seem more numerous this year.

  51. Comment by Art | 12.11.2010 | 8:43 am

    I was trying to clip into my pedals when I slowly rear ended a nice MG Midget stopped at a light. My left foot was forced by the left of the tail light my bike and the rest of me cleared the car. I found myself in a fine position of having to apologize to the passenger as I straddled my bike with my left foot on the trunk of the car! There was no damage done to my body, the car or the environment, but my social scars to this day have not healed. To this day (three decades hence)I cannot speak to people that even look like they might drive a two sports car!

  52. Comment by Krissy | 12.12.2010 | 2:26 am

    Sheesh! This brings me back: I was 7 years old and racing my dad on a 10 speed, hit one of those cracks, took flight, and busted out my front 4 teeth. It took about 22 years to get back on a bike and I still get a little dry-mouthed around those cracks in the road! (Oh and my dad still feels guilty for mistaking me as “fine” and riding the rest of the way home without me. I feel guilty for picking my teeth up off the street and making him pass out when I got home!)
    Thanks, I’m home with pneumonia, and the blog and the comments have made me crack up!

  53. Comment by Daniel | 12.17.2010 | 2:08 pm

    That looking left and drifting right thing… In NC the road often ends right at the white line. My front wheel slipped over the edge and I went down hard. Broken collar bone, broken shoulder blade, ruptured tendon. I had shoulder reconstruction surgery and 2 months of physical therapy.

    Also someone up there mentioned RAGBRAI. I dropped into one of those center cracks and somehow didn’t go down, but it sure as hell got my adrenaline pumping. 5 minutes later I saw a guy who was not as lucky as me go down and break his collar bone.

  54. Comment by Matt | 12.25.2010 | 3:31 pm

    Once at a stop light at a busy intersection, my 220lb friend fell over on me while practicing a track stand. PTSD, I won’t go within 5ft of him now anywhere. Todd’s experience hitting a deer (above comment) sounds horrifying.

  55. Comment by Greg | 01.25.2011 | 8:28 pm

    Fatty, this post is genius! Thanks for the laugh (at your expense, although now you know better!)

  56. Trackback by scratch repair cars | 10.15.2011 | 11:11 pm

    scratch repair cars…

    One day I may have the opportunity to participate in scratch repair cars. I hope I handle it as well as you did….


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