Free Verse Friday: The Post-Crash Lament

05.10.2013 | 8:52 am

IMG 6379

Here I sit
Alone, in pain
Not yelling, for I am alone
As previously stated

A minute ago
– a mere moment! – 
I was riding
I was in the moment
I was focused
I was happy
I did not know
What my near future
Held in store

I crashed!
I was riding
And then I was sliding
On my knees
Catching much of my weight
On my right hand
The hand I always put out
And hence injure
With increasing ease

I jumped up! 
Adrenaline surging
Anger rushing out
Alas I had no target
At which to direct my ire
My considerable ire
Or, in the common tongue,

Stupid music!
Since I was riding alone
I had been listening to music
On my headphones as I rode
(Specifically, the “Elden’s Climbing Music” playlist)
And now it plays on
Mocking me

I tore the headphones out
A strange first order of business
To be sure 

My bike sat in the dried-mud trail
As did my phone
As did my water bottle
As did my bike
A yard sale of clumsiness
With the sole proprietor being

Then the adrenaline faded
And I needed to sit down
For a while
And let the pain wash over me
And hopefully

I was thirsty
But my bottle still lay in the dust
Fifteen feet up the trail
Too far, by far
I continued to sit

I wanted to call The Hammer
“Come get me,” I’d say
But she was at a school function
And so, sitting in the weeds,
I send a tweet out to the universe.
“Crashing sucks.”

Thank you.


  1. Comment by Josh | 05.10.2013 | 8:56 am

    Some nice scrapes you have there.

  2. Comment by TK | 05.10.2013 | 9:00 am

    Does suck.
    Living to tell/tweet/blog about it,
    Does not.
    But more importantly,
    How is the bike?

    Thank you.

  3. Comment by 2muchsnow | 05.10.2013 | 9:05 am

    Yes indeed, how is the bike? Maybe the playlist should be renamed eldons crashing music. And never played again

  4. Comment by Brian in VA | 05.10.2013 | 9:29 am

    Crashing on the trail
    With the headphones in my ears
    Really torn up knees

    Thank you.

    P.S. Hope you and the bike heal quickly.

  5. Comment by rich | 05.10.2013 | 10:31 am

    crashing does suck
    bodies heal
    but bikes are precious
    scars are cool
    your poor bike

    thank you

  6. Comment by Frank | 05.10.2013 | 10:33 am

    There was a young man from Utah
    Who had the wherewithal to go far
    He went down the track
    Ended up on his back
    His friends hope he heals and can write more

    Let us know how you feel tomorrow – I can feel it here in Canada.

  7. Comment by Greg | 05.10.2013 | 10:35 am

    Sorry to hear and hoping you are on your way to a speedy recovery.
    Stay strong and keep writing!

  8. Comment by slowRider | 05.10.2013 | 10:51 am

    Crash Haiku

    Fly heels over head
    Do an endo once again
    To the ground I fall.

  9. Comment by Rob | 05.10.2013 | 10:55 am

    “Yardsale of clumsiness” — that’s brilliant.

  10. Comment by KevinD | 05.10.2013 | 10:57 am

    ah yes the clumsiness does grab us occasionally…sorry!

  11. Comment by Papa Bear | 05.10.2013 | 11:21 am

    Ode to a Mountain Bike

    Once I rode with earbuds in,
    climbing fast and free.
    Down I fell, removing skin,
    why happen to me?

    I know my bike, I know my bod,
    also know I pain.
    Why do I ride upon my rod
    know’n I’ll fall again?

    Back in the saddle do I go
    crashes will not win!
    Amid the turn, scree, oh no!
    Down I go again.

    -Papa Bear.

  12. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 05.10.2013 | 11:34 am

    Papa Bear, that is a SWEET poem! And painful.

    Anyone want to buy a ridden-twice hardtail 29′er?

  13. Comment by Papa Bear | 05.10.2013 | 11:49 am

    Thanks rod!

  14. Comment by blair | 05.10.2013 | 1:04 pm

    i dunno. i’ve crashed only twice in the last…23 years. and they’re more funny stories than painful ones.

    1. car backs out of space, i try to avoid it, it tries to avoid me by stopping dead and blocking my route, i try to take the other route, which is covered in sprinkler runoff. oops. i give up the idea of turning, force a skid, hit the curb with both wheels, go ass-over-tip onto the wet, recently mown grass. come up howling in laughter, covered in lawn clippings. scare the piss out of the driver, who thinks i’m mad.

    2. rolling up my own driveway to the keypad, realize i forgot to clip out of my cheap, tight pedals before entering the driveway as usual, now can’t because the pedals are cheap, and tight, and, suddenly, malicious. oops. i try to bounce the front wheel off the garage door and do a circus move to back down the slope a foot hoping to jam to a stop and go forward in a tight turn…yeah, right. physics reminds me that it rules the universe. there’s no bounce. i start to tilt sideways. i end up putting my hip out and lowering my ass as far as i can down the side of the bike to reduce the effective height of the fall. i just sort of bump the ground with my hip instead of slamming into it with all the bones down my right side. i have to remove my shoes to get off the bike. i now ride only pedals with smooth, loose clipping action (those were shimano SPD-L, yes, weird and crappy; replaced them with look keo).

    the one 23 years ago wasn’t so funny. harvard bridge (which ironically goes from boston to MIT…the one marked with the measurement in Smoots. that one.), drizzly day, glasses misted, riding into boston on the sidewalk counter to the road traffic. there’s a series of metal plates covering a longitudinal gap in the concrete. but one of the plates is missing. front wheel goes into gap, i go into busy, high-speed, two-lane roadway. multiple screeching sounds, me scrambling just to hug the curb, silence. i look up, and the car (a station-wagon taxicab) coming at me has turned diagonally and wedged itself and the car going the other way against both curbs. the first car’s rear wheel is arm’s length from my head. if any of 90 things had been different there, i’d be something they scraped off the pavement. instead i had a stiff knee and a bruised scapula and a scrape on my jacket, which i can still show people because i still sometimes wear it. paramedics were there within what seemed like seconds, pre-cell-phone, too. i refuse treatment. no damage to bike. it’s rideable but i walk the last mile to school. driver of the other car, or his insurer, decides he has to sue someone, so he sues the cabbie. driver of the other car’s lawyer decides i’m a witness, so he asks me to testify against the cabbie. the cabbie who sacrificed his vehicle and risked his life to save me. i can’t remember what i said to the lawyer, but i’m pretty sure i confirmed the suspicion he was suppressing when he got up the unmitigated gall to attempt such a thing, and i’m pretty sure he turned down my request for opposing counsel’s phone number so i could testify on the cabbie’s behalf. nobody else ever attempted to contact me, so it’s safe to assume the case never even got pressed.

    long story short, i hear ya, even though i haven’t had a crash that sucked in a very long time.

  15. Comment by slowRider | 05.10.2013 | 1:21 pm

    blair, it seems like everyone has a story very similar to that “If I had stopped a second later I would have died” or “If I hadn’t forgotten my keys, it would have been me in under that bus”

    I was riding down a sidewalk in Phoenix and didn’t notice that someone had removed a huge chunk of the sidewalk while I wasn’t looking (it was there the day before!… and it was dark. that’s my excuse) In my unique riding style (slow), the fall didn’t hurt, but as I went down I looked back and saw on-coming headlights that would have hit right about as I hit the ground… and there were a lot of them. But when I DID hit the ground I scrambled up and the road was empty in both directions. There wasn’t a car within a half mile.

    That was a strange summer. A few weeks later, I was driving home from work with a friend, we approached a traffic light that had turned yellow, then red, then yellow and red again. When we got home, we had lost almost an hour.

  16. Comment by Clydesteve | 05.10.2013 | 1:56 pm

    Fatty – You are sitting on the tile floor of your bathroom, or kitchen, not in the weeds on a dusty, dried-mud trail.

    am I being anal again?

  17. Comment by UpTheGrade SR,CA | 05.10.2013 | 2:04 pm

    Today I had quite a pleasant ride,
    I didn’t fall, I didn’t slide,
    I was careful, slow, with no music jive,
    for tomorrow I tackle “The Fearsome Five”.

    Hopefully I’ll survive!

    Thank You.

  18. Comment by JRay | 05.10.2013 | 3:17 pm

    Everyone is rhyming again..
    Fatties Freshly Shorn
    his quads look rad
    but those knees

    Thank You…

  19. Comment by brokeMBA | 05.10.2013 | 3:19 pm

    Ah, the yard sale of clumsiness. My encounter with it cost me a shattered right arm and a left collarbone a couple of weeks ago. I had to hike out and leave the bike. I am sorry you crashed, but I also envy your injuries? How odd…

  20. Comment by George | 05.10.2013 | 3:26 pm

    say this man on the couch,
    to the man who rides like no slouch.

  21. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 05.10.2013 | 5:16 pm

    Those crash demons reach out
    And grab you
    At the least expected times.
    My last one was also a solo
    And I had 15 miles
    To get back home.
    Softball size hematoma.
    No riding for months
    Now healed, as you will be
    And riding, as you will be
    Thank you.

  22. Comment by Pam | 05.10.2013 | 8:51 pm


    I know what you mean.
    I know exactly what you mean.
    Last summer at Mammoth
    Exactly as mean
    Riding along a little speedy
    A light and bumpy path
    Tumbled early
    Bumps early
    Seriously bruised and bleeding
    Kept going to the top of the mountain
    Sorry to hear it’s happened to you
    Fast healing Fatty

  23. Comment by UpTheGrade SR,CA | 05.10.2013 | 10:01 pm

    Oops! I looked up “Free Verse”
    [free verse = Poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular meter.]
    I didn’t know rhyming was no longer in vogue,
    my bad!
    Sorry for offending the sensibilities of those with skinned knees ;-)

  24. Comment by Rickm | 05.11.2013 | 6:34 am

    I was right there with you. The whole time you described your crash, I was there. I have been there in the past. You took me there again. OK, now I want to leave.

  25. Comment by Nancy_in_MN | 05.11.2013 | 1:31 pm

    Worth every penny and worth every gram of weight (10) in your saddlebag: Topicaine gel. Super strong local anesthetic gel to slather on road rash until you can get home and clean it up. It’s also WAY easier to properly clean out the gravel and remove strips of dangling skin when it good and numb!


    One thing, however: it stings like crazy when you first put it on… and then sweet relief!

  26. Comment by Anna | 05.12.2013 | 3:13 pm


    For instance, the bicycle is the most efficient machine ever created: Converting calories into gas, a bicycle gets the equivalent of three thousand miles per gallon.

    All the best

  27. Comment by Sam | 05.13.2013 | 2:59 am

    Looking very sore. We all need to go through a few crashes to really experience cycling lol. It is the people that jump back on that are the real soldiers. x

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