Tuesday, September 23, 2014

When Bikers Learn to Fly

I have some bad news.  It turns out I'm old.  I know this may come as a shock to you, considering my bubbly and youthful personality.  But, I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  It's all a facade.  I've been faking it for a long time.  But now I'm ready to let the cat out of the bag:  I'm really old.

There are many little stories I could present as evidence of my elderly thesis.  Today I will present only one.  But be warned.  Blood was shed during the making of this story.  Lots and LOTS of blood.

It all started out pretty simple.  I went for a morning bike ride, which is something I do fairly often.  One might even use that fact as a data point to support the idea that I'm not old.  Well, read on to see why that assumption is false.

Like I said, I went for a morning bike ride.  I had a general idea of which direction I wanted to go, but the purpose was the ride more than the destination, so I wasn't paying too much attention to where I was headed.  I came upon a small park, and determined that it would be fun to go through the park.

Here's the part where I thought I was much younger than the reality.  You see, when I was a pre-teen, I rode my bike everywhere.  It was no big deal to ride across the grass.  It was no big deal to hop over a curb.  Then for some reason I stopped riding a bike.  Then 20 years passed.  That brings us to today.  Apparently, I was unaware that 20 years had passed.  Apparently, I thought that jumping a curb would be an easy thing.  (It was 20 years ago.)

So I headed for this park, with full knowledge of the fact that there was a tall curb in the way.  I approached the curb.  I jumped the bike.  And then I learned how to fly.

I'm not sure exactly what went wrong.  Did I jump too early?  Did I not jump high enough?  The specifics are fuzzy, but one thing is clear.  I definitely failed to jump the curb.  My front tire hit that curb and promptly stopped the bike.  However, my body did not stop moving.  (I blame Newton and his stupid, fat, first law of motion.)  And, as I stated before, Isaac Newton made me fly through the air.

You see, twenty years ago, when I tried the same thing it looked more like this:

I still flew, just without leaving the bike behind.  I didn't even need E.T. to make it happen.

So, as you can see, I'm clearly old.   But let's move on with the story.

The problem with flying is the fact that I can't fly.  What I really do is fall with style.

The main problem with falling, no matter how much style you may have, is that you eventually hit the ground.  Most people do fancy things when they hit the ground.  The really good ones do fancy rolls where their momentum continues and they don't get hurt.  Lesser people do such fancy things as catch themselves with their hands.  Me?  Well, I'm the fanciest of all.  I caught myself with my nose.

I do remember trying to put my arms in front of me.  I'm not sure where the failure was.  Perhaps, it was just in the gargantuan size of my nose.  All I know is that my nose absorbed 100% of the impact.  Everything else came out unscathed.

And that's when the blood started.

How is it that so much blood goes through the nose?  If you stabbed me in the heart, it would be more lethal than hitting my nose, but I am convinced it would not be nearly as bloody as a bloody nose.

At this point I had a problem.  Blood was pouring forth, and I didn't know what to do about it.  I hope blood is a good fertilizer because I sure fertilized the grass in that park.  After sitting and bleeding for a few minutes, I devised a strategy.  I figured if I just waited it out, one of two things would happen.  Either, it would clot eventually, or I would bleed to death.  I figured the likelihood of me bleeding to death was slim, so I waited for it to clot.

Fun fact:  I'm still alive, which means it eventually clotted.  Not only that, but despite all the blood that I left in the grass, there was not a single drop on my clothing.  It was all part of my brilliant lean forward and bleed on the grass strategy.

Once it stopped bleeding, I did my best to wipe off my nose and become at least somewhat presentable.  But, I utterly failed at that attempt.

The good news is, I wasn't planning to win a beauty contest on that ride anyway.

I rode home as a bloody mess, took a shower, washed all the blood away and went to work where I sadly reminisced about the days when riding a bike wasn't so gory.  You young whippersnappers don't know how good you have it.

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