I had three wrecks in a week when I had my first, really good bike. This was when I was riding my bike as my only form of transportation; between three jobs, I still wanted to be on my bike more. I loved the feel of wrecklessness to it, the wind rippling through my clothes
, sweat being an earned thing that no longer made me conscientious
. And I am one of those offensive riders, on the wrong side of the street, up on the sidewalk, in your way
. But I legitimize it by the fact that this city, like most, makes little concessions of safety for bicylists. Besides, it's fun.
Until you've had a week like this one:
Monday, I was rounding the corner in the French Quarter and a truck that was not supposed to be stopped and parked half-on, half-off the sidewalk became a sideways speedbump for me. He opened his driver's door and I hit the brakes so hard that my back tire bonked me in the back of the head. My thigh was pinched between the handlebars and the frame, leaving a huge bruise.
Wednesday, I was turning onto Louisiana off of Magazine and a truck that was not supposed to parked on the sidewalk was getting a jump start by an employee of the corner gas station. My left shoulder skidded against the truck's side, but I was able to right myself with no real injury.
Friday, I was on my way home from work and again, I was riding on the sidewalk on Magazine Street. In the Arts District section of the street, there are all these bay doors with metal doors like garage doors, which are usually closed. This one that wasn't had a kid running out of it. To avoid hitting the kid, I quickly dropped down to the street, but when I tried to right myself, my tire bumped up against the curb and I was sent full-tilt-boogie onto my right shoulder, collarbone, and chin. I pulled the tendons in my right leg so badly that I couldn't extend it for about 4 hours afterwards. Though gimping with one good pedaling foot, I made it to my night job.
And, no, I haven't learned my lesson yet.