i have a bicycle. it's a Gary Fisher Wahoo. it's my preferred form of transportation around this big screwy city, which can be quite versitile, especially when combined with marta. with having a bike comes having bike wrecks. i have come to the conclusion (after many many trials) that bicycle wrecks are good for me.

no, this isn't a what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger-type thing. bike wrecks mess up your knees, cause dermal abrasions, lacerations and can even break bones or kill you. after you have a bike wreck you feel like shit. bruises slowly come up, your joints feel stiff and ache, scabs peel and you bleed even more. i have rearranged my face by using some asphalt at college. i still have gravel imbedded in my face, knees, palms and arms. i know the nurses in the health center all too well. bike wrecks do bad things to your body.

so what good do they do? it's psychological. when i have a bike wreck, it's as if someone (or something, in this case) is saying to me "don't get too arrogant. don't forget that you're just another animal. there's a million things out here that can kill you. you may be my master, but i'm taking you down with me if i go down."
bike wrecks make sure i know my place in this big screwy world.

after a bike wreck, i may just curse, pick myself up off the ground, make sure the bike is still rideable, brush the gravel out of my fresh wounds and ride on to my destination, but there's a lot going on in my mind. i've just had a small dose of my own mortality. i ride on, seemingly undaunted by the blood trickling down my leg or the pain in my shoulder, but a lot is going through my mind.

i am not invincible.
i bleed just like anyone else.
there are a million things out here that could kill me.
i am never promised a tomorrow.

the psychological effect is what is good for me in a bike wreck. i need this reminder from time to time. the physical pain is also good in it's own way - it's refreshing. it lets me know i'm alive. it leaves scars, most of which have interesting stories behind them. it's good to know i won't die without any scars, but it's better that i listened to what the bike wreck had to tell me.

well, now. i've now had the Second Bike Wreck of the Apocalypse - on my way home from Thermodynamics on Friday, 16 March 2001, i was hit by a car. more accurately, i hit him. the driver turned in front of me while i was moving at a high rate of speed down a hill. my bike crashed into his front passenger side fender, causing me to flip off the bike, land on the car's windshield (completely crushing it in) and do 2 or 3 flips in the air to finally land on my back, 10 feet away on the pavement. the miraculous thing is that i walked away from this wreck. my bike was totaled and i did a signifigant amount of damage to the guy's car. other than some road rash, i was ok, albeit a bit shaken. he was at fault & i have since settled with his insurance company and purchased a new bicycle. and yes, i still ride on the streets.