When I was growing up my dad always told me to watch out for storm drains with slots large enough to eat your tire. Seattle has replaced most of these along the side of the road and I can't remember the last time I actually saw one...
Until I went to ride my sweety home from work. Turned down a dark alley Downtown at 11:30pm and started slowly towards the back door to her work. I had a high powered LED light so visibility was good.
I saw the storm drain very clearly as my front wheel dropped into it. It was such a weird feeling falling into the street. I went over the bars and managed to get myself pinched between the handlebars and the top tube of my bike. Since i was lying on top of the bike on its side, my body weight was keeping the top tube pressed into my thigh.
I didn't have time to sit there disoriented. My leg started to really hurt and i couldn't lift myself off of my bike enough to get free. After a few minutes of struggling i managed to pop my front wheel out of the drain and turn the bars enough to get free.
Sadly this was not my beater I was riding but my beloved Roubaix with its fancy White Industries wheels.
Front rim utterly trashed. Just had the frame inspected (since its full carbon). Not a scratch on it anywhere. Everything perfectly aligned. thank god for that
Nasty bruises on my leg and my ribs ache pretty good (felt them really compress and strain during the impact) but nothing broken or seriously damaged.
Watch out for those Tire Eating demons folks! The streets may be getting rid of them but alleys sure aren't.