Ouch. That's the word going through my mind the most tonight. Just.... ouch. I was on nice little ride today through an area I'd been through dozens of times without incident, but this time was a little different. I dumped the bike hard, and it was pretty much all my fault. I had just reached for my water bottle when a car approached from a side street, and with only one hand still on the bar I did exactly the wrong thing -- grabbed a big handful of front brake. Needless to say, what happened next really hurt. I went over the bars and plowed my head into the pavement, and picked up other abrasions and lumps and bumps along the way. The only damage to the bike was a badly bent handlebar, and of course my helmet was toast. The driver stopped and checked on me and apologized -- I told him it wasn't his fault and thanks for stopping. I guess I gave myself a mild concussion, because once I got going again I realized that I was lost -- even though these were roads I'd been on dozens of times and I knew the route very well. Suddenly, none of the street names looked familiar. I rode slowly for a while and just waited for my sense of direction to return, which thankfully it did after a few minutes. I'm not normally one of those "Wear your helmet!" zealots, but I hate to think how much worse this could have been if I hadn't been wearing one. And this was just riding around on neighborhood streets, not bombing down a hill at top speed or something.
Thanks; I'm doing much better today. The bike's fixed and I have some nice scars to show off at work!
The thing that impressed me most about the incident was how quickly it happened. Before that accident I would never have believed I would do something like that -- we all know better than to jam on the front brake with only one hand on the bar, right? The problem is that reflexes sometimes do their thing before common sense has a chance to intervene.