Everyone has highs and lows, but for some of us the lows can really hurt. Last Thursday, I was riding home and on the last climb before entering my neighborhood my right crank arm decided to snap in half. Trust me, I am not so strong a rider that I can break crank arms by brute force. I had heard it ticking earlier and was hoping it would hold on until I got home, but it didn’t.
As I made the fairly steep climb up this short hill I heard the snap and felt my right leg shoot down. This threw my balance off and since I was standing things went down fast. My right arm shot forward throwing my front wheel sideways and my groin hit the top tube. As I continued my decent my hips and right elbow hit the pavement followed by my head. I laid there for a bit thankful that there were no cars on that piece of road at the moment.
I slowly (very slowly) got to my feet and started to assess the damages. I was a bit woozy, my elbow stung, and my tailbone area was sore, but I was in one piece. I looked down the hill and there was my bike, my computer bag, pieces of my mirror, and the lower half of my crank arm with the pedal attached. I checked my helmet and didn’t see any major damage, though later I could see a couple major cracks in the foam. I gathered my stuff and started to walk to home.
I was fortunate that my neighbor pulled into our neighborhood entrance shortly after I walked through and he gave me a lift home in the back of his truck.
The new set of crank arms should arrive tomorrow or Saturday. Bell has sent me a coupon for 30% off of a new helmet. And I am still able to ride.
Though I was pretty sore Friday, by Saturday I was feeling well enough to go mountain biking with my son. I found that riding made my stiffness go away and that I had little discomfort so long as I stood on the really rough areas. We didn’t do anything epic, but we had fun and got a good workout in. We actually went out both Saturday and Sunday.
Even though I had a good weekend of riding I was a bit bummed thinking I wasn’t going to be able to do any bike commuting this week. Usually I carry my laptop back and forth with me and I have a pannier that carries it and a few other things. I have other bikes, but the commuter is the only road bike I have with a rack on it. After some coaxing from my wife I decided to leave my computer a work a few days and use weekend road bike to get to and from work. Yeah wife!
In case you haven’t read my blog posts about this beautiful piece of craftsmanship I will fill you in here. It is a 1986 Schwinn World Sport with a black lugged steel frame, friction stem shifters, and a 2×7 drivetrain. I replaced the original drops with cow horns wrapped in white bar tape and sporting bar end brake levers. This thing just floats down the road.
The weather has allowed me to make a couple round trips to and from work on my dream machine, but now I don’t know if I want to go back to the commuter. It always amazes me how much I like to ride this bike! I don’t know, maybe it’s the fact that I am not carrying the extra weight of the laptop and the other things I carry in the bag, but I feel faster on the Schwinn and less fatigued when I get home. Part of it has to be the steel frame vs. the aluminum frame and the fact that the Schwinn delivers a suppler ride. Another part is that the Schwinn is my “fun” bike and my commuter is, well, “my commuter”. I feel cooler on the Schwinn and as it is with most things, cycling is at least 50% mental.
So to summarize this babbling I will conclude with the following. The commuter is broken, but can and will be fixed. My helmet is broken and it has been replaced. My body is bruised, but it is healing slowly. And finally, I LOVE MY VINTAGE STEEL SCHWINN WORLD SPORT!