Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Stitch in Time

So, as I mentioned in the last blog, RandoGirl was taking me to the hospital. We went to St. Joseph's on West End, which has probably the nicest Emergency Room staff in the world. I mean, these folks really make Doug Ross and Nurse Hathaway seem like total shmucks.

Anyhow, the waiting room was pretty crowded. One of the other folks waiting to be seen was ... and, please, imagine my surprise at this ... a fellow bicycle commuter that crashed! I mean, in a city like Nashville, where almost nobody goes anywhere unless it's by a car, it is extremely rare for me to see a fellow bicycle commuter. Can you even guess at how shocked I was to run into one (fortunately, not literally) at the emergency room who had also crashed.

His name was James. I am withholding his last name for HIPAA privacy reasons ... and not just because I was loopy with pain meds by then and cannot now remember it. He had a Standard Physics Altercation -- where two objects attempt to occupy the same space at the same time -- with a pedestrian. Physicists will tell you that only bosons or photons should try this. Bisons should not try this, particularly around cows, since that's how "beefalo" is made.

Anyway, James had lost consciousness when he crashed, and had a nasty cut on his cheekbone. They checked him out and cleared him, though, and I hope that he will not allow this incident to stop him from commuting via bicycle. Heal well, fellow traveler!

When they got me in the back and took the band-aid off my hand, this is what they saw:

(Okay, so my PhotoShop skills suck. A special nod here to John Shelso for giving me this sick idea.)

As soon as the alien popped out and scampered away, they put two stitches in the knuckle. They then very kindly dressed my road rash, took X-rays of my chest (I pulled something in my back when I hit the pavement ... I think), and sent me on my merry way.

For those interested in the bike, it will heal, too. I took it down to Gran Fondo (a.k.a., the Greatest Bike Shop in the Universe) yesterday to get the wheel trued. It was a little cattywonkus before, and it is now way cattywonkus. I'm also going to change out the fixed hub for a freewheel hub with a larger cog -- maybe 20T.

It's not that I don't like riding fixed ... it's just that I hate to crash, and I know that I would not have had this crash had I been coasting down that hill. Commuting on a single speed is hard enough, particularly given that my round-trip ride is almost 30 miles. I'll leave fixed-gear riding to the hipsters, who usually live just five miles from the Starbuck's where they work, and mostly use their fixies for elephant skids and polo. Or I'll leave it to nuts like Jeff Bauer, who has to ride fixed on 200Ks with us slow-pokes so he doesn't get bored.

Besides, I'll need the extra speed to get away from the Aliens.

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