So this whole biking thing is more dangerous than I thought. I bailed on my bike on Friday. It was my own fault. I can’t even say it was because of someone else. I was being stupid. I was lane changing to make a left turn and when I shoulder checked and was riding forward, the car in front of me stopped for a pedestrian and by the time I turned my head forward again, I had to slam on my brakes to avoid slamming into the car. Then I tumbled over my handlebars doing a face dive into the road. One emergency dentist trip later (and $300), I had my front tooth glued to my other teeth to stop it from moving, and go back on Tuesday to see if I need a root canal and crown. Boo! There goes all the money I saved so far from BNY.
It could have been worse, at least I didn’t get hit by a car when I fell into the oncoming lane.
When we started BNY, I was somewhat scared of biking, but I watched all these urban bike videos and felt much more comfortable with the idea. Since then, biking has grown on me a lot. I have discovered I actually really love biking, and it is quite the efficient way of traveling the city. However, I have been terrified of the idea of winter biking. I have been gathering info on winter biking and listening to anecdotal stories from people who winter bike. So far the consensus has been that a) winter biking is fun (this really has been the consensus so far), b) make sure to dress warmly (i.e. no exposed skin), c) just go carefully and slowly, and d) winter tires are not essential. All my friends who winter bike here in Calgary do not use studded tires. Based on the stories I have heard from friends, I was warming up (no pun intended) to the idea of winter biking. Dare I say, was even excited by it.
Now–not so much. Now, I’m not even sure I want to get on my bike again. Apparently I cannot ride safely even without snow and ice as impediments. I know I have to get over it though. And I actually want to get over it because I do really like biking, and the thought of not doing it makes me a little sad. Having said that, I am also freaked out by the whole incident. I smashed my face up pretty good. Actually I am surprised I didn’t break my nose. I can already tell that it will probably leave a scar. At least I have something to remember BNY by–that is if I don’t get that tattoo at the end of the year. I suppose it is a fitting way to remember BNY, as the scar is free, and well tattoos, like, cost money.
Its funny how when I read about others doing biking as a form of frugal transportation, they make it sound all peachy and shit. Don’t get me wrong, it is, until it is not. Biking has become a negative revenue generating activity. Even if I bike for the rest of the year it still would not be enough to cover the costs of the dental work I will most likely need. I am thinking about modifying our life experiment. I haven’t fully given up on biking yet, but I am not fully embracing it anymore either. I am going to approach it with some healthy skepticism until it wins me back over. Next week, perhaps, I will buy some bus tickets.
Have any of you out there had similar experiences? If yes, what did you do to work through your bike fear? Did you get back on again right away, or have you kept your distance? Please share any stories or tips for newbie bike riders like me. Trust me, I really do need all the help and advice I can get. Here are the photos to prove it: