Looking Bruised

I have been feeling the pressure to get a new bicycle. My current model is from 1969. I got it for my birthday. It has been well cared for and still works (mostly). It was only a 3 speed but time has reduced the speeds to one. Sparky has been urging me to upgrade. One of my friends has also been pushing for me to get a new ride. I even tried out her 3 bikes to see if I liked any of those models. Sparky bought a refurbished bike this summer and has been riding it across town to Planet Fitness, doing his exercises, and then riding it home. All in all he is gone for about 4 hours. Except for last Sunday. It went down like this:
On his way to Planet Fitness (~3 miles from home) he was bitten on the left wrist by some ferocious bug. It took a chunk of skin and made him bleed. It also hurt as in searing pain. In the space of 15 seconds he thought “I need to stop to get a good look at this bug bite.”, he forgot to apply the back hand brake before the front one, flipped the bike forward, went sailing over the handlebars, skidded to a stop by using his left palm as a brake (also used his left knee and his chin). After picking up his bike (with a busted gear shift cover) and assessing the damages decided to continue to Planet Fitness. After a few feet he changed his mind and headed home. I was awake, barely, when he came into the bedroom. His tone had me up and groping for my glasses. He wanted me to assess his injury. I looked at the bug bite. Ouch. I looked at the odd angle of his middle finger and red and swollen middle knuckle. I moved his fingers, felt the joints and then the bones of the fingers. They seemed fine. The metacarpal bones in the back of his hand however were very painful. We got changed and headed to MedPoint Urgent Care with the hope that we could be seen and still make it to church. We were delusional. After a medium long wait in the patient intake area, a semi-long wait in the exam room, x-rays of the hand, and examination by the doctor, we were ready to leave. The good news is his hand is not broken. It is sprained and bruised requiring ibuprofen and RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation). He was told to take antihistamines for the bug bite. The bad news is that we missed church. His hand is better but still a little sore. He has been doing exercises to maintain mobility since he’s had it wrapped to help with the swelling and to hold the ice pack in place.

The result is that I’m not so sure I want a new bike. I don’t relish the thought of a broken anything. I’d be willing to ride my bike around the neighborhood but the whole riding in traffic scares me. I can just see me falling off my bike and being run over by a car…

34 thoughts on “Looking Bruised

  1. Rather surprised you didn’t recognize from the bite what the but might be. 🙂 Hopefully Sparky is feeling better by now. Understand your feelings about bike and traffic. That’s another reason this house won’t have a motorcycle now days.

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    1. I didn’t see the bug and the bite was a gaping hole. From the description it sounded like a horsefly or a black fly. He is feeling much better and the swelling is almost gone.

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  2. I have compassion for your husband , fore this sore bite and the fall from his bicycle . All of this is painful and we are shivering to think it could be worse .
    All of my wishes for him
    And yes no hurry for the purchase of a new bike for you, Val
    Love ❤
    Michel

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    1. Thanks Michel! He is almost good as new – he discovered a large bruise on his thigh where he hit his leg on the handlebars. But even that is healing quickly. I’m not inclined to go out and buy a new bike anytime soon…

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    1. It is functioning but it is really hard to go up steep hills. Sparky has had his bike repaired and only needs to reattach his side view mirror. Thankfully he didn’t land on his head so the bike helmet doesn’t need to be replaced.

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        1. Ours is mostly flat but we are in the St. Joseph Valley so any time you go a distance there is going to be a hill but these are barely a rise in the road compared to the rest of the country!

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  3. Oh, now you’re just baiting me, aren’t you?! As fun as bikes are for commuting, anytime you compete with cars for space you’re just denying the immutable law of tonnage. Surely there are beautiful bike trails that you could ride on a comfortable cross-bike. Or, if falls worry you, get a TeraTrike. Whatever you do, don’t avoid cycling out of fear. I’ve hurt myself far worse cleaning my neighbor’s chicken run than I ever have on my mountain bike…and you KNOW the kind if riding that turns my crank!

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    1. Ah Judy! I would never intentionally bait you! I would love to travel the bike trails but there are only a couple around these parts. The whole point in my husband and several friends’ eyes is to go from our safe (mostly) neighborhood to all sorts of far away places that require riding on busy streets! I am acutely aware of the size and weight difference and know in my bones that I would definitely lose any confrontation. As it stands now I’m going to pass on a new bike. Maybe next year! And as such I’m going to suggest I drive the “support vehicle” when they go on their jaunts…

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  4. When I was a kid, we lived on a steep hill — riding would have meant walking the bike up or down the hill at each end of a ride. As a result, I never learned to ride a bike. I have thought about it more recently, but I’d have to transport a bike somewhere else before trying to ride it — I don’t trust cars and bikes together on the same roadway!

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    1. I don’t trust them on the same road either – even with the clearly marked bike lanes. I’ve seen too many people disregard the marked lanes, use them as passing lanes, and park such that the bike lane is compromised. I even have seen people park their trash cans in the bike lane. Heaven help the cyclist riding at night since the trash bins are black and with no reflective tape or markings! I bet having lived this long without learning to ride you can probably take a pass on the bike riding!!

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      1. Bike lanes here are about 3 feet wide, and cars are required to allow 3 feet between car and bike. That’s fine if the bike rider is experienced, and rides a straight line, but that’s so rare that i’s pretty important to give the bikes more space than that!Trash cans aren’t much of a problem here, as they are usually in residential areas where there aren’t bike lanes. I would definitely take a pass on the biike ride, but have considered it as a possible way to get a bit more exercise. Guess I’ll stick to walking!!!

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        1. I think that is the standard width. We see a lot of car-bike accidents even with the bike lanes. I like walking – I have more control and it is easier to talk to the people with you (hard to hear what the people behind you are saying)!

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  5. A few years ago I rode my grand-daughter’s bike down her long driveway, then I got off and pushed it back to her. That’s when I decided —no more bike riding for me.

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  6. My parents wouldn’t let me have a car, so from 15 until the army I was on the bicycle 20-40 miles a day. I will say if you are scared of traffic, take it easy. Ride on the sidewalk get used to things like the noise of motorcycles and semi trucks. Also know that stray dogs are a major danger and bring mace. If they bite you, go to the hospital and make sure it’s okay. I was attacked by a pack of dogs going up a hill.

    Another issue you will have is incompetent drivers who will hold up a line of traffic and piss everyone off. Another type of driver will come too close, and you’ll have to stay steady as the moron shoots around you. I’m not calling you old, but if you freak out, you will fall or do something dumb. How good are your reflexes?

    Riding is fun, but I think you should stick to the parks and sidewalks for a while. Don’t rush it. If you are riding at night, it takes a few months to get used to headlights, and you learn where your eyes need to focus. Make sure you can signal appropriately when turning.

    I get sick of people holding up traffic. That’s the worst for me. “Get around me!” “You’re holding everyone up” are two phrases to learn and shout.

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    1. See that’s the thing – I don’t want to ever ride where there are motorized vehicles! I think I’d rather just tool around on a dedicated bike trail/path. Much safer! Around here you could get a police ticket for riding on the sidewalk!

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  7. Ouch! That was tor=tally below the belt kind of accident, no? First the bug bite and then the fall. Hope he will repair quickly and be his old sparky self.
    I never learned how to ride a bike. Well i did with the help of the servants at home who ran behind me and were there to catch the bike when i was done with the going. My point here, is that if i can do without a bike for seventy plus plus years, you can continue to ride your 3 speed (minus 2) for some more years, I reckon.

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    1. Sparky is doing much better. The swelling is nearly gone and he is able to use the hand without pain. The bruising to his hand is fading slowly and the newly discovered bruise on his thigh is healing as well. His knee is scabbed over nicely and will heal – possibly giving him a scar to match the other knee (he has had his share of childhood accidents involving bicycles)! I am not looking for a new bike. I think you have the right idea – hold onto the old bike and use it on the rare occasions when we visit bike trails…

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  8. if you have that fear then don’t even think of riding … I sincerely believe that our fear attracts energy and we can make it happen … just as positive thoughts can attract good things so the opposite is true. Hope hubby is healing well!

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    1. He is healing. I am not terrified – spiders do that to me. But I’m an extremely cautious bike rider. I’ll stick to the bike path that circles the perimeter of the subdivision. Motorized vehicles are prohibited and other than an occasional law breaker (4 yr old driving those battery powered kiddie cars) there isn’t a problem… I will be very careful and think only positive thoughts while I pedal!

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