Blood n’ Gears

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It has been a week since I attempted to ride Electra around the neighborhood. I didn’t get very far; after about ten feet, I lost my balance and crashed on the street. My left eye socket suffered the most visible damage: a couple deep cuts in the upper left corner and swelling around the inner perimeter. The first couple days swelling was bad and I had to keep one eye closed when using the computer. The swelling went down and my eye bruised/black. It’s all healing, including the road rash on my hands and knee. The worst is not visible; rather, internal bruised ribs and sprained wrist, but healing too.

Take off was too slow. One change I made between the test ride and my attempted neighborhood spin was starting in 1st gear rather than 4th gear (about a 1:1 ratio instead of a 2:1 ratio). That was a mistake. I should increase the teeth on the chain ring so the starting ratio is 2:1 and prevent slow take offs in normal conditions. Quicker starts result in less time to reach self balance. First, I must remaster human powered two wheel cycling.

I received some advice about trying protective gear. I’ve never had any and could only find children sizes when I bought the mountain bike. It seems like a great idea at this point in my life, so I ordered some adult size elbow, knee and wrist pads from Amazon. Hopefully they’ll work for me. I also ordered another set of stabilizer wheels. I tried a set on my mountain bike in 2017, but they didn’t fit (each wheel was about 3 inches off the ground on the lowest setting). They should be about ground level on that setting, allowing the rider to become familiar with the bike. Rising should be in level 2-3, followed by removal. When I looked at some pictures of my MTB in 2017, I noticed the stabilizer wheels were ground level after installation, so the metal probably reformed when I sat on the bike. I attempted re-adjusting the wheels several times but had no success. Soon after, I broke my hip following stabilizer wheels side-to-side shift causing a speed wobble and crash. Hopefully, this new set is higher quality! That plus the pads may be the ticket to easing back into two wheel cycling.

Fresher in my memory is my attempt at two wheel cycling in 2017. I had to practice on the streets of Long Beach (mostly traffic circle residential and business zones). Reviewing old photographs, I realize I had some success even though I remember the crashing most. It is painful but if the pads can take away most of the blood and pain, 2021 may be more enjoyable with happier memories. IDK, but I’ll find out this weekend…