As I was lying on the pavement taking inventory of my body, knowing I wasn’t badly hurt, my most vivid thought was, Well, I’m glad THAT’S overwith!
Yes, Bernice and I slid on a patch of sand yesterday. It was sunny but crisp and we had decided to take our bikes for a spin and to give my Little Sister, who was here for the weekend, her first ever motorcycle ride. I’m not ready to take passengers so she rode with Derek while I trailed behind, a little chilled but happy for the experience.
We decided to head out to the country and stop for a coffee at a little family restaurant we like. As I turned into the parking lot – slowly, like I’m supposed to – the bike slipped out from under me and I was over in a flash. You know that feeling when you fall, it’s as if it’s happening in slow motion but it’s also too quick for you to do anything about it? That’s how it was. I felt my elbow poke into my side and heard a “pop”. Next thing I knew, I was down and Bernice was on my legs. I rolled over onto my back and just stayed there because that’s what the little crowd that gathered told me to do! I also marvelled at the way my leather riding jacket protected me from even feeling the ground when I landed. One of the drivers of a car who stopped is an avid cyclist. He confirmed that I was taking the turn safely and slowly and told me about tumbling off his bike because of that nasty sand, left over from winter road maintenance. So many nice folks hung around until it was certain I was okay.
They helped me up and someone pointed out that the next building housed the local EMS so I gave them a rare walk-in customer. Blood pressure, oxygen rate, everything was fine. They suspected, because of the pain in my side, that I might have cracked a rib but I now believe it’s just bruised. I scraped my right knee but didn’t even tear my jeans. Oh man, it could have been so much worse! I was lucky and now my rite of passage, putting my bike down, is over. I can move on.
Despite suggestions that I wait and trailer the bike back to the house it was important that this story ended with “and then she got back on the bike and rode it home!” I just didn’t want to look like a wimp and the only painful part was, literally, swinging my leg over and getting back on the bike. Has my confidence taken a hit? You bet it has. But that’s OK too. Staying humble on a motorcycle is not a bad thing.
Bernice lost a turn signal and she now has some scratches on her previously perfect body. That’s easy to fix. As for me, I’ll be moving very carefully until the pain in my side subsides. As the shock of the moment cleared and I lay on the ground, just doing an inventory (Head? Fine. Hands? Good.) I hoped I hadn’t freaked out my Little Sister too much. It scared her a bit to see me lying there but she’s a pretty tough nut and she was pretty cool about the whole thing. She loved the ride. And as soon as I can take a deep breath without wincing, I’ll get back out there and take it easy, again, and watch more closely for that dreaded sand.