If you are regular reader of this blog, and not just someone who happens upon it by typing “NSA hookups not on craigslist” into your search engine, you’ll remember that I broke my collarbone in a horrific accident caused by an unexpected pothole, dangerous motorist and sand trap all at the same time by falling off my bike because I lost control while replacing my water bottle. This led to a doctor-recommended 8-week hiatus from riding a bike. I didn’t like this idea at all. Perhaps you’ve noticed this – I like to ride my bicycles. Very much so. I didn’t really like the idea of being off the bike for 8 weeks, but the thing about a collarbone injury is that you don’t really want to do anything with that arm and shoulder that could hurt it any more, so I pretty much resigned myself to staying off the bike. Instead, I took the RIPTA bus to work, walked to nearby destinations, and occasionally accepted rides from people. I’m very grateful to the many friends who gave me a ride during my medical hiatus. Spouse and I bought a house during this time, so we needed to pick up paint and renovation supplies – stuff that is normally difficult with just a bike, but pretty much impossible with no means of transportation. My injuries prevented me from helping much with the move, but thankfully we had many friends who helped out with that as well.

I grew to appreciate RIPTA, even with all of its faults. When I was wearing my arm sling, there was almost always a passenger willing to give up their seat for me. There was a bus stop directly across the street from my home and my office is a block away from the Kennedy Plaza RIPTA hub.

On Friday, I rode a bike for the first time since the accident. I picked my ’68 Raleigh Sports to ease me back into riding. It requires an upright posture, which allows me to keep the weight off my hands and shoulders. It also has a coaster brake, so I don’t have to worry about squeezing my left hand (which requires a surprising amount of strength throughout the arm – something I don’t have much of right now). With the Raleigh, I can even comfortably ride one-handed for short periods. I’m riding from my new home – a little bit further away from the office than my previous home is (2.5 vs. 1.5 miles). Friday was a beautiful day, perfect weather for getting back on the bike. My commute was delightfully uneventful. Along with an upright posture, the Raleigh pretty much demands a slow pace, which was fine for me. At lunch time, I took the opportunity to cruise up to the LBS to buy a new helmet. As I rode back to the office, I passed a Ferrari that was stuck in traffic on South Main street. It’s always fun to pass a fast car.

Spouse has been doing most of the work on fixing up our new house. When I got home from the office, we worked together for a little while, then she sent me out to pick up some take-out. I was happy to have the bonus miles. Later that evening, I totaled up my miles for the day and I was surprised to see that I was on the bike for almost 11 miles. Sure, it was all in 2 mile trips, but that’s not a bad total for my first day of riding in 8 weeks.

Unfortunately, renovation needs demanded that I spend most of Saturday in doors working on the house, or taking trips to the hardware store in a borrowed car. I only got in a few blocks of riding to the bank and back. Sunday there was more unpacking to do. Today is the first day of “Bike To Work Week” and rain is predicted, but I’m not going to let that stop me! I even switched to the Cannondale this morning and I don’t feel any ill effects.  I don’t have any interesting pictures to go with this post. Just a shot of my Raleigh locked up next to it’s friend the Pennyfarthing on my first day back:

And for some reason, I keep getting this song stuck in my head:

Happy Bike To Work Week!


5 responses to “MY TRIUMPHANT RETURN!

  1. Congratulations on getting back on two wheels! It must feel great to be out of the sling. Congrats on the new house as well!

    The rain scared me out of my commute this morning. One way or another I’ll make it to Friday’s festivities. See you there?

    • Thanks Matt! My commute is still pretty short, so a little bit of rain doesn’t worry me. The dirt, sand and piles of wet leaves on the streets are a little concerning. I’m just keeping it slow for now. I’ll be sure to show up for the BTWD festivities.

  2. Congrats to being back on the bike to work! And, your calm moral support was essential to moving!! It must be all that practice of zen attitude in response to car honking and the like.

  3. 3-Speeds Save the Day! Glad to read that you are healed and back on the bike. Congratulations on the new house as well.

    God I miss Providence. So many memories of RIPTA associated with my teenage years… cutting class and taking the bus from Cranston to Kennedy Plaza, then walking to Thayer St… Then not having any money to actually do anything once there other than visit record stores and bead stores, or sit on the sidewalk and smoke. Ah those were the days : )

    • Providence is only a short train ride away – they’ll even let you take a bike on the train on the weekends. Sounds like your teens were quite different from my teenage years. I was rather goody-two-shoes, so I never cut class. However, I remember one teacher conference day when a friend’s older cousin drove all of us to downtown KC so we could ride our skateboards amongst the tall buildings. We rode in an old VW bug and the cousin played Dead Kennedys for the entire trip. That was some glorious freedom.

      The bus was completely off my radar at the time. My dad commuted by bus for a while, but I believe that the routes were extremely limited and only went during morning and evening rush hours. I don’t think the situation has changed much over the years.

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