So, since moving to a true urban environment, I have ditched the 2000 Sienna with its seven seats and bottomless gas tank and enormous blind-spots and sticking doors and buzzing radio speakers. Just driving in and out of the city during the moving process was sending me into conniptions. Heck–looking for a parking spot in the dullest conditions is enough to set me off in that van, as anyone I’ve driven might attest. If alone, there’s just no hope! I just swear and curse until I have exited the vehicle. It’s not that I am reckless or careless. I’ve never had an auto accident except for one time I followed the GPS into the middle of a snowy field and had to get dug out by my boss and my supervisor and then towed (maybe I should make a post about that…), but that didn’t damage the car at all.
Anyway, now I am in a place where a car isn’t a must the way it is in a wintry, semi-rural wonderland: Bike lanes! Subway trains! Busses! Walkable groceries! I love biking so much, and I love my bike. I emasculated it with grocery basket on the back, but it is none the worse.
Thursday evening, I headed out to get food. I had my helmet, my lights, my reflective vest, my locks, and my CAN DO SPIRIT. What I forgot: my timing! This was RUSH HOUR. Despite my best signalling and safest biking behavior, the other commuters were much too dangerous! A car was practically snuggled against me as I sped along, when suddenly a big van in front of me STOPPED for no reason! Would I be squished between these monsters, or would I SWERVE to the side?? I swerved!
My bike laid itself down gently against the curb, while I continued my trajectory through the air onto the sidewalk. I came to rest in front of an ice cream truck and a Little League kid. I didn’t feel hurt, and was about to get back on the horse (bike) but the little boy seemed SO dubious of my condition I finally looked down at my knees. AUGH, blood! I staggered home with my bike-turned-walker, as passers-by asked if I was okay, what had happened, and told me to put lots of vaseline on my knees.
Warning! Gross pictures!
Here are my knees after I got home:
I used a combination of the internet and mom-on-the-phone advice to treat them, but the next day, they were TERRIBLE:
They were worse by night-fall. I used up like 12 paper towels over the course of the day to soak up their vile oozings. By Saturday morning they had stopped weeping, but CRACKED OPEN when I tried to move. I was unable to stand without great pain! They were all inflamed. So, finally, I taxied to the nearest hospital.
After a lot of paperwork, they cleaned them (ow!), dressed them, gave me a bag of dressings and ointment, gave me a tetanus shot, and prescribed to me some “Keflex,” an antibiotic.
Now, just a day later, my knees are way better! I can bend them! I can walk in a manner not at all reminiscent of Frankenstein’s Monster! They are neither burning hot nor running like the faucets of nightmares!
On the other hand, I guess I will be really seasick until I am done with this disgusting keflex. I took the first dose on a huge espresso drink and a pile of extra-spicy-Mexican-food-item with cheese and sour cream and tabasco, and was violently sick for like 3 solid hours. But all subsequent doses have been blessedly uneventful.
Lessons to take from this post:
-Boston drivers are kind of aggressive! Riding a bike doesn’t really solve that problem.
-Strangers are nice to you if you are hurt.
-Sometimes it is best to swallow your pride and see a doctor!
-Read the side effects on your medicine!
-Don’t be an idiot!
Bonus, unrelated lesson:
-“Pibb Xtra” is a pretty good soft-drink, turns out!