2020-04-21 – You wouldn’t think social distancing would be a problem for a bike. Especially not if the rider is happy to stick to the social distancing rules. And for the most part, it’s not. Who’s going to get near a moving bike?
But there are two situations.
First, the off-road trails are popular spots. In Chicago, the most popular spots were so popular they had to be closed. That means I can’t ride one of my favorite trails on the lakefront. A few other popular trails are still open, but I don’t want to go where there are crowds.
Choke points are the other problem.
I don’t know if this is a problem in other cities, but I imagine it is. We have plenty of sleepy streets in the city that are perfect for a rider who wants to stay away from crowds. But they only go so far. So, to get to the next section of sleepy streets, you have to ride a couple of blocks on busier streets. It affects everyone, so these spots become choke points where you might encounter more people than you are comfortable with. I usually just hang back and wait to get through.
That’s what I did on Saturday.
The spot was the divide between Chicago and Skokie. I’ve been through there several times since the quarantine started. The south side of the street seemed to be crowded each time, so Saturday I decided to ride on the north side. Of course, the crowd moved to the north side.
So I hung back until I got to the corner. That worked fine, so I began to cross the street. I was paying so much attention to my social distancing that I didn’t realize until I was well into the street that the light had turned yellow. So I sped up. And when I reached the other side I saw that I was heading straight to a tall curb. I turned abruptly to avoid the curb, but I hit it at an oblique angle and fell.
I was only one mile out on a planned 20-mile ride.
A car pulled over to ask how I was. I said I was fine and they left. And I thought I was fine. And I finished my 20-mile ride, though my left wrist was starting to hurt by the end.
I haven’t ridden since. The hurt in the bad wrist has subsided. Nothing lasting. But the fall shook up my whole body. I have minor bruises everywhere and subtle (but real) aches in my shoulders, my chest, my back, my legs. Oy.
It’s now been three days. By this point, the best therapy will probably be getting back on the bike. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate.
And I’m just going to have to take it slow and be patient.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment.
Like what you read? Share with your friends.
If you are new to EightOh9, check out the site and Follow Me by clicking on the Follow button that appears on the screen (lower right).