Wednesday, August 04, 2004

20 km.

I now consider myself one of those that have had a near death experience. Mildly exaggerating, that. I didnt even get a scratch, but dont laugh.
Well, to tell the story from the beginning or try at least.
Yesterday we found a pretty good place to practice jumps and stairs on bikes. Not far from where i live and otherwize quite good. So we practiced there yesterday. There i had the jump i previously mentioned.
There are two pretty nice flights of stairs there. One of them is usable very well, the other ends up on the pedestrian path and near big traffic. But othewrize they are just the same so it isnt a problem because we can use the safe one. Previously we had only practiced going down it, but even yesterday i wanted to go up the flight. There were small sections consisting of 3 steps wich i got up nicely yesterday so i supposed that the 10 or a bit less step flight isnt too bad either. Although the theoretical techniques for getting up those differ somewhat, i won't discuss them because it wouldnt do any good.
I gathered some speed and got up the flight with no problem. Adding a bit of spice to the thing was the fact that i undid my pedal clips because falling sideways down onto a concrete stair isnt nice. And the pedal is pretty small and when one has to use the middle narrow part of the shoe because that is the part that WONT stick to the pedal going up a stair at high speed is rather interesting. It shook, let's just say.
So i get up and all is well. After some random practicing (if one can call it that)i decided to do the stair again. I line myself up for the uh, whats the word, "speed gathering". (Can anyone tell me the real word for "hoovõtt"?) As you might figure, gathering speed causes the pedals to be applied more power than during just cruising. As i have learned today and even before today, my bike has problems with that. You see, the chain tends to "slip" or come off the front chainrings if i apply too much power. Unfortunately, i did. So just a metre or so before the first step my chain comes off the front cog. As i happened to be applying pressure to get the best possible speed, i was leaning on the pedal quite furiously. The chain came off causing the pedal to lose any resistance from the rear wheel. That meant i lost balance and i had to support myself with the arms. To say the least, i wasnt in full control of the bike. And that can and does have lethal effects. As mentioned before, all i had between me and the beginning of the stairs was a metre or so of asphalt. As i quickly figured, hitting the first stair with the speed i was travelling would have been lethal (mildly exaggerating) to me and my bike. All i had to do was to reduce the speed as much as possible during the metre. That in turn meant vigorous usage of both brakes. And you do know what happens when one uses the front brake too vigorously, dont you? Not to mention that i had my centre of weight rather foward. So yes, as one would expect, i flew over the handlebars. Very luckily, i somehow managed to land on my feet or something. Not a scratch.

BUT.

Had it been some 50 cm later i would have landed sraight onto the concrete at full speed. Im not too keen on trying to figure out what would have happened to me in that case. Trust me.

I didnt lose the wanting to bike or anything, but i did lose trust in my bike.

(Just as a side note: Using Comic Sans Serif on an actual product sold at shops does not show the designer in the best light. Not when it isnt done professionally. And the product im holding isnt. I cant tell you what product it is because then some real designer person could come and tell me that it ISNT comic sans serif supposing i have made a mistake. Oh, okay, it is a bottle of "värska" water. It is comic sans serif on the descriptive text in different languages, isnt it?)

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