Car Free Baltimore Rotating Header Image

social media

My First Wipeout

Place: A street in Canton. About a 7% grade going downhill.

Time: Mid day. The sun is hot.

Wind Direction: Who cares?

Nearby Wildlife: I recall birds chirping in the distance. There is also a rodent in this story.

Circumstances:  A Venti Low Fat Coconut Caramel Whipped Creame Frapuccino in one hand. My handlebar in the other.  The Venti Low Fat Coconut Caramel Whipped Creame Frapuccino falls out of my hand at high speed. I slam on my break (the front one) hard so I can pick the drink up off the road before it gets run over by a car. At the same time I lean to the side to try to catch the drink in mid air before it hits the ground.

My equally dumbfounding yet dumb efforts to save the drink are fruitless. The front wheel locks and I fall over and around (yes, both) the handle bar, land on my arms, roll 3 or 4 times down the middle of the road and stop on my back.  I focus on a cloud while laying on my back in the middle of the road, surprised I don’t feel any pain and wondering if I’m dead. I see a rodent, and realize I’m not. Luckily, the nearest car was a ways back behind me, but he saw the whole thing. “Dude, you ok? That was pretty crazy”.

I pick up the remnants of my drink and get back on my bike.  I’m fine.  My scientific analysis leads me to believe that rolling on the ground, and my helmet, saved me from some serious damage. That, and dumb luck there wasn’t a car nearby. My backpack stuffed with poptarts (don’t ask) also protected me. Most of the poptarts did not make it.

Lessons Learned: Let the drink go, use poptarts in your backpack for extra protection, and wear your helmet.

I’ll be on vacation in Pittsburgh this week, so enjoy Ethan Zuckerman’s musings on the value of cities, serendipity, and social media-free information. Eli Pariser gives a pretty good talk about filter bubbles at a TED conference, and thanks to Bike Portland, Greater Greater Washington, Drunk Cyclist and EschatonBlog, Baltimore Brew and a bunch of other people for the shout outs.