Thursday, February 20, 2014

An Ode To Wiping Out on the Urban Arrow

I had to attend a meeting without kids in South Philly yesterday. After a week of snow and cold, it was now "thunder ice/raining" out. Early in the day my whole house had shook from the weather, that nicely sums up life.  I checked on the Women Bike PHL Facebook group for info on path and determined the Manayunk to Midvale section was unrideable still covered in unplowed snow #thanksphiladelphia.

My plan of action was to take Ridge (treated by cars as highway) to East Falls bridge and hop back onto path. I get back to path but because of snow at curb cuts I could not safely make left on to path and pulled a "3 point turn" on my bike.  It was hard but finally pointing the right way I headed off. 
The path was slushy/icey disaster at points if I was on unsure of wether it was slush or ice,  I would un-mount walk, re-mount, ride again and repeat all over. Finally I hit a god stride and was seeing mostly slush. Near the regatta viewing stands there is a small downhill. It was covered in slush or I thought slush but the moment I hit it I realized it was ice and I was screwed. I held on pretty well at first but with no weight in the front I lost control and fell off. 

It sucked. But I got up, called my husband and kept riding. 

I rode my bike to Firth&Wilson and actually asked then to keep it until Friday as I wasn't sure if my knee that I went down on would be okay and the path sucked and the rain wasn't letting up and my ball of nerves was done.  They agreed to keep my bike because best bike shop ever. But, after the intial adrenaline wore off my knee was okayish and after my meeting the sun came out. After consulting with husband and Marni (both awesome to talk to about bike help!!) I walked back and just got my bike. I figured I could just ride/walk it the 8 miles back if I had to.

And that's what I did. By the time I hit East falls there were NO clear curb cuts to get across Kelly Drive to Ridge safely. I called my husband so he knew what the what was. So I knew I have to walk it on path. A very thickly snow covered path. It was hard pushing the bike on mounds of snow that were also melting. It sucked actually. [Why wasn't this section plowed?!] Look at the crystal clear road next to it. A jogger used it to run on in one picture. Not an option for me. 

Finally I get to my tricky intersection which is hell on a good day but today it was inner ring. The curb cut to cross to the other side and ride up Ridge in front of bus station was not shoveled. I kept walking. Then 5000-5004 Ridge seem to think they are excused from shoveling since no tenets are in their buildings. So the sidewalks at 2-3 feet deep are not passable. I keep going. PGW is working with man hole cover up blocking the crossing at the also un-shoveled curb cut. But the one I needed of course. So oh well. I'm now on Main Street. I then ride past my home area down Main to Shurs and back up the hills back to my home. An almost mile out of my way all up hill (on a normal day just an annoyance today it was wearing me down). Finally almost two hours later (35 mins regularly) I am home. 

My body has some bruises and my knee is swollen. But luckily no kids were on bike, no cars near me or other people. I went down very gracefully in my opinion. 

The bike itself took it well, I tore the rain canopy and the kickstand is not staying up. So the bike will likely make it's way back to F&W for that. 

Overall winter can go away now. 

AND the GoPro of me falling:

bikeMAMAdelphia: Wipe out on Ice w/ Urban Arrow from bikeMAMAdelphia on Vimeo.

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