Bad Day

Sometimes a bad day on the bike is, actually, not better than a good day at the office.

Firstly, I’ve had my 2nd tumble in as many weeks, at a roundabout in Uzès. It wasn’t my fault (unlike the sheep shit last week) and I was rewarded with a banged-up bike, an unknown sound down around the cranks, and this:



That was yesterday, and the swelling has come down a lot and nothing seems permanently damaged. I always think it’s the end of the world when I crash, but from the comments I’ve been getting on my FB post about it, it does seem like a pretty regular thing to happen. I still don’t like it, especially when it takes out a €200 pair of cycling shoes. John went down in the same crash, incidentally, and had similar woes, including 5 broken spokes and a bright red road rash.

But it doesn’t stop there, unfortunately. Coach Rob was out for a ride in Calgary the same day and had a gun pulled on him from a guy in a pick-up. The pick-up drove past him, slowed down and at least one of the assholes in it started hurling profanities, saying, of course, that bikes don’t belong on the road. Then the passenger pulled a hand gun and pretended to shoot. Rob was petrified and too freaked out to think about getting the licence plate number as the drove off. He was pretty shaken up, unsurprisingly, but got back out on the road today.

I’m starting to fear for our civilization.


19 thoughts on “Bad Day

  1. I am not surprised with regard to your pessimistic view of civilisation. Civilisation and guns just don’t mix

    .I hope that the knee hasn’t been damaged and that the swelling keeps going down. I am particularity sad about the shoes. That must have been hard to bear.

  2. Darn… How come both of you went down? Cailloux?
    Always good to have a cell phone with camera–I pull that out as soon as I have an annoying (or worse) driver and take photo of license plate

  3. That’s a shame. Hope you and John both heal up fast … and that you are able to get your bikes repaired. Coach’s story is horrible in a different sort of way altogether.

  4. Taking a picture of a license plate of a car with at least one gun in… I’m not sure I’d be that brave to do that. I still remember ‘Deliverance’ from the seventies.

  5. Oh my! Rob’s incident…horrible beyond imagination…the continued deterioration of humanity..
    As for you my will do anything for a new bike, but John’s year has been tough enough..don’t involve him in you devious ways 🙂

  6. First off, chicks dig scars so you’re ok on that account. The bike is another matter. You have a nice one and I hope repairing it isn’t too expensive. 200 euros on shoes is something I hadn’t even contemplated. You’ve expanded my horizons there.

    There’s not much to be said about Rob’s incident other than I’m very glad he’s ok. Based on many similar accounts I’ve read online, I seriously doubt the authorities would have done anything even if he had the tag number. They would have confronted the owner and he would have denied it. No arrest but a serious enemy now lurking on the roads… On one hand, you can chalk up Rob’s experience to bad luck. You can run into a homicidal maniac just about anywhere, including while driving your own car or just getting a hot dog at a convenience store (or a baguette at a boulangerie or whatever the heck Frenchman do on odd errands). On the other hand, it must be noted that cycling is one of the few lawful activities I can think of that can bring out tremendous amounts of hatred. Pretty crazy.

    • Why do people get so crazy when they get behind the wheel, anyway? I’m sure there are psychological studies about this…or there should be. You don’t see people pulling guns on smokers walking on the sidewalk, for example.

      I’m hoping I have a permanent scar on my knee. Apart from girls loving it, it’ll give me more street cred in the cycling community.

        • That’s a great article, ‘Human’! There is one thing I might add, and that is the strange way people change when they get behind the wheel of a car. I agree that ‘crazy people are crazy’, but I have fairly normal-seeming friends who can spew some impressive amounts of vitriol when things don’t go their way when driving. I’m sure the hate-o-meter is heated up a notch or two simply because they are in their cars. They should really try cycling 😉

  7. Sorry to hear about the crashes and Rob’s experience. There are losers all over the world that we need to be aware of. In Singapore where you used to ride people post on Facebook that cyclists should not be allowed to ride on the roads as they don’t pay a road tax and if one gets in their way or is rude they will run the cyclist over. You don’t need a camera for these morons, they are already admitting their pre meditated intentions before they hurt someone. Sad world we live in. I guess they no longer look at their roots and how cycling played a big part in their getting to where they are now.

    • I never once road on the streets of Singapore; riding a scooter was dangerous enough. The ‘road tax’ argument is used in the UK, too, I have read. It’s a ridiculous comment on so many levels, but the one after that is far worse. I can’t figure out why drivers express so much hatred towards cyclists. Really, I can’t.

      Luckily, in France, it’s only the foreigners who give us any trouble 😉

  8. Sorry to hear about the knee, shoes and bike, mate – a crappy day ‘at the office’ indeed. Hope your knee heals up fully and quickly (apart from the scar you seem to desire, of course).
    As for Rob – that’s scary as hell. Totally inconceivable in Tokyo, I’m happy to report – so I really can’t imagine what I’d do in that situation. I’ve had people threaten (and perhaps even try) to kill me on a bike in my travels (in other countries) – but this is something else. Maybe follow the Russians’ example – a helmet-mounted GoPro on continuous record..

    • Pretty inconceivable in France, too. They might slap you with a baguette or something, but probably wouldn’t want to risk it breaking.

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