Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pedal Pickle

I want to be asleep.

It would be good for me, being asleep. Everything wears me out since this weekend's strep-fest. Like eating dinner, for example. Exhausting. Sitting on my butt at work and editing for a few hours. Yaaawn. And tonight's store night/awards ceremony combo at Awana? Nearly killed me. So at 9:30, I really should have just gone to bed like my eyelids were begging me to. But I didn't. And now I can't, because Jack is folding his laundry on our bed.

So I've decided to have a pity party instead.

Waaa. My throat hurts. Waaa. I'm tired. Waaa. I'm sick of coughing. Waaa. I'm sick of Jack coughing. Waaa. It's going to rain this weekend for BikeMS. Waaa. I haven't eaten anything but liquids all week and therefore will have no endurance to ride. Waaaa... my elbow and wrist hurt. A lot.

Why do your elbow and wrist hurt, Mandy? Why, I'm glad you asked, imaginary reader. They hurt because I am a giant moron.

I was laying on the couch at midnight when Jack said he was going to clean out his truck, and if I would come and help him, we would get done faster and go to bed. I followed him into the garage, and instead of helping him clean out his truck like I was supposed to, I was distracted by a shiny object.

This is a problem for me.

My mom had taken Lucy to the bike shop tonight while I was at Awana, where she got it inspected for BikeMS and had them put my new clip-in pedals on the bike.

And by "new," I mean "I got them elevendy billion months ago but didn't put them on the bike until now." Procrastination and I are good friends. Until Procrastination kicks me in the face like it did tonight.

So the bike is sitting there in the garage showing off its new pedals and I'm all "I know what would be a good idea! I'm going to take the bike inside, put on my bike shoes, and figure out how to clip in!"

So that's exactly what I did. I took the bike into the hall, where I could hold myself up. And then I clipped in.

If you're not familiar with the term "clipping in," let me paint you a picture here. You have special shoes that fit special pedals. When you clip in, you are essentially locking your feet onto the pedals and you can't actually remove your foot from the pedal without contorting said foot in the special magic position that releases it from the pedal. This is great for going up hills, since you get to use a pulling motion as well as a pushing motion to help you pedal, but the stopping, as you can imagine, causes problems. {Because you fall over if you don't clip out fast enough.} {I think you can see where this is going.}

I wasn't actually familiar with that special magic "clip out" position when I clipped in.

So I sat on my bike in the hall, holding myself up on the walls, my feet stuck to the pedals. Jack eventually came by, and ended up removing one of the shoes from my feet to try to figure out how to clip out. But we finally did and all was fine.

Until I decided to take the bike outside.

You can't really practice clipping in and out unless you're moving. You just have to do it. And so midnight on Thursday before the big ride was when I decided to do just that.

Jack was already all grumpy at me when I decided to do this, and this didn't help his attitude. He made it clear he didn't want me to do it. Blah blah blah, you might get hurt. I made it clear that I was going to anyway. Blah blah blah, I have to practice sometime. He rolled his eyes at me and made me put on my helmet.

"Get your phone too," he commanded in a less-than-nice tone.

"I'm not riding very far," I protested, but his cold stare convinced me that it wasn't worth the fight.

See? The Hornbuckles fight too, world.

So I went outside and rode about 100 yards. Nearing where I was going to stop, I clipped my right foot out of the pedal. I stopped flawlessly and put my foot down. Piece of cake.

I started to move forward again so I could turn around and go back to the house, but when I lifted my right foot back to the pedal I leaned too far to the left, and with my left foot still clipped in, fell helplessly onto the concrete.


Pain shot through my wrist, elbow, and hip as they simultaneously slammed against the hard ground, and the wrist I caught myself on bent back uncomfortably. I exhaled a hard breath as I came to rest in the middle of the road, bike on top of me, in the silent dark.


I untangled myself from the bike and walked it to the sidewalk. A lot of things could have been going through my mind as I painfully walked it home.

I'm just getting over being sick, and now I'm going to have a freaking broken arm instead.

This is my left arm. I write with my left hand. That's going to suck. 

I have to ride 160 miles starting the day after tomorrow. And I might have just broken my wrist.

My perfect bike is all scratched up now.

But honestly, none of those complaints occurred to me until later. What I was really thinking while I walked my bike back to my house with one hand in the middle of the night?

Dammit. I hate it when Jack's right.
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