"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sooner or later

I had defied the odds by having gone my entire clipless pedals career--spanning the better part of a decade--without falling over due to failure to get my foot unstuck in time. Had some close calls, but never fell down. Until Sunday in the Wildflower Century, climbing the first hill. My friend H was having some kind of really frustrating derailleur problem that kept her from being able to shift into the big gears, making climbing not much fun at all relative to the joy that it typically is. I wanted her to pull off and stop so I could fuss with her bike and see if I could possibly make it work better. So finally we stopped. But I guess I thought about stopping more than I thought about the procedure of stopping, as I found myself with my right foot still stuck on the pedal (and my new pedals are a lot stickier than the old ones), and my bike suspended upright for what seemed like a long second before I tipped over.

In a way I was glad it happened because I'd been so afraid of it happening before, and it turns out it didn't hurt very much at all. A bit embarrassing, yes. I didn't put my hand out to catch myself, which is one way people actually do get injured from this kind of fall. Just rolled right down. Have a couple nice bruises to show for it. Since I stopped playing football I've really missed the bruises.

And after I got up and collected myself, I managed to make her derailleur work right, so she was free to climb the two much bigger, nastier hills after that one. Maybe she'll forgive me some day.

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