Living long enough to be a senior citizen, I guess you learn a few things that you might call wisdom. One of these is what to tell your spouse, and when. It has been almost a week now since I arrived back home. It’s time for transparency. Or, is this TMI?
Mary Ann, sorry this took so long but timing is everything…
Flipping the bike
I had just come from Savannah, after spending an extra day there to take in a few parts of the city. It was Saturday, April 21 and I arrived in Beaufort SC, my next Airbnb stay after a pleasant day of riding. It was also the day I ran into my bike shop friend at Lab Cyclery on the way here. Between the last couple days and new friends I had found, I was in a good mood and ready to go out and discover Beaufort, an old ante-bellum town just above Hilton Head.
Maybe I was feeling a little too confident. I had settled now into riding alone for this adventure solo after Tom bailed out four days ago. Since the tourist area was close I decided to put on some casual clothes, my flip-flops and ride into town, without a helmet, and go full tourist. I would just take my time and disappear into the crowd.
The hub of Beaufort is a nice commercial waterfront area just a few miles from where I was staying. To get there I’d have to maneuver on Route 21 which is busy with not much shoulder until you get to the tourist area. Beautiful old southern mansions grace the road along the harbor. The town is fairly lively with mix of tourists, residents and prom attendees milling around. Looking or a place to eat I found Hearth Wood-Fired Pizza which seemed to be busy and looked like the real deal for good pizza in South Carolina.
After the pizza and a couple beers I decided to ride back on the safer bike path, rather than the street. However, it appeared that the bike path was being paved in some areas. So I decided I’d ride it until I needed to go to the street and continue.
I’m less than a mile away and all is well until I approach a dark area of the bike path. Then, before I can even react or brake, there’s a sharp drop off in front of me of about three feet deep. The bike dips down and sticks. I flip out in front and land on the other side of the ditch about four feet away. My forearm cushions my head and I take just a slight knock. The top of my right hand is cut in a few places. A slight cut is on my left hand. My legs are fine. Nothing needing stitches, thank God! Basically, I’m just a little bruised and very much shaken. But, I’m feeling real lucky and relieved. I’ll give partial credit to the luck of “The Joker” who came with me too.
The moral here is always wear that helmet, of course. I’m usually cool with that and rarely will ride anywhere with out it. But, I’ve ridden the streets of Amsterdam and even the Jersey shore where we tempt our fate sometimes for a fleeting feeling of freedom. Needless to say for the rest of the ride my helmet is on my head wherever I ride.