Cyclists: if your chain is slipping, get it fixed.

Don’t be like me, ignoring it for weeks and procrastinating about getting it repaired. You’ll end up jumping up on the pedals to accelerate around a corner, suffer a major chain slip, lose the bike from under you and hit the road with a BIG thud.

Don’t end up with a skinned elbow and knee, and a bruise on your thigh the size of your outstretched hand. Trust me, it’s not pleasant.

Of course, Nick would just tell me to get it fixed, but that’s another project altogether. Which has commenced.

Hit by a bus

This post was meant to be published on the 20th of November 2004. However, it took until today for the wheels of the legal system to finish grinding. The bus driver pled guilty to Overtaking when unsafe.

Great little metaphorical phrase, isn’t it? Google gives 205,000 results for “Hit by a bus”.

On Thursday, I was hit by a bus. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a member of the Metaphorical Bus Lines fleet. I had just set off on my ride to work, flying along after a nice downhill at about 50km/h, when a school bus that I’d overtaken three times in the last 2km decided to merge left. Into me. Somehow I managed not to get forced into the parked car whizzing by on my left, but I slid down the side of the bus, the bike went from under me, and I experienced stopping from high speed using my elbow, shoulder and back as brake pads. I got up to see the bus disappearing over the hill. Bastard didn’t even stop. Luckily another cyclist had seen it happen from behind me and took off after the bus after checking that I was OK.

I didn’t appear to have any broken bones, just plenty of grazes and dripping blood, and was soon surrounded by drivers checking to see if I was OK. As a commuter cyclist, my view of motorists tends to get a bit jaundiced – there are so many near misses by motorists who don’t even check before they turn. But I take it all back. Well, most of it. A lovely lady called the ambulance for me, which arrived within a couple of minutes. As did the police (more about that later – I wouldn’t want to prejudice an investigation. The other cyclist got the rego of the bus.) Anyhow, Bruce and Barry the Ambos checked me out, gave me some Penthane (wonderful stuff – they should sell it in pubs!) and took me to Royal Melbourne Hospital. The hospital staff x-rayed my back and neck – all clear – and then cleaned the gravel out of my wounds and sent me on my way.

So, I’ll just thank God I’m OK. It could have been a lot worse.

I think I’ll slow down a little now. Maybe try a few sidestreets.

If only we could get all the cars off the road, it’d be a lot safer… 🙂