Some sort of flu/cold-like illness has taken over my body, and although it hasn't kept me off of my bicycle, I can definitely feel what it is doing to my body (and brain). Yesterday, as I was riding down a grooved, paved highway, I had felt as though I might pass out. It was as though the grooves in the roadway were having some kind of mesmerizing/hypnotic effect on me and I was sure someone would find me passed out on the side of the road (Just don't steal my bike, people... that's all I ask). But, because I made it through okay, I had decided to try again today. I woke up feeling even worse than the day before, but decided that I just need to keep going, even if I'm not able to get in any speedy rides.
The weather forecasters predicted a cool summer day, and even though I am getting a late start, I decided to put on a long sleeve jersey. Unless it's truly cold out, I typically don't opt for long sleeves, but with the illness and all, I figured it was better to have an extra layer that I could always remove if need be. As soon as I walked out the door, I could feel the heat. "Dammit! Why is it always the opposite of what they say it's going to be?" I muttered to myself as I went to get my bike. I thought about going back inside to change, but I knew I wouldn't likely make it more than a few miles, so I decided to stick with the current gear.
I should also say that this is the day I decided to try out clipless pedals/cleats again while riding. After debating back and forth about whether or not to try this for any length of time, I decided to put on my big girl pants and just give it a solid try for a couple of weeks to see how things go. I was a bit woozy as I started out, but I figured it would pass as I got going. It's funny how not being able to breathe very well can cause that light-headed sensation.
The ride was moving along splendidly (well, except for my runny nose, constant sniffing, headache, inability to breathe properly, and overall unbalance). Trying to find roads that are clear of debris, mud, and so on after the flooding is challenging, so I've been riding pretty much the same routes until I know that I can get through other areas. This gave me confidence when it came to the clipless pedal situation because I knew where all the stops and slowing would be, so I didn't have the anxiety I typically experience when riding attached to the bike. Score 1 for the pedal system.
I headed north (to drier lands) and decided to do an out and back quick ride. I was really getting warm and was debating stopping to remove the long sleeved layer, but something told me to just keep it on. Besides that, I didn't really have proper storage for it, so it would probably end up tied around my waist. As I was nearing the turning point to come home, I decided I would go a bit longer to see if I could get more time in the saddle. The dizziness was setting in, but I'm so determined right now to get my riding time before the weather turns that I just decided to go for it. I headed south down a highway, and before I knew it, I needed to turn around and head home.
I crossed the street to make a loop to come back home, and was turning the bike to face back in the direction I would be going. I had removed my right foot from the pedal so that I could put my foot down and wait for the light to turn. As I started to put my foot down, I could feel myself losing control (due to the balance issues mentioned above) and I started leaning to the left. Of course, instinctually, I wanted to put my left foot down to balance myself, but it was still attached to the pedal which just caused me to become more unsteady and before I knew it, I was on the ground.
Inside, I was thinking, "Wow, that really didn't hurt as bad as I recall it being the last time," but I knew I had to get up because traffic was coming and who knows if they'd actually see me laying in the middle of the road? Thankfully, the cross directional traffic signal was green as I hoisted myself back up. I limped to the curb to drink some water and regain my composure, just as a driver went by and yelled out his window, "Hey, are you okay? That looked rough!" All I could do was nod in his general direction as I seemed to be dazed and confused. I hadn't hit my head, but I think just my general illness was creating a disoriented feeling.
|Cleaned up, it doesn't look so bad.... but it bruised nicely later|
Possible lessons today:
- Be smarter than ones pedals
- Listen to the inner voice
- Don't ride when ill/dizzy
In the end, I lived through the fall, and didn't remove the cleats from my shoes because of it. Really, I blame my overall klutizness, and the fact that I didn't exactly have full equilibrium with the flu that had taken hold. I'm hoping this will be the last of the falling for awhile though because it's not particularly fun, and as much as I appreciate looking the part of a cyclist, I don't really want to be a beat up rider out on the roads. Besides, I really need a cool chainring bite on the other leg to get full street cred, I think.