I knew I should not have even attempted to ‘’bunny hop’’ over the gutter … I managed the ‘’bunny’’ part or more like it the ‘’dummy’’ part of the manoeuvre, and over I went in a giant cartwheel over the handlebars.
If ever I had any luck coming my way this used it all up, as I was very lucky not to hurt myself badly. The whole group were very concerned for me, but fortunately all I sustained was some very bad bruising on my legs.
How did this happen?
Well we rode out of the hotel in Torino into very heavy morning rush hour traffic, cars, buses, trams, people everywhere … all going different ways, tram tracks on the road everywhere and constant concern not to get a wheel caught. There were thirty (30) of us, a big group at any time and getting through the traffic, traffic lights, trams, and buses was nerve racking to say the least. The group was constantly being broken by lights, waiting for turns etc, and well it was all very confusing and confronting.
A left hand turn in Europe is something we need to do very carefully as it is totally opposite to our normal awareness, and on a bicycle it’s a very vulnerable feeling with traffic rushing by you on all sides it seems.
But we managed, and then the guide decided to take us off the main road onto a side lane to get away from the heavy traffic, and then it happened … at the last moment I saw the gutter right in front of me, tried to ‘’bunny hop’’ and instead hit is square on.
‘’Oh no’’ I thought as I realised I was on the ground, with my left foot caught in the handlebars. For a brief moment I lay there sensing for any pain, but it seemed I’d only bruised myself badly on my left leg above and below the knee, and on my right thigh and right elbow. Miss Bianchi came off worst than me, with a broken right gear and brake mechanism.
It seemed for me my riding on Miss Bianchi was over.
But sometimes things do work out in your favour, and it just so happened there was a bike shop a few kilometres up the road, and by sheer chance it was a Bianchi dealership. How lucky was that! Enricho rode my bike to the shop, and the fellows were happy to fix Miss Bianchi straight away, so she has a brand new right hand gear and brake mechanism … and off we went again. Needless to say I rode very cautiously all day, as I was feeling a bit concerned about coming off again.
So I was a very lucky boy indeed, and it brought to mind my friend Geoff Haigh who also had a fall recently. Chance and circumstance can play a fortunate or cruel part in our lives, and the thought of the randomness of that consequence can be unnerving.