The first time I fell when moving fast, I was cycling along the side of the road through Brompton, on my way into London. I was in the cycle lane and there was a bit of a traffic jam. The cars were stationary but the cycle lane was clear so I was cycling quite fast. I was approaching a section of the road that had a Keep Clear sign, for cars to turn into a car park on my left. As I approached that section, I looked but nothing was turning so I kept cycling. All of a sudden, a big jeep thing swung quickly into the Keep Clear section and across my path into the car park. A millisecond before it would have hit me, I pulled on my brakes and skidded around so I was side on to the car. By the time it had disappeared into the car park, I had fallen sideways off the bike and skidded along the tarmac road, leaving the majority of my leg skin there. As this fall was post-cleats, the sudden pull of my body off the bike had been too fast for the shoes. I stood up, in my socks, and noticed that my cleats were still attached to the pedals on my bike! People rushed over, offering support and cursing the jeep driver. I stalked after him into the car park, in my socks, pushing my bike. I caught up with him and poked my head in the driver’s side.
“Are you going to say sorry?” I demanded.
“What’s wrong? Are you ok?” The man seemed worried.
“You just pulled in front of me and I had to brake really hard and I came off my bike.”
“O god, sorry! I didn’t see you.”
“EXACTLY!” I said, self righteously.
“But I, I didn’t see you.”
“Thats not ok. That doesn’t excuse you,” I ranted. “Why weren’t you bloody looking!?”
After a long rant, I mounted my bicycle, awkwardly because of the shoes on pedals and because I now realised that the seat had been shunted out of place, and flounced off, as best I could given the situation at hand.
The next time I fell off my bike whilst moving at speed was a similar situation. The cars were still at a set of traffic lights but the cycle lane was clear so I was cycling quite fast. A lazy mother was dropping her child off at school and instead of driving her into the school car park, she had obviously told her to jump out at the lights. The little girl, not looking of course, opened her car door just as I passed and almost knocked me out. I was thrown clean off my bike and onto the pavement. The edge of the door had ripped the skin between my little finger and ring finger apart and was bleeding all over. My arm felt broken and my leg had taken a bit of a pull in the wrong direction.
“What the fuck are you doing?!” I yelled at the little girl. In hindsight, this may not have been the best thing to say to a little girl.
Shell shocked, I struggled to my feet as the Mum came around from the drivers side and asked me if there was anything she could do.
“I think you’ve done enough!” I snapped, as I got on my bike and gingerly cycled away.
I had a bruise on my arm from shoulder to elbow which was deep purple and yellow and lasted for weeks. It wasn’t broken but I couldn’t really use it for the next two days.