Tuesday I attempted this distance and chose a flat track. I had been avoiding my “other” route with hills, crosswalks, many cars, freeway, and people. Why? Three weeks ago, I was finishing a seven-mile ride and (admittedly) my legs were tired. That very day I started to challenge myself to dismount backwards (BTW: this is the “right” way in the unicycle world). Cruising over the bridge of a major bustling highway, I was rolling quickly on the down side. Remembering that dismount challenge, I approached the huge four-way intersection. The lane to my left had drivers turning right onto the freeway. There was a red light at the crossing so I would have to dismount … um, backwards, with very tired legs and many eyes from car windows on me. My mind could not coordinate the backwards dismount, speed, exhaustion and insecure tension. I approached the curb and instead of swiftly hopping off backwards, I was thrown off Blanche forward into the street, landing hard on my elbow, hand and ego! And here, my friends, lies the argument for wearing wrist and elbow guards when riding a unicycle! I shook the rubble off in front of a stopped car. Two different people rolled down their car windows and yelled, “Do you need help?”Yes, it looked that bad.
Did I mention that time moved in slow motion as I slithered back into the street to retrieve my water bottle? Then I stood curbside, staring into the longest damn red light EVER, while ignoring the mega-bruised lump on my elbow and hand. What a humbling experience. In another post I’ll share the success story of making it twelve miles through that “other” route without the clumsy fall. This time I had my picture taken with Blanche by a stranger in the Vons parking lot while stopping to use the bathroom.
Upon review of my longer rides I must get over the tension of onlookers, it brings me down … literally!