Crashed! Spliffed! Biffed!



While riding today I was avoiding a biker coming up the trail as I was going down. I gave him lots of space since he was coming up.

Too much space.

Fortunately, I wasn’t going very fast. I usually slow down when I get to other trail users. I should have stopped since the other guy was going up. My brain chose not to stop, apparently judging the trail wide enough and my speed slow enough. Unfortunately, I wasn’t looking. I got up in the shrubs on the side of the trail and didn’t notice the log that spelled my doom.

Another fortunate thing was that the biker going up had already passed me when I biffed, so I didn’t run into him when my front wheel went the opposite way from the way I was expecting and I flew off the bike to slide down the dusty trail a yard or two.

The other biker stopped his climb to holler back at me, “Are you alright?!”

The first thing I said was, “Just dirty.” But then I thought about it. When you get in an accident, sometimes the adrenalin takes over your reasoning functions. The adrenalin makes your whole body feel fine. It’s a survival mechanism. You can escape danger and lick your wounds later.

I picked myself up out of the dirt. My shirt, which was a white T-shirt, was now a big stripe of dirt on one side from shoulder to hip. I checked myself and found a few small abrasions here and there and a small bleeding hole in my elbow where I had probably landed on a rock. Despite

“How’s your bike?”

The other biker hadn’t left, wasn’t convinced with my attempt to shrug it off. So I lifted my bike out of the dirt and scanned it. The front wheel was a little bent, though not enough bent to even be concerned. I could straighten it later—while licking wounds. I tested the brakes and they worked, which was a small miracle considering my history of breaking brake systems. The chain had slipped down a gear. Like the dust, the chain slipping a gear was a minor problem. If, when it’s all said and done, you only have minor problems, get up and keep going, right?

I told the guy I was fine, my bike was fine, I was going to continue down the trail. This time he believed me. He looked at the log I had tripped on. It was a good size. Not too big to be obvious, not too small to be insignificant. He nodded at the log as if in respect and went his own way.

I continued on down the trail thinking this story would make an okay post for my site. The only thing that would have made it absolutely stunning is if I had video of the event. Then I could have had some laughs later, instead of only the wound-licking.

Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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