I have a rather embarassing experience to share. Actually, TWO rather embarassing experiences to share. I’ve decided to write about them because there is something I’ve learned from them. So, here we go–in a period of 8 days, I fell off my bike twice! Me–the bike goddess (excuse the total lack of modesty, but really, I don’t know a lot of people who spend as much time thinking, talking about, riding, selling, breathing bikes as I do lately). First, let me tell you that I’m fine. I scraped my legs up a bit, but otherwise am fine.
I was thinking about WHY I fell, though. I mean, come on, I know how to ride. And I’m very cautious, follow all the rules, etc. Here’s the cause–both times I was really tired. Too tired to be riding, but I was riding nonetheless. The second reason is that, because I was so tired, I was not as alert as I usually am, and both times I fell when I was stopping the bike. I was on my seat, which is quite high, as I’m 5’11”, and instead of sliding off the seat and putting my feet on the ground, I keeled over. (graceful, I know….)
This going down the hard way got me thinking about my customers–the things I do for you all! I wasn’t scared off from riding because of my falls, but I imagine that many new riders might be. So I was wondering what I could do to prevent this from happening to others.
Thinking about this, the beauty of the Time of Your Life design really hit home. That bike is designed so that the rider can touch the ground while seated on the saddle. So, if you’re tired and not paying attention, and you come to a stop, your feet touch bottom when you put them down–and your butt doesn’t need to. Or you’re feeling a little wobbly–you can touch the ground. Stopping to chat with a neighbor–you can sit on your bike while you visit–you don’t need to just straddle it. I have my choice of bikes (hey, it’s one of the perks of making and selling them!), and neither time was I riding the Time of Your Life.
So a word to the wise–be sure to pay attention not only when riding, but also when stopping and starting. Start with your saddle down low as you begin biking, so that you feel safe while you’re on the bike. The ideal position for riding comfort and power is with your leg almost fully extended, but it may take a while to get there. And (Joan!) if it’s a new season of riding for you, you can always lower the seat a bit while you readjust to riding.
Happy trails to all!