Head Down and Flying

I don't know if I should relay this story, but as I am likely a YouTube sensation because of it, I might as well come clean.
The day after the Tour of Anchorage I wasn't scheduled to ride. It was a rest day, which was fortunate because I had spent the night cleaning up after a feverish Exorcist baby. I wasn't motivated to ride after Sunday's wet race of futility. My body was a little beat down and my head was elsewhere.
I rode anyway. A body in motion tends to stay in motion...

Just a short, relatively easy ride after work. I didn't push it. I spun out the legs and thought the thoughts that I think when riding easy, flitting from one subject to another. I'll admit it, I wasn't paying attention. Towards the end of the ride, my head dropped. I wasn't staring at my stem like Chris Froome. I wasn't gassed from some incredible effort. I was being lazy.

I'd spent the last few days looking ahead and protecting my front wheel, riding in constantly shifting packs of cyclists in various states of physical decay. The day before we'd done it on wet roads without anyone hitting the pavement. I was fully aware that I should have been looking where I was going.

My head dropped.

The blaze orange traffic cones blended in perfectly with the dark pavement, waiting for the precise moment to leap in front of me and catch me by surprise. Only my lightning-fast, lazer-honed mental state allowed me to read the letters stenciled on the cones as my front wheel plowed through them, flipping my body over the bars. In a smooth movement that could only be the result of years of practice, the bike was flipped over my tumbling body, detaching at the perfect moment for maximum distance. As I completed my rotation, I paused to admire the bike as it finished its second graceful loop, landing perfectly on the rear wheel and bouncing to a somewhat orderly stop on the shoulder.
My Olympic-qualifying bike toss complete, I carried my momentum forward and ended up on my feet, to the amazement of all of the drivers that slowly filed by. Although my sense of shame has been tempered significantly by age, marriage, and children, I turned a little red there. I collected my bike, climbed onto the saddle, and pedaled away... with my head up.
A couple small scratches on my back and elbow were the only real damage, and I'm glad my lesson(s) of the day didn't involve more cost. Chalk that one up to luck and the protective cushion of body fat.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an outside force.



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