Like many kids, my first injury involved falling off my bike.
And like many kids, it also involved crashing into a car.
However, unlike any other kid, I crashed into a parked car. Even worse I crashed into a parked car while cycling uphill. I can’t even say I lost control, or my brakes failed, or any of the many other reasons an accident could happen. I cycled deliberately into a parked car that I could have easily involved if I’d just looked up.
It was raining. My head was down and I cycling uphill towards our house, which is near the top of a steep road. One minute I was cycling, the next I was face planting onto the rear window of a Ford Fiesta.
I can’t blame my bike, I can’t blame the conditions, I can only blame myself for not looking where I was going. A common cause of accidents as, this week, I managed to do exactly the same thing.
(Though not a Ford Fiesta, this time it was a tree).
There are many ways to have an accident while riding a mountain bike. You could crash while riding downhill through a particularly gnarly black run. You could fall off a cliff while attempting a dangerous Danny MacAskill ridge crossing. Or you could do what I did and ride up a path, get stuck in a rut, see a bush ahead and think, I can just cycle through that.
(Not stop and avoid the bush, oh no, I had to keep going.)
And that’s why Iain TwinBikeRun asked “Why did you ride into that tree, while going uphill, on a clear path, when you could have just stopped?”
And I didn’t have an answer because I was lying on the ground, nursing my elbow and wandering why 30 years after my fist accident I still wasn’t looking where I was going.