Warning: Bloody wound pictures below.
On the back of my leg I have a vertical, zipper looking scar made up of five separate segments. Overall it’s probably four inches long. Today I want to share the story of how I was lucky enough to get this unique marking. Three factors come into play.
Before I got my sweet Kestrel Talon, I was riding a Schwinn Mountain Bike around. It wasn’t mine. It was my dad’s, who is notably taller than me (factor 1). I really hated riding this bike. It was slow and heavy–which I am positive had nothing to do with me sucking at riding at the time.
My Kestrel had been delivered and was being assembled. I had two days before I picked it up from the shop. My workout called for a swim, so I thought, “Hey! Why not ride the Schwinn to the ISU Student Fitness Center to get some extra exercise. Give the Schwinn one last ride.” Brilliant idea, moron.
As I pedaled what I estimate to be the 800 pounds of iron that constitute the Schwinn, I reaffirmed my hatred for the bike and how glad I was to be replacing it. At the same time it must have been dealing with abandonment issues and coming to terms with its hatred for me as well.
After the swim workout I started riding back. To get some extra speed I got out of the saddle, which I don’t normally do (factor 2). Did I mention that I was pedaling in my running shoes, which are one size bigger than normal shoes (factor 3)? I had reached a pretty good speed when it happened. One of my over-sized shoes tapped the ground, causing my whole foot to hit the ground. The other foot planted and I was standing still…the bike was going fast. The seat impaled me between the legs, giving me a blinding pain, and the main gear of the bike came to a halt by burying itself deep in my ankle.
I threw down the bike (as it was probably laughing maniacally) and was wandering around frantically for a few minutes, trying to collect myself. FYI not one person asked if I was okay. I wouldn’t have made a big deal out of someone falling, but if I saw someone throw a bike and run around with blood spewing out of their leg, I would at least ask.
I quick went inside the nearest building, the State Farm Hall of Business, to go to the bathroom and make sure children were an option in the future. Thumbs up. Then I began pedaling home. Blood oozing out of the wounds, which turned out to be five different depths of puncture holes.
I carried that freaking heavy bike upstairs, peeled off and threw away my saturated bloody sock, and assessed the damage. It didn’t look too bad at the time. It would have been nice if I bought some bandages BEFORE I needed them. Luckily I have some excellent friends.
It took two days for this thing to stop bleeding, and four for the swelling to go down to where I could walk without a limp. But I’m better now, and I actually think it looks pretty cool. It gives me a cool story to tell and is a very unique mark only a cyclist could get.