I got together with some friends and our goal was to ride the local rails to trails up to Massachusetts.  That was very close to a metric century, so that was our goal.

I have said many times that I don’t really like riding my bike on the rails to trails.  You are pretty limited in terms of speed because of all the people on there, and you have to constantly slow down/stop to get through the many intersections you pass through.  In addition, each intersection presents a series of obstacles, like steel poles or fences, that you have to go around/through at a slow (read unstable) speed.  Last year my sister-in-law got hurt when she feel at low speed going between a couple of poles on the way across a driveway.

As a relatively unsteady bicyclist, I am in trouble going through those things, and I dread it.  This ride was no different.  The trip was actually very smooth for the most part, and there were very few people on the trails in the beginning.  About 40 miles into the ride, we got on a part of the trail where two sections merge into one.  I looked back to make sure no one was coming from the other side, and proceeded.  I was riding beside a friend, and I pulled slightly to the side near a guard rail that was between the trails and a street that was parallel to the trail.  I felt myself get too close, and I instinctively reached down to push off the guardrail.  I couldn’t reach it and of course leaning that way pushed me every closer until…something on my bike caught on a support beam on the wooden guard rail and the bike came to a stop, I did not.  My bike stayed put more or less, and my feet and body went over the side of the guardrail.  I sensed a car coming and pulled my feet in which caused me to land on my feet and, because I was wearing cleats I slid back.  Fortunately I was very far from the car, so all was good.

My friend quickly asked what I hit and what was hurting.  To my surprise I wasn’t hurting at all.  I landed on my feet, my hand were on my bike/the guardrail, so all was good in the world.  In fact, none of my body made contact with the ground.  I did have a scrape on my left forearm, and a couple of scrapes on the outside of my right leg.  My Garmin 305, however, wasn’t so lucky.  I smashed it on the guardrail and the LCD shattered internally.  My front brake lever got messed up too, so I did the last 20 miles or so with only rear brakes.

I was able to fix the front brake once I got home, so the only real casualty was the Garmin.  I count myself very lucky, it could have been so much worse.