Sunday, 28 October
Sometime Friday night, a woman's pump with stylish pointy toes and a 4-inch heel was scorned and rejected along Rainier Avenue. Or perhaps Cinderella dropped it on her way home from a pre-Halloween ball. In either case, it laid patiently in wait for the hordes of cyclists who would pass that way on Saturday morning. As one large group passed, it flew up from the road and into the spokes of an unsuspecting rider, albeit one who appreciates women's legs in 4-inch heels. His bike stopped instantly, throwing him face down onto the road and toppling other riders in the melee. Of the three in that new love-hate triangle--shoe, bike, rider--the shoe suffered only some minor road rash on her stiletto heel. The bike's fork and front fender were dealt a fatal blow, but the heavy old frame will ride again another day and the invincible Rolf wheels don't even need truing. The rider, sadly, had damage to multiple bones: skull, cheekbone, vertebra, and ribs. He will not be back on that bike or any bike any time soon. Perhaps he talked the ER staff into a few extra stitches on his face so he'll have a handy costume for Halloween this Wednesday?
Yes, the scorned shoe has found a new home. The ambulance folks left the rider's shoes with his bike, and we made sure the stiletto was added to complete that threesome. Maybe it won't be bronzed, and it will probably never see another night of dancing, but I suspect it will be the talk of at least one household for a good while to come.
The moral of this tale is not about how you treat your shoes but about wearing your helmet. There are things out there beyond your wildest dreams just waiting to take down a cyclist. You can be the best bike handler and most experienced rider out there, you can be on a road you've ridden a thousand times, and all it takes is one lonesome black shoe and--poof--you could be part of one of those I-don't-believe-this-is-happening-to-me ordeals that we don't wish on anyone!
Heal fast, Alastair!!