Regular readers of Bike Forums will know what I’m getting at here. I joined Club Tombay on my ride today — that is, I had a clipless fall.
Tomber is the French word for “to fall.” It is pronounced, of course, tohm-BAY. We Americans corrupt it into TOM-bay.
Anyhow, I was having a great Fourth of July ride. Pat and I started off together, but after one loop of the Veloway, she decided to head for home. I kept going, and figured I’d do about 25 miles or so.
I had just turned onto a street that leads through a residential area. It’s a hilly street, and although it’s a thorofare, it is lightly traveled. At the top of a challenging hill is a cross street with a stop sign. There were cars at the intersection, and I slowed to stop.
For some reason, I lost all my concentration. I usually disengage the pedal well before a stop, but this time I stayed clipped in while I downshifted one more time. I was slowed to a creep. The bike drifted toward the curb. I turned the front wheel slightly to the right, to maintain my balance. It hit the curb, and slid along it for a few feet while I felt the familiar, sinking feeling of going down and not being able to do anything about it.
No damage done, except to my pride and self-esteem. The driver of the car that had pulled up next to me at the stop sign looked at me like I was some kind of alien from another planet. The bar tape on the end of the right handlebar was scuffed, and the bar end button had come off. I picked it up to replace it, but dropped it, and it bounced around in the gutter before rolling into the middle of the street. Now, the remaining two cars in the intersection could watch me as I nearly fell over the bike in the other direction while grabbing at the plastic button. I finally got it, and pretended to be an expert bike mechanic while I replaced it in front of my small audience.
I got right back up on the horse, and bent it to my will as I finished my ride. Even did an extra mile and a half, just to show it who is its Lord and Master. I suppose there will be more of these, but I prefer them when they happen in my driveway, out of the glare of the public eye.