Monday, March 05, 2007

Sidewalk Pavement Is Hard

Major wipeout today on the Segster. Complete driver error.

On my commute to work today, there is this one spot where a little drainage ditch right beside the road does not have a sidewalk across it. To get onto the sidewalk on the other side, you are required as a pedestrian or biker or Segger to Leave the sidewalk, go briefly onto the shoulder of the road, and then cross a little asphalt "bump" back onto the sidewalk where the sidewalk starts again. That "little bump" really is not so little - I usually catch a little air everytime I got over it.

Today I caught TOO MUCH air, and the result was getting to eat some sidewalk. (oops)

It happened really fast and I was not EXACTLY sure what happened to cause the crash at the time. After thinking about it for almost two hours now I think I know mostly what happened after reconstructing it in my mind.

I must have accelerated a little too much on my approach to the bump. That was Problem One. When I hit the bump, I think I must have been leaning forward too much - Problem Two. Once I was over the bump and the Segway started accelerating and leaning forward too far, I should have either leaned back more in an attempt to slow it or else should have jumped off and let it go down - Problem Three. Once I was into the fall with no way to get out of the crash, I should have tucked my head and done a front roll, letting my helmet protect me and not trying to catch myself - Problem Four.

So the Segway went down forward, I went down with it, and was thrown to the front left. Like I knew better than to do, I tried to catch myself with my left wrist and ended up smacking the left side of my face on the sidewalk. When my cheekbone hit the pavement I saw stars and knew I had scraped my skin off. The unsuspecting part was that I had not only a small strawberry on my upper cheekbone, but also a larger one down on my cheek right to the left of my chin and up on my face a little bit. And my left wrist was sprained from the ill-conceived and failed "catch myself" effort.

I got to work and cleaned my wounds and Jerry recommended a wrist wrap to immobilize the wrist. I noticed a little "double-strawberry" on my left knee also. I think I must have been going between 8 and 10 miles per hour at the time, because it was a pretty significant bang to the ground. The Segway, thanks to the handlebar guard and the front bag, was fine; just a little dirt on the front cargo bag.

So, lesson learned: keep your speed down and senses with you when going over a known bump - too much air can lead to too much sidewalk in the facial area.

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