Posts Tagged ‘bicycling’

Noticing something that isn’t there

September 29, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 29, 2014

Speaking of mishaps involving my bicycle.

On Friday afternoon, I drove southeast from Durham to Raleigh. The plan was to visit at least one of Raleigh’s second-hand stores — I’m rather partial to Edward McKay Used Books and More — and unload some unwanted books and DVDs.

Suddenly, I realized that my car was missing something. I looked in the rear-view mirror and twisted my head. Sure enough: I confirmed that I am now the former owner of a bicycle.

After I tumbled off of my two-wheeler in August, a generous couple drove me and my bicycle home. Someone brought the bicycle into my parent’s garage, and it remained there, essentially untouched by me, until it was time to return to Durham. Then I strapped the conveyance to my car’s bike carrier and secured it with my bicycle lock.

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Arms, wrist, elbow, knee: Notes on my healing process

September 27, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 27, 2014

About six weeks ago, I fell off my bicycle. I visited some doctors and applied many bandages.

Marks from the fall linger on my arms; although they may continue fading, I expect that some of the blemishes will be permanent.

There are also two spots on my arms that haven’t quite healed. One is on my right wrist; I accidentally banged this against a chair and reopened it at the beginning of September. There’s currently a little scab there.

The other is near my right elbow. At the start of the week, this site broke out in blistering, as if the skin had brushed against poison ivy. I wasn’t sure why this happened, but I thought it might have something to do with my frequently resting on my right elbow.

I made a conscious effort to stop leaning on that arm while reading in bed. The blister collapsed, and it seems to be healing.

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Knee, arms, wrists, hands — meet pavement (or, the tale of my minor bicycling catastrophe)

August 20, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 20, 2014

Ouch, I did it again.

Just as I’d started to forget all about my swollen ankle, I got myself into another mess.

On Sunday afternoon, I was bicycling around my childhood home. For the past four days or so, I had been riding about a mile to the end of the road that runs by my old elementary school and then turning around.

But in the interests of stretching my wings, I’d decided to change up things. Instead of turning to pass the school, I zipped along a road that carried me over a local highway. I started moving by side streets and extended driveways that I’d barely seen despite having frequented this road for decades of my life.

But my poor underutilized legs and lungs were feeling stressed, so I decided to turn around without exploring any of these obscure byways. There was little traffic, so I executed a lazy turn at an intersection and tried to begin building up speed for the uphill ride back home.

I ran into trouble at a T-intersection that I’m very familiar with from years of driving. My memory is a bit hazy, but I recall there being two cars at the spot: One waiting to make a right turn to go down the hill, and another waiting to move onto the road I was traveling. (Which direction? To the driver’s right, perhaps, but I’m not sure.)

I was moving at a pretty fast clip, so I decided for safety’s sake to slow down slightly. I also recall spotting a divot in the road ahead of me, which I tried to steer around. This, I think, was my big mistake.

Suddenly, the tires slipped. My two-wheeler tilted toward the road, and my body started dropping onto the asphalt. The exact sequence is lost to me, but in short order, my left knee absorbed no small part of the impact; the back of my left hand and wrist ever so briefly touched the ground; the right side of my right knee touched down even more briefly; and the outside part of my right hand and arm brushed the earth. I remember that at some point, the left side of my helmet hit the ground and glided for a few inches — possibly farther than that.

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