Shoulder, Meet Pavement

I had my first bike wipeout today. I was exploring the city, looking for an Internet café that proved completely elusive. You would think, in a city of 63,000, there would be at least one facility where ordinary citizens could check their email. Not the case that I saw.

I was cycling up one of the main streets, not going especially fast since I was on the lookout, when emerging from between a couple of buildings on my right side, a rather lovely looking park came into view. At its front was an intricate Japanese gate that made me utter a satisfied, ‘Oh hell yeah,’ to myself when I understood that Ichinoseki was not devoid of photographic opportunities.

Just as my exclamation had finished, my left hand struck a pole and I lost control of the bike. I swerved to the extreme left and had no chance of regaining myself so I made an effort to avoid getting tangled in the bike as I fell. Bicycle and body tumbled to the ground and I managed to clear the frame then roll harmlessly to a stop.

I stood and dusted off my unscathed body then made a mental note to be more careful. I wanted to avoid damaging both my body and my bike and crashing into poles was not the way to accomplish this goal. I’m not especially keen on visiting a Japanese hospital either. Really, this was a good wipeout to have to awaken me to my two-wheeled fallibility – it’s been a while since I’ve used a bike as my principal means of transport and I was never a Lance Armstrong, so I should try to pay a bit more attention to what’s immediately in my path. This is one of the main reasons I don’t drive: I’m just too easily distracted.

At least now I know where I can go to shoot photos in Ichinoseki on my off days.

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