West Side Spill

I took a little spill this week. My first. I've been thinking about what my first would be like for a while now. I knew it would happen eventually. Lucky for me it went well. And yes, it was my fault.  

It was pretty simple. Nothing crazy. The streets were almost completely dry even though it snowed the day before. There was snow by the curbs in the parking spots but the streets mostly dried up.

I came out of the Brooklyn battery tunnel, arriving in Manhattan. When you come out of the tunnel you come to a fork of sorts that lets you decide if you want to continue up the west side or head left toward the FDR. I was waiting at the front of the light to go to the FDR.

I pulled out and made the turn. Somewhere after the cross walk, after the intersection, my tires felt mushy and started coming out. I glanced down and noticed a slightly slushy area beneath me. This happened to be once before almost in the same spot. The previous time, my bike came out a little below me when coming to a stop, I threw my foot down and stabilized myself.

This time, I didn't throw my foot down. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was too cold and my reactions weren't quick enough. Or maybe I knew I was going faster then my leg could handle if it did try to stabilize the bike.

So the tires starting getting mushy, the bike slipped out from under me. I landed on the ground and slid maybe 5ft, while I watched my bike escape me as it slid about 20-30ft down the road. I saw sparks coming out from the crash bars. It finally came to a stop, still in gear, tire spinning.

I got up, walked to the bike and turned it off. Local NYC traffic cops walked over to check me out and make sure I was ok. I was ok, my wrist hurt a bit but it's a wrist with a history so it hurts easily. I turned off the bike and waited a few minutes before I tried to get the bike up, while watching the cars pass me and gauging their glances.

I lifted the bike the "correct" way, from behind me with my legs and not my back. I've done this before and it was easy. The side vario case and the crash guard took most of the damage. The only other spots on the bike the showed any was the end of the clutch lever and the end of the hand grip. Otherwise the bike was in perfect condition. My iPhone even stayed in the ram mount. The Givi crash guards did a perfect job and so did the vario case. It didn't pop off. It likely saved me from being pinned by the bike. I wish I took a minute to take a photo of it down, but I didn't.

It took a minute to start the bike as I had trouble getting it from 3rd gear down to neutral. Once I had it started, the traffic cops helped me maneuver back in to traffic. I got on to the FDR, and cautiously continued my ride to my client. When I got to my client I finally took some photos. At the end of the day, I road home, again more cautious then usual.

I'm happy my first spill went so well and that its out of the way. My bike protection worked great. My personal protection and gear worked great. Lesson learned - in all weather, but especially in freezing weather, pay extreme attention to the ground below you. I have before, but now I'll take that more seriously.

This is where it happened, right where that arrow overlay is.

This is where it happened, right where that arrow overlay is.