I had my first cycling crash of the season this weekend. My fault. No cars involved. I was complying with traffic laws. I just made a mistake. We all make mistakes. This one left me on the tarmac.


I spent the weekend dropping off The Girl at sleep-away camp in the Berkshires. (Her first time at sleep-away camp). To keep up my bike training regime for the Pan-Mass Challenge I decided to bike back home.

It was cool and sunny at the start, but the rain came in, turning a pleasant ride into a cold, wet, tortuous ride.

I was not familiar with the route. I was not lost, but was relying on memorization of route and occasional glances at the GPS. Since the roads were unfamiliar, I never knew if there was a big hill up ahead or how much longer to get home. It was getting dark. To the extent I had actually been on the roads before, the features were melting away as the sun set.

When I saw the sign for Davis Mega Maze I finally knew where I was. Now that I knew how much further I had to go, I felt some more energy flow back into my legs. I was excited to see that I only had 30 miles to go.

Perhaps I was too excited. I saw the railroad tracks ahead. I knew they would be wet and slippery. I knew I should slow down.

But I didn’t.

I came up on the tracks too fast. They were at a 45 degree angle to the road, making them even more treacherous. The bike and I went sideways, slipping and sliding down the road.

By slipping and sliding, I mean sliding my skin on the roadway. I stood up bloodied and battered.

Rule #5 was in effect. So I pulled myself back up, wiped off some blood and pedaled the rest of the way home.

That’s what I do to train for the Pan Mass Challenge.

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