Lately, I have been a little silent about my electric kickbike.
I always felt that since I don't drive drunk in the center of the city in the middle of Friday night, I would be immune to crashing. Not so!
My other pet theory said if I would crash it would likely be a collision with one of those ultra-fast cyclists. Not so either!
All happened in broad daylight through my own actions.
Some background. I had driven for more than 25 kilometers that day, experimenting with maximum range. After loading the battery half-full and getting a lift I headed back home, looking to drive some 10+ kilometers still.
|The Grand Tour of Summer 2022|
At that point I had my fill of driving for the day and had become tired and a little irritated. I just wanted to get back home quickly.
The crash occurred in middle of a central park, on non-paved roads with trees close by. It is something I'm not that experienced with, although I had survived the area earlier that day going the other direction. I diligently slowed down whenever there were other road users about, but when the coast was clear I often went for the 25km/h.
The story I have been telling since then went something like this:
Suddenly, the road profile changed rapidly from flat to a central bulge. I found myself veering towards the woods and could not brake efficiently enough. Something told me I should not try turning towards the middle of the path. Before halting, I hesitated and kind of semi-jumped off the board, letting the kickbike go over.
|The morning of that day, not the actual crash site|
I may have reduced the speed to possibly 15km/h or even less. Obviously when my feet hit the ground I could not keep balance, I rolled and fell on my left side, the shoulder taking the brunt of the impact. As my head lolled it took a bit of a knock too.
After swearing loudly and feeling my head for any blood, of which I found none, I lifted the kickbike, eyeballed it for any major damage and started immediately driving again. My two first thoughts were the fairly irrelevant "luckily no one saw this" and the more appropriate "why the fuck I didn't buy a helmet".
I soon felt it's insane to continue and needed to sit down, worrying about possible concussion. Taking stock of the situation, I realized my shoulder is very hurt, but that I could still navigate to home. After reaching there, I lied down and felt my collar bone and shoulder. After some Googling and a phone call it was off to the doctor. They confirmed the suspicion but fortunately the fracture was not major. A few weeks with an arm sling and a total of 6 weeks of recuperation would do.
It is somewhat fortunate the kickbike did not become damaged, although if I could now make a trade I would have preferred to have stayed healthy.
For a month I would not drive at all, and especially did not drive my own kickbike as I absolutely could not carry it in the stairs. So, as a punishment I also lost a lot of good driving weather.
Six weeks later, returning to the site
|The evil road, revisited in Autumn|
After having the experience I did reflect on it a lot, alternatively blaming myself and yet trying to find blame in the environment.
When I returned to the scene six weeks later, I couldn't really find evidence of that malevolent piece of road that threw me off. I couldn't really even find the exact crash site. Going backwards and forwards I couldn't see much wrong with the surface. To be honest the paths I had navigated in the morning of that day looked far more tricky.
All I can now say is that the path edges were perhaps a little vague. I may have already been sort of off-road when I noticed something is wrong. Or, there was some fairly minor anomaly in the road that could have been easily avoided had I not insisted on driving so near the edge.
Or I was just tired and did not pay attention to the path that looked easy compared to the other more narrow, twisting paths.
I have also thought I could have handled the situation better. But I maybe did the right thing after all, at least in braking first and letting the kickbike take its course, rather than trying to rapidly change the trajectory of a 100kg+ system in full speed. By not jumping off I might have avoided the fall, but it's hard to say what might have happened then.
I finally did get the helmet, though.