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RTC - follow-up - John C. Kirk

Feb. 16th, 2013

01:15 am - RTC - follow-up

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A couple of weeks ago (Tue 29th January) I crashed my bicycle into the back of a lorry. Fortunately, the bike and I are both on the mend.

At the hospital, they told me to keep the steri-strips on for 10 days, i.e. until Friday 8th February. shuripentu was sceptical about whether they'd stick for that long, but I made an effort to keep them dry and I channeled my urge to scratch so that I'd just smooth the strips down each time I put my fingers near my eyebrow. One of them peeled off on Wed 6th (day 8), then the rest of them came off on Thu 7th (day 9). More precisely, I looked in the mirror at work and saw that they'd peeled half-way off, so they were only attached below my eyebrow. That looked a bit stupid, so I pulled them off the rest of the way, and fortunately this didn't involve ripping any hairs out in the process. At that point it didn't seem worth replacing them, so I just left the scab exposed. That came off today, admittedly after I'd been poking at it a bit.

So, the wound now looks like this:

Face

(Sorry for the weird angle, I took the photo by holding the camera at arm's length.) My eyebrow seems to stop about half-way across, but hopefully it will grow back and hide the scar (which will probably also fade).

I also picked up my bike from the shop today. They've done a good job on the service, e.g. the brakes are far more responsive than before and they lubed the chain for me. They also did a few extra bits, e.g. they sorted out cable ties for the USB cable that runs from the headlight (connected to hub-dynamo) to the handlebars, so that was kind of them. However, repairing damage from the crash was outside the scope of the free service, so I'll need to take it back later. I've ordered a SpyBike GPS tracker, so I'll wait until that arrives and then ask the shop to fit that at the same time.

More precisely, the shop said that the top tube and down tube have "rippled", i.e. the steel has bulged. (Those are the 2 pipes that run between the saddle/pedals and the handlebars.) Also, the forks around the front wheel have been pushed back. Effectively, that means that there's a concertina effect, so the wheels are now a bit closer together. This makes steering a bit tricky:

Foot outside wheel Foot inside wheel

Basically, when my right pedal is at "3 o'clock" (or my left pedal is at 9 o'clock), my toes stick far enough forward that they overlap the wheel. The first photo shows how far I can turn the wheel before I hit my foot; the second photo shows what happens if I've already made a turn and I try to straighten out. In theory I could work around that by careful timing, i.e. making sure that my feet are in the correct position when I steer, but that's not ideal. I used the bike to get to/from work today, but I just did short hops to the relevant stations and stuck to quieter roads. It actually works surprisingly well as it is, because turning on a bike involves leaning as much as steering. However, there were a couple of times when one of my feet hit the front wheel so I want to get this fixed, and I'll probably stick to the Brompton until then. Thinking about CRU, part of our annual assessment involves riding in circles inside a 10 foot box (i.e. 10 feet to a side) without knocking over any traffic cones. To achieve that, you have to turn the wheel a long way while going slowly (leaning works better at higher speeds), so I don't think I could manage it on the Roberts bike now. The "rippled" bits can't be repaired, so I'm stuck with them, but the shop can adjust the forks and hopefully that will do the trick.

Ah well, at least this has been a learning experience.

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