Monday, September 27, 2010

Chapter Excerpt - Eagle Crash

The following excerpt comes from Martin Krieg's new book, "How America Can Bike and Grow Rich" , due March 2011.

The miles of bike lanes on lightly traveled neighborhood streets continued all the way to  the border of Palo Alto. There the Wilkie Way Bridge carried us alongside a creek into our next Mayors' Ride city. Fully enshrouded by massive oaks and other trees, it is a piece of engineering mastery. In order to construct a bike way at this location, concrete pillars had to be  sunk deep into the ground at the edge of one side of the creek. In such a way a ledge could be hung off the backyards the stream passes through. It is on the five foot wide path that resulted that an important bicycle transportation  corridor has evolved. Through here great numbers of cyclists pass  everyday on their way up and down the San Francisco peninsula.

It was also nearby, on my way to it,  that my hopes to become the first to cross America on the Eagle were put on hold. Having just set out on a training ride on my way to the  bridge, I wasn’t but a few blocks away when a  car made a left turn in front of me. All I could do was turn  with him when he clobbered my wheel so hard, I flew off the back of the bike.

Two things were working in my favor when all of  this happened. First of all, I was on an Eagle, so instead of getting my  head  launched into the asphalt for certain catastrophe, I  landed on my butpak. Second, if I had been at regular bicycle height, his bumper would have crushed my legs and probably even done severe damage to my internal organs.

At any rate, I survived well enough to walk my destroyed bike back to the bus. The wheel had been almost folded in half. Nor would we be able to assess how much damage had been done to the bike’s heart and soul, the hub, in enough time to keep our  ride on schedule even if we did get the wheel rebuilt. This was so because the only expert, Jim Spillane, the man who had painstakingly re-manufactured  this machine, lived in Connecticut, on the other side  of the US. All of which brought the ride to this year.

Posted via email from HiWheel's Posterous