my epic ‘kend pt. 1: bike fail

As I announced in my last post, I finally got a bike for Taiwan! I had been putting it off because I knew it would be a significant expense, but it was time to buy the bike. I was planning to leave for a camping trip on Saturday morning with my roommate, Disha, + her Brooklynite friend, Shadoe, here visiting her. We were going to go to Hualien, check out Taroko National Park, bike around + such, camp there for the night, then head to Pingxi on Sunday.

[*I have named her (the bike) Heihu {Hei(1) Hu(3), 黑虎, Black Tiger}, just in case you were wondering. Yes, I name my bikes.*]

I got Heihu on Thursday + was totally psyched. (Still am.) Friday ended up being the first nice day we had in a while + I was like, “Yay! Break in the bike before we camp!”

I googled bike routes in Taipei + decided I would do half of the Taipei Circle Trail to get used to my new bike. I also took my camera since I heard the trail was supposed to be BEAUTIFUL. It was.

first bit of bike trail landscape/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

the bit of landscape that greeted me at my entrance to the trail/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei circle trail/jan 2013

mountains + clouds/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

mountains + clouds/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei's version of keith haring?/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei’s version of keith haring?/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

goodness, that's beauitful/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

goodness, that’s beauitful/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

you really can see the 101 from everywhere.../taipei circle trail/jan 2013

you really can see the 101 from everywhere…/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

close up of 101/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

close up of 101/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

epickend_616

close up of fab building in mountians/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

close up of fab building in mountains (can you spot it in the pic above?)/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei circle trail/jan 2013

northwestern tip of taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei circle trail/jan 2013

taipei circle trail/jan 2013

farm beyond the maritime university/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

farm beyond the maritime university/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

woman biking with her noon!/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

woman biking with her noon!/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

noon's cousin!/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

noon’s cousin!/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

farmers in taipei city/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

farmers in taipei city/taipei circle trail/jan 2013

And then I totally wiped out. Completely just wiped out on my bike. I took one hand off the handle bars to adjust my bag strap, lost control of the bike + went down.

I mentioned in my last post that I have done some major bike events. I really like to bike! But the only kind of bike I’ve ridden in the past 8 years has been my road bike. Heihu has straight handle bars, which I am totally not used to (+ might swap out). I think when I started to lose control, I panicked and tried to grab for the handle bars + breaks of my muscle memory, which flat out weren’t there. I’m also used to clipless pedals + it didn’t even occur to me to just put my feet down. (In hindsight, I also may have been going to fast for that.)

On my way down I thought,

This would happen to ME in Taiwan. Thank goodness I bought a helmet! Thank goodness I always WEAR a helmet! I’m supposed to camp tomorrow!!

(BOOM.)

*Side note: NO one wears helmets biking in Taipei except for real cyclists + people on scooters (by law). I already stand out as a foreigner, but I felt totally lame in the helmet until my head hit the ground. And this, folks, is why I do not mess with bicycle safety!*

This was the first time I wiped out + couldn’t get back on my bike to finish the ride. My shoulder felt all kinds of wrong. Luckily enough, a few people who had been sitting nearby immediately came to help. Then more people came to see what they could do! They spoke enough English + I did enough miming to accurately communicate what exactly was injured. The only Chinese I could manage in my shock was, ”谢谢,你。“ “Thank you.”

Two men called a nurse friend + an ambulance for me. The nurse friend came several minutes later + patched up my nastily road-burned elbow before the ambulance came. One of the wackiest parts of the whole experience is that as soon as the ambulance came, they all disappeared! I never got to thank them one last time.

The EMT’s took me to NTU Hospital where my roommie, Shaz, met me (+ was amazing + totally took care of my registration because she speaks Chinese really well!).

A set of X-rays, prescriptions for pain + muscle spasm meds, 45mins + $70 TOTAL (including the ambulance!) later, I was in a cab on my way home. No fractures, just badly injured soft tissue. I pretty much don’t consider a bike mine till I’ve wiped out on it, anyway. But, yeesh!

I am going to take falls no matter where in the world I am. It’s part of being alive. Taiwan is a very safe place, but I am not immune to getting hurt just because I am here.  I am very lucky that it wasn’t worse. I am also very lucky that there were people close-by who took time out of their days to take care of me, without sticking around to even be thanked in return.

I’m definitely going to take care of myself so that the healing process is as swift + smooth as possible. I’ma slow it down a notch, for sure. (Although this whole “no strenuous physical activity” thing is already driving me crazy!)

+ I am happy to report that none of this stopped me from going to Hualien + Pingxi… You can expect “my epic ‘kend” prts 2 + 3 to be dropping as the week goes on.

In the mean time, I hope you enjoy a little Worldwide Underground as much as I have this week. (Thanks for the wall post, Lotis!) Get. It. Erykah.

6 responses to “my epic ‘kend pt. 1: bike fail

  1. Thank you people of Taipei bike path, thank you for taking care of our girl!
    What? There’s a noon there too? Unleashed and following his mom? Too sweet.
    Love you, Lulu! xxx

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