Sunday, May 27, 2012


A lot of people will tell you I've always been at least a little off, but today I was way off.

My misadventure started off with a miscalculation. I was headed to a picnic at my boss' boss' house, which I had never visited before and wasn't really sure where it was. I put the location into my trusty dusty motorcycle GPS and headed off on my scooter to obtain hamburgers as assigned for the party and beer for myself.

The miscalculation came when I tried to buy beer on Sunday in my county of Tennessee. Tomorrow being a holiday I completely forgot it was Sunday so I was shocked that I was unable to purchase beer with my $27 worth of raw hamburger meat pre-shaped into patties. Strike one.

I arrived at the fancy house way up on the hill far too early after a fantastic ride along Natchez Trace Parkway which runs the length of Tennessee into northern Mississippi, a beautiful unspoiled 150-mile roadway that doesn't have a straightway on it. Even the bridges, of which there are hundreds, are curved.

Instead of being the first person at the party my social anxiety completely took over and told me to scoot around for a while. The beef was in a cooler on ice packs so it would be fine for another half hour. Plus it was an opportunity to find a beer store in a county that allows alcohol to be transferred between adults on the sabbath. I found a store and the clerk looked at me sideways when I asked if he would sell me beer today. Why wouldn't we? He even asked me for ID. I realize I look young for my age, but I am FORTY FOUR. Sheesh! Okay that was actually a good thing that happened to me today.

When I got back to my boss' boss' hilly driveway I was approaching it from the opposite side, so instead of a 50 degree angle it was a 130 degree turn, and I foolishly wanted to keep my speed up for the hill so I overshot the turn and my front tire went off the pavement onto the grass. I cursed and hit the brakes, looking over my shoulder to see if I could back up without backing into traffic. When I turned my head back around my bike was headed DOWN on the left side. I quickly considered trying to hold it up but instead decided to slowly guide it down.

Unfortunately I guided it right down onto my ankle, and I was foolishly wearing shoes that did not cover my ankle as I nearly always do. I can't remember a time I've gotten on the bike without proper footwear since I twisted my ankle on it last summer. I didn't want to wear clumsy boots at the picnic but instead of bringing a better pair of shoes to wear in my spacious trunk, I wore them.

I pulled my ankle free from the bike now laying on it's side with its wheels off the ground. This is the third time I have put the bike down and each time was an exercise in stupidity. This time, however, I didn't have help lifting it back up. I attempted to lift it on my own but the pain in my ankle was making it very difficult. I abandoned hope of lifting it myself and sat down on the capsized vehicle, exhausted. It would be embarrassing when the next party attendee came along, but at least I would have help getting my bike upright.

For what seemed like 15 minutes but was actually probably 60 seconds nobody came by. I noticed that sweat was running down my arms from the 98 degree heat, and gas was flowing from the overflow spout. Things were not looking good. I got angry and decided to give it one more try, this time managing to get the bike back onto it's wheels by myself. It cranked right up (thank you Honda) and I remember thinking as I slowly tooled up the hill that nobody would know that I was down at all! Score.

But when I got to the top of the hill I barely got the kickstand down before my vision started clouding up and I felt like I was going to pass out. I don't know if it was the heat or the adrenaline rush or what but I was crashing. I grabbed a drink from my cooler and downed half of it, then sat down in the grass. That was the moment other party guests decided to arrive, rushing to me to see if I was okay. They assumed I was hot from the ride, but I told them the whole story of the off at the bottom of the hill. Embarrassment restored!

The picnic was generally pleasant after I recovered, but I was worried about my ankle the whole time. I become a hypochondriac when I have a mild injury, constantly testing it to see how bad it is. At first there was almost no pain at all, but it got progressively worse as the day went on. It remained stationary for almost the entire one-hour ride home and when I got off the bike at my house it was throbbing. I now have it elevated and after take some Tylenol and Advil it feels like I have a cramp in the top of my foot. It is unpleasant but not horribly painful.

Ironically, if my ankle doesn't improve I will have to ride my bike to work on Tuesday. I may be the only guy who drives a manual car but an automatic bike. We shall see!


grrouchie said...

I wish your ankle a speedy recovery.

Josie said...

You poor thing. Too bad I can't come over. My homemade chilidogs would make you forget about your ankle.

Carmel said...

What a day!

lightning36 said...

This was pathetically funny in an evil sort of way ...