06 May 2010

A Ferry Too Far

The last portion of the New York Bike Tour occurs when the cyclists cross the Verrazano Bridge for Staten Island. A friend told me of the V Bridge's steep incline but I found out it was not so bad. It was a long climb for sure, but not too steep once the lower gear was in use. After the bridge, it was the Festival in Fort Wadsworth. Cyclists were congratulated for completing the tour, but then it's not really over. There's still another three miles to go, to get to the ferry for the trip back to Battery Park in Manhattan. Silly me, there is only one route for the Staten Island ferry but somehow I thought we would just board the ferry right there by some waterfront location right next to the Fort.

New York Bike Tour was the first event that I participated in with someone waiting for me at the finish line. It was a nice day so the wife and the in-laws decided to hang out in the Battery Park area to wait for me. We exchanged phone calls a few times to get an idea where I was. It got me a bit excited to get to the finish line sooner, which means I would have to cover that last three miles fast. Combined with the letdown that Fort Wadsworth was not the end of the tour and we had "haste make waste". Last but not least, whereas I am familiar with most of the route, Staten Island is the one of the boroughs that I rarely visit. It made the last 3 miles seem longer. All these unfavorable conditions culminated with the pothole incident. So there I was, speeding along to get to the ferry quickly, on a road that I was not familiar, pop came a pothole in the road. The cyclist a few feet in front of me on the left pointed out the pothole. Then my wife's call came in and I made the mistake of answering it, leaving only my left hand to control the speeding bike. I think if I had both hands on the handlebar, I could have made a hard stop just short of the pothole. But I only had one hand on the bike. I cannot remember what happened next, just that I found myself sitting on the road, the bike's neck twisted somewhat. I had a scrape here and there but when I got back on the bike I realized I also had a nasty bruise on the left hand, in the thumb area. I continued on with the tour and finally made it to the ferry, waited a long time for the next ferry, napped for part of the long ferry ride, and finally back to Manhattan. Moral of the story - just like driving a car, don't ride the bike and talk on the phone, unless you have one of those ugly bluetooth headset.

Can you tell it is a bruise? If not, you have contusion confusion... Talk to the hand!


  1. I am so glad that it was your hand and not your head hitting the ground. I am also glad that it was a bruise and not a broken hand. It sure look nasty :(
    I saw the movie, "Gran Torino" but I thought it was too mushy and a typical Hollywood story line. I don't know what it is but I am not as emotional as expected. Show me a movie about a hockey player broke his front teeth trying to stop the puck and I will cry like a baby!
    It has been raining on and off all day here but no thunderstorm.
    Please be careful and be safe.

  2. Ouch! Im glad your ok.

  3. Thanks for your concern, TOTA and Sb. Much as I don't want to spend too much time getting ready for my bike rides, I think a pair of cyclist gloves is the next accessory I will get.