don’t bike westbound on Wilson Boulevard!

Two posts in one night is a little much, but I need to recap my terrible wreck before I post about my awesome bike tour this weekend.

About a week after my birthday, I had a tremendously upsetting bike accident of the kind I only wish on seriously evil people. It turns out that Arlington County actually is the worst about bike lanes*: despite several miles of designated bike lanes and Capital Bikeshare stations along westbound Wilson Boulevard, the bike lanes abruptly end, and within a quarter mile (right after Randolph Road in front of the Ballston Mall), the right lane of the road is completely replaced by subway vents that are SLIPPERY WHEN WET.

Needless to say, it was raining and I wiped out. Thank goodness the car behind me stopped in time, and there was an adorable young man working the frozen yogurt store who offered to carry me inside. (I declined, but did use his phone charger instead of rummaging through my panniers to find mine. If you ever eat it, I hope you do it outside a frozen yogurt stand. Holding the cold cup made my hand feel just the slightest bit better and eating some raspberries and crushed up Reeses Peanut Butter Cups didn’t help but at least gave me something to focus on other than the crippling pain. I swear the first text I sent was to my EMT friend asking how to tell if my hand was broken.)

It was heart-stopping to have this happen before my application at my new insurance company had been processed (happy 26th birthday to me! Also, thank you Obamacare), and I wound up spending about $150 out of pocket to have my hand x-rayed at the hospital the following day. Fortunately, the antibiotics from the CUA student health center were free, and so were the 2 visits I had with nurses there. (Can I say, too, that having a nurse in your place of employment is awesome? I definitely checked in with the nurse at the National Archives a few times. I feel like all big offices should have a nurse around.) I didn’t have to pay for the sling or the 2 Ace bandages, either.

Most of the right side of my body looked like a zebra, or like someone had thrown me on a barbecue. For some reason the cut tag on WordPress isn’t working as it should, so I apologize for these awful pictures:

I’m back on the bike, but am definitely taping my wrist/hand to commute. Getting old is the worst!

* I need to actually go back and photograph this section of Wilson Boulevard to back up my recollection that there are no signs – although maybe there need to be signs painted IN THE ROAD warning cyclists to use the sidewalk, or something. Arlington County: not THAT bike-friendly.

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