Complete stupidity - Part 1

How not to ride a bicycle

Wednesday 3rd June 2009
Word count
Read time
4 mins

When I was at secondary school I used to ride my bike to and from school everyday, it was about 2 miles each way. I'd have my normal backpack with my school books, lunch etc, and, at the start and end of each term, I'd have another backpack for my PE kit. I'd take my actual kit home every week (top, shorts etc) but at the end of each term I'd also bring back this other backpack which had my trainers, football boots etc in, just to clean them, and then I'd take it all back to school again on the first day back. Thing is, I was on my bike; I had to put the PE backpack over the normal one, so I'd have two on at once, the PE one kinda sat on top of the normal one. Very impractical, kept falling off, and it looked ridiculous, but there was no other way I could do it.

Anyways, one time, at the end of a term, I was riding home, with both bags, and had a thought; would it be possible to ride with my hands crossed?? I wanted to see if I could put my left hand on the right handlebar and my right hand on the left handlebar, and kinda just ride along like that for a bit. Very odd, and rather stupid too. Anyway, I took both hands off, and that was fine, I can go with no hands for ages, but then I put my right hand onto the left handlebar.

Next thing I knew, I was lying in the road. It seems that as I put my right hand on the left handlebar, I just pulled it towards me, sharply turning the front wheel, sending me flying. My left leg was being crushed by the bike, my right leg was somehow also trapped in something, my left arm was being crushed by my body, and my head was buried in the grass verge; lucky I went off where I did as the grass ended about a foot further along, would have been even worse if I'd smashed my head into the pavement. It was quite some fall. Even worse, my right arm had been scraped along the kerb, and I had the most hideous graze I've ever had, from just above my elbow, to my wrist, right along my forearm, about an inch wide, bleeding quite a lot, skin hanging off, nasty, I still have a scar there now. My normal backpack was pushed right up against the back of my head, and the force of the fall pushed all the books to the top, right against my head, and the PE one was kinda on top of my head, above the other backpack, so if you were standing behind me, you'd see one above the other. Also had the studs from the football boots hit me in the back of the head which was nice. So there's me, lying in the road, with my legs tangled up in a bike, head in the grass, a bleeding arm and with my head being covered with bags. Not the most comfortable I've ever been. I was slightly dazed and was lying there for about 30 seconds, wondering what the hell had happened, then it dawned on me. Heard two cars drive past during this time, neither of them stopped. What lovely people. Finally got up, picked some grass and small stones out of my bleeding arm, and picked my bike up. The handlebars were parallel to the front wheel, the force of me going over bent the handlebars round 90 degrees, turned them back round and walked home. My left ankle was killing me from having the bike and my weight forced on it, so I couldn't ride home, had to walk, wasn't very far though. Lucky I didn't break my arm or something, could quite easily have happened.

So, yeah, don't try and ride your bike with your hands crossed. It will probably end up going very badly for you.