Last night, a car heading east on Rideau Street decided that it was a good idea to make a right turn at speed without signaling or checking if there were any cyclists behind them and to the right. On the positive side, I learned that the brakes on my bike are very effective. On the negative side, the forward momentum of my bike, body, and panniers was more than enough to throw me over my handlebars: feet still set in the cages on my pedals. Naturally, the car didn’t even slow down.
I actually managed to land pretty well, taking the bulk of the force with my right arm. Still, I managed to bruise my arm and ribs, as well as give my elbow joint a painful knock. My wrist and jaw are also somewhat sore, as a result of their contributions to the nullification of my forward and downward momentum. A group of drunken men dressed as Smurfs gave me a round of applause when I stood up (it was 8pm on Halloween).
I was impressed to see how durable my MEC Aegis jacket really is: despite my entire weight and that of the bike and despite scraping along for a few feet, it is not visibly worn. Irksomely, my bike no longer shifts properly into higher gear. Making it do so requires much more force than before, and sometimes requires shifting twice, waiting for the first shift to actually happen, and then preventing the second shift.
I will take it to the bike store over the weekend to see if they can return it to normal functionality. The uber-smooth gear shifting was one of my favourite aspects of the new bike.
[Update: 3 November 2007] I had my ribs checked out and the obvious was confirmed: they are not broken but may be fractured. If they still hurt in a month, the latter possibility will be confirmed. They could hurt for as long as six months.
The shifting on my bike seems to have largely been fixed simply on the basis of riding around. It isn’t perfectly smooth, but it is adequately reliable. Nonetheless, I will take the bike in for a tune-up soon.