Tomyamaguchi’s Weblog

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Un Happy New Year

New Year 2020 is not going well for many of us. Wild fires in Australia are being fueled by a warming climate. Donald Trump kills an Iranian general and risks war with that country. Angry, depressed, and frustrated, I decided to go on a bike ride. After completing needed business this morning, I decided to take a ride across the Richmond-San Rafael bridge. I have wanted to return since riding out with many cyclists on the day it opened. I wanted to see if the trail was getting sufficient use. I also thought of taking a ride on SMART, which has been extended to the Larkspur ferry. The weather was just right for a ride across the bridge. Unfortunately, I never made it.

Leaving Point Richmond, I arrived at the intersection where the trail crosses the I-580 off ramp and then goes under the freeway to continue on the side that faces Chevron. A truck was parked right at the corner, completely blocking the entrance to the path on the other side of the street. A man was standing on the truck, trying to adjust the Walk sign. I saw that another path could get me around the blocked path, so I rode across the street, noticing that a car was approaching, and I didn’t know which of us had the green light. I quickly rode onto the adjacent path and suddenly found myself being thrown from my bike. I landed on the pavement on my left hand and left knee. The worker came rushing to help, pulling my bicycle off of me. I noticed that the knuckles on both of my hands were scraped and bleeding a bit. I put a small hole in the knee of my new jeans. I helped myself up to the curb as the worker explained that someone had hit the walk sign, and he was trying to fix it. I looked back and saw the cause of my tumble. There was a hole in the middle of the path that had a small piece of metal sticking up from it. I did not see it as I was crossing the street and ran right into it. Damage to the bike was minimal. My front reflector broke off my handlebars. The chain came off my front sprocket, although I did not notice until after I coasted down to the underpass, where I found a bench to sit on for awhile. 

I was hoping that my injuries were minor. Then I noticed my little finger getting sore and stiff. After getting the chain back onto the sprocket, I realized I needed to get home and get an ice pack on my injured hand. I walked my bike back to Point Richmond. On the way, I noticed that a short pole was covering the hole that caused my tumble. It appears that the worker had removed the pole so he could drive his truck onto the path by the signal light. The truck was now gone, and the worker had returned the pole to its place. If it had been there before, I definitely would have seen it and not run into it.

At Point Richmond, I waited for the 72M that would get me back to Berkeley via San Pablo Avenue. It was then a one block walk to my house on Channing Way.

I spent the rest of the afternoon on my bed with a cold pack on my hand. I noticed that it was slightly swollen. I discovered a large bruise under my knee where I had ripped a hole in my jeans.

Although I never made it to the bridge to assess the traffic situation, I saw that the trail leading to the bridge was getting some decent ridership.

I am still hopeful I will live to celebrate my 70th birthday this year, if I can keep myself all in one piece.

January 4, 2020 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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