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Thread: Beginner's bad luck

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    Default Beginner's bad luck

    Okay, all of you guys know the "tunnel" on the MVT under the Memorial Bridge? Apparently it has a railing? (I have no memory of any such railing, but QOTM insists there is one, or maybe it was the wall, maybe)

    Yesterday we finally blocked out the time for a CaBi adventure together. Parked the car by MP 0.0 on the W&OD. rode the trails to Old Town for coffee and donuts at Sugar Shack, then up to Crystal City to visit Artomatic, then into the Jefferson to see cherry blossoms. Then Georgetown for lunch, then to Rosslyn.

    By this point she seemed (understandably, first time she had ridden in over a year and a half) tired, generally busted. I knew that the ride to CC down the MVT would mean overage fees, and I didn't want to lead her through the Arlington neighborhoods west of the ANC (since I don't know them that well myself). Certainly didn't want to try the long way round, including westbound on the Custis. I suggested metro (and bus back to Shirlington, or at least metro to CC), but that would have taken a long time, and the cost would have exceeded the overage fees, and QOTM insisted she was able to ride and wanted to keep riding.

    When I went through the tunnel, there was a NB rider waiting for me, so I said there was a rider coming through after me, though she was a ways behind. I looked back, saw him go through, then a while later saw her come out, so figured she was fine. I led the way, slowing to be closer to her at Gravelly, and at the turnoff to CC (to make sure she went the right way) She didn't call out to me.

    When we got to the bikeshare station, she said "don't be mad, I think I broke my pinkie finger". She tends to be wobbly when she first starts riding (she also was riding CaBi's a bit higher than I recommended - I suggested giving up pedaling efficiency for ease stopping and standing). This had already resulted in some very minor spills. Well she apparently stopped in the tunnel (after the other rider had gone through) and then when she started, and wobbled, she kind of freaked, and grabbed something (a railing? The wall?) and then somehow something snapped.

    She called her orthopedist's office and the oncall doc said she did not need to go to the ER, just use a make shift splint for comfort till she went to the orthopedists. She has an appt later today, so we shall see what they find.

    The good news - when I suggest she find a gentler exercise, she gets angry and insists she wants to ride again. But not any time soon.
    Last edited by lordofthemark; 04-03-2017 at 08:38 AM.

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    Oof, sounds like she's okay, but that sucks. Hopefully she heals up quickly for summer riding.

    Oh, and there's definitely a railing there...

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    OUCH. My first ride on a bike as an adult in DC, I fell right outside that tunnel after a little kid came the opposite way and almost hit me inside it. I had some nasty road rash and was pretty embarrassed. Took me awhile to become comfortable with that tunnel again after that. It's an annoyingly narrow tunnel, and people don't always let others through before starting.

    I hope your (wife?) feels better soon, and it's not a bad break. Let her know we ALL go through this, especially at the start biking. The key part is getting back on and doing it again, which she seems eager to do which is awesome

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emm View Post
    It's an annoyingly narrow tunnel, and people don't always let others through before starting.
    Riding through this morning, I thought (as I often do) that the tunnel is the one place I wish there was better instructional signage for bikes...like "one cyclist at a time" or "yield to trail users in tunnel" or something. Or maybe some guerilla signs that say "wait your turn you impatient idiots!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    Okay, all of you guys know the "tunnel" on the MVT under the Memorial Bridge? Apparently it has a railing? (I have no memory of any such railing, but QOTM insists there is one, or maybe it was the wall, maybe)

    When we got to the bikeshare station, she said "don't be mad, I think I broke my pinkie finger".
    If it's her right pinkie, then, yes, there's a railing separating the "trail" from the traffic. If it's her left, then it's the wall.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Riding through this morning, I thought (as I often do) that the tunnel is the one place I wish there was better instructional signage for bikes...like "one cyclist at a time" or "yield to trail users in tunnel" or something. Or maybe some guerilla signs that say "wait your turn you impatient idiots!"
    What's wrong with the current signage: "Trail Narrows Walk Bike" and "Bridge Freezes Before Trail" apart from one being almost universally ignored and the other being a non sequitur*?

    * Or are we supposed to be watching for vehicles/cyclists/pedestrians falling from Memorial Bridge on cold days?

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    Sorry to hear about QOTM's likely broken pinkie. I'm guessing it's her right pinkie because if she hit the wall (to her left going SB), she likely would've scraped it (ideal only to the idea of a broken bone) whereas the railing likely caught her pinkie. This is the drawback to those kinds of railings like on the 14th St Bridge (catch that with your hand/handlebar and you're going down).

    Also, it was a wiser choice to use the relatively flat MVT instead of heading uphill through Arlington's neighborhoods since she was already feeling tired.

    I'm glad to hear her love of cycling has not been damaged, and I hope she heals quick!

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    There is something about the Cabis that makes one feel wobbly during those first few pedal rotations. Last week I used a Cabi for the first time in almost four years and the front wheel went all wobbly for the first 45 seconds which really surprised me. After riding a Cabi a couple more times the effect went away but there is something about the weight and balance of a Cabi that is much different than regular bikes.
    Last edited by KLizotte; 04-03-2017 at 04:15 PM.

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    Sorry to hear about her injury. The good thing is, broken fingers are usually pretty quick to heal and you can still do stuff (like ride a bike) while waiting for them to heal! (Can you tell I have broken a few fingers?)

    Her stoicism regarding it is impressive. She should be a mountain biker.

    Sending well wishes for a clean break and quick healing.

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    Update - its a broken hand, I am afraid, not just a finger. Right hand, so yes, the railing. She is grateful for the sympathy from y'all. She has a real cool hi tech cast (she has broken bones before, not biking, so is familiar). She is left handed, so she can still drive and do most things she needs to do.

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