Wednesday was a beautiful afternoon in Sugar Land, Texas. Sunny, breezy, shirt sleeve and shorts weather. As soon as I got home, I threw on some cycling clothing, filled some bottles, strapped the little one in the bike trailer, and hit the road. It was just the two of us, and without the need to worry about other kids riding with me, I pedaled hard and envisioned the ride as training, with a little leisure thrown in too.
We rode through the neighborhood, always on the sidewalk, which I don't like, but is much preferred to having cars dodge my daughter in her trailer. The kiddo wasn't happy when we rode past the park, but I wanted to burn some calories. We cruised down the bike path on University Boulevard with a nice tailwind. We fought the same wind on the way back to the park, and then did a loop on the crushed granite path before stopping to let out some trailer-bound kid energy. I did a few crunches, tweeted, and the kiddo went nuts on the playground equipment. As you can see in the map below, at that point we'd ridden 5 miles, and averaged 9 mph. Pretty tranquil speed, but physically challenging due to the weight, the commuter rig, and the wind.
We were at the park for 30 minutes, then we loaded up and headed for home. We rode on the sidewalk along Elkins Road, a divided 4 lane route with moderate traffic. At each cross street, the sidewalk curb cuts angle towards Elkins Road traffic, because that's where the crosswalks are located. It's a function of the divided roadways and esplanades, and each time I came to an intersection, I leaned left, then right, then left again, navigating the unintentional chicane and making sure the trailer stayed on the sidewalk and didn't hop the curbs or go too far into traffic. Except at King's Pass, I failed.
The doctored satellite photo below (thanks Google Maps) shows what happened. I was heading north on the Elkins Road sidewalk. I came to King's Pass, and leaned left and then back right to navigate Turn 1 of the chicane. All was good. I had to immediately lean right and left again to navigate Turn 2, ensuring I let the trailer clear the curbs each time. I'm not sure if one wheel of the trailer hopped down off the curb, or if the momentum of the trailer pushed it over, but in a split-second I felt a bump, looked back, and saw the trailer on its side, skidding along the pavement with my daughter's helmeted head awfully close to the Elkins Road concrete. The trailer hitch was pushing me down as I braked. I unclipped my left foot, but I as I got my right foot unclipped, I fell to the right. Instead of hitting my shoulder, I instinctively extended both hands and caught myself. Oomph.
With the adrenaline flowing, I jumped up and righted the trailer. Thanks to the harness and helmet, the kiddo was totally fine. Not a scratch, no crying, nothing. Me? Not a bit of road rash, but both hands were in pain. Embarrassed, I quickly jumped on the bike, and with each pedal stroke my right arm felt worse and worse. My only thought was to ride the last 1/4 mile and get home.
Once home, I realized I had full range of movement, although with some pain. I took some OTC painkillers, slept on it, and the next day I visited the orthopedist. He x-rayed and diagnosed me with a radial neck fracture of the right arm. His treatment? Nothing. No cast, no splint, no prescription. I'm taking it easy, and eating ibuprofen as necessary, hoping to be back on the bike in a few weeks.
I'm glad the break is not worse than it is, but I'm not happy that the pain will keep me from riding for a few weeks. But the best part of it all? The little one made it through without an injury. The pain of her being injured would have been worse than any bone break.