Broken bikes

The last thing I want to do is criticize the local media.

Okay. I’m over it. A recent news note from KELO TV’s Web site. (For the record, KELO is our local “the sky is falling” news channel, featuring the same lock-your-doors don’t-eat-fish cancer-is-in-everything stories that you’d expect from sensationalistic, tabloid style journalism.

Sioux Falls Boy Injured In Bicycle Incident

A Sioux Falls boy was hospitalized after a bicycle accident on North Minnesota Avenue.

The boy was riding on the sidewalk down the big hill at the 600 block of North Minnesota. He hit something and flew over his handlebars headfirst and slid about 30 feet on his face.

Police officers say he was treated for road rash on his face and arms.

That’s news.

I don’t want to downplay the experience for that kid – that’s a pretty scary accident to have. But it’s not really news. I mean, it’s news in the same way that a kid falling off of a trampoline and breaking his or her arm is news.

Here’s the thing. Over twelve years ago, I did the same thing. Nearly the exact same thing. While riding down a hill on a walkway on the Augustana Campus, I lifted my front wheel in a mock-wheelie. My tire wasn’t attached properly (I had just put it back on before that ride) and it kept going. My front fork planted into the cement and I was launched over the front of my bike.

I slid about 17 feet on my face. It could have been 30. It was long enough to leave me stunned. And dripping with blood.

I was only half a block from home. I rushed home, ran in the door and said “Dad, I need to go to the hospital.” My Dad’s famous words: “Why the hell do you have to… * turns around * …oh my God, get in the truck!”

I was a mess. I had road rash all along the side of my face – horrible, ghastly road rash. My tooth had bitten through my lip and my chin was in rough shape. I went to the hospital, got stitched up, learned that a Novocaine shot through the lip hurts more than a million face plants, and prepared to convalesce. I looked like Hell for a few weeks, yet still managed to sing punk rock music a few days after the accident.

I still have the scars to this day.

No police were involved.

And I didn’t make the f’n paper.

That’s all.

This was lovingly handwritten on March 14th, 2008