“Gravity is a Harsh Mistress” – The Tick
Today is Earth Day 2010 ... On this date, FORTY years ago; I celebrated the FIRST Earth Day by colliding with Our Planet, breaking my arm and earning my VERY FIRST trip to the Emergency Room!!! There would be many more, as documented here
I don’t remember the exact details of the crash, only that it involved a Schwinn StingRay, a steep hill, a temptingly cambered curb and an Evel Knievel mindset.
Dix Road in Wethersfield rose up to meet Ridge Avenue at what seemed then to be a tremendous height. From end of this street [in fact, from the end of all the streets in the neighborhood I lived in up there] one could look across the “valley” created by the Connecticut River and see quite a ways away.
When I hit the curb at speed and launched myself into the air, I truly felt like I was flying; even though, in reality, my rear tire couldn’t have been more than a foot off the ground.
I guess I was too busy admiring the view to remember what I had seen on ABC's Wide World of Sports so many times. That being: “If you don’t keep your front wheel straight, you’re gonna get acquainted with the ground real fast”
Sure enough, my front wheel struck the sidewalk at an angle, wrenched the handlebars violently to the left and I departed over the chrome, as I was bucked forward onto some poor retirees lawn.
I didn’t hear or feel a “Snap!” [as I would with my collarbone, when I fell off the monkeybars later that Summer], but a persistent ache, accompanied by bruising and swelling that inspired my Mom to take me up to the Hospital.
I think it was then that I fell in love with my first nurse.