A bike ride to the zoo.

Saturday I woke up early-ish for a moderately paced 7 miles on Rock Creek. I came home and rode my bike up the street to watch Komal, et al battle it out at the kickball playoffs. A quick breakfast and shower later, Neel, Sugato, and I headed out for a bike ride. The goal was to take a leisurely ride up Beach Dr. to the National Zoo; see some animals, and take the Metro back home.

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In my backpack:
~Ice cold Gatorade Frost
~Ice cold water
~One banana
~Dried sweetened Mango
~Camera
~Keys, phone, wallet.
~Helmet (not the place a helmet should be)

Things started off quite smoothly. Neel was leading the pack with me and Sugato following closely. This being my first “group” ride, I was quite excited about the whole thing. It was a beautiful day and the trail was busy with the usual suspects: kids, dogs, strollers, runners, joggers.

We were riding along side of my usual 5 mile loop. I was passing my familiar mile markers and thinking how much easier and quicker it is to do this on a bike. Soon (but not soon enough) I realized I was paying more attention to the trail then to the road. The excitement of speed turned into terror as I somehow rode off the paved road and onto the dirt shoulder. To avoid crashing into the bushes, I swerved hard to the left without remembering that the pavement was a few inches higher than the shoulder. I instantaneously lost balance and took a nasty fall on the road. My poor bike and I both went flying towards the oncoming traffic.

Thankfully, there wasn’t any oncoming traffic. Sugato, who was riding behind me, somehow managed to veer just in time to not run over my un-helmet-ed head.

The first thought that occurred to me: is my bike okay?. I suppose paying over $500 for a bike does that to you. The second thought, while still lying on the road: Am I roadkill?

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Thankfully I only scrapped my left knee and left elbow.
Note to self: add first aid kit to the backpack. WEAR HELMET ON HEAD.

All this happened within the first 10 minutes of our ride. Neel and Sugato asked me if I wanted to turn around, but I didn’t see the point. I poured some water over my bleeding wounds and just decided not to think about them. I put my helmet on and didn’t take it off till I went to bed that night. We made it to the zoo without any further incidents.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

2 thoughts on “A bike ride to the zoo.

  1. Oh my goodness Chika, that could have been… well, it was not and that is the most important thing.
    Oh pls don't ever get on a bike without the helmet on the head first. You can never be too protective of your head.

    Like

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