Thursday, October 8, 2009

Not So Near Death Experience

However it was close enough to make me think about dying. For those of you reading my rubbish that live under a rock or on another planet the source of my livity for the past 11 years and 3 months has been as a bike messenger in Charlotte North Carolina(the Jar). Yesterday morning while on the 5 client 3 building schedule I was turning left off of Tryon onto 3rd Street for One Wacky Fargo when all of a sudden I completely lost cockpit control. My front wheel still in the fork dove hard right then left, then right again sending me out of the turn wide in a direction that had me straight away for the curb. The harder I tried to keep the bike turning left the more it forced itself to blow the turn sending me right towards the curb, a big cement column and the random pedestrians who were stopped in their tracks watching me head right into a crash. At 10 feet and closing fast these were some of the thoughts flying through my brain housing group in no particular order: you are gonna hit, you will be off the bike, lift up at the last second and ABOVE ALL DO NOT HIT ANY HUMANS!!!! Impact over the bars and off the bike air born. I hit the side walk in a heap, like sheep in a jeep 5 feet from the street after ricocheting hands first off of one of the columns. My lock shot out of my pack strap and my glasses flew off of my helmet. I heard a beautiful black woman still chanting, "Oh Lordy, Oh Lordy" as I came to a hard stop on the floor. Whew, I am Okay I thought and I did not hit anyone. WTF happened to my bike??? "Are you alright?" came out of the blur, "Yes, I think I am okay" I replied to the strangers. Light shining on one spot on Tryon reminded me about a brave courier event past. After I gathered my belongings off of the sidewalk I discovered that my front Dura Ace Axle had snapped in two causing the hub which normally rolls tightly on cones and bearings to flop around in between the fork legs only held together by the compression of my track nuts.

Loss of cockpit control is a very scary feeling, no wonder why you have to be so smart to be a pilot. Above all I am very glad to report that this incident did not happen while I was going down hill or in between 2 buses. I walked to my next stop and called the J who was close enough to drive uptoon in the team car and drop me a wheel to use for the rest of the day. Last night I grabbed my back up wheel from the barn and am ready to roll a Stay Alive here in a few. I also called the fine folks at Ultimate in Mathews who have ordered the new Axle and cones for me.

For all y'all in the 'Industry' do these photographs represent a warranty claim with Shimano?


The left hand turn off of Tryon and onto 3rd.
The column that I bounced off of.
The Unibiker (The Unibiker started Couriering in the Jar around the time of the Civil War long before any of us) was there with his pocket camera to document the mechanical failure.
Clearly a manufacturer defect.
Plenty of grease however more than half of the bearings were rolling down 3rd Street.
Check out semi veteran rookie courier Paschal in the back ground trying hard to understand what he was seeing.
Neg 1 exposure here at the house shows the rip clearly.
The other side.

10 comments:

Doug said...

yikes!! scary incident for sure - glad that you (and the bike) were relatively unscathed!

Billy Fehr said...

Yep and I correctly spelled axle.

brado1 said...

Lordy, Lordy... glad you're OK!

one word " lawsuit! " it's the american way!


WV: goisavy

Jesse Hooks said...

holy shit, catastrophic failure, but coulda been at a way worse time, like you said...

chromatos said...

I hope that column learned its lesson. Good job keeping presence of mind. The force is strong in this one..

Jordy said...

turtles can fly

wv: bersneg

Unibiker said...

The Galactic Civil War.
There is a difference man, C'mon

matt said...

Um, b/t this and my rear XT hub randomly freezing up I'd say they owe you an entire Dura Ace group!!

Billy Fehr said...

You guys are the best...

springer said...

another reason to dump sh*tmano