Saturday, November 7, 2009

Man down!

I hate the sidewalks of Falls Church. They are old and cracked and narrow and often have utility poles sticking up in the middle of them.

And that doesn't even mention the curb cuts, or alleged curb cuts. They often start an inch off the road and then they are so steep up to the sidewalk.

Normally, then, I always ride on the street. But today, I got to Little Falls Street on the bike trail and after deciding to come home on Lincoln Avenue, I figured I better get on the sidewalk. Otherwise, my little sister would yell at me.

I got up the curb cut, but as I tried to make it up the steep part of the curb cut to the regular sidewalk, there were issues.

My right wheel bounced off the curb. For a moment I balanced precipitously.

"Man down," I warned Claren, and then the wheelchair and I toppled on to our side into the street.

When I was a sophomore in college, I flipped a friend's car during a high-speed reporting trip down Route 29. We were all fine, but when the car came to rest on its roof in the median, I remember starting to panic because I couldn't undo the seat belt.

Similarly, when I hit the street today, I was trying and trying unsuccessfully to undo my seat belt.

I was still trying when this guy came up behind me and said something soothing and helped me unbuckled my belt and then pulled me away from the chair. His wife/girlfriend was pulling my chair upright and onto the sidewalk.

I was trying to show them how to unlock the engine, so the chair would be easier to move, but the guy would have none of it. Just sit still, we got it, he said. Finally, when the woman was struggling with the chair, he moved to help with it, and he said to the gal: Just help him sit.

Claren was just on the leash this whole time sniffing the helpers.

Even more than trying to unlock the engine, I was trying to pull up my pants. I wasn't quite mooning anyone, but as I was dragged away from the chair my pants started slipping.

Eventually, we got me back In the chair, and shooed off at least one driver who stopped and asked if we needed help.

You had quite an accident, the guy said. I didn't disagree, though I was totally uninjured (I am a little sore now and not sure if that is a result).

They waited to make sure everything worked OK once I started driving away, so I stayed on the sidewalk. After a block, though, I took to the streets.

You see why I hate the sidewalks of Falls Church.

The people of Falls Church, however, rock!


Anonymous said...

So I am guessing this is going to go down as being my fault? I love you. Perhaps I should run for mayor. Do we start another letter writing campaign? Add to it the fact that the doors at the NEW post office weigh about 10 tons and have no automatic opener.

I love you.


Matt Trott said...

Falls Church is doing its best to keep the Matt down. It won't work.

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