Something happens and I’m head over heels, I never find out ’til I’m head over heels
– Tears for Fears
“You’re a rotten driver,” I protested. “Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn’t drive at all.”
“I am careful.”
“No you’re not.”
“Well, other people are,” she said lightly.
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“They’ll keep out of my way,” she insisted. “It takes two to make an accident.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Marin Blvd in Jersey City crosses with the entrance of the Holland Tunnel, one of two tunnels that get one into Manhattan from New Jersey. On Sundays it’s crammed with drivers who think they are clever by hopping off an earlier exit, cutting through Jersey City and ‘sneaking’ into the tunnel. This ‘shortcut’ has not been a shortcut for 15 years. With the population increase of Jersey City and surrounding areas, most folks know about it. You are probably adding time to the trip. So people who aren’t local zip through Jersey City as if they are still on the highway.
Not the safest of circumstances for folks on bikes. There are plenty of cyclists who take on the traffic of Marin Blvd, but I don’t feel like my hybrid bike is fast enough to keep up. If I were on a road bike, I’d feel differently.
After a great class at Jivamukti, I hopped on my bike to run a few errands. It was windy and I was taking in the fall day. I made the mistake of taking for granted my surrounding and assumed that the sidewalk wouldn’t have any unusual obstructions.
A curb appeared on the right side of the sidewalk. My hands squeezed the brakes but it was too late. I knew I was going to crash. The tire hit the curb and over the handlebars I went. I knew I had to prepare and relax my body. I tucked my right shoulder and exhaled because something in my brain thought the exhale would relax my muscles so I wouldn’t resist the blow of the ground. Hugged into a ball shape I landed on the pavement with a thud. People ran over to me. I thought that probably wasn’t a good sign.
I looked up at the sky, wiggled a bit and didn’t feel any broken bones. My hands were shaking and I stood up. Since I didn’t fall back down instantly, I figured I must be okay. The chain had fallen off my bike and I need a new handgrip for the right handlebar- but everything seemed in order. It wasn’t until the protective cloud of adrenaline had left that I actually
When you get a bike you have to understand that at some point you will crash. As my dad eloquently put, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s when.” You can only hope that you are prepared and not in a high traffic environment. Even though I took a serious spill my yoga practice (asana, pranayama and meditation) saved me from getting seriously injured.
When you are having an accident or a traumatic event occurs it seems that everything is happening in slow motion. I did some research about this phenomenon. Check it out below:
Amanda Lewis, Shrewsbury
This is because our estimates of time depend on how much we remember, and more memories are laid down in an emergency. Experiments have investigated this. In one case volunteers fell back into a net from 50m, experiencing terrifying freefall for three seconds. They said they seemed to be moving in slow-motion, and estimated the fall had taken between four and six seconds, rather than three.
To find out whether they were really experiencing events more slowly they were given a wristwatch displaying random numbers flickering just too fast to see. During the fall they could not see the numbers any more clearly, so time doesn’t really slow down. They just remember it as though it did, probably because the amygdala, a part of the brain implicated in fear, is highly active and affects the way memories are made.
Keep it safe!