1. I don’t want you guys to think I’m the clumsiest biker in the world. But I did take another tumble the other day. The thing is, my newish bike has much tighter brakes than the throwaways I’ve been riding for years, and when I brake in a hurry I tend to clamp down with the hysterical grip that was required for significant slowing on my older machines and that causes a certain lack of stability which has, on a couple of occasions, led to road rash.
Sunday was one of those days; I was slowing down for a stop sign, realized belatedly I was going to have to brake a little harder, and that’s when the bleeding started.
One never feels suave at these moments; I got up, dusted myself off, reassured a passing motorist that I was okay, and looked up to see the Dean of Arts and Sciences at my university rushing toward me with a concerned look on his face. Apparently, destiny had decided to strike me to the earth right in front of his house. I convinced him and his wife that I was okay, talked for a few moments about the beneficial impact of terror and suffering on the cardio rate, and eventually pedalled off, reflecting on the cruel vagaries of life.
The thing is, if had been the old Dean I wouldn’t have minded much. We didn’t know each other that well, and I confess that I had no particular thirst for his esteem. The new Dean is a pretty cool guy–knows Latin, of course, as the cooler deans do, studied chemistry as an undergrad, switched to English literature (especially Ben Jonson) in graduate school, has published on a wide range of stuff (including popular culture), has been a very popular teacher (especially for his Shakespeare courses), and has played Sherlock Holmes on occasion in local community theater. None of this would count for much if he were a jerk, but he’s a very funny relatable guy.
Oh well. I didn’t actually bleed on him. Thus I console myself.
2. In other news, the floor is open for Joe Mallozzi’s book club discussion of Blood of Ambrose, possibly the best sword-and-sorcery novel about a fire-immune alcoholic with some obscure form of scoliosis published this year so far.