Trying to do the right thing...
by Joe Crnich
(Beaverton, OR USA)
As I turned fifty, I realized that I was slowly starting to gain weight, so I decided to start commuting to work on my bike. I had biked for a couple of decades, but never on a daily basis.
I got my bike and bike gear in order, and plotted out my route, which included two rides and a train ride each way. I rode to the train on the first day, and after disembarking from the train near my new office, I rode to the office's parking lot, on time and proud of myself.
As I entered the parking lot, I started to make the final turn to the office door. I never made it.
The next thing I knew I was being pitched from my bike face first, with no chance of catching my fall. I hit the ground directly with my jaw, which drove my bottom front teeth into my uppers (bridge and natural teeth). I had hit an unmarked, very steep speed bump that I never even saw.
A quick trip to the emergency room gave me the good news that I didn't have a broken jaw. The subsequent trip to the dentist, though, gave me much worse news: I would need to have all of my front teeth removed, as they were too damaged to fix.
In time, I had ten teeth removed: Three upper front (which included a bridge), six lower front, and one lower rear.
I took two weeks off to heal after the accident, and then went right back to bike commuting.
I've been bike commuting every day for nearly five years since then. I've lost and kept off thirty pounds, and helped the planet in my small way through a little less air pollution.
It's all worked out pretty well. I would like to have my teeth back, though. ;)