Have you ever popped a wheelie? I have. Not on my motorcycle and not even as a kid on a bicycle. This week I did two wheelies in five minutes. One almost killed me.
1 – a stunt in which the front wheel or wheels of a vehicle, such as a bicycle or motorcycle, are raised so that the vehicle is balanced momentarily on its rear wheel or wheels.
Idiom: Pop a wheelie. To execute such a stunt.
Because I cannot walk I have a motorized wheelchair. My first and last venture into the wilderness of civilized sidewalks and streets started with a wheelie and ended with a wheelie.
I’m still in pain.
My wheelchair was designed and built to handle the growing curvature of my spine. That means the seat is long and the back sits, well, farther back. Wheelchairs are a bit top heavy but balanced. The seat is positioned to keep body weight centered. Not on my wheelchair.
Our first venture out was down the block for some fast food on a sunny day. At the end of the first block I had to go down a sidewalk ramp to cross the street and up a sidewalk ramp on the other side.
I did a wheelie.
I was not trying to do a wheelie but my weight was distributed past the center of the wheelchair wheels so it tipped backwards rather easily on the incline. A block later I repeated the action for my second wheelie.
Again, I crossed the street by going down a slight ramp from the sidewalk to the street, then up a slightly higher ramp on the other side. That’s where things went wrong. That wheelie was so severe that it flipped the wheelchair backwards.
Heels over head. Flat on my back. That was a wheelie to remember.
As a safety measure my wife was right behind me and grabbed the back of my head as the wheelchair flipped beyond the wheelie to a rocket ship position. Unfortunately, the fall to the ground— backwards— also damaged some ribs and muscles.
Vicodin can be your friend.
The wheelchair’s anti-tip stabilizers worked on the first wheelie but failed completely and broke during the second wheelie. Two wheelies in five minutes. No death.
I must be doing something right.