willy willy: A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small (half a meter wide and a few meters tall) to large (over 10 meters wide and over 1000 meters tall). The primary vertical motion is upward. Dust devils are usually harmless, but rare ones can grow large enough to threaten both people and property. - Wikipedia
So I'm sitting at the lights this arv on the way home from work, waiting for the
green arrow so I can turn off Belconnen Way onto Coulter Drive... It's been a pretty warm day and there's a lot of gusty wind about.
On the other side of the intersection, along the median strip, a willy-willy forms. No kidding. I'm fascinated. It starts off as a tall thin column about 5-6 metres tall, and it gets lower and wider as it crosses the intersection. For a brief second I'm sure it's going to go around the corner, but no - it wavers momentarily and then dances straight towards me, showering the area with the fine gravel they use on the median strip.
The lights change. My green arrow. If I gun the engine I might be OK. If I keep both feet on the ground and don't try to move the bike until the willy-willy passes (possibly a safer option) I'll probably be rear-ended. What to do, what to do?
This goes through my head at warp speed, at the exact split second that the willy-willy sideswipes the bike and knocks it (and me) flying. Holy shit! I can't believe the power of that thing!
The two lanes of traffic waiting to turn right, don't. They watch as I narrowly (and I like to think 'gracefully', ha ha) avoid the falling bike and wrench my ankle. Hmm. Maybe not quite so graceful. I hobble back towards the bike. Hot and sweaty, I pull off my helmet so I can breathe while I try to lift the bike. The nice man in the car behind realises I'm a small female and not a nuggety little bloke, so offers to help me pick up the bike.
I'm shaking like a leaf, right? I straighten my mirror and take quick stock of the damage. Bent bar end, smashed right indicator, couple of little scratches. Any off you can walk away from is a good one. An off you can ride away from is even better!
The bent bar end, I discover, makes the throttle stick. Every time I change gears I almost chuck a wheelie. Just what I need! My right ankle's throbbing, but I can wiggle my toes, so I figure riding to the mechanic is more of a priority than riding to casualty.
The lovely Bruce & Matt have their usual laugh at my expense "Tornadoes in Canberra eh? Yep.... right.... you get a lot of those.....
Of course, now that the adrenalin has worn off, I'm not so sure about the ankle. It's throbbing, swollen, and is turning an interesting colour. Ouch. Damn it, this was my good leg!
I don't think I'll be going anywhere in a hurry - looks like I'll need tomorrow off work, and will need to go see a doctor! OUCH!!! This is the kind of adventure I can do without!