Rethinking The Bike Thing

I’m starting to think maybe I wasn’t meant to ride my bike to work.
This morning, I took off early in very dark conditions, using my new light to guide my way. Things were going well: the sun was starting to come up and light the roads, the high school kids were trudging toward their bus stops. I was coming up to the last big turn on my route, looked back over my shoulder to make sure no cars were approaching, then turned back to face forward and started to get into the left lane to make the turn. Suddenly, a clink of metal under my tires, and my back wheel locks up, and I start skidding. Crap, I think, Here I go again, and my last road rash isn’t even healed yet. Luckily, I was able to counter-steer and control the skid, sliding to a stop on the shoulder of the road, where I was able to assess the damage. I could still smell the burning rubber from the tire, and I anticipated the worst. My rear fender was a disaster: it had crumpled up from the back of the wheel, getting itself wedged up under the seat area, and scraping the top of the tire. I still couldn’t see what had caused everything though, until a car passed by and made a familiar sound. I looked into the road and found my pump (which had just fallen off in the confusion) and a foot long piece of rusty metal. I still don’t know what it is.
Now safely over on the shoulder, I took off the rear tire, which surprisingly hadn’t deflated. Just a big gouge in the top of the tire, the tube inside was intact. I dismantled the fender and packed it in my bag (for pictures later, natch). Put the tire back on, inflated it, and got back on the road, slightly shaken, but no worse for wear. With less than a mile to get to work, I took it easy and made it in safely.
Even once I got here and had the chance to look everything over, I’m shocked that there wasn’t more damage. The gears and the brakes in the back seem fine, and it looks like the tire will be okay to make it back home (though I’ll be going out to the parking lot at lunchtime to check on it). I’ll probably have to take it in to a shop to have someone check it out to be sure, but I consider myself pretty lucky at the moment. I’m hoping that I got all this stuff out of my system and that I’ll have a few incident-free weeks in my future.