Today on my way home from work, I was struck by a moving vehicle on my bike. I was going pretty fast so when we collided I managed to go over the bars and into some furniture getting ready to be packed away on a Uhaul truck. From what I can remember, I was struck on my left side and judging from the damage, it looks like my left hand and arm hit the car.
I’m pretty sure the car was pulling into their parking structure on a busy street which required her to turn left into the second lane to make the wide and narrow entry. Having seen her go left at first I had no choice but to go right, to which she responded by going right at an accelerated speed to avoid the traffic headed in the same direction. And during that right turn is where we collided, and where I tumbled and rolled a bit. I knew this was going to happen at the point of no return and all that could be said was an, “Oh shit.”
I hit the car first, went over the bars, then hit the furniture. My helmet hit the ground a bit, but my back broke most of my fall. I should probably add that I was wearing my messenger bag filled with my work uniform to be taken home to was that/ this night. Those two items broke my fall. One of the first thoughts I had after my second collision was how reassuring and comforting it felt to have a solid landing on my helmet and not anywhere else. I had thoughts saying, “Thank goodness I landed on my helmet. This has got to be one of the most comfortable falls on a helmet ever.” Which genuinely sold me on my helmet. If you go down on your head and the first thing you think of is how soft of a landing you had, then that helmet did more than it’s intended job. This and the clothes in my bag were extreme coincidences that left me unscathed.
My first thoughts after all was said and done was anger. I wasn’t going to last out and throw a temper tantrum at the lady. She looked pretty scared and I just wanted to make sure everything was alright. I got back up and assessed myself along with the bike (which was my bigger priority considering how plush my collision was.) My wheels were a bit out of true, but no real cosmetic damage since I broke the fall between the two of us (as my scars have shown from past falls.) I did not go unconscious at any point in time. Once I reassessed the situation, I decided that I was not going to bring the authorities into this matter. She was an older hispanic lady who didn’t look like she had much money considering where she lived and the car she drove. I could easily have called the police, filed a report, taken my bike to a mechanic to get a quote for my wheels and sent them the bill on top of my possible hospital stay had I chose to do so.
They had accepted fault and I had a witness who literally saw the entire thing as it happened. Something inside told me not to bother with it. The wheels were simply out of true, no severe damage to an already damaged bike. Nothing I or a friend couldn’t fix one day at work. I had no broken bones or road rash (or a broken helmet for that.) I felt a little dizzy, but no blood was found. I didn’t wish to ride home in my dizzy state and with the damaged wheels I had, so I told them I just wanted a ride home and we would call it even.
That ride home I felt the parenting empathy come from her and her husband. Both were concerned for my well being and told me they didn’t mind if I called the police. They said that now, but I know they would be devastated if I really put all the effort to get as much money from them as I could. By the time we made it halfway home, all the resentment I had felt from the moment I fell had vanished. They had owned up to what they had done and were willing to pay the price if need be. I recognized that and settled for a ride home with a little money to buy a beer to make the headache go away. They were more than happy to accommodate and still left me their phone number incase I needed anything from them (which I had no intention of ever calling in the first place.)
I made it home just fine and concluded that my wheels simply needed some touch up truing, then they would be back to normal. Despite all the advice most of you may be thinking in your heads, I did not go to the hospital and I do intend on riding as soon as my wheels are fixed. I used the husband’s money to buy some beer, a pizza, and some gas for my car. So I am either going to get a brain bleed and die, or I will sleep just fine and live to ride another day. I like to think what I did was a smart and kind gesture and while some of you may disagree, I did not want to feel like the scumbag who wanted to leech off of some poor hispanic family for all the money they had and that makes me feel good inside despite my mild headache.
Cheers to taking the zen route and riding bikes!