Friday, March 18, 2011

Hit By a Car - The First Time

It was about this time of year, in 1996 (I think) when I got hit by a car, the first time, on a bike.  This time, unlike recently though, was an accident.

I had driven to work on Saturday, and Valerie had picked me up to go to dinner.  We ended up driving home in her car, and I had left my truck at the shop.  I wasn't working on Sunday, so my plan was to ride the Avail to the shop, then drive the truck home.

I left the house just before noon, and was on Parker Road, heading north, by noon.  It was a beautiful day.  The sun was beaming down, the sky was blue, and the temperature was in the mid-50s.  I had on a bright yellow wind jacket, and I was pretty secure in my visibility.

The wind was howling, as it is wont to do in March, and it was blowing out of the south.  So, as I headed toward the entrance to The Pinery, on a slight downslope, I was banging along in the big ring.  I looked at my cyclometer and saw that I was hitting 38 mph!

As I approached the traffic light at the Pinery entrance, I had the green light.  I kept cranking along, and nodded to the lady in the Mercedes Benz, who was waiting for me to get through the intersection before she turned.  At least, I thought she was waiting.

As I entered the intersection, at somewhere over 35 mph, she turned left across my lane and I hit her car just behind the front wheel on the passenger side, and caved in the fender.  I flipped over the bars of the bike, and landed on the hood of her car, which crushed in and broke the fuel injection unit below.  My helmet smashed the windshield as I hit, and my left heel hit the top of her grill, which popped the grill out of the car.

I'll never forget the look on her face as I hit the windshield.  I am fairly certain that the first she ever saw of me was my head hitting the glass just in front of her face.

Almost unbelievably, I was unhurt.

When all was said and done, there was about $8000.00 worth of damage done to her car, and I got a check for $275.00 to cover my helmet, fork and wiring loom for my cyclometer.  I ended up getting an Avail fork from DiamondBack Warranty, in the correct color, for free.  CatEye Computers sent me a replacement wiring harness for free, when I told them what had happened, and Specialized comped me a new helmet for the same reason.

Car vs. Bike.  For once, the bike won!


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As always, sorry about the word verification. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately.