01 August 2009
The good news: I am fine. My bike is fine.
The bad news: I had more interaction with the pavement than I needed at 7:10 am.
The continuing truth: In car vs. bike, car always wins.
My kid can vouch for the fact that I repeat, over and over, that it doesn't matter if you are right; a car is bigger than you. Car is rock to bike. Car is scissors to paper. Car is paper to rock. I try to ride as if I were invisible, that is, I take nothing for granted. I always wear a helmet. I don't ride with my earbuds in. I am watching and listening for cars every second I am on my bike. Sometimes that's not enough.
This morning, on my way to work, I was traveling a street which is a through street. From my house to my work is 3.4 miles, and the only traffic control is one roundabout, and one stop sign. All traffic entering the street is controlled by stop signs on the side streets. Less than half a mile from work, I spotted a black SUV with tinted windows. I had my eyes on it, and it was at a full stop as I approached. I braked a little, but I estimate my speed at 15-17 mph. (I was riding without electric assist, as I always do in the morning.) And then the SUV started rolling forward. I had time to brake hard and slide off the bike. My elbow, knee, and palm all hit the pavement, and I got banged up by the bike some, too.
I don't remember what I said, but I read the driver the riot act. I'm pretty sure I didn't swear, but I wasn't very nice about it. His response? "I didn't see you! You're not even wearing orange!" OH! I missed the part in the driver's handbook about only yielding to ORANGE traffic. If he had apologized at all, I might think I was a little harsh. But I was standing there bleeding, with giant sized bruises raising up, and he still wanted to be *right*.
I know I did the best I could under the circumstances, but it's still unsettling.