First off, I haven't been biking for very long. A few months ago, my 87 Volvo crapped out on me, so instead of working on it, I just left it sitting and started riding. I'd been riding for about a month, when a friend offered to sell me his Jamis Aurora for $80, a big step up from the old Mongoose beater I'd been limping around. So after about a month and a half, maybe two, I was enjoying the hell out of my Aurora, living car free, etc.
Cue Thursday, May 1st. Finals weekend! I'd been studying all week, getting ready for a stressful next few days with finals, drill weekend (Army Reserve time), then more finals. Anyway, I woke up early, got my studying out of the way, and after walking around for thirty minutes with everything done, decided to leave early for my 1pm final so I could grab a cup of coffee to chill out a bit before the test. The weather was gorgeous 70's, slight breeze, sorta cloudy, really rare weather for west Texas. It was one of the first great rides I'd had in a few weeks, just one of those natural jaunts. I really can't think of a good way to describe it, but every stroke felt as familiar as a breath.
Anyway, I'm rolling down a two lane, two way street with a bike path. 30mph speed limit, right of way most of the way (intersecting streets stop, not mine). So as I'm riding, out of the corner of my left eye, I see a blur of a truck where I'd expected, and wanted, to see a still image. The...erm...gentleman, didn't really even perform a rolling stop, opting instead to slow to 10mph or so before gunning it. I missed him just barely, but then heard a crash right behind me.
The truck hit a Lincoln Continental traveling right behind me, which fishtailed, and struck my back tire with its right rear quarter panel before poping the curb stopping on the lawn. I straightened up when I heard the crash to keep from hitting the curb, so all I really did was roll (thankfully). I landed correctly, right knee, hip, hand/elbow (ok that wasn't so correct), shoulder, and finally my head. Police were on the scene quickly. The driver of the Lincoln had to be pried out by firefighters and was taken to the hospital immediately. I, presumably because I'm 20 and male, said I was feeling fine to paramedics and refused medical care. Then, as the EMS was giving me a ride home, I got dizzier than all hell (I guess the adrenalin wore off) and figured it might make since to get the head checked. All in all, I ended up with some road rash, a concussion, and some pain in my hand which still hasn't really gone away.
I was pretty cool with it all until I thought about what would have happened had I been a second slower. The Lincoln was totaled, so I could only imagine what I'd have looked like.
Heres a terrible picture of the accident from my cell phone. I was pretty out of it and didn't think to take pictures of any cars. The truck came from the street on the right, and the car is just out of view on the lawn to the left.
On my knee, gauze slipped out of the bandage and got stuck in the wound, so that's why it looks moldy.
Anyway, after this one I've decided to invest in a helmet, and encourage anybody pondering doing so to do the same. I consider myself a safe rider, and a safe driver (never had an accident in five years), so it really is only a matter of time before you get hit or go down.
Keep 'em shiny side up!