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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-21-10, 11:56 PM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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You never know when it's your time. Please be careful out there.

I could easily have died tonight - and I didn't know it for 15 minutes.

I got a new bike today, which makes me deliriously happy, and will be the subject of another thread. After doing lots of riding, I went to visit a friend, show her the bike, pick blackberries, and hang out for a while. It was later than I planned when I left, and drizzling a bit; it'd been raining harder earlier. My phone rang several times on the way home, and when I got home - it was my friend.

Three minutes after I left, a car came speeding down the road, probably doing ~60 mph on a road made for 30. It hit a tree. The driver is dead. Fortunately there were no passengers. He was going the same way, and in the same one lane as me. If I'd left just a moment later, I might have joined him. She says the road is full of police and fire trucks.

My last bike has a dead battery in the rear light, which I hadn't replaced yet... The new bike has front and rear lights - the rear one takes rechargeable batteries instead of proprietary, hard to find ones. If I'd left a moment later, a back light would have been my only hope, and not much hope against someone who hit a tree.

Be careful out there, check your lights, and stay aware of what's going on around you.
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Old 08-22-10, 04:55 AM   #2
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I don't accept the idea of a predestined "time",if that was the case, all the caution in the world would not help. Your time would be up and you would be gone, not be around to post this.

I tend to think more about probabilities, and what can be done to reduce risk. Caution is always your friend. Clearly, having working lights when riding at night is a GOOD thing.

Have to wonder though...had you left 3 minutes earlier....even if your lights HAD been working...would the driver doing 60 in the drizzle have seen you in time? Maybe, maybe not.

If you had left, say, 6 minutes earlier, but made it PAST the tree the driver hit before they got there, would you have been alright? Maybe, maybe not.

Clearly, you did NOT want to be on the SAME stretch of road at the same time as that driver. From what you've said, you missed them by just a couple of minutes.

So very much comes down to being in the right or wrong place, at the right or wrong time.

Unforseen influences can help. Maybe your friend told you one or two more jokes or stories during your visit, which kept you from leaving, not knowing that she was saving your life.

Think about it....from the time you began to think "Its getting time for me to go home", to the time you actually left, what was said which kept you there just a few more moments?

A warm thought shared, a touch of the hand, a smile...and you are with us today.

How small acts can have very large results.
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Old 08-22-10, 06:05 AM   #3
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Kind of makes you want to be more aware out there, huh?
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Old 08-22-10, 06:22 AM   #4
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Turn it around. The probability of being on that stretch of road at the same time as that driver was vanishingly small. And, in fact, you weren't. Arguably you were unlucky to be in the same vicinity, rather than lucky to have missed him. The universe is essentially benign, as evidenced by the fact that most of the time, we survive despite the myriad things that could possibly kill us.
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Old 08-22-10, 07:48 AM   #5
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Yea I think these experiences makes us feel really mortal. Just a little different timing could have made this a disaster for you. The older I get the more I appreciate everyday as a gift.
BTW congratulations on your new bike!
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