I had a minor accident last week. It was my first. A car paused and rolled through a stop sign as I was coming rather fast down a hill after a green light (I had the right of way, but she didn't see me). I saw her in time to say my 's' word three times and she saw me as my front wheel touched her car, so we were stopped as much as possible, but impact did happen. I stopped the rest of the impact with my hand on the hood and then fell in slow motion to the ground. My arm is a bit scraped up and rather bruised, but otherwise I am fine. Also, she has already paid for the bike damages that the bike shop gave me (the wheel and hub need to be replaced and have been ordered and the bike is in the shop). I guess what I am saying is it was a best case scenario if an accident had to happen and I feel pretty lucky.
Now, I am dealing with social implications of an accident. First of all, I learned it is easier to go through a (minor) accident than witness it. The pedestrians and the driver were all on the verge of tears while they were coming to my aid (I was startled more than injured).
Within the two hours of the accident, when I went into the bike shop the guys who work there all told me about being backed over by cars, swerves, and near-misses.
Because my arm is bandaged up (just giant bandages for road burn, not any kind of sling), lots of people ask 'what did you do to your arm?' When I tell them, their faces turn white or they lecture (especially non-cyclists lecture) or they tell me about 'their friend a cyclist' and the worst accident their friend was ever in.
I know a lot of it is out of human compassion and concern, but the stories I am hearing are stressing me out. My actual accident wasn't bad, but lots of people are expressing their fears to me.
I am a blinking light reflective-vest wearing cyclist. I usually cycle in very busy areas and have to go under a highway to get to my usual loop, but this accident happened with no traffic at 8am in a quiet residential area and it was one of the only times I wasn't wearing a reflective vest . . . because I was running an errand (rather than 'cycling'), but my blinkers were on all over the place. I have pulled out my lime-green cycling jacket and have vowed to wear that for every ride, hoping that will make me most visible.
I'm not sure exactly what I'm asking, but it seemed like this would be the group of people who would understand. My bike is in the shop until at least the end of the week. I do miss my bike. I'm feeling sobered by the accident, but (I am hoping) not fearful.