We started off in good spirits. We congregated at the Thorndale Red Line stop where Al5 and Jenny were getting people to fill out surveys concerning community Gardens, part of Jenny’s thesis. The riders assembled: Fugazi Dave, Stickerguy, Skitbraviking, Cyclorat, [ 165 ] and me. A flat and a slow leak were fixed and we headed south to Argyle. A stop in at Ba Le for some banh mi sandwiches and beverage and we made another stop off at Urban Bikes in Uptown. Picked up a few things and looked around. We were off again, terrorizing the streets and irking drivers. While on Broadway we lost [ 165 ] and Skitbraviking. They pulled out as the four of us headed south, with the Handlebar as the final destination for some R & R.
Cyclorat was pulling point with me closely behind followed by Fugazi Dave and Stickerguy. The two of us pulled through a three street intersection lights not in our favour. Fugazi Dave and Stickerguy were behind waiting for the green and I looked back, and then again shortly after.
The second time emitted a “****” from my mouth as I felt a cool shiver run down my spine. In a brief glimpse I saw a cab, a bike fly in the air and that “thud”. I’ve never gotten used to hearing the thud of an accident, or the screeching of rubber. As I doubled back, Cyclorat following suit, I saw Stickerguy was up and a small Lincoln Park contingent had gathered. The cab was blocking my view. Fugazi Dave wasn’t on his feet. With great trepidation and afraid to see what might be around the corner I pulled up.
I saw the bike first, the front tire warped. I saw no blood on the ground. The frame, bent in two places. “Percival”, Fugazi Dave’s current sticker on the frame stared back at me as I found a line of sight to Fugazi Dave himself. He was sitting, knees arched, feet on the ground. Everyone was asking if he was okay. He was stunned, a little bit in shock. He got up, he insisted he was okay. The cab driver was up and asking too.
Cyclorat made the call to clear the street and get everything off the ground and to the side. We gathered at a corner. I remembered to breathe at this point, a mixture of disgust, relief and a bad vibe hitting me all at once. We kept checking in with Fugazi Dave, who was responding well. The cabbie was a good guy -- he pulled his cab over and talked with us, completely upfront, caring and claimed responsibility. I was surprised. I was glad. I didn’t want this to degenerate into a fight, an argument, a disagreement. The parties were handling this like adults.
We stood there on the corner, discussing what just happened as an ambulance came by and left when Fugazi Dave said he was fine, a cop came and filled us in. Fugazi Dave went to handle some business and we stood there talking, recounting. He came back, locked his bike up and left for the police station to file a report, the cabbie taking him. It sounds twisted in a way but it seems right too. Somehow, this didn't end up with anyone hurt and with anyone slinking off. We can count our stars tonight. The four of us said our farewells and headed off, the ride ended but planning to do it again anyway.
(I also took photos of the broken Percival, 'tis sad. Will post later - Dave will probably recount the experience too - glad you're okay - and I got that frame for you if you want it).