Just a thought, something to think about:
I was not in an accident. “Accident” implies something unpreventable, unavoidable.
I was in a crash, a collision.
Everything about what happened on Friday was 100% preventable.
I was traveling at nearly 23 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone. There was no reason for the vehicle to pass me.
I clocked it on the video. Seven seconds elapsed from the time she began to pass me until the point we collided.
In no more than two more seconds, had we not collided, I would have passed the entrance to the parking lot. Had she waited behind me instead of passing me she would have reached the parking lot entrance three seconds later than she did by passing me.
She risked my life to try to save three seconds.
If I had been in a car traveling 23 miles per hour, two miles per hour under the limit, she would not have even considered passing me.
Fact is, I am not aware of any Bike/Car collisions that were not preventable if either the motorist, the cyclist, or both had exercised a little more care, attention and consideration.
Is the life of a cyclist really not worth three seconds of your time?
The collision occurred at about noon on this past Friday. It is Wednesday morning as I write this.
In the five days since the collision I have run through every imaginable emotion.
In the immediate aftermath I tried to make the people around me more comfortable. I was joking with the police officers and EMTs. I was lighthearted and casual on the phone with Missus. I was trying to reassure them and myself that I was ok.
Then I was frightened. I was in pain. More pain, covering more of my body than I can remember ever experiencing before. I was starting to feel the effects of the concussion and that frightened me.
in waves came despair, anger, fear and more anger. I was confused, felt guilty for getting hit, worried in turns about getting on the bike again, worried about missing work….
I really don’t know how I will feel when I am able to ride again and I get on a bike for that first ride.
I do know how Missus will feel.
She watched her husband get on his bike and ride off. She fully expected that she would see me in about two hours, tired but smiling and ready for a shower. If she got a call during the ride it would be a mechanical problem I couldn’t fix on the road and a “please come get me”.
Now when I go out the door and she watches me go down the road she will fear an entirely different phone call.
I won’t forgive the motorist for that.
On The Grand Scale.
This is not all that bad. I am alive. I should be grateful and move on I suppose. I get that sense from some of the comments I hear.
A friend and cycling buddy suffered a far worse collection of injuries from a car/bicycle collision. EJ was hit when a driver turned in front of him from the left. It was also a t-bone but where my bike and I were pushed sideways, EJ hit straight on. The results were nearly fatal.
I know of others who had it worse than me.
I know this but this is me. This is my trauma. Make no mistake. This is a trauma.
My head is feeling the effects of the concussion and will for months. My left leg is in constant pain. The damage to the skin will take weeks to heal, months to fully heal. My right shoulder is in steady pain and I face weeks of physical therapy to get the shoulder moving right. My arms, hands and fingers are all dealing with some sort of physical issue.
And I feel fear about riding again.
SO I get it. I know that on the GRAND SCALE I am alive, all my injuries will heal, I will be able to ride again and I get to go on with my life. I know.
But I am hurting. Physically and emotionally. I always trusted my riding skills. I always trusted my decision making skills out of the road. I believed that my awareness of everything around me would help protect me. Maybe it did. Maybe this was the one I could not have prevented. Maybe this one required the driver to care enough about me as she did about saving three seconds.