I guess it had to happen…

… at some point.

Yes, my first ‘accident’, just after writing the previous post, I headed out to do some food shopping. So stupidly enough I was simply going down to the shops (not even a mile away!) when approaching a green traffic light a blue Ford Mondeo (number plate started with MM) came out from nowhere and cleverly thought to squeeze between me and a Golf turning right. Problem was, I had a kerbed island to my left and had nowhere to go, either I hit the car or the island glow box, I went for the latter went smack onto the ground and landed on my right wrist. I thank my lucky start there were no cars behind me.

The guy stopped, apologised, asked if I was ok and if I wanted to take his number, I was so shaken I just replied “no, I just want you NOT to hit cyclists”. Should I have got his number? I was shocked and furious at his stupidity (I did want to stamp on his head, sorry!) I just wanted to see the back of him. Bike was fine, I was fine, ish, and I just wanted to get back on the saddle.

What should have I done in your opinion?

I guess after 4 months of cycling it kinda had to happen (sad though that this is to be expected) but still. I now have the suspicion he was on his mobile while driving, anyway “ifs” are no good.

A very nice cyclist behind me stopped and checked if I was ok. That was nice of him as no other car or pedestrian bothered to stop.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. I did go to the shops in the end, there’s no stopping me from making apple crumble tonight!

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21 responses to “I guess it had to happen…

  1. Oh no! I am so glad that you and your bike are okay. Honestly, I would have probably done the same thing you did. Just wanted the man to go away, and not to deal with him anymore.

    • Thanks Kara : ) The kind cyclist, who stopped to see I was ok said I should have taken his number and reported him. He was probably right. I just hope that the driver was shaken as I was and thought better next time before cutting cyclists off like that.

  2. Oh gosh 😦 glad you and the bike are okay. Take care and make sure you take it easy over the next couple of days.

  3. Should you have taken his number? Yes, but then that’s easier said than done.

    At least he had some decency to stop and give you the opportunity to stamp on his head, but then he really should have had the intelligence not to put his self-importance before your safety. The sad truth is that his behavior isn’t unique.

    The most important thing is, as Kara & Charlie have said is that you are like Bonds Vodka Martini, but basically okay!

    The second most important from a bicycle point of view, is that upon realising you were okay, you got back in the saddle.

    Take care. Roland & Curt were right, it really is a mad world ;>D

    • Thanks Ian. Partly why I let it go was because he did stop and he did apologise, which was better than him speeding off (as it often happens in these occasions). But yes next time I will try and take numbers etc down. I was then tempted to just go home, but I thought that this wasn’t going to be the last time I may come off my bike due to poor drivers, so I did get back on the saddle and rode to the shops to stock up on ingredients for the crumble ; )… And I felt better for it ; )

      Oh a mad world indeed, but there are some fine people out there too as you all are testimony to that!

  4. I agree with Ian, its important to get back in the saddle or you can end up being put off indefinitely. I got hit by a left-turning dangerous driver (who overtook me to make the manoeuvre) about 3 years back and I insisted on riding home from the hospital that day (bike was alright). if it happened again now I would have taken it further than I did, but I wasn’t as jaded back then with respect to the standard of people’s driving.

    I’m glad you and bike are ok. Were you on the new (to you) bike at the time?

    • Thanks Mr C. Yes, was using the Dawes, which I think was a blessing in disguise as when I fell the bike fell on me, but the Dawes is relatively light, so no harm done neither to me nor the bike. It’s sad to hear we’ve all experienced at some point being hit by a dangerous driver. Although I really hope it won’t happen to me again, if it will I will be much stricter on asking details etc.

  5. So sorry to hear about this. I’m glad you and your bike are okay and that you managed to avoid something worse by quick thinking. I’m an advocate of getting a police report and insurance info in a situation like this, but who knows how I would react in your place, with all the adrenaline pumping. I certainly can understand the desire to put it behind me.

  6. LC it’s good to hear that you and bike are OK. It’s a good idea to write down the details of what happened including number plate, car make/model, time of day, place, conditions, and so on, if for no other reason than there are two things you never no for certain after an accident: the extent of your own injuries, and the story the other driver will tell later.

  7. Thanks both! I’ve certainly learnt for next time, but I am ok really. I had a badly sore wrist yesterday, but thankfully I was wearing my super duper bike gloves 😉 so some paracetamol and frozen peas did the trick made it all good again. But yes, I’ve learnt for next time (hoping there won’t be one though) to be stricter on taking down details, tel number etc. Cheers for the advice really appreciate it!

  8. Hey LC,

    Glad you are ok & thanks for the link.

    I’ve never been knocked off my bike (yet) so can only guess whether I would react the same as you did. I suspect it depends on the drivers reaction, by stopping & apologising it sounds like he diffused the situation just enough to be able to leave without getting your foot in his ear!.

    Don’t let this incident put you off the Dawes, but I definately think an upright position like on your Pashley is the safest way to cycle on the busy streets.

    Maybe a few of those Vodka Martinis would help with the sore wrist 😉 …… come to think of it my hand is still a little sore from the Marin Trail **heads off to the cupboard**

    • Hi Jim! Definitely not, like the Dawes too much, plus it wasn’t the bike’s fault, it was the dangerous driver’s fault. Pashely upright position is great no doubt, but if people care to drive cautiously we’d all have a better time on the roads 🙂 We should all feel safe riding on the roads, no matter what bikes we are on!

      I headed for the cupboard and made myself a toast with tons of nutella, felt immediately better lol!

  9. It’s sad to see you came a cropper because of some twit behind the wheel. You’ll get lots of advice about cycling in traffic, many mundane, and many specific to one circumstance. I’ve been cycling for 40 years and the best advice I can offer is to say:

    1 BE SEEN. Never mind helmets and lights, get some dayglo tops to slip over whatever you’re wearing. If a driver sees you, they are unlikely to hit you.
    2 RIDE ASSERTIVELY. Cyclists need a 4 foot width of road and are entitled to use it. DO SO! Don’t creep along in the gutter, stay 2 to 3 feet away from the kerb, ride steadily and consistently and make the vehicles wait behind you until it is safe for them to pass you. Don’t be afraid to look behind you to make eye contact with the driver behind as there is no better way of letting him/her know that they had better drive properly. Always acknowledge a driver who does give way to you, or waits till you pass or keeps a sane distance behind you. A nod or wave with a smile and a mouthed ‘thank you’ really does work wonders for you and them. Finally –
    3 MAKE GOOD TIME. Never dawdle or deliberately delay other road users. They are as much entitled to free passage along the road as you are, and they expect you to respect that.

    All of these tips will give you confidence and pleasure in riding. I’ve yet to hit, or be hit, by a vehicle and to get some idea of how much riding I do, I have just sold a Dawes cycle after 3 years of use: It had covered in excess of 24,000 miles.
    Keep cycling, your confidence and stamina will soar and your health, both physical and mental, will keep getting better. Happy riding!

    • Paul thanks for your comment. But I would like to say that drivers should see ‘us’ full stop, whether we are drivers too, whether we are pedestrians or whether we cycle. This culture of blaming the cyclists for not being ‘seen’ is starting to frustrate me. A dangerous driver (and I am not talking about my small incident!) is a dangerous driver. He/She will hit you no matter what you wear.

      I am really happy to hear you have not been hit and I wish for your safe cycle, but trust me we are all out there making sure we are safe, the idiot in a car will always be an idiot unfortunately, and coupled together with poor highway maintenance it’s a nasty mix.

      Many thanks for all your tips, happy cycling to you too! 🙂

      • LC

        Perhaps I should have added a fourth rule: Don’t be a hero. Most heroes, you will find, are in cemeteries.

        No matter how much you wail and complain about poor driving standards, those poor driving standards are out there and dead and damaged cyclists prove it daily. You HAVE to help yourself. Hi-Vis sleeveless tops are available virtually everywhere and cost less than a fiver. Compare that with the cost of a broken bone!

        I doubt you could accurately describe what constitutes dangerous driving / drivers. If I’m an experienced cyclist, I’m a hugely experienced driver (car, HGV & PSV licences held for almost 30 years) and I can usually deduce what drivers are going to do before they even see a problem ahead. These drivers aren’t dangerous per se, they are simply not thinking about their driving. 95 drivers in every hundred, when seeing a cyclist, just accelerate around him / her. Looking if it’s safe to do so never enters their mind. I have actually had a car accelerate past me only to slam into the back of a stationary car 10 yards ahead. The driver was a teacher in his forties who might be expected to be alert and responsible. Was he dangerous – or simply on autopilot? I could lecture all night on poor driving, but it won’t cure it so I take care to deal with it. I cycle sensibly, and expect everyone else to be an idiot. It keeps me safe.

        Widening the argument to include poor road surfaces simply deflects attention from the point I make; Good riding habits prevent accidents. Poor riding surfaces cause accidents but individual cyclists cannot be expected to effect repairs to potholes and crumbling road surfaces, whereas individual cyclists can adopt good riding habits. Yes, I know potholes can be reported to local authorities for repair, but the wary, road savvy cyclist avoids them whilst waiting for the council gets its act together.

        We are not going to go back to having red flags paraded in front of cars, are we? Then why pretend it may happen? Cyclists share the road with other road users and it is as much our responsibility to share roads safely as it is a car driver’s responsibility. I see no virtue in lying half dead on a pavement because of some high minded principle about who should have seen who. I’ll take the £5 vest and stay healthy, thanks.

        A question to close with: Do you wear a cycling helmet?

      • Paul, please I don’t want to be argumentative. I am a safe cyclist and I am a safe driver too. My blog is not about starting debates/arguments on who’s right or wrong, or who’s a better cyclist or not. Nor it is about cycling helmets etc. I do wear one, but I completely respect people who do not want to wear one. Please respect my comment too. My blog is a way to share my experience of using a bike as a simple mode of transport. A very viable mode of transport instead of the car. To share the joys of it, the benefits of it health and money saving wise as well as things I’d like to see being improved. Perhaps I should have kept this post to myself, but as a normal human being I want to share the good with the ugly too, it’s normal I guess. I do appreciate your comments and advice, but I reserve the right to disagree on certain aspects.

        Many thanks.

  10. LC

    You are perfectly entitled to post your experiences and if anyone should apologise for being argumentative, it’s me. I love cycling, warts and all, and I am hugely supportive of you and your new found love of it. Keep going, cycling is everything you describe it to be.

    I’ll add no more comment to this subject other than this one. You are perfectly happy to wear a helmet for your own safety. Why not a Hi Vis vest?

    Paul

  11. I am so glad you ended up ok!!! I would have done the same thing too and told the man to go on his way.

    I have seen so many people lately who are driving while talking on their phone, so horrifying, and so dangerous for all road users and pedestrians.

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