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Hitting the Deck


There is a moment of inevitability where everything slows down, a realisation that you are no longer in control of what is about to happen next, and I thought to myself “Oh crap, I haven’t been in this situation for a while… this is going to hurt… do what you can to minimise the damage?…my shoulder is slowly extending far enough that it hurts, thats weird…here comes the ground…”

Then impact. I hit the ground, landing on the edge of my foot, hip and forearm, spreading the load and sliding across the tar seal.

As I was sliding to a halt, I saw my bike from what looked like an artistic low angle camera shot, it came from over my shoulder and went flying ahead. Chucked on the ground 3-4m in front of me, just like someone had picked it up and thrown it on the ground. As the friction from my slide across the road ground me to a halt I rolled over and looked back at the the car that had hit me. It had stopped. So had I. I allowed myself a few seconds to pull myself together and get back up off the ground. The damage did not appear that bad, I had a few sore spots, mostly my shoulder at that point, but as what had happened started to sink in other bits were starting to hurt like my hip and arm.

As I picked myself up, what appeared almost immediately was two women who quickly jumped to my aid, one of them a nurse all too keen to help me out as best she could. I was in a bit of shock, I didnt know what to do and I had no idea how to answer all the questions being fired my way… It was one of those situations where someone needed to take charge, but it didn’t really happen I was just in a blury haze of mild confusion. I just wanted to get back on my bike and ride home. Luckily the bike was all in one piece, miraculously only a few very minor scratches on it, the chain was off but that was about it.

The driver, she was also in shock by the looks of things, standing behind the action women, embarrassed and looking worried, She had been driving along minding her own business, on her way home in slow traffic. It was just after 5pm on a grey day so it was getting dark. Unbeknown to her I was riding alongside the traffic to the left, possibly a little bit faster than the traffic until the cars had just started to move again.

I was also on my way home nearing an intersection I saw a green car ahead of me start to indicate left, then almost immediately it moved ever so slightly to the right, which I mistook for her allowing for space to get around the car parked at the side of the road just before the turning lane. So I sped up rather than backing off to get clear before she turned, then almost immediately the car swung left and straight for her driveway at speed. I had nowhere to go, my immediate instinct was to brake, but it was way to late, a collision was inevitable. The car hit me with the front corner, I went flying over the wing mirror and right across the bonnet, hitting the ground in front, hard and fast.

She did not check her mirror before turning and I didn’t slow down fast enough when I saw her indicate. We both made our mistakes, unfortunately the consequences for a bike in this situation is much higher than the car or driver. Lucky for all involved it didn’t turn out as bad as it could have, I managed to ride home, the pain not really sinking in until the next day when I could hardly walk. Then for a week, I was on light duties while the grazes started to heal. The car didn’t look all that damaged, just a dirty black line across the front corner but hardly visible at all. A bit of time off for me and a timely reminder to look out for each other on the roads, expect the unexpected!

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Categories: Cycling

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