A Ride Gone Wrong
This has been a good cycling year for piling on miles. My monthly average during the summer dropped while I was in Canada helping friends and relatives with household projects. Some, make that all, of them are getting older and need assistance. I didn’t mind but it did cut into my annual mileage aspirations.
I have been knocking out the miles again since mid-September. I need about 1150 more in November and December to get to 5000. On November 20th I was aiming for another 55 miles or so. Things went south in Oceanside at about 1:00 PM. I was headed north on Myers Street on the right shoulder of the two-lane road when a Toyota Camry taillight and fender appeared on my left handlebar. The car wasn’t there; then it was. I put my left hand through the car’s left taillight then went down hard.
The driver backed out of an apartment parking lot and into my path. He wasn’t going very fast but I was making about 15 mph. After the impact I found myself lying on the pavement. I got up quickly then thought better of it and sat down; on further thought I just laid back to collect my thoughts. A few moments later I was more or less OK.
The driver of the car got out and we chatted. I have a 900-lumen flashing Nightrider light, hard to explain how he did not see me coming. He told me he was having family problems and asked me if he could leave, I told him to stay. He also said that the accident was probably his fault. I hope he told the cops the same story. The 911 operator tried to convince me I needed an ambulance but I declined. I just wanted a police response so I could make an accident report.
Ten minutes after the accident an Oceanside Lifeguard truck drove by so I flagged it down. They offered to bandage me up and when they asked me how old I was they strongly recommended an ambulance ride for an “evaluation”. I declined several times. I called my wife and asked her to pick me up. I asked if the lifeguards could give me a ride to the SoCal Bike Shop that was a few blocks away and they agreed. The lifeguard wanted to talk to my wife. He laughed while he was talking to her. I later found out she told him it didn’t matter if I was 18 or 78 and if I said I wasn’t going to get into an ambulance then I wasn’t. I guess I am stubborn at times.
The OPD eventually arrived and made out an accident report that won’t be ready for a week or so. The police said the driver had good insurance; I certainly hope so.
I have numerous scrapes and cuts on my left side, my legs didn’t fare too well either. My helmet cracked and I later discovered that a few fillings were knocked out so I’ll have to see my dentist. My cycling shorts are ripped, my handlebars are bent, my watch crystal is smashed, my riding classes are toast, my helmet needs replacement. My face has few scrapes but since I held my head down the helmet protected it. After a poor night of sleep, I had time to reflect that a medical evaluation might be a good idea after all. I spent a good part of the next day at the main Kaiser Permanente and checked out OK. A CT scan showed my head and neck had no apparent damage. I still have a few aches and pains several days after the collision. I looked a bit grumpy when I finally got home.
A friend recommended I contact a bike lawyer, since it is Thanksgiving week that will have to wait, plus I don’t have the accident report yet.
I am always on the lookout for errant cars on my rides and figured that it would be someone on cell phone that would “get” me, I was wrong about that.
Be careful out there, Murphy’s Law says that if something can go wrong it will. This is not news to me. I have not considered myself to be a “cheeky” person, until now.