Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's the Second One That Gets You

That tire that seemed to be holding air so well yesterday was pretty low today, so apparently the slow leak is back. I'll take it in to the LBS tomorrow to have them find the problem and fix it.

That put me on the Trek Pilot for the ride in. I've mentioned before that the seat on that bike is not very comfortable in my work clothes, so I'm glad it's a short ride.

As I was riding down State Street and approaching University Drive, I heard the black SUV speeding up. It accelerated past me to make a quick right turn onto University in front of me. I was thinking about how close that was when I saw the second car out of the corner of my eye veering towards me. She was following the SUV's path, but I was there now!

I grabbed the brakes hard as she came over. If I hadn't, I probably would have bounced off of her door and maybe under the back wheel, but instead my front wheel was grazed by the back fender. I yelled as I tried (successfully) to keep the bike upright. The driver kept right on going.

What would you do in this situation? I was in the middle of the intersection still facing east and quite pissed. My instant reaction was to chase her down. I took off south on University Drive and saw her turn into an alley about a block and a half down. I got down there pretty quickly to see her dart into a parking lot. Once I reaching the lot she was pulling into a spot.

I crossed the lot and stopped about 15 feet behind her car, and it took her a while to get out. By this time I was breathing heavily and the adrenaline was starting to make my legs shake. By the time she finally left the car, I couldn't hold it still.

I said "Did you know you hit me back there on State Street?" "I didn't know. I'm sorry" (that was her only line - repeated often). I went on to tell her what happened and just yell a little more, but my voice was shaky and nervous. After 45 seconds or so I gave up, telling her to be more careful and sprinting away.

By the time I rode the last few blocks to my bike rack, I had calmed down, and was left with a big chain grease stain on my pants and a good story to tell my co-workers.

Home again on the south route was again uneventful.

Miles Ridden: 9.0


Anonymous John in Calgary said...

The trouble with her response is that it trivializes what she did and nearly did to you. There is something disturbing about being so careless with the lives of others. It would almost be better if she had said, "Yeah, I don't like bikers and was trying to kill you." At least the situation would then make some sense.

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It almost makes you want to rehearse some pithy lines to use in a situation like that (because they will happen again, believe me) so you don't have to fumble for words while you're recovering from the horror of a near-death experience.

1:12 AM  
Blogger christopher.lopez said...

Why didn't you call the police to report a hit & run?

7:42 AM  
Blogger Noah said...

Cops. Always.

You'd figure with more bicycles on the road lately, each individual cyclist would possibly be at a little less risk of a near-death experience.

Of course, then I think of Bayes' theorem. And realize what rubbish my logic is. And what a Nerd I am for bringing Thomas Bayes up while you're telling us about how you almost got killed.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Revrunner said...

Yeah, I know that adrenalin rush well. I was the same way when a guy in a pickup truck ran me off the road not too long ago. Takes a while to calm down, huh?

1:10 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Noah: Man! You are a nerd! :-)

John,Chris, Noah: looking back, I don't think she really cared about the whole thing. Next time, I will involve the police, especially if it happens within a couple blocks of the station again.

Noob: I rehearsed all kinds of good lines AFTER the incident.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Apertome said...

Oh man, that is scary stuff. I'm glad nobody got hurt ... I didn't call the cops when I had my accident, but if I had either their license plate number or a witness, I would have.

I'm glad you were able to chase her down and give her a piece of your mind, even if she didn't seem to care.

Did the collision do any damage to your wheel or tire?

1:21 PM  
Blogger christopher.lopez said...

Apertome, sorry to read about your injury. Forever scarred. That's quite a hit.

8:45 AM  
Blogger cafiend said...

People like that are the reason I DON'T renew my concealed carry permit. I don't need the temptation. Especially when it's some redneck bull in his pick-'em-up truck who is obviously throwing high and inside to chase me off his road. But negligent homicide from an airhead leaves you just as dead as a malicious attack by an irritable Neanderthal in command of hundreds of horsepower with only dozens of brain cells.

10:36 AM  

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