Saturday, July 16, 2011

Down and Out

Today I went out for a bike ride.  I was coming along a street waiting for the red light to turn green.  I wanted to go straight and there was a right turn lane.  I was slowing to get behind the car in the straight lane when a tow truck driver came along side me to turn right.

The driver didn't see me and since I was between lanes he pulled up to the cross street and waited to turn left.  The only trouble was I was attached to the side of his truck.  Since he didn't see me when he pulled up, he took me with him.  I couldn't get away so I fell against the truck and down to the ground.  He was pulling a Subaru on a dolly so I fell between the truck and the car.  The truck didn't stop - although it was going slow.

I was yelling to stop but he kept moving up to the cross street.  I tried to push away from the car since the wheels of the dolly were coming up.  I got away just in time but the dolly wheels ran over my bike seat and my back tire doing significant damage to the bike.

At this point my wife, who was behind me, was yelling also, so the truck driver stopped.  The police came and interviewed us.  The tow truck driver wasn't at fault since I was in-between lanes.  I got a lecture from the cops about following the rules of the road.  I should have been squarely in the straight lane and taking up a space like a car. 

I am physically OK but I have my ego bruised.  Yeah, I could have done things better but the driver of the tow truck could have cared less that he ran over a bicyclist.  He yelled at me when I got up off the ground and he kept yelling at the cops about the accident until one cop had to tell him to shut up.  I even went over after the accident to tell him I had no hard feelings but he continued to chastise me for being in the wrong place. 

I feel run over, not physically, but like I was just in everyone's way.  I know I need to take personal responsiblity for things and we are so litigious as a society that no one wants to say anything for fear of being sued later, but as soon as the cops and the guy saw that I wasn't bleeding internally, the whole experience was so blazee.  Write up the report, file this, etc. 

I feel like a big dork.  If I had just followed the rules of the road and taken up a space in the line going straight this probably wouldn't have happened.  My wife and I were both scraped up, she fell too.  No one was injured, but I could have been killed.  

My scrapes will heal and my bike can be fixed I think. I hope the frame is OK.  Everyone else can feel good about not doing anything wrong.  I guess the moral of this story for me is respect the car.  I would also ask that drivers double and triple check when bikes are traffic. 

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