The Chainlink

Welp, I suppose that the myths are true.  If you bike long enough - you will get hit by a car.  I try my best to swim out of my anger pool and just be enthralled that I wasn't seriously hurt.

 

The Story:

 

Location: Irving and Broadway Intersection

Direction: East-bound

Aggressive Biking Mode: OFF

 

As I was enjoying the post-rain sunshine on my way home from the Lincoln Square 'AppleFest' I was struck by a white Bonneville that was driven by a black male with dreds. 

 

As some of you might know, this intersection gets a little crazy, as there are typically cars stopped turning left onto Broadway or Claredon.  As I rode through the Broadway intersection, there was NO cars waiting to turn left.  However, apparently despite the moving traffic this driver wasn't satisfied with his position in line.  From behind me - he passed the car in the left lane (which was NOT stopped, but moving along normally) and attempted to squeeze between me on my bike and said car.

 

I first noticed this when I saw the corner of his car approx. 4 inches from the heel of my left foot.  Before I could completely get out, "OH SHI...!", he floored his car rolling me and my bike down the side of his car ripping his side mirror off, dangling now from a single cable.  There was no doubt that he saw me, tried this dumb move, and then ran.  He saw me, he definitely heard me (between me yelling some explicatives and the sound of me hitting his car), but no...he ran.  A young couple driving an SUV behind me stopped to check to see if I was okay, and then offered to chase after the guy in an attempt to get his plate.  I very appreciatively accepted their offer, unfortunately, they came back in a few minutes with nothing - idiot driver had gotten away.

 

With the acception of a nice bruise and cut on my leg, everything - including my bike - is fine.  Now I'm only mentally scarred.  I've been commuting 19mi (each way) to Elmhurst about once a week over the last few months.  Now I'm freaked to ride. 

 

Question: How long after you got hit did you get back out?  Change anything? Any wiser?  Or are we all just destine to become a speedbump?

 

Ride on,

-Brian

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I was riding the next say.  I changed nothing.  You can't let other peoples stupidity change what you do; nothing about it was your fault.

Glad your ok.

 

That intersection is tricky and going up Broadway it's really narrow for me.

 

I didn't get hit but did swerve this summer to avoid a wide left turner then wrecked.

Only reason I didn't ride the very next days were I rode Critical Mass that night, was really sore and had no place to be.

The vindictive person in me wants to suggest you stake out the intersection in case that's part of his commute and he'll be there tomorrow for you to get his plate.
Please tell me you called 911 and gave a description of the vehicle and noted the missing mirror.  Did the people in pursuit get a license plate?

That intersection needs to be changed.  It's a death trap in my opinion.  I haven't checked Steven Vance's crash map, but I'd assume there are bike crashes and car crashes there often.

 

Glad you are ok.  If you feel you need it, Active Trans does a crash support group every month.  I've heard nothing but good things from the support group.

 

 

Best advice. Get back on and ride.

 I got hit in July and rode as soon as my bike was fixed. I am more paranoide now and am noticing the cars next to me while I am riding, more than ever.

 

It made more defensive(careful).

What follows is based on what I remember from this 60 minutes story (you can watch it for yourself and correct me if I'm off base):  http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/11/22/60minutes/main2205629.shtml

 

When to get back on the bike?  IMMEDIATELY.

The quicker the better, based on what I think I've gleaned from watching a story on 60 minutes about mice/fear/PTSD.  

 

This might be way off, but here's my take on it: The idea is that you dilute the memory by laying on more (hopefully positive) memories while all those stress chemicals are still in full effect.  If you just sit and dwell on the crash, then you get this big old fear response later on.  If you're able , get back on the bike ASAP.  As in, within minutes.  

 

 

I was in a really bad accident in August.  I sustained very severe head trauma.  Because of the head trauma, I don't remember anything about the accident.  I don't know the specific situation that nearly killed me, so how could I learn from my mistake and take to the road again?  I think it's important to get back on the bike again, you are strong, you are morally right, you are a cyclist.  You inspire others to don two wheels and influence the city to continue building bike lanes.  You are the future of transportation for the masses, the answer to a lot of the country's problems, and damn good at following traffic laws.  I thought to myself- I can't not cycle.  Not only for only my benefit but for those around me too.  It's too important.  I need to be out there in traffic and so do you to make a statement. everyone who can be on a bike should!  With that being said, my brain injury requires me to ride a dinky tricycle instead of my usual sleek single speed.  But that doesn't matter- what matters is that you are on the street.  you are strong. you just have to keep telling yourself that.    

Well said.

Carly said:

 You inspire others to don two wheels and influence the city to continue building bike lanes.  You are the future of transportation for the masses, the answer to a lot of the country's problems, and damn good at following traffic laws.  

Get back on immediately and ride as carefully as you feel like.  Gradually you will get back to feeling comfortable on the road again. 

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