Monday, July 26, 2010

I Fought the Car and the Car Won

I must have ESP or after riding offroad, I decided to do a little urban riding to just have more saddle time. While riding suddenly a thought popped into my head about my helmet. It is several seasons old and I probably should have replaced it this past summer. I was thinking, about my helmet and its job, etc. I kept riding.
I was also thinking about breakfast. I was hungry. I was thinking about riding to a Zuliano empanada stand (empanadas are Venezuelan pastries that are stuffed with all sorts of stuff, i.e., dried fish, ham and cheese, ground beef, shredded beef, cheese, etc. Zulia is a state in Venezuela which is like Texas. Everything is different in Zulia...even the empanadas.) 

Anyway on the way to the empanada place, I had to ride in traffic. A small car passed me, then swerved into the curb towards me, trying to go around a car. I banged on the car's window but that made things worse. I hooked my handlebar under the door handle of the car and the car gave me a judo flip. I hit the pavement rolling, my beloved Merlin bouncing on the pavement with me. I immediately got up, mostly pride that was hurt. I skinned my right knee/shin pretty good, have some kind of lump on my lower left shin, skinned my knuckles where my half-finger gloves exposed the skin, and a must of bruised a rib. I was shaking a bit. 
 Damage to my bike was minimal. My handlebar/stem was a bit out of alignment from the fork and a broken drive-side spoke so I had a wobbly wheel on the way home. No damage to the carbon fiber fork or handlebar as far as I've looked.

I apologized to the driver for being overly aggressive, and that I had broke her door handle. (I should have braked and not been so aggressive/assertive, but that's how I ride on the road.) I feel bad for that. Law in Venezuela favors me, the cyclist, so I think she was happy to get away with a broken door handle. 

Ultimately I could have been mangled worse, especially if I had been thrown under the wheels of a truck. I was lucky this time.

Be careful out there.


Gunnar Berg said...

Ouch! I'm glad both you and the bike are well - more or less.

Onetime I lost control on a downhill and hit a fence. I was impaled on a steel fencepost as I careened over the top, protecting a newly repainted '81 Colnago Super. The bike was unscathed. I was beat to hell and 40 miles from my truck. A loooong ride 40 miles.

Mimbres Man said...

I once crashed offroad and landed on my head sustained a sever concussion. Luckily I riding with a friend and another guy. The guy rode down the mountain to call 911. My friend stayed with me. When a 4x4 ambulance finally showed, my friend said I would not get on without my Merlin. I don't remember anything, but apparently I won the argument. My bike was in the ER with me. Fortunately one of my cycling buddies was a doctor who was on call and took over. After I was okay and taken care of, he put my bike in his truck for safe keeping and took it to his house. He wrote all this on my hand with a Sharpie. When I finally came around later in the evening, I asked where my bike was, and my brother said to look at my hand. It said, "Dr. Sargeant has your bike." That's all I cared about.

mark scotch said...

I'm riding down the backside spine of a volcano in Maui,HI in a few hours....first real DH ride, armor and all that, 17 miles, 7,000 feet of elevation drop...wish me luck and say a little prayer. Will check in later if I make it...if I don't...well, contact my wife if you want a GF HiFi, Paragon or Salsa handbuilt by Carl Strong with a dent in the top tube!!

redravine said...

Dang, don't do that anymore! Glad you're OK.