Monday, February 04, 2008

Cyclists are people too

This morning was a typical morning. Wake up early, throw on some gear, grab a bike and out the door for the daily commute to work. Less than a block away from home it was obvious the ride was going to be a bit more interesting than the typical commute. Lincoln had been dipped in a glaze of ice. Black ice everywhere coupled with a blanket of fog choking out the sunrise. Rain gear was necessary to stay dry while cutting through the thick wet brisk morning air.

Every turn was slow and planned. Every revolution of the cranks were muted. Too much force and you'd find yourself fishtailing. Not many commuters braved the ice this morning, but I did cross paths with one. He passed me going the other direction and was off the trail and riding in the grass. Hmmm...maybe I should ride in the grass too. Nah, fuck it. I was a bit more adventurous and plowed ahead on the trail. The cracking of ice was audible over the iPod. Pretty damn cool.

The ride was uneventful for the most part. Had one motorist honk and point at the cross walk sign as I rode threw the "No walk" signal (no one else was around and it was plenty safe to cross). Thought about flipping him off, but restrained myself. That's another topic for another day.

From my best estimates, I was about 9.95 miles into my 10 mile commute when I went down in one of my final turns on a lonely street behind Walmart. The street is unoccupied at the moment and is hardly traveled by motorists. The surface is paved and has a small chunk of concrete filler between two stretches of tarmac where the street turns 90 degrees. The concrete ended up being a sheet of ice. I didn't notice the ice until I was kissing it. No time to react at all. Shoulder, hip, knee and elbow hit hard. Real hard.

Okay, not a big deal, right? All commuters have the occasional crash, especially in conditions like today. That didn't bum me out. In fact, I expected to go down somewhere during my commute this morning and was happy to land on my right side for a change. Need to balance out my scars after all.

What really bugged me was the motorist behind me. A mid-sized SUV was creeping up on me prior to the crash. After kicking the bike from my shoes I looked up from the icy concrete to make sure I wasn't going to get run over. Nope, the motorist slowed down. While still sprawled out on the ice I noticed the motorist rolling up to me slowly. I looked up at her through her passenger window and noticed a big toothy smile. Then she rolled away.

No offer for help, no obligatory "Are you alright?", no look of concern, just a big toothy smile as if to say, "You dumbass, what did you expect riding a bicycle today. You deserve it." She drove out of sight with me still lying on the concrete relatively motionless as I absorbed the pain.

After shaking off the body slam, I sat up, did a quick damage assessment and thought to myself, what if I was really hurt. What if I had broken my hip, neck or back? This motorist had no regard for an injured cyclist. Fuck, no regard for potentially injured person for that sake.

The final kick in the nuts was when I noticed the vehicle pull into my place of employment. It was a coworker of mine. Happy fuckin' Monday to you too.


scott showen said...

what else would you expect from a lazy bitch in a suv this morning, if thats what happened to me i would consider it normal.

i only had one close call, but made it ok, i don't really have to worry about traffic when i go to work.

mw said...

yeah. sketchy ride this morn. the bike path was icy-er than the roads. i bout fell at capitol parkway and 27th but kept it upright.

too bad about your co-worker. most people lack common courtesy and respect.

Paul said...

Ouch. Sorry to hear about that. I am glad to hear you are ok!

gravy said...

Yeah.. I rode about a block and turned around.

I drove my car and got a $100 ticket for expired plates... from January... which I renewed... I just put the tags on yesterday on the way to work, because I drove my car and one tag fell off.

Karma and bikes... I broke the code.

T-bone said...

You should slash her tires and then come out when she's changing them and smile.

Did you ride today (Tuesday)? I had two crashes on the ice and they both sucked.

Cornbread said...

I probably shouldn't have rode Monday, but I'm a dumbass.

I wussed out today and drove. Glad I did. It's quite nasty out there and my ride home would have been a ten mile commute into 25 to 30 mph winds. No thanks. I'll save that for the weekend. :)

MG said...

glad to hear you're okay cornbread.

i wouldn't worry too much about that coworker of yours. she's clearly got issues larger than whether to stop and see if you need help to deal with... how dare you interrupt her important day!!! lol...

let those negative vibes roll off you like rain dance, my brother. she's noone to you, and someday when she needs help and nobody bothers to look up from their work to help her, and she wonders why, perhaps she'll think of all the times she could have helped someone else...

... but I bet she won't. we'll still be rippin' it up and having fun on our bikes!


Cornbread said...

So true Matt, so true.

CJ said...


Speaking of the there a D street ride going out tommorrow?

Peace out