I got rear-ended today
I got rear-ended today. Both the bike and I are fine physically, but I can’t believe how disorienting it is. I was sitting at a red-light and some kid ran right into the back of me. I went straight forward a couple of feet, but stayed up. I must have grabbed the brake, though I don’t remember it. The only damage was a scrunched up license plate, I lost a side reflector AND, OH YEAH, I GOT HIT BY A F-ING CAR. Kid hit me hard to break a bracket on the air dam of his little VW and pop out one of the air scoops. He was pleading something about being on his way to see his girl in the hospital with their first child and I was telling him to just shut his f-ing mouth for 5 seconds while I sort this out because YOU JUST HIT ME WITH A F-ING CAR, MAN. The police must have been driving by because they showed up in about 30 seconds. One officer was kind enough to point out that I was pretty lucky since “Normally we’re cleaning you people up off the road.” Thanks, Officer Sensitivity. Hey, here’s a thought: why don’t I, oh I dunno, HIT YOU WITH A F-ING CAR and see if YOU think it’s funny. I had the cop confirm the license plate and identity of the kid and told them I was going to ride off.
A big reason I didn’t want to hang around and make a federal case out of this issue is that there was like this weird clock ticking telling me I needed to get right back on my bike and RIDE...NOW. I’ve only been riding since June, and those of you who have read any of my posts know that I am not exactly Joe-Go-For-It-I’ll-Ride-Anything-Testosterone-Factory. I do not yet ride with unshakable confidence. Today, it took many miles to stop shouting into my helmet, “WHAT THE F-? I JUST GOT HIT BY A F-ING CAR!”and to exorcise that wet, sudden sounding CHUNK! out of my mind’s ear. In retrospect, I suppose I would prefer never to ride incapacitated, so to speak, nor would I recommend it. My case may be a little different, however. I can be stubborn to the point of abject stupidity.
I can live with the fact that I will be sporting chicken strips for the near future. This is the price of admission when you commit to learning to do something that not many people do. But I will not give back even one-quarter inch of whatever progress I have made. Not one quarter inch. Period. So I called into work and then rode until the 919 and I felt right again. As I came off the highway around the exit ramp, relaxed into my line, and checked the status of the traffic that I would soon merge into, I felt right again. Mentally, anyway. Pretty stupid on every other level, in hindsight.
I work pretty hard at my traffic skills to PREVENT an accident. I don’t really have a Just-In-Case set plan should something happen. This was the only leverage my ego needed to get me stupidly back onto the road immediately. I did a check of the bike and it was pretty obvious the tire took the brunt of it and seemed fine. Probably dissipated all of the energy bouncing me forward. I must have decided that if there was anything drastic, I would detect it immediately while trying to ride away. I talked to Barton664 and he recommended bringing it by the shop to have it checked, but I was still in my own egocentric world at that point. In the aftermath, I should absolutely have taken him up on his offer immediately before going on a 50 mile MoronQuest.
On a final note, I check my mirrors as I pull up at red lights, just in case there is some last second weirdness behind me. But I stop checking my mirrors once all of traffic is settled in and waiting for green. I guess you can never relax.