All of that will have to wait for another day. This morning I was hit by a car while training on the bike…
I know what you’re thinking and you don’t have to worry. The car is fine.
When I set out this morning I decided to take it easy on the bike to set myself up for a good evening run (two-a-days... I told you tri training is intense). The first lap of my 7 mile circuit was at an easy clip… I stayed out of the biggest gears and never got up above 20mph. Feeling good, I decided to pick it up in the second lap. I dropped down into the aero bars and began to work the pedals.
This particular ride takes me past the entrance to the infamous Rikers Island prison. Traffic here is generally light but was a little congested as I approached due to a red light. As I neared the intersection a car making a left hand turn onto a minor side street pulled out in front of me (see below diagram). I jammed on the brakes but it was too late.
There is an interesting phenomenon in situations like this. The world slows down and seems to move in slow motion... Tunnel vision sets in. For a brief moment I could also see the future and there was nothing to be done…
The car made contact with my left leg and all of my forward momentum redirected sharply and abruptly to the right. Somehow I unclipped from the pedals, jumped from the bike and landed on my feet, more or less walking away, before the bike ever hit the ground.
Ego wanted me to be angry with the driver. Legally, there is likely mutual culpability. The fault however is my own. I had slowed as I approached the intersection, I was obeying the rules of the road and I was exercising heads-up caution but I was still being too aggressive approaching a semi-congested intersection.
The man who hit me was kind, considerate and didn’t once give thought to his now scuffed bumper and hood. There was only sincere concern for life and limb. “Bicycles and bumpers can be replaced. You my friend cannot be…” very nice words from a man whose name I don’t even know. We parted with a handshake and bid each other a good day.
As I sit and write this the swelling in my leg is going down and I am developing a pretty gnarly bruise. My leg is sore but nothing seems broken or out of whack. The discomfort is easily manageable with some Tylenol.
Absolute luck, divine intervention or serious good karma… It doesn't really matter much. I am just thankful to be walking. In fact, the bike was not damaged and I was able to ride the last few miles home... I even contemplated riding another 7 mile circuit.
In the end I decided a long shower and second cup of coffee would be the more more prudent course of action.
I think I'll skip the run tonight too. Perhaps I'll do a good deed to build up some of that spent karma and then toast Jesus, Buddha, and my guardian angel.
“Any landing you walk away from is a good landing”
- Launchpad McQuack