Thursday, May 10, 2007

Crash

It has been far too long since I have posted and I have also neglected reading my favorite blogs these past few weeks. It’s really no excuse but work, life and training have been intense. I had fully intended to post today telling you about my crazy adventures, nutters training schedule, and witty observations on impending fatherhood.

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

13 comments:

Suzanne said...

Josh so glad to read that you are okay.

Sempre Libera said...

Ouch! I'm so glad to hear you're ok. Take care of yourself out there!

Bruce said...

Hey Josh, first time visitor to your blog, sounds like you had an incredible escape there. Could have easily been a lot worse. Stay safe.

JustRun said...

Yikes! I'm glad you're okay. I know several cyclists that have had the token car "run in." Not good. Be careful out there!

nyflygirl said...

wow...glad you're okay and that you escaped somewhat unscathed!! be careful out there...those crazy NYC drivers :)

Deene said...

holy cow!! doing stunts already!
I'm glad you walked away, someone was looking out for you.

Yarsh said...

Sometimes life has a way of saying "Ease back a little bit here..."

The most impressive thing to me is the courtesy of the car driver. What are the chances of such an incident occurring with the same results - you keeping your calm, and the driver being considerate? I'd think that easily more times than not, 1 side would come out blazing...

Glad you are OK.

the_ubster said...

I knew you had cat like reactions (those karate lessons you took as a kid didn't help you when you were getting mugged, but this time...) and now I see you also have 9 lives. Glad to hear you are ok. Salena and the baby need you! Take it easy.

Yvonne said...

now, hold on there just a minute. The driver was turning LEFT (did he have a green filter arrow light?) and crashed into you, going straight? How on earth do you figure the blame lies with you? If you were a car going straight, and he crashed into you, would you still blame youself? Bicycles on the road are meant be treated (just as you are meant to act) just like any other road vehicle, such as a car.

It drives me insane that cyclists and pedestrians are invisible to car drivers...especially in this city.

Anyhoo, as you say the important thing is that you (and he, I guess) are ok. Be careful out there. It makes me SO nervous every time my husband goes out for a ride - I see cycling as an extraordinarily dangerous sports on roads with cars.

Phil said...

Happy to read that you got through the crash with everything still attached. I'm amazed that you got out of the clips so fast. The next time I get hit by a car (SUV, TRUCK, etc) I hope that I hope I'm half as fortunate as you.

Have a safe week.

Mark MacLeod said...

Glad to hear you're okay. Be safe out there.

Chelle said...

oof...I just saw this, glad you're okay. I'll have to read further to see how the left quad is doing...pay attention to it though. There's an itb in there that might choose not tell you how badly it's bruised for another week or two.

Good luck this weekend!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

omg, i'm getting caught up on my blogs and just saw this! i'm glad you are ok, how scary!