Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

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About that bike mishap on Monday morning...

About three miles from campus, on Plummer Ave., an usually long line of cars had built up at a light for some reason. Following my habit, I rode along the right side of the stopped cars, there being plenty of room between them and the sidewalk.

Going about 23 mph as I approached an uncontrolled intersection, I saw that the stopped cars had left a gap for vehicles wanting to go through from straight across or by making a left. At that intersection was a car waiting to make a right but it could not turn out because of the stopped traffic.

As I approached that gap I specifically thought to beware a car coming through, but none appeared. So my eyes glanced to the right-turning car in case it should decide to creep forward and block my path. Then back to the gap and AAARRRGGH!! CAR!!! but it was too late by that point.

Someone had just made a left turn and was directly in my lane. I hit the brakes hard and fast, but no way... I skidded into the car behind its right rear wheel. I don't know exactly how I impacted the car nor how I came off the bike, whether flipping over, or somehow twisting off or what. But next thing I knew I was on the ground watching my bike come down and being glad it wasn't very heavy.

Almost instantaneously I bounced to my feet and stared after the car, which had continued driving down the road, apparently oblivious to the whole thing. It didn't speed away, not did it brake and then drive off. But it was too far away for me to see its plate number.

A couple drivers of other cars asked if I was okay, and I got my bike over to the sidewalk and straightened out the handlebars, which had gotten knocked out of whack. After checking over self and bike, I got back on and rode into campus, then over to the drug store for a bottle of H2O2 for a fun showering experience with my new wounds.

The event ended up costing me about $50 to have the front wheel trued (because it was slightly out of alignment) and a new back tire put on (because hitting the brakes so hard had torn away a couple of inches of tire almost down to where you could see the tube inside!).

And my lesson is learned: don't go so fast along a line of parked cars.

My larger wounds... the big circular pattern is weird, and it happened despite being covered by cycling shorts, which aren't torn or anything.

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