Home » Fear »Fitness » Currently Reading:

Share The Road

February 26, 2012 Fear, Fitness No Comments

I burned a day’s worth of fear calories this afternoon as Greg and I set off on our long bike ride. We left the house at the same time and headed toward downtown San Mateo. Greg always takes a different route through town, and it’s fun game to see which of us is faster. It largely depends on hitting the traffic lights just right more than anything else.

He got lucky and sailed through one of the lights that takes forever to turn. I was stopped on the other side of the intersection as he made the turn, looking back at me with a big smile that he had “won.” It was then that a Mazda minivan came out of nowhere and directly into his path. I saw the whole thing.

Greg has excellent bike-handling skills and was able to swerve  in order to avoid a more direct hit. He skidded a little bit and caught his balance, though it was clear that the drive had clipped him. The van pulled into a parking spot next to where Greg had gotten off his bike to check the damages. This whole thing happened in 12 seconds. I know this because the pedestrian countdown was ticking away those seconds as I waited for my light to turn green.

This is what happened: the driver of the minivan did a u-turn in the middle of the street (seemingly to snag a parking spot on the opposite side of the street). She didn’t see Greg as she made her turn, as he was coming fast on his bike around the corner. She wasn’t going fast at all, but did turn directly into him.

Greg got very lucky that he was not personally injured. I could see that the car hit his left leg/ankle, based on the way he was wobbling to regain control. He said that it felt like his foot got caught in the front wheel well and he couldn’t get it out for a few seconds. There are a few scuffs on the rear drop-out of the bike. Once he got stopped, he immediately removed the front wheel to test its integrity. Ruined. Greg just got this new tri bike and today’s ride was his second time on it. So disappointing…

Of course, it’s just a piece of equipment and things could have been so much worse. We really dodged a bullet on this one. The driver is trying to say that her light was green (which it wasn’t, because I was waiting at the same light on the other side…) and that doesn’t matter anyway because she made the illegal u-turn before the intersection. Now it’s a matter of whether to fight it or not. The wheel will cost over $300 to replace, not to mention if he has the scratches buffed out on his brand new bike.

The public service announcement to everyone is to WATCH FOR CYCLISTS! This includes motorcycles as well as bicyclists. You don’t have to like us sharing the roads with you, but you do have to respect our right to be there.


Comment on this Article: