Stand at any corner in any busy urban area and eventually you see a car crash. It is the same for bike commuting. If you ride long enough, you will have a bad day. My bad day came Monday night. Biking home at 10:00 pm after working on Apple Jacks and testing all sorts of other recipe web sites, I climbed Westnedge Hill in the dark. I made it to the top with my usual aplomb. My sense of satisfaction was short lived, I was less than a block from my own home. As I was head over the handlebars pumping away towards the house. I heard a rumbling muffler and then I saw a pair of headlights coming dead at me. I panicked and aimed away from the headlights as fast as I could. I had been so absorbed in getting home that I let my guard down. And I also didn’t even see a totally black car parked on the side of the street. I was invisible to the car, and the parked car was invisible to me, until it was too late.
I impacted the compact car at about 15-20 mph with my front tire. I was flung high and to the left. I smashed out the tail light on the car with my tire and right hand. I was launched at least 10 feet and then landed right on my head. I bounced and then my face and body slowed me down.
By some stroke of luck, I was not injured seriously or killed. I have some serious scrapes on my face and general soreness over the right half of my body. My bike didn’t fare too badly either. I had to true the wheel and get some new tape for the handlebars.
My lesson learned from this is to stack the odds in my favor with lots of flashy lights, a big headlamp, and a reflective vest. Which is all stuff I should have had before, but I guess I am the biking equivalent of the yahoo who paddles out into November storms with no lifejacket, no roll, and no immersion gear. Everyone has their come to Jesus moment with fate. I’ve had mine. Time to pony up!