Looking Out To Sea

Minor road accident on the way home

Nearly two weeks ago I was cycling home from work, at most ten minutes away from the house, when I hit a car. The lights up ahead had changed to green and the vehicle in front moved away. My chain was making an odd noise so I looked down, which was my mistake.

According to the driver in front, a bus changed lanes in front and she slowed when I was expecting her to speed away. I slammed right into the back of the car, went over the top and hit my face on the boot. My right knee also hit the car and I still have some good discolouration there. Then I fell sideways — to my left, towards the pavement, thankfully — and crushed my shoulder under my full body weight. I have a thin scrape on my shoulder and a scab on the outside of my left knee. I think I hit my head on the road too, though my helmet has nothing to say on the matter. I certainly had a very sore neck for several days afterwards.

I was winded and numb down my left side for some time. The couple I had hit were very kind; definitely the nicest people I could hope to have been in an accident with. They loaded my bike into the boot and gave me a lift home.

I took the bike in for a service today and asked the mechanic to pay particular attention to the front wheel/forks. Other than the immediate issue of the impact it needed a thorough retune anyway. It’s clean and looks in good nick but it still picks up a fair amount of wear and tear.

And since I hit my head I should probably look at a replacement helmet. They’re supposed to be single-use items but it did its one job well.

I walked to work for the rest of the week, and since then I’ve been cycling more gingerly. In time I will get my confidence back and when I get my bike back from the shop I can hop on it with the knowledge that everything is working and ready to perform to the best of its abilities.

It’s an odd sensation being without a bike and watching many other people cycle past. I think I notice cyclists much more when I am walking — and more different types of cyclists too. I wonder what kind of cyclist I am? At the moment, the Recovering Cyclist.