Tuesday, 28 February 2012

That could have been much worse!

Don't know what's happened to the time, meant to write about this a while ago!

Well a couple of weeks ago I was hit by a car, it was quite a surreal experience which is why I thought I would record it for posterity.

I was cycling home from work, unusually and a little bit ironically (given my usual busy main road commute) on the quiet cycle path from Edinburgh to the Forth Road Bridge. I couldn't be bothered with Traffic that night, and wanted a slow, quiet, easy cycle home.

Cycled down the cycle path bit no problem, past Dalmeny - where incidentally I fell off the last time I had went home on the cycle path - and into South Queensferry where the path ends and you join a quiet residential street.

I was cycling down the residential street at about 15mph not really paying much attention to anything, why would I the road was empty?
Out the corner of my eye I see a Toyota Auris emerging from one of the Cul de sac's on my left. Fine I thought, I'm lit up like a Christmas tree with high vis jacket, flashing front light and really powerful front headlight, and I have right of way, carry on...

Shit, she's not going to stop!! Now my demeanour suddenly changes, I become alert and reactively slam on the brakes. From the 'Shit...' moment to hitting the deck probably only took 4 or 5 seconds in reality, but in my minds eye it was at least 40 seconds. Some of the thoughts that went through my head were really quite weird, and went something like this...

"Shit, she's not going to stop, this is going to really hurt".
Brakes slammed, "I'm almost at a stop, I might get away with this..., nope there's her front wheel and wing now only inches away from my front wheel, she IS going to hit me".
The car then hits me and I am thrown back onto the pillar which holds the windscreen in (sorry, don't know technical jargon). I can hear my cleats release from my pedals as the bike is thrown away from me by the momentum. I also hear the bike crash into the ground, sounds bad, must be broken!

"Ughh,...Oh, I'm on the wing that could have been worse".
Now something very strange starts to happen, I start to move really quite quickly not of my own accord, and I think "I'm OK,... actually this is quite a bit of fun, it's a bit strange but I really don't mind this, I might get away with this".

Because of the delayed reaction of the driver it is a little while before the car comes to a stop. When it does, all of a sudden you think "Oh dear, maybe I haven't gotten away with this as much as I thought, this is really going to hurt" Unfortunately this time I wasn't disappointed!
I remember landing on my left but cheek, then being spun round 90 degrees before my left arm made contact with the surface. I then lay on the ground as I began to try and assess the situation, "OK, this hurts, but I think I'm Ok,.... not winded so much now and the pain is starting to recede,....I think I'll try to get up".

I did get up, and after a few minutes realised that although I was very sore, there were no major injuries. Another thing that is weird is that at no point was I seriously worried about my well-being, I thought Yeah, going to hurt, but nothing worse than that.

I also know how lucky I was, I can't think of any circumstances that would have led to less injuries, I got away with a sore butt and bruised leg, and some severe roadrash and bruising on my left arm. OK, I would have been really unlucky to have been killed from such a collision, but it could quite easily have ended up with a broken, hip, leg or arm.

A couple of weeks later I realise that actually I was more mentally injured than I was physically, and even considered (I hope not seriously) giving up cycling which I wrote about here. I was also frightened of the bike and made excuses for a week as to why I couldn't cycle.

I cycled for the first time at the weekend, only for a mile or so, but it was fantastic to get back on the bike!!

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