Tuesday, March 13, 2007

T-Bones & Red Meat

It finally happened. I hit a car this weekend while riding on the road. I was on my regular 25 mile road loop through the older urban neighborhoods of Birmingham. On one of the several downhills on the loop, I was rolling at about 35mph - tailgating a Tahoe. Suddenly, he slammed on his brakes and made a quick left without signaling. I grabbed two handfuls of brakes and went into a full-on sideways drift. For a glancing moment, I thought I might be able to haul the bike to a safe stop, but my field of vision quickly filled with gleaming American plastic as I plowed my bike and the right side of my body into his left rear quarter panel. In retrospect, it feels weird to replay this scene. Of course, from the moment I saw the brake lights to the instant ass met asphalt, is all in slo-mo. I had so many thoughts during the few seconds it took to decelerate. The most notable thought being the realization that yes - I am going to hit this car. I was feeling that went with the thought was not fear. I was not scared. I was pissed! I was so angry that this SOB had no regard for the traffic behind. If he absolutely needed to make a left, rather than slam on the brakes, putting everyone behind him in sudden reactionary mode, he could have passed the turn and continued down the street where he could have properly signaled and...you know the rest. Bottom line was that I was pissed that this inconsiderate asshole was alive and in front of me.
I slammed into the side of his truck with a solid thud - all 180 pounds of me. I was too preoccupied trying to gauge the amount of damage my bike suffered to look at his newish Tahoe. I hope I left a body-sized crater. I hope it costs $3000 to fix his truck. I hope insurance won't cover it since we did not call the cops for a report!
As soon as body/car/bike came to a full stop, I jumped up off the pavement and started yelling. I was hollering so loud that people started to come out of their houses. I called this guy every name in the book. I asked him - at the top of my lungs - if he knew how to use a fucking turn signal? He had the balls to retort that, yes, he did know how to use a turn signal. I shot back, frothing at this point, that he did not use it this time.
I think the guy was genuinely concerned. He listened without further comment to my rant until I calmed down. He hovered in my periphery as I surveyed the damage to my bike. Unless mumbling 'fuck' as I inspected the folded rims, bent fork and torqued bar converstion, there was no other discourse between us. I sent him on his way. I told him I appreciated his concern. He was probably so releaved that we both walked away with no greater consequence that whatever money would be spent on mechanical repairs.
Alone now, sitting on the curb, trying to beat my rear wheel true caveman style, I conceded to the fact that I would need to relace new rims. I called my buddy Jim who lives nearby and requested a ride home.
REPAIR UPDATE: Bike still in repair stand waiting for a new fork.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home