Hit by a car

I need to remember that not everybody who regularly follows this blog also follows me on Facebook, Flickr or Twitter. If you haven’t already heard, I was hit by a car a couple of Fridays ago. It hurt and put a nice gash in my upper lip. Here I am still smiling before the pain sets in.

Post Crash Panda

Since somebody’s going to ask: The bike is mostly fine, and in fact I rode the same bike the following morning with the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz for their Saturday ride at Wilder Ranch the very next morning. The black stitches in my swollen face adds cred to my mad shredder mountain biker look, I’m sure, though I had to quit the ride early because, honestly, getting hit by a car really takes it out of a guy, especially at my age.

I was well lit with multiple bright lights (steady and blinking), but I was invisible to Bridgett in her little black Nissan. She turned into me in a class left cross collision. She called me four or five times Friday night telling me how awful she felt, but confessed to me, “I didn’t see you at all!” I saw her just fine, especially as she swerved toward me and all I saw were her headlights, and then stars and whistling birds.

This is my second left cross. The first happened when I was a teen, and the driver didn’t see me. I went up and over the hood, slammed the windshield, then rolled off and landed on my feet. The bike was crushed under the car.

My second collision with a car occurred when the driver blew through a stop sign in Wichita Falls, Texas and sideswiped me — the driver didn’t see me and didn’t even realize she hit me until I got up, chased her down and caught her at her destination down the street. The responding police officer declined to even take a report and he let me know I was wasting his time. Grrr…

The common factor in those collisions, if you haven’t noticed it yet, is “I didn’t see you!” Actually, in each of those cases the driver was maneuvering too quickly for conditions and not paying while turning, but you get the point. Cycling lawyer Rick Bernardi discusses this common excuse when cyclists are hit.

How about you? Have you been hit by a car? And did the driver say, “I didn’t see you”?

(Don’t forget: California Highway Patrol bike incidents here.)

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