There is kind of an unwritten saying in cycling, and road bike racing, that if you haven’t crashed yet your time will come. But that saying is geared towards racing. And the crashes in races involve other cyclist, curbs, flat tires, etc. I had the VERY unfortunate luck to be hit by a car last Tuesday while riding on a road I have ridden hundreds of times and have never felt unsafe in.
I do not want to go into too much detail about the situation and all that but I was riding near, or outside, the white line that divides the road to the shoulder when a truck going the same way as my clipped me with their side view mirror. I then bounced around the car a bit before I hit the road. Now thankfully nothing on my body was broken but I had some serious road rash and bruising. I am still feeling the effects of the crash today. Not only physically but mentally.
Right when I realized nothing was broken and I was ok my immediate thought went to, “how will I ever ride on the road again?!” This person took the innocence away from something that I love doing. I have gone out a few times since for shorter rides and I am very nervous when cars pass. I know I will get over it with time but there just seems to be WAY too much animosity between cyclists and drivers. And the problem with this is that the cyclist will pretty much always lose. We do not have anti lock brakes that allow us to stop on a dime, we do not have anything around our bike to protect us, we only have our helmet, bike, and whatever we are wearing. And unfortunately that is not enough to spare us from serious injury.
The paramedics were amazed that nothing was broken. They took a look at my broken helmet and basically said, “the helmet saved your life.” I am battered and bruised but will keep training as the pain allows and try to get over it. But what I will say to everyone who gets on a bike, scooter, roller blades/skates, “wear a helmet!” It only takes one driver, a curb, a rock, to cause you to crash and a bunch of road rash and bruises are a hell of a lot better than a head injury!