It had to happen after years and years of cycling: I finally got hit by a car. I went out for a cycle today to escape the scorching desert that is my room, which just can’t get enough ventilation no matter what I do. During the hottest hours I go out to cycle, and so it was today. I headed north to Watford, cycled through town a bit and then got to the other side of Watford, where there’s a couple of roundabouts where two fairly big roads meet.
I tend to take roundabouts quite fast because I don’t want to spend a long time in places where cars are likely to hit you, but today I was cycling for escapism so I wasn’t going too fast. There were hardly any cars on the road, and I saw the silver MPV approaching from miles away. Well, figuratively speaking.
The car was already slowing down so I kept going at a reasonable pace (I was doing about 20kph according to Garmin). Things would have worked out fine if the car had kept slowing down, but the driver must have been sleeping behind the wheel because she only noticed me a second before she hit me. No offense, but that’s fucking shit driving. I already saw it coming and tried to evade, but couldn’t get out of the way fast enough. I was prepared to fall down on to the asphalt after a hard bump from her car, but I somehow managed to skid-step off the bike as it got cobbled up under her front bumper. I magically escaped without a scratch, thanks to the driver waking up in the last second and actually starting to brake.
My first impulse after realizing that I was somehow still standing in the middle of a roundabout was to make sure that this asshole driver didn’t try to escape, so I made sure to block her path as I guided her to the side of the road. That’s where I realized that she was just this poor Indian woman who totally had no clue what she was doing and was visibly quite shaken.
I tried rolling the bike to the side but that didn’t work at all, and you can see why in the above photo. I definitely need a new rear wheel. At first I was worried that the frame was bent and the front wheel was damaged, but it looks like it’s just the rear wheel that took the hit.
As we got to the side of the road, I noticed that my legs were actually shaking a little, and I couldn’t figure out if it was because of the sudden shock of nearly getting hit by a car, of perhaps a muscle spasm or twitch from the awkward way that I dismounted my bicycle. I’ve never thought of myself as a shock-susceptible person, and the speed at which I was hit was quite low, but I can’t completely rule it out I guess.
A witness showed up who was driving behind the Indian woman, but he turned out to be an acquaintance of hers so I’m not sure that’ll do me any good if they decide to make trouble. I don’t think they will though, they were nice people. And I’m far more likely to make trouble for them if I claim injuries or psychological trauma. There’ll be CCTV footage as well if I need it. But we settled on her paying for the bike repairs and that’ll be all.
What a strange day. I nearly committed to renting a new apartment yesterday, but ended up calling it off in the morning after having a second look at the place. Then I go cycling and get hit by a car, yet somehow remain unharmed. Two big things could have turned out a lot worse for me today, but I managed to get through it alright. I guess that makes this a good day.