July 31, 2011


So I was pretty pleased with myself. I had successfully completed 39 miles of my planned 40 mile long ride and it was only a few more moments before I could get out of the increasing blazing sun and into the relative coolness of the house. The ride had gone fairly well. I had found some quiet spots on the road that had let my mind wander as it tends to do when I’m riding my bike. I like getting lost in myself that way. It’s something that I don’t do enough.

I approached the traffic light slowly as it was red. I was in the right hand margin of the center lane, like any responsible cyclist would do. The right lane was for right turns, the left lane for those turning left and I wanted to go straight through the intersection so I was in the lane traditionally designated for that. I slowed way down so I wouldn’t have to come to a complete stop.

I saw the opposing side of the light turn yellow. There was a car coming from my right, very slowly, with her turn signal on, indicating that the driver wanted to turn left, back towards the direction I was coming from. Since the light was yellow and she was slowing, I figured she stopped.

I balanced myself a bit by riding slowly as I waited for the light to turn green. It’s easier to do that instead of getting unclamped out of my pedals. The light turned green and I picked up speed.

Except the motorist from the other direction decided to run the light. Then she saw me. So she stopped.

Directly in the path of my bike.

I couldn’t go left or I would have been mashed by the vehicles that were also going straight through the intersection. Going right wouldn’t have worked, because the rest of her car would have been in the way. The only way was down.

So I went down.

I couldn’t unclamp from my pedals before hitting the pavement, so the bike and I went down together. I landed on my right knee and skidded a little bit. My left foot then unclamped. I swore, A LOT. I looked up and the woman in the car that had stopped in front of me decided to continue through the red light. I jumped up, pissed and for a brief nanosecond, considered throwing my bike at the car that was starting to make it’s way across the intersection. But I decided not to. I jumped up on my feet and did what you’re suppose to do when you fall off your bicycle. I got back on it and rode home.

Earl listened to a really loud rant of mine when I walked into the door. God bless him. He puts up with a lot of crap from me. I profusely apologized for my outburst after getting myself together again and cleaned up. My knees are sore and one is scraped up pretty good but I’m not really that worse for the wear.

At least I was able to do 40 miles on the bike today. And that’s the part that made me feel good.