Monday, October 09, 2006

How Does It Feel To Be Run Over?

Worried Passenger runs to see if I'm ok / dead / whatever.  After her mum driving her to school rammed me off my bike hitting my left / rear side. Click for bigger image: Note the scratches and tyre marks on the Mercedes front right bumper, from the impact.     Image Hosted by

Like this. ^

Statistics, don't you just love 'em. I read somewhere that on average a regular cyclist only has an accident once in 20 years. So in fairness I was overdue my statistical obligation for a while now.

What Happened?

There is a monstrous roundabout on my way to work, it is challenging enough in a car, so needs rider confidence and road presence to ride it well on a bike. I've ridden the same roundabout nearly every day, worked out what to do and what not to do, and seen a lot of things occur on it. Never anything like this though...

So as usual I'm in the correct lane for my exit, about 8:20am today, when I see a silver Mercedes Viano people carrier pull out on to the roundabout, when me and a bunch of cars are baring down on the Mercedes, all fairly shifting, on this large roundabout at about 20mph.

That was her first mistake, flouting rule 161 of the Highway Code:

Give priority to traffic approaching from your right, unless directed otherwise by signs, road markings or traffic lights.

Which is scarily basic stuff not to know...

So with priority and a turn of speed I bank right around the curve of the roundabout, and I sense the silver Mercedes getting closer and closer from behind.

This part happened in slow motion, as she steadily gained on me, I began to get concerned. She closed in from behind, although only a few meters were shared with this vehicle, each foot she gained took minutes in my mind, until things changed dramatically, unfolding very quickly and harshly.

Blam! She's rammed the rear of my bike from the left side, with the front right of her 2+ tonne people carrier. This wriggle was totally un-saveable, as I was basically knocked from behind with a lot of force straight down in to the abrasive tarmac.

More later... I gotta have my salt-bath now. Yay :-(

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Treadly&Me said...

Whoa! That is scary stuff. (And a good photo—you had real presence of mind to snap that.)

What the hell could she have been thinking? Did she make any attempt to explain herself?

I take it that you bounced without breaking any bones? But bruises and lost skin are painful enough! Hope you recover quickly.

Any damage to your ride?

Urban Commuter said...

I doubt she even WAS thinking! It was one of the most dumb and stupid manoeuvres I've ever seen!

I tried to get an explanation out of her, but her English was very poor. All she kept saying every 2 mins was "sorry" "sorry" all the time.

It was a fairly hard landing, but fortunately no breaks, head injury, or anything too serious.

Bike looked pretty mangled afterwards, it's gone in the bike shop today.

kimbofo said...

Oh my! I can't believe you actually took a photograph!!

Glad you're OK though.

Warren T said...

Glad you're in one piece. The only really scarry part of my commute is a turnabout -- can't avoid it though.

I just found your blog and will continue to check on your progress. Cheers.

Ludwig said...

I really am glad you're ok, but the fact that you snapped a pic is too funny. Doesn't she have to buy you a new bike or something, isn't that in the Highway Code somewhere?

Urban Commuter said...

Thanks Ludwig, yeah I know, a lot have people I've showed the pic to can see the funny side in the context. I think it must be my foot lying on the floor which gives that comedy edge to it!

But to be honest, after I'd checked my limbs were still attached, my thoughts were to get the registration, because I've heard all sorts about hit and run drivers. So that was the motivation for the pic.

Al said...

She's pretty cute :)

Roundabouts suck, I always feel uncomfortable on them here in Dublin, cars pull out into my path all the time.

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