Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Crazy or Compassionate?
Call me crazy or call me compassionate. Take your pick. I'm going to get yelled at, I know. My stomach is churning at the thought of how I'm going to get yelled at. I'm more freaked out about that than the Event.
Today's Adventure: I had the right-of-way at a stop light (Hollywood and Hudson, if anyone local knows) and some lady in a SUV collided with me today.
My brakes are excellent, my bike is light and I saw as I was in the intersection (yes, I know I can hear them now... the wise cracks....go ahead but yes, I SAW) she wasn't going to yield to me even though I had the right of way going straight, at a green light with no left turn arrow. You know. One of those "Oh, sh*t" moments.
I did hit her bumper but it was more like a skid and I didn't fall. My right foot, my "on the ground" foot, wasn't clipped in. And I think my bike, my precious Green Girl my brother gave me, is ok too. I hope so, those are REALLY nice, really expensive wheels!
I know, it's only a bike. Did you ever notice how people always say that. "It's only a car. It's just a house." But you feel concerned, distressed about it anyway?
Here's the crazy part...the lady was totally hysterical. She did pull over after me yelling at her, "Goddamnit, I have the f----g right of way" and more choice cuss words in my best Theater Voice. She flings herself out of her car.
"I'm sorry! Oh, my god, what did I do? Oh, my god, I'm so sorry!" Over and over, she's wailing, sobbing and shaking. I thought she was going to puke or pass out. I was holding her up. I am calming HER down. With my weird sense of the absurd, I thought, "Wow, I can't make this stuff up..." A lady about my age with sunglasses, graying hair in pig-tails. At the time, part of my brain was thinking,
"She wears her hair in pig tails, like a six year old? What's with that?"
I'm the one handing her my sweaty, snooty, skanky hankie out of my jersey pocket and getting her to stop hyper-ventilating and sobbing. "Hey, honey, what the hell.....I'M the one who almost ate your bumper! You weren't on your cell phone, were you? I'd have to be really pissed at you if you were." I did look into her car as I got her to sit down and I didn't see it anywhere. I really thought she was going to faint.
Thank God(s) she was going slow and for some reason, incomprehensible to me, my reflexes were amazingly fast. So was my mouth! I bet they heard me in Cleveland! I bet I broke a couple of windows.
I'm fine, I even made it the rest of the way home with no issues. I'm more tired than anything else. I don't know, in hindsight, if I should have called the cops but I am fine and I scared the holy sh*t out of her I am sure. And I know I'm going to get yelled at by various family members, friends, why even total strangers will probably smack me upside my head. That's the part that has me the most distressed, actually. I won't stop. If I stop, I'll never get on the horse again. Unacceptable. Deaf people ride. People with missing limbs ride. Please don't pull out the Eye Card.
Please WATCH OUT FOR PEOPLE RIDING BICYCLES! We are getting to be more common, you need to watch out for cyclists. We have to ride in the streets and I am very careful about road etiquette, signaling, stuff like that, and my head is always turning, looking, checking. I know I don't have perfect vision.
Think Europe! Think Asia! More and more people are cycling and more and more drivers are distracted. What is with that, by the way? Our mothers didn't have us in seat belts, changed radio stations like they were playing the piano and could whack you upside the head in the back seat all at 40 MPH in city traffic.
I have to give kudos to my husband who checks my tire pressure and bitches at me and to the guys at Falls Wheel and Wrench for working on my bike. I think if I had been on my hybrid, I might not have had the same maneuverability.
She DID pull over, unlike the tragic hit-and-runs we hear about, including the one this week where 2 people were seriously hurt and their four cattledogs were killed by some idiot running a stop sign. And my Cycling Angel was, no doubt, watching over me. Funny. I had asked my Higher Power to guide me where to go today. Guess s/he was having a coffee break at that intersection. Or maybe her hand just slowed everything down.
PLEASE WATCH OUT FOR CYCLISTS, MOTORCYCLISTS, PEOPLE WALKING, KIDS! PAY ATTENTION!