First things first. I am fine, my bike is fine and luckily I didn’t have my kids on the bike.
After more than six years of daily bike commuting, I was hit by a car. Or more accurately, my bike was hit by a car with me on it.
Yesterday morning I was riding my box bike to work and was less than a quarter mile from where I park my bike when I was struck by a young woman on the University of Arizona campus.
I had made a right turn onto Park Avenue heading north from Second Street and was riding in the middle of the lane preparing to make a left turn onto First Street. A car was heading south on Park Avenue so I slowed to let it go past, signaled that I was making a left turn and began to make the turn.
As I started the turn I saw a vehicle sitting at the stop sign on First Street. She wanted to make a left turn on to Park Avenue. She started to make the left onto Park Avenue while I was making the left onto First Street from Park Avenue.
I hit the brakes hard and started screaming, she looked at me in the eyes and then proceeded to accelerate. She hit the box of the bike and accelerated enough to push the bike 90 degrees in the opposite direction and forced me to sort of hop and jump to avoid being knocked to the ground.
She stopped her car and got out. The first thing she said?
You guessed it. “I didn’t see you.” Of course my bike is almost as big as a car, is painted safety orange and has a bright front light and she and I made eye contact.
She asked if I was OK and fortunately I was. Even more fortunately I did not have the kids in the bike. I was however in shock. I checked the bike and it seemed fine. I was fine so I eventually pedaled away. I regret not taking her information in case I found out later that I had actually been hurt or that the bike was actually damaged.
More importantly though, I realized how lucky I was that it wasn’t more serious and it was a reminder of how important it is to be vigilant on the road. Had I not been paying attention and hadn’t been able to stop enough to have her hit my box, it would have been worse.
As for the commute home with kids, we made it safe and sound.