Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

What to do if you’re hit by a car while riding your bike | Grist


So I’ve been riding my bike to work on and off since I was 18. Which was a while ago. I’ve had some run-ins with drivers, people in cars, you know folks will honk at you when you’re riding up the middle of the road, or they’ll, you know, yell at you, “Get outta the street!” That kinda thing. I’ve fallen off my bike a couple of times, just totally of my own accord, but I’d never been hit before, until recently. About a month ago, I got hit by a lady who was driving a little Honda sedan, riding right up the middle of this bike lane, you know, this thing is four feet wide, painted green, covered in little pictures of bikes. I think I was pretty hard to miss. Nonetheless, she took me out. So I realized that I hadn’t really considered sort of what you’re supposed to do if you get hit by a car on your bike. If you’re in a position to do anything at all, and bikers don’t always walk away from these things. So, I headed over to the Seattle Police Department to get a little perspective on what, if anything, my assailant and I had done right. Well, you know, I’m glad that she stopped. My immediate reaction was basically just to sort of jump around in the road yelling, “FUCK” over and over and over again as she sat there in her car sort of wondering what in the world had just happened. In the interest of adrenaline, sometimes you gotta burn a little something off first before you can have an intelligent conversation. So then [laughter] — so the intelligent conversation part never really happened. The cars are backed up, so honestly I was just like, “Time to get out of the street.” She sort of looks down and sees me bleeding, and just goes totally white as a sheet. And, you know, I kinda tested things out. Both arms seemed to work. I picked up my bikes, kinda spun the wheels, and went home. Well, here’s what I suggest. If you do get hit, try to be calm. Move out of the roadway. Call the police, and let us handle it after that. And then we try to have the more intelligent, relaxed conversation when you’re not the butt of all the swearing as all the other motorists get stacked up behind you. Because you feel that pressure, that passive aggressive Seattle sneer. That shit is real. It is, oh my gosh, you feel it because you’ve done it before. When you’ve been like, “That guy, that guy!” Just move yourself out of the roadway and call 911. I think I did actually do the passive aggressive Seattle thing. Live with your shame. Live with it. I saw her look, I saw her face go totally white as she like realized I was bleeding all over the place, and I was like, “Yeah, yeah — yeah you eat that. You did this to me.” So have you ever, have you ever been hit by a car while riding your bike? Uh, I have — somebody pulled out of a Trader Joes’ parking lot just didn’t see me. And I did some sort of elegant, Starsky & Hutch bodyroll across the hood managed to actually land on my feet, put a pretty sizable scratch into her car with my shoeclip But she knew she was in the wrong and took off before much else could happen. So what did you do? I think I stood there and yelled, “Heyyyy.” And she yelled, “Sorry!” and drove off. [laughter] There was some serious guilt-tripping. Oh yeah, I was laying in on thick. As thick as I possibly could. See? You see me now? Do you have — I do still have, like I’m pretty good, I’m down to a single Band-aid now. But I was going through whole bottles of Neosporin there for a while, boxes of gauze. I actually think I may have a new bone in my elbow. It’s like my elbow cap. Is it — I think it’s OK. OK. But it’s not very funny? It’s not funny. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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