So, I admit I was going a wee bit fast….
I left Kathy on C3, pedaled South on Longview and East on Kings Canyon in order to get back to work. I had a sick tailwind by the time the road turned into W. King. I had glanced at my speedo a little earlier and vaguely remember it reading 42mph. I haven’t calibrated it recently, so it’s probably off. But, in my defense when I got closer to Carson High School I had to stop to let a pedestrian cross the street, so I couldn’t have been going more than 20.
After the short haired brunette (probably checking on her kid the school or something) crossed the street, a LARGE bright blue pickup complete with off road tires, an eight inch lift kit and loud exhaust pipes turned on to W. King heading my direction. It looked like it probably averaged about 5 miles to the gallon. Sweet! I want one.
I was moving along the bike lane about as fast as the pickup. Mind you I had just started moving again, so I wasn’t going that fast. Mr. Macho started to slow just slightly but didn’t light up the brakes. In the back of my mind that wild youthful voice said “I love passing cars, it’s such a rush.” Then, without warning, the truck turned right in front of me and… SMACK!
I put out my left arm to try and stop the impact, but he turned too quick. I slammed into the side of the front corner panel and bounced off like a bullet hitting Superman. My right knee hit the pavement first, luckily I clipped out of my pedals and was off the bike. I curled up and rolled back in a heap like a discarded McDonalds wrapper in the gutter.
Some gal walking nearby said “Are you all right?”. I think I angrily grunted “YES.”. I stood up and looked at the truck. Mr. Macho turned out to be a barley post-pubescent teen with a sick-to-his-stomach look in his eyes. He said “I didn’t see you.” I responded dryly “I didn’t see your blinker…”. His next comment was “I’m really sorry man.” Things seemed together, so I responded “No worries dude.” and pedaled off.
You all know that “disconnected” feeling you get after you crash. For the next ten minutes things just aren’t right. When I’m on trails, this is when I’m most tentative and ironically most likely to crash again. Luckily, I made it back to the facility and my desk.
My bike seemed allright. The wreck threw the chain, but because of my stupid “use the body to take the blow” reaction it escaped unharmed. Aside from a bruised knee and scraped right leg I felt ok. However, as I write this, my left arm from the shoulder to my thumb is still tingling like Novocaine is wearing off. Whatever, I’ll live.
The moral of the story: Don’t skip singletrack to get back to work early.