Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Revolution

A very close friend of mine was hit by a car on her bike yesterday. She was heading west on Fullerton at about 7:30 a.m., going through the 6 corners of Lincoln, Halstead and Fullerton. As she got part way through the intersection the light turned yellow. A driver heading east on Fullerton, attempting to turn left (north) onto Halstead, accelerated to beat the light and hit her almost head on.

Thankfully, she's o.k. A bit banged up, on crutches, with some ligament damage to her ankle and foot. Her doctor doesn't think she'll need surgery, but she'll be out of commission for several weeks. Both wheels were trashed and she's not sure about the rest of the bike. I haven't seen it yet, so I don't know. She said she flew about 20 ft. and her helmet had a long scrape in it.

Apparently there were a number of other cyclists who witnessed the incident and gave the cops statements. Sam said she felt bad for the driver because these guys were really going after him, yelling at him that Sam had the right of way all the way. That's just like Sam. To feel bad for the guy that almost killed her.

Sam doesn't race, doesn't ride fast and probably wouldn't even describe herself as a cyclist. Nonetheless, that is exactly what she is. She doesn't own a car. She got an Africa bike last fall to get to and from her Boot Camp fitness class in the early a.m. and to run errands etc. In her own words "I loved my bike, I rode it everywhere." I would have to admit she's more of a "cyclist" then I am.

Sam is the revolution. With soaring gas prices, more and more people are buying bikes to get from point A to point B, from home to Whole Foods to Starbucks and back again. All trips that they would have driven to a year ago. Almost every bike I have sold this season has been to someone looking to get out of their car. This is the revolution. The more normal people who start riding, the better. By normal, I mean not the people who already are converted. We know who we are: we already ride ALOT and deal with drivers and their cars on an already too frequent basis. But this species of rider, like Sam, has not had that experience. When they do, some will stop riding saying it's too dangerous, but some will get pissed off. When that happens, when enough of them get pissed off, maybe we'll see some change on the road.

My thoughts are with you Sam. Get well soon.


Anonymous said...

Viva la revolucion! I feel for Sam, as I too was involved in an inattentive cager's quest to fly down the road with disregard for anyone in their path. Always beware of intersections and the dreaded on coming left turner. Get well soon and keep on riding!

Matt said...

Bummer - I hope she recovers.

TRI Vortex said...

My sympathies to Sam. I'm a sprint distance kinda guy so the bike commute of 50 miles to work is a bit beyond me.