Saturday, May 19, 2007

It Was Just a Matter of Time....


21 years (with a 7 year hiatus) 2 months and some odd days of cycling experience is exactly the amount of time I needed to finally tango with one of those 2000+lb beasts we call cars.

I recently started a new job and while job training in the great garden state of New Jersey, I fell prey to a 17 year-old and her apparent inability to see a cyclist traveling the opposite direction. While clipping at 25+mph on a slight descent in lovely Moorestown, I looked ahead and what appeared in my view was simply horrifying....a car turning left in my path and there was absolutely no way in this earth that I was getting out of it.

With some blessings from above and some old racing tactics, I stayed calm and threw the bike into a slide by jamming the rear brake and forcing the bike to fishtail so that I would hit her flush and not "T-bone". I dropped and put my shoulder into her rear passenger door and hoped for the best. Needless to say the bike, the rider and the car went everywhere.

I know you might find this shocking but the 17 year-old and her Paris Hilton like friend got out of the car and actually started blaming me. The friend stated..."like, you need to slow down when you see cars, like they take priority..." I'm proud to say I kept my cool and permitted the police to sort it out. They did and like me, were not impressed with the driver's misunderstanding of the motor code.

Big props to the Moorestown Police for not only enforcing the law but extending tremendous compassion. The CO on the scene actually offered his own personal bicycle to me should I "need to finish my workout". Given my physical status at the time, I told him I was going to sit out the rest of this training session. Another officer drove me and my now battered black beauty back to the hotel. He was a great guy.

What's Next?
Despite this disrupting my training and racing this weekend, I consider myself the luckiest man alive. Because of the "flush" style impact, I mitigated body damage considerably. I suffered trauma to my left knee that is still barking back at me and the right side shoulder, back and arm are healing up.

The bike however is another story. I just got word last night that Trek's policy is to recommend the bike is shipped back for x-rays. I've been told by 2 Trek dealers that 99.9% of the time they want to replace the bike. Apparently carbon fiber, especially 110 GSM, is too unpredictable when struck by a car and the frame could fail anytime thereafter. So here we go with the insurance nightmare.


I can't tell you how this saddens me so. I LOVE that rig. I feel like someone just told me my friend has died. Yeah, yeah it's a bike and its replaceable blah, blah. But let's be honest here. We all know we have a special relationship with our rigs. Who else understands us like these babies? Who else is there when we suffer miserably on them and takes us to the promised land when we're at our fittest? At the end of the day, some of our best memories are captured with our old faithful friend. Okay so I'm getting a tad dramatic but I'm indeed cranky about it. Damn kids.

Please do be careful out there and while this goes without saying, always and I mean always, wear that helmet on your melon.

Cheers.

3 comments:

Granny's 30 said...

alright let's do this again...sorry about the bike, glad you're none to the worst for wear...

insurance shouldn't be too big of an issue...a friend had her's replaced and since the model was 2 years old, she was able to upgrade...so start the drooling factor again...

anyway welcome back brother...

Tour of '03 said...

Well, that's two of the three Cranks who have tangled with a car now, although mine was more than 4 years ago already. Glad you weren't hurt badly, Tooth, but I feel your pain with the Trek. Mine had to be replaced, but I upgraded to a 5200 and have biked happily ever after since.
As for the Paris Hilton-like driver, don't get me started. How on earth did her jail sentence get cut in half for good behavior??? Have you EVER heard of good behavior and Paris Hilton in the same sentence???
As for the police, well, lucky you. As I've documented before, I was treated poorly by the Leesburg, VA, cop, who actually ticketed me. I took it to courts, and for $2,200 to beat a $50 ticket, I won the first court case ever by a cyclist in the state of Virginia.
Bottom line here, Tooth: You can replace the bike but not the body. Take care and stay well.

Granny's 30 said...

actually we just hit the trifecta as I was run down by a lady last year...I was trying to do a track stand by a curb in Chitown waiting for the light to turn...a lady seeing that the car in front of her was turning left decided to move over to the right (of a one lane street).

She hits me, knocking me over...cyclist behind me come to my aid, but the lady just takes off once the light turned green.

Some chased...but to no avail...me just scraped up and stunned.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

It Was Just a Matter of Time....


21 years (with a 7 year hiatus) 2 months and some odd days of cycling experience is exactly the amount of time I needed to finally tango with one of those 2000+lb beasts we call cars.

I recently started a new job and while job training in the great garden state of New Jersey, I fell prey to a 17 year-old and her apparent inability to see a cyclist traveling the opposite direction. While clipping at 25+mph on a slight descent in lovely Moorestown, I looked ahead and what appeared in my view was simply horrifying....a car turning left in my path and there was absolutely no way in this earth that I was getting out of it.

With some blessings from above and some old racing tactics, I stayed calm and threw the bike into a slide by jamming the rear brake and forcing the bike to fishtail so that I would hit her flush and not "T-bone". I dropped and put my shoulder into her rear passenger door and hoped for the best. Needless to say the bike, the rider and the car went everywhere.

I know you might find this shocking but the 17 year-old and her Paris Hilton like friend got out of the car and actually started blaming me. The friend stated..."like, you need to slow down when you see cars, like they take priority..." I'm proud to say I kept my cool and permitted the police to sort it out. They did and like me, were not impressed with the driver's misunderstanding of the motor code.

Big props to the Moorestown Police for not only enforcing the law but extending tremendous compassion. The CO on the scene actually offered his own personal bicycle to me should I "need to finish my workout". Given my physical status at the time, I told him I was going to sit out the rest of this training session. Another officer drove me and my now battered black beauty back to the hotel. He was a great guy.

What's Next?
Despite this disrupting my training and racing this weekend, I consider myself the luckiest man alive. Because of the "flush" style impact, I mitigated body damage considerably. I suffered trauma to my left knee that is still barking back at me and the right side shoulder, back and arm are healing up.

The bike however is another story. I just got word last night that Trek's policy is to recommend the bike is shipped back for x-rays. I've been told by 2 Trek dealers that 99.9% of the time they want to replace the bike. Apparently carbon fiber, especially 110 GSM, is too unpredictable when struck by a car and the frame could fail anytime thereafter. So here we go with the insurance nightmare.


I can't tell you how this saddens me so. I LOVE that rig. I feel like someone just told me my friend has died. Yeah, yeah it's a bike and its replaceable blah, blah. But let's be honest here. We all know we have a special relationship with our rigs. Who else understands us like these babies? Who else is there when we suffer miserably on them and takes us to the promised land when we're at our fittest? At the end of the day, some of our best memories are captured with our old faithful friend. Okay so I'm getting a tad dramatic but I'm indeed cranky about it. Damn kids.

Please do be careful out there and while this goes without saying, always and I mean always, wear that helmet on your melon.

Cheers.

3 comments:

Granny's 30 said...

alright let's do this again...sorry about the bike, glad you're none to the worst for wear...

insurance shouldn't be too big of an issue...a friend had her's replaced and since the model was 2 years old, she was able to upgrade...so start the drooling factor again...

anyway welcome back brother...

Tour of '03 said...

Well, that's two of the three Cranks who have tangled with a car now, although mine was more than 4 years ago already. Glad you weren't hurt badly, Tooth, but I feel your pain with the Trek. Mine had to be replaced, but I upgraded to a 5200 and have biked happily ever after since.
As for the Paris Hilton-like driver, don't get me started. How on earth did her jail sentence get cut in half for good behavior??? Have you EVER heard of good behavior and Paris Hilton in the same sentence???
As for the police, well, lucky you. As I've documented before, I was treated poorly by the Leesburg, VA, cop, who actually ticketed me. I took it to courts, and for $2,200 to beat a $50 ticket, I won the first court case ever by a cyclist in the state of Virginia.
Bottom line here, Tooth: You can replace the bike but not the body. Take care and stay well.

Granny's 30 said...

actually we just hit the trifecta as I was run down by a lady last year...I was trying to do a track stand by a curb in Chitown waiting for the light to turn...a lady seeing that the car in front of her was turning left decided to move over to the right (of a one lane street).

She hits me, knocking me over...cyclist behind me come to my aid, but the lady just takes off once the light turned green.

Some chased...but to no avail...me just scraped up and stunned.