Hit by another car.

This morning while riding my bike home from my girlfriend’s house I was hit by an automobile. I was riding along a bicycle path and crossing the street at a red light when a car making a right turn decided it was his time to make the turn. When I proceeded to cross the street he was stopped so I figured it was safe to go. Luckily most of me had cleared his car when he hit me. He knocked my rear wheel about 4 feet into oncoming traffic. I didn’t go down on the ground. I was able to get up and move out of the intersection. as I approached his car to tell him I would split the difference and accept $100.00 for replacing my rear, he drove off and was gone. (Probably didn’t help that I yelled “@$$ hole” at him. You tend to lose any credibility when you yell obscenities at anyone)

As I stood there in awe that he could just drive off after hitting me, a giant 4-miles-to-the-gallon, off-road pickup/nature destroyer that was behind him pulled up and the redneck driving leaned out of the rig and told me I should keep off the road. Keep off the road? I was merely crossing the street. I didn’t know that if you buy a bicycle you are limited to only riding it in any areas where you don’t have to cross the street. Let’s see, that would limit me to a 500foot loop of sidewalk surrounding my townhouse. Sounds like fun.

As gas prices rise more and more people are supposedly supporting the bicycle cause. I don’t see it. I am getting the same response from cars that I get when I was commuting by bike from work to school in the city of Chicago 8 years ago which is that the roads meant only for cars I have people say to me “You ride your bike everywhere. That’s good more people should do it, especially with gas prices and the environment”, but the drivers on the road seem to have another attitude.

When it comes down to what the law is versus what will keep me alive, I will go with the safer route. Maybe at some point cyclist/driver laws will be more common knowledge but until then I’d rather not rely on the laws for safety. Unfortunately rules of the road don’t mean anything if others don’t follow them. But for all intents and purposes, at the beginning of 2008, the state of Illinois passed a law requiring all motor vehicles to allow a minimum of 3 feet between them and a cyclist when passing. Although this law doesn’t really apply to my predicament, I only mention it because although Illinois has this law. I don’t know of anyone who isn’t a cyclist that’s heard of it.

Bike Messengers get a bad rap from everyone for having attitudes, especially towards automobiles and pedestrians. Anyone who commutes by bicycle can probably see why. I’m always getting frustrated by cars. I’ve spit on cars, purposely scratched them, screamed into car windows at drivers, among other things and the one thing I can tell you is that it doesn’t do either me or the other person any good. All it does is ruin the rest of my ride and I am more apt to be agitated and run red lights, block traffic and put myself in harms way just because I am pissed off. It’s not worth it. Some people are just idiots.

So what can we do? When I was hit today, I can only hope other cars saw it. The more the better. Maybe it will remind people that there are more and more cyclists on the road and cars need to allow room for them to. There are safe ways to ride. I am always skeptical about riding on bike paths vs. riding on the road because although roads have more car traffic, a car can usually see you better if you are directly in their line of vision. Since I was riding on the path it is my responsibility to make sure drivers see me vs who has the right of way. I probably could should have waited till he acknowledged that I was crossing the street. When it comes down to a well protected car vs and out in the open cyclist, it doesn’t matter who has the right of way. If there is a collision I am likely to be greatly injured and the driver of the automobile is likely to not be touched.

6 Replies to “Hit by another car.”

  1. That was a hit and run – any chance you got any identifying information on the car and driver? I’d still report this to the police.

  2. Wish I would’ve got his plates. My adrenaline was pumping so fast that I didn’t think to get his plates. I don’t even know the make and model of the car other than it was some sort of tan sedan which doesn’t say much. It’s also been my experience that the Naperville/Aurora cops don’t seem to care much for cyclists either. I’ve heard the same thing from others as well.

  3. I find that the people who yell the most at cyclists drive pickup trucks. Am I alone in thinking this? This is just from personal experience.

  4. I didn’t want to say it and be called an vehicle-racist but I’ve noticed that out of all the cars that pass me without moving over, or yell or honk at me, Most of them are pickup trucks. I’m not saying that all pickup truck drivers don’t move over. I used to drive a pickup and was always sure to move over. But I have noticed his as well. It’s interesting to hear others have the same experience.

  5. I understand the frustration. Whenever my beau and I are out biking, there are occasionally a few people screaming out obscenities at him. Just the other day, he had an altercation with a min-van when someone decided to call him an asshole for no reason. He was on the sidewalk on a bridge and was minding his own business. WTF! Some drivers feel that they own the road!

  6. I found this blog post today after Googling the legality of riding on the sidewalk after some jerk IN A PICKUP TRUCK screamed out his window for me to get on the sidewalk. I can’t believe that so many people are so ignorant, but it does offer a modicum of comfort to know that others have faced this same issue.

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