I’m almost hesitant to write about this, because my mother worries enough about me biking on the mean streets of Toronto as is, and I know I’m going to be hearing about this for a while… but… in the interests of sharing for the good of the people, I had my first major spill today. No blood, no bruises, no broken bones… just a lot of anger and a little lack of common sense.
I had a lovely strong tail wind this morning which would have pushed me along at a good clip had I not had to have stopped for every light along the way… stop/starting is one of the only things I really don’t like about my ride to work. Well, that and sometimes actually having to expend the energy. If you’ve biked Dundas West, then you know that it’s two lanes of become basically one after 9am, as the right lane is for parked cars. Usually my biggest danger is door prizes, but I’m always careful and always aware. Stopped at the lights at Dufferin, I was controlling my lane and I was the only vehicle in it. To my left was a white Pathfinder SUV, who gunned it when the lights went green. I was shoulder checking as I started to build up speed, looking ahead to the parked cars just past the immediate side street, when the Pathfinder suddenly veers in front of me and puts on his signal. I had little room to maneouver and barely any room to stop.
I hit the brakes.
I felt the back end of my bike lift.
I let go of everything.
I was in the air.
I watch my bike continue without me.
I believe I did a full 360 degree rotation, landing on my ass and palms.
I got up immediately, checked myself for injuries or sore spots, and then picked up my bike, looking for damage. The front brake had come unhinged but was an easy fix.
The Pathfinder backed up (almost running into me) and I walk around him. “WHAT THE FUCK!” I yell at him.
A cyclist who I had passed earlier was on the sidewalk, and he asked me if I was okay?
“I think so… nothing hurts.”
“How’s your bike”
“Seems fine. Brake’s unhinged but an easy fix.”
And then I turn to the guy in the pathfinder. He had pulled into the side street and had his door open. He didn’t step out.
“FUCKING HELL!” I said. “If you’re going to turn, try putting on your signal to alert someone.”
“I was waiting for you to pass” he said.
“But you didn’t fucking wait. You cut me off”
I was so frazzled, and so angry I didn’t even want to look at him.
A lady came running out from the storefront. She asked first if I was okay and then if I got the guy’s license plate so if I wanted to report him. To be honest, I heard her words, but in my ire I couldn’t really respond. I was seething, and trying to hinge my front brake together again and see if anything else was wrecked.
The lady kept talking, saying how I should really get his plate, time, location, etc. The other cyclist said, “Dude, I saw it. He really cut you off.”
Eventually it sunk in. “Yeah…yeah. I should”
“Do you have pen and paper?” the lady asked.
“Yeah,” and I flipped my bag open, grabbing my pad and pen. I looked down the side street and I guess the guy was watching what we were doing, and as soon as he saw me open my bag, he turned down the back alley and jetted. The other cyclist took off after him, but returned soon and said “he’s gone”.
And that was basically it. I talked with the other guy about my bike for a few seconds, and he asked again if everything was okay. “Got to get back on the horse,” I said. He laughed and bade me good journey. I settled into the tailwind and managed to only hit one red along the way.
Lesson learned though. If you see an accident, don’t wait for the victim to take down the license plate of the offending vehicle. I got out of this one okay, but if I was laying there on the road, incapacitated, how would I be able to take down the driver’s info? Anyway, not a big deal. I imagine that asswipe had a pretty good scare… and apparently the spill looked really fucking cool. It actually felt pretty neat too.
I’m thankful for my gloves, helmet and my cycling bag as all three were likely what kept me injury free. I’m a little sore, but it’s in the same places I was sore when I woke up from my jog yesterday.
And mom, don’t worry.
Got a note in my email saying someone saw me on breakfast television today.
Apparently Maria’s blog was featured this morning, and right now there’s a really goofy picture of me and Eva (well, I’m goofy, not Eva) taken last Friday at the Duke of York where we met Maria’s friend Daniella who will be moving here from Mexico City this summer.
Twisty-mouth Graig sez, “Congrats on the exposure Maria…”