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I got wacked on Saturday, how do you ride again?(40 posts)

I got wacked on Saturday, how do you ride again?slow-ron
Apr 2, 2002 6:05 AM
I was about 1/2 hour into a ride on Saturday when some crazy person cut across two lanes without a turn signal and mowed me down. She was coming at an angle and I tried to jump up in the air at impact to keep from going under the car. I shattered the windshield with my left hip and caved in the roof of the car with my left shoulder/arm. I bounced over the roof landed 15 ft. from the car. Amazingly, I broke no bones. I had a slight concussion, serious road rash, a bruise the length of my body on the left side, and a lot of cuts. I can't walk up steps but I should make a full recovery.

Not that I really care but the bike and all my gear faired much worse. I just re-built a Colnago Master x light and was on the third ride with it. The bike looks like a pretzel. All my gear exploded or got shredded.

The driver never got out of the to check on me or say anything. Had I been able to walk, I may have leveled her.

I've read posts on riders being hit (Elepantino & others) and you guys all seem to be excited for new bikes and new rides. I don't think I want to ride anymore. It's like an urban war out there. People don't want us on the road, period. I'm up for a nice country road ride but that isn't always practical after work or with limited time. Forget commuting during rush hour unless you want to be road kill. Sorry to be theatrical but I'm a bit disgusted with our sport and the intolerance for bikes on the road. I've been buzzed, honked at, cursed at, and now run over. Time for my pain medication.
re: I got wacked on Saturday, how do you ride again?loop
Apr 2, 2002 6:15 AM

First, glad to hear that you're not too badly damaged. It could have been worse. Second, did she hit and run or did she stop--I couldn't quite discern that. If it's the former, did anyone get a license (I'm assuming that you were in no shape to do so)? If it's the latter, did the cops cite her? The point I'm getting at is that either case has potential for criminal prosecution. Think about it this way...what if you had been a small child crossing the street. Ooof.

Anyhow, as for the other issue and having been creamed myself (ironically on ride #3 on a new bike), you gotta get back on the horse, but riding with friends at first helps.

Get better, and go after her and her stinking insurance company.

throw the book at her...SteveO
Apr 2, 2002 7:24 AM
regardless of whether the police cited her, as a citizen, YOU have the right to issue citations. Charge her with reckless, careless, improper lane change, failure to signal, and anything else you can come up with.

I think if more and more people were aggressive about charging people for their recklessness, things could change (ok, so im an optimist, but its a nice dream).

Call the local police to find out how you can charge her. The police may try to talk you out of it, but it's the JUDGES decision, not theirs, so stay adamant.
throw the book at her...loop
Apr 2, 2002 8:43 AM
I agree, although I'd start with the local DA's office.
Get a good lawyer [nm]DaveL
Apr 2, 2002 6:18 AM
re: I got wacked on Saturday, how do you ride again?netso
Apr 2, 2002 6:22 AM
I found that getting on the bike as soon as I could, helped. I must admit that fear of getting hit again was a reality, this made be ultra-cautious. I rode on bike only paths, rails to trails for awhile. Now I am ok but very defensive. Cars can hurt!
re: I got wacked on Saturday, how do you ride again?OwenMeany
Apr 2, 2002 6:22 AM
Ouch! Sorry to hear of you loss/pain. If this event was the turning point of you (ex)riding career then so be it. But, you just survived (no exageration) a very traumatic accident. Chill for a bit. 4 nights a week I ride the city streets of LA. Last week I chased down and had arrested a kid who intentionally threw a bag out of his car at me. When I am on the streets, I make the assumption that EVERY driver is blind and drunk..and take "defensive riding" to a whole new level. I have survived one hit and hunderds of near misses and if I was not on my toes I am sure I would be dead. Fact is, most drivers look out for you. Chances are that an accident is the result of the driver just not looking/seeing a bike. I have been riding for 12 years now..I am so luckly to still have the passsion for it...if you had the passion, you will get it back.
Get back on as soon as you can...DINOSAUR
Apr 2, 2002 6:29 AM
We all get whacked sooner or later. Hope you have all the information on the driver that hit you. Make sure you get yourself checked out. Going down or getting in a wreck with a car while riding your bike is like getting thrown off a horse. You have to get back on and ride again. Look at it this way, what are the odds of it happening again? Hope your MXL is O.K. I ordered a new MXL frame and these things are hard to get ahold of. Maybe you need a beater bike for commute. I'm leerey of riding in traffic also, fortunately I live in the country and can avoid it.
I had a real nasty crash three years ago. I almost walked away from the sport, but people talked me into getting back on my bike again. I did and I'm glad, it's worth it.
the syclists survival guide & avoiding full moonsSlipstream
Apr 2, 2002 7:17 AM
First, its amazing you came out of it as well as you did. Real bummer about the Colnago. It took my wife two years before she even began to feel comfortable after getting bumped from behind while doing 18mph. Smashed her helmet (another testimonial for helmets), had a deep thigh bruise that lasted 6 mos, bike was relatively undamaged.

Getting over the mental part has been the toughest. Hang in there, get support, maybe rethink your routes. We have since become very safety conscious and try to avoid areas that are particularly dangerous to cyclists.

We also are careful to avoid certain times of the day, such as rush hour traffic or preoccupied soccer moms. I admire those cyclists who commute, but that is too crazy for me. The real nutzos seem to be in the rural areas though. Call me paranoid, but I believe it has a lot to do with crystal meth. Some of the rural areas (in the midwest) are ripe with totally zoned-out drivers.

And you can't believe how really weird people become when there is a full moon. I think they go into full attack mode when they see a cyclist.

Here is a suggestion: we get together and write, "The Cyclists Survival Guide--Rules Of The Road For Urban, Suburban And Rural Assaults." Or, "Fear And Loathing On The Road To Bicycle Mecca."

Spirito can do the section on urban survival. Dinosoar can do the part on rural riding combined with anyone who rides in the RAGBRAI. We need some volunteers for the suburban scene. Ahisma and I will write the section on how to survive during a full moon.

When you are better: ride hard; have fun; be safe; and sue the b*&^%rds! ;>)
I'll do the suburb part...biknben
Apr 2, 2002 8:07 AM
Being from Jersey (the perpetual suburb) I regularly find myself on roads with plenty of traffic and 45-50 MPH speed limits. Did I mention I commute too.

My suburban survival tip: Show respect to others and demand it in return. I'll obey all the laws but when I signal to make a left you better not give me a hard time.
kewl, we also need a special section on FL survivalSlipstream
Apr 2, 2002 8:23 AM
any volunteers?
I agree. In Texas, I wear....Dave Hickey
Apr 2, 2002 8:35 AM
A Texas flag jersey. I'm not originally from Texas, but I've found wearing Texas flag jersey really cuts down on the bubba factor. When in Rome.................
I'll do the Latin American sectionApplejuice
Apr 2, 2002 8:28 PM
Three years commuting in Santiago, Chile. 10,000 km a year. In Santiago, there are one thousand cyclists hit a year and one killed every week.

I'll probably head to Mexico City when I graduate, so I can do a supplement for the next edition.

Keep on keepin' on.
Your feelings are understandableMe Dot Org
Apr 2, 2002 7:36 AM
As someone who had a nasty accident, I can really empathize with what you are going through. But, if you really love it, you will come around. Maybe you'll change how and when you ride.

In World War One, soldiers use to dive in the craters made by artillery shells, the theory being it was impossible for a shell to land in the same place twice. Maybe this was your crater.
Best of luck on your recoveryTroyboy
Apr 2, 2002 7:38 AM
Sorry to hear about that. Because of traffic and the dangers out there on most city roads, for the most part I don't go solo street riding in the city without being part of a large group. I recommend this to all others too.

After a nasty crash last year I had problems getting myself back up to speed, etc. They seem to have worked their way away. Amazing how getting back into very fast packed crit races and their corners left me no choice but to regain the mindset and lose the new fear. Good luck.
Don't be disgusted with the sport-rideslikeagirl
Apr 2, 2002 7:42 AM
It's the drivers. And it sounds like you live in a place in which they're unavoidable. So sorry about your incident.

And I completely understand your sentiment. Hopefully, though, by the time your road rash heals, you'll be itching to get back on the bike.

Maybe just to start back on the quiet roads and only when possible. You don't HAVE to put yourself out there at rush-hour if you don't want to. Only do what gives you pleasure - especially at first.

It's probably going to take longer for your psychie to heal than your flesh. Good luck, man.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.
This means War!! (glad you're OK)rollo tommassi
Apr 2, 2002 8:03 AM
I'm sure everyone here is saying the same thing: file a police report, get the driver, sue the hell out of him/her. Do not let the driver get away with this. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO THE ROAD! This is not your fault, you have been attacked and injured by a moron.

Please, turn your disgust into righteous and positive action, mostly for yourself and for your well being.

In time, "all" of you will heal, physically and emotionally. It is hard to get back on, but I think (and HOPE) that you will. We need strong people like yourself on the road. We here on the board will support you.

Take your time.Len J
Apr 2, 2002 8:09 AM
Soory about the crash, sounds like it could have been much worse.

Someone said on this board that there are only two types of cyclist: Those that have crashed, & those that will crash. Sounds like you got yours out of the way.

I read somewhere that he average cyclist has an accident once every 8,400 miles. Sounds like you got yours behind you.

Now all that being said, your initial reluctance to get back out there is very understandable. A few years ago, I was on the back end of a pace-line that had to stop fast. As the line accordianed, I overlapped the rider in front of me & ended up going over the bars at about 25 MPH. Scared the bejesus out of me. I was lucky only had some bruises & rash & the bike was OK but It took me the rest of the summer to get comfortable in a pace-line again. It's OK to be cautious, work into it slowly, I started out giving the guy in front of me 2 to 3 feet of room & gradually woked back to closer, but I am much more aware of wether or not I trust the wheel in front of me now (this is a good thing). If I were you, I would start out on low traffic back roads and gradually try more & more congested areas.

Try to remember what it is about cycling that you enjoy & are not willing to give up & then allow yourself permission to work back into it slowly. Just try not to avoid it entirely, you'll get out of shape which will be one more reason not to ride.

Think of how bad it could have been.LO McDuff
Apr 2, 2002 8:41 AM
My brother was hit by a drunk/impaired driver on an organized century at 75 mph. ( It has been a long trip back for him. At first, it was not easy for him to get on a bike. He took small steps; indoor trainers, riding with me on a tandem on bike paths, and finally riding on his own.

It will take a while. You will consciously remember the joy of riding and your body will unconsciously forget the pain of the accident. Good luck. Get healthy.
Inconsiderate peoplekenyee
Apr 2, 2002 8:44 AM
I'm not sure if it's that there are so many people now or what. The fact that she didn't even bother to see if you were ok reminds me of the horrific news story we heard in the new england area a few months ago. Some lady had hit a homeless person. The guy's head had gone through her windshield and his body was stuck in her windshield. She drove home with the guy and parked the car in her garage. The guy pleaded with her for help, but she just came out to check on him and apologized until the guy bled to death.

And you wonder why some people shop for safer/bigger cars; it's to have a better chance to survive against idiot/inconsiderate drivers. :-P

It could have been a lot worse for you for the description of the accident. Make a fast recovery and try to enjoy life as much as you can. Maybe a bike trip to Italy is something you deserve after this..
The driver was in Fort Worth, TXDave Hickey
Apr 2, 2002 8:53 AM
I live about 10 miles from where the lady hit the homeless person. She was out partying all night and hit him on her way home. He was alive for 3 days inside her garage before he died. She and some friends dumped his body in a park. This happened in October, but she finally told a friend about it last month and the friend called the police.
seemed like a new england thing to do...kenyee
Apr 2, 2002 10:07 AM
Sorry...all the weird stories that happen nowadays are making me lose track of which happened where.
Stupid people...Pedal Jockey
Apr 2, 2002 9:01 AM
The story you reference is one where the driver of the vehicle, a young woman, was doped up and should not have been on the road to begin with.

This issue above is one of serious threat to our cycling community. Drivers disregard just about every driving law in the books, and cyclists and motorcyclists are often the ones who suffer the greatest from it. Take an example that happened last week here in Denver. A 16 year old kid slammed his car into a motorcyclist, killing the man instantly. The motorcyclist was coming to a stop, and the kid never even touched his brakes.

Unfortunately, not enough action is taken against careless, incompetent drivers to warrant more strict policing against it, so I say to the individual who originally wrote this post: I'm glad you did not suffer more serious injuries, and get well soon, but in the mean time, make an example of this person to your city and community, and start the ball rolling on awareness.

careless, incompetent peoplekenyee
Apr 2, 2002 10:26 AM
I think it's more a bad gene pool thing. I'd bet these same careless drivers would be the same ones jaywalking into the middle of traffic or doing other dangerous things with total disregard for anyone else.

BTW, smaller mass always loses. Stumbled on some bike messenger site and found out that Boston pedestrians were up in arms in 1998 about bike messengers because one hit a pedestrian and threw her 30ft (never mind that the pedestrian was jaywalking). Bad drivers do get tickets a lot here, but no one punishes pedestrians. Drivers in the ticketed areas go back to their bad habits after the ticketing stops. It's like some weird game...
Apr 2, 2002 9:22 AM
The woman that hit me did stop (the windshield was in her lap.) , she was cited, and I got all her insurance info.

I just got off the phone with the insurance company and a new Colnago X light costs around $3,200 with full chorus. Here's something else I never would have considered, I estimate my clothing at $450. When you add up a helmet, camelback, shoes (my shoe buckle even ripped off), bibs, & shirt it's a lot of cash. I'm not the type to sue and it doesn't really matter because my insurance has the limited tort option. I'm just happy to recover the cost of the bike, gear & possibly a few days of lost work.

I was looking at my bike and it's incredible. Two tacoed wheels, bend handlebar, twisted forks, seat cover ripped off, bent head tube, broken shifter, snapped brake cable, bent crank, two flat tires & lots of missing paint. Wow.

I think I'm going to ride my MTB for a while. Nice flat, wide & slow trails.

Thanks for all the posts.

Apr 2, 2002 9:27 AM
I've always had better luck dealing with other's insurance companies through a contingent lawyer of my own, much better.
Sell your old bike on ebay--I hear there is a mktSlipstream
Apr 2, 2002 9:28 AM
these days for Colnagos that have been thru the wringer! I could have sworn your bike had record. ;>)
Description of the bike damage..........Len J
Apr 2, 2002 9:37 AM
makes me think that you dodged a bigger bullet than I first thought. You could have had that much damage!

Pay attention to your body for the next couple of days to make sure there is not more damage than was first evident, sometimes it takes a few days, document it well.

I hate to say it but if it were me, one look at that bike and I think I would be feeling an awful lot of gratitude that I wasn't hurt worse.

Good luck & keep us posted.

Yes.... if you haven't....MeMyselfandI
Apr 2, 2002 5:48 PM
Go get a check up. Full check up. Make sure they do everything. If you do not have med coverage - that can be added to your costs that will be given to the insurance company.
get what you deserveColnagoFE
Apr 2, 2002 9:42 AM
i know how you feel...but i bet you'll change your tune about lawyers once you have to deal with the insurance company. don't let them push you around. yours is the type of case a lawyer would take in a second as the driver was cited. you shou;d not need to sue to get the ins company to pay up, but sometimes the threat of a lawyer gets that money coming in a bit quicker. you should get something for having to lay around on pain meds through no fault of your own.
Apr 2, 2002 5:46 PM
DO NOT deal with another insurance company yourself. Remember - they are trying to make this as cheap as they can for themselves.

This cannot be stressed enough. Less see if I can try:

DO NOT deal with another insurance company yourself.
DO NOT deal with another insurance company yourself.
DO NOT deal with another insurance company yourself.
DO NOT deal with another insurance company yourself.
DO NOT deal with another insurance company yourself.
you'll get over itColnagoFE
Apr 2, 2002 9:37 AM
like the saying goes...if you fall off the horse you gotta get back on. i was plenty spooked riding on the road for a while after getting nailed (wrecked a 6 month old merlin XL) but i got over it. if you quit you let the ba$tards win.
Heal quickly and get back on the bike. . .js5280
Apr 2, 2002 11:09 AM
Sorry to hear your story Ron. Sounds like you did about the best you could do in a car vs. bike situation. You should give courses on your technique. Good luck w/ your recovery and don't let it get you down. Get out on the trails first and you'll probably be back on the roads in no time. This really is a freak occurence and incredibly poor and reckless driving, don't be afraid to press charges and make sure you're compensated fully for your incapacitation. It wasn't the fact you were on a bike that caused this, just wrong place, wrong time. Keep those spirits up!
Get well soon and get back on the horse..Jekyll
Apr 2, 2002 11:25 AM
Hope your recovery goes quickly. Having been hit by a car I can sympathize greatly. Having had that experience I will say this much. I hate ambulance chasing lawyers and I despise the frivolous law suits many initiate. But when dealing with an insurance company your best bet is to find a good attorney. The insurance company of the guy who hit me tried to screw me in ways I could not even start to imagine. I was pretty much told that my bike was my problem and that I should be glad they paid the hospital bills. I got an attorney, a new bike, lost wages and legal fees. I did not try to get pain and suffering because it seemed rather petty to do so.
re: I got wacked on Saturday, how do you ride again?xxl
Apr 2, 2002 11:43 AM
Don't give up your biking just yet; you will get better. For me, the worst part (I had a crash somewhat like yours) was riding again, and hearing the sound of a car in back of me. I have to confess that it took weeks before I could rid myself of the feeling that the next car behind me had my name on it (which is silly, since relatively few car/bike accidents happen that way). No magic tricks, unfortunately; I just kept riding, because the alternative was not riding.

But here's a weird thing: I used to be an absolute screamer on descents; fearless, really, until this crash. Now, even a couple of years later, I find I just don't have the stuff for them. I don't know why, since descending wasn't a factor in the crash. I just know that I feather the brakes like a Cat 5 when I'm going downhill. Maybe it's the realization that "hey, I could really mess myself up," coupled with "do I really, really, need to be at the bottom of this hill that fast?"

BTW, if it isn't too late, by all means get thee to an attorney, preferably one with cycling experience (bike shops and clubs may be able to offer recommendations; some also advertise in the local "velo news" papers, etc.) The lawyer can tell you your options, and will almost certainly be able to secure a more favorable settlement, if any, than the average injured cyclist. Mine netted me $15K, which was, IMHO, damned good for me to not actually have to break any of my bones. I would've even gotten a new bike out of it, if my wife hadn't found out about the money first (still don't understand why their education comes before my ruined bike).
re: I got wacked on Saturday, how do you ride again?pmf1
Apr 2, 2002 12:31 PM
My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I went on a century in rural VA one Saturday morning. She did the 50 and I was doing the 100. We rode about the first 25 miles together, then split up. About 65 miles into it, the sag wagon pulled up and asked if I was here with her. I said yeah. They said, we just took her to the hospital, you had better come with us. I thought, oh great, she probably fell, skinned her knee and they over reacted and took her to the emergency room. When I got there, I discovered it was not the case. She had a concussion, broken jaw, broken shoulder and lacerations (mostly on her face) that required over 100 stitches (no, she doesn't look like Frankenstein now). They had to call a plastic surgeon in. In the past several years, several of her teeth have dies requiring root canals because of it. She doesn't remember a thing. Amazingly, her bike was unaffected.

It really took a toll on her for along time. She would brake going down hills and is still not 100% confident. But she did keep cycling and has become better over time.

Keep it up and you'll bounce back too. Sure, it'll be scary at first.
Sorry about the wreck, consult an attorneyTurtleherder
Apr 2, 2002 12:35 PM
Sorry to hear about the wreck. It sounds like your injuries could have been MUCH worse from the description of your bike. You should consult with an attorney. The insurance company will try to settle with you quick if they think they can get out with only the cost of the bike, equipment and medical bills. You are entitled to something for your pain and temporary disability. I should state that I am an attorney and I work in the personal injury field. Lawyers often get a bad rap in the press for supposed frivolous suits. But most of the time the press does not give you all the facts and only reports it in a way to sensationalize the story. (you want to hear the real story behind the infamous McDonald's coffee case?) You hear about the filing of some goofy case but never hear about it's quick dismissal. You get reports of the ridiculous montetary award but not what happened on appeal. It's the handful of truly odd ball cases a year that get all the press, not the thousands of cases that were settled or where the jury came to a fair verdict.
re:Read the above thread: "What are you training for"sctri
Apr 2, 2002 3:55 PM
Sorry to hear...
I sugest reading the abouve thread,
its fairly inspiring... kind of like a 101 reasons why people ride, maybe you can find one in there for yourself

good luck

Brother let me tell ya....(long)Ahimsa
Apr 2, 2002 6:11 PM is a blessed man. The desciption of your bike tells me that you coulda been dead here.

That means either you got some divine force watching over ya, or you are one fantastic rider. Crash skills are not something everyone has. You took initiative to leap over the car. Bravo! Do you realize how few riders can make that kind of split second athletic manuever?

Take some time off and relax. Heal up. Press charges. Take her insurance to the cleaners. Get everything you are owed. Include the clothes and the missed wages. Include the shoes. The whole kit and kaboodle. Why should you have to pay for someone elses negligence when you have already payed with your time and blood and fear?

Remember, SHE will get off easy. YOU will get only what you take. Get that which is rightfully due you and bear in mind that this possibly will only be obtained with legal force.

Do not drop a dime on a lawyer yet, but do call her insurance with a list of EVERYTHING and a $ total. Be a real son of a b!tch with 'em. You are right to be angry, use it.

And do go see a doctor. Today if possible. You can't sue for a broken back later when the small fracture shows up. Get a clean bill of health now.

Okay, now here's the good part:

You got majorly whacked but are still alive and breathing. You likely suffered little injury. You are indestructable.

On top of that you just burned plenty of bad karma off your due bill. You should be straight now for at least a decade or more as far as crisis is concerned.

Above all else, admit that you are a cyclist and cyclists ride. Cyclists may also get hit sometimes. This is just part of the deal. We accept that possibility because we love to ride the road.

You will not let fear keep you from love. That is no trade at all. That is quiting, and you are no quiter.

You will be a better rider and have good stories to tell someday soon.

I've been there and I'm back. You will be too.

Good luck!


It may sound corny, but have a little ritual when you are ready before you get back on the horse. It will help to make your re-entry into riding "official" for you.

Set the new bike up in the garage and get suited up in your gear. Sit down on the floor for a minute. Light a candle, burn some incense if you want or say a prayer to whatever deity or entity you believe in. Allow yourself time to meditate on this. Let everything that does not pertain to simply being there right then fade away.

When you feel like you are in a positive place then tell yourself to let go of that event. Let it dissolve into the past so that it can not affect your future.

Remind yourself that time will heal both your body and mind
and you will continue to try until enough time has elapsed.

Then ride. Ride clean. Breathe deep. You will get there with time.

Life is nothing without the future. You must go forward.
Keep it in perspectiveApplejuice
Apr 2, 2002 8:51 PM
Slow Ron,

You are one lucky man. First, you had the incredible presence of mind to leap off your bike and probably saved yourself from serious injury or death. Second, they nailed the driver. Third, you are in the U.S. and will get compensation.

Regarding your recovery - don't loose the faith. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen. That's a great idea to start mtbing. Get yourself back into the rhythm and tune out the noise. That's the way to go.

Eventually you'll get back on the road and it won't be easy. But remember all of us who are out there just like you. We're with you.

Just keep on keepin' on. Aaron