Illegal Lefts, A Bike, And A SUV

I had been working on an entry regarding my commuting to and from work, but last week Tuesday, that all got put on hold. Now, this entry still relates to my commute, but for now I’ve narrowed it down to one incident. We’ve been pretty busy at work, so I had been leaving pretty close to 6:00pm or just after. For me that is cutting it close. See, my route as some of you know, takes me, by choice, through an amazing cemetery. I enjoy the solitude of riding through it, out of traffic, and it cuts down on my commute time. The cemetery closes at 7:00pm, so after leaving work at about 6:27, I was feeling a little short on time and was hoping to get there before the gates were closed. As I left work, I quickly realized that I had a pretty good head wind and my legs didn’t seem to be feeling the ride, what else could I do, I pedaled through. I was thinking, “Not gonna happen, I’ll miss getting to the gates before they close”. Yet, my legs began to warm up and I began to move at a pretty good clip. Now for all of you who are familiar with the Columbus area, I was heading up Thurman Ave with High Street (US 23) in my sights, the light was green, but I felt that I was too far back to make it. I rode a little harder, still green…harder, still green, so I did a final push it was staying green and I rode into the intersection. No cars behind me, but there was a good line of traffic coming from the opposite direction. For a few seconds, I was feeling good about getting to the gates of the cemetery on time, but that changed quickly….well in a matter of nanoseconds, with the realization of what was occurring. The first words that ran through my head “My god, he’s turning left”, while simultaneously squeezing my brake levers, which afforded me very little slow down, do to how close the SUV was when he decided to turn left. Another split second thought, “Try and swerve around his back end!”…BAM!!! I friggin’ smoked the SUV just behind the rear passenger door…momentum gone. I barely remember the impact, but I damn sure remember falling back down into the middle of the intersection. I remember thinking, “What on my body is broke this time?”, but I stood up and grabbed my bike and pulled myself and it out of the intersection. I saw the SUV pull around and come back to where I was standing. By that time I had stripped off my helmet and backpack, and had begun the full body check…hands, clavicle, legs, knees, my head felt fine. I picked up my helmet to inspect it, nothing wrong there, no scratches or dents…yay! But, damn did my left hand hurt. The guy had gotten out of his SUV asking me if I was all right, ” So , far yes” I hadn’t removed my glove yet, and he was saying something to the effect he didn’t see me and that he was trying to turn onto “that street”, what ever “that street” was. I had to kindly…well not too kindly point out that he had made an illegal left turn and even showed him the courtesy of pointing out the sign hanging in plain view…right by the light he would have (hopefully) been looking at as it turned green. My adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and I was holding my hand to my chest. He asked if we should call the police…”Well, yea, we just had an accident, I want to file an accident report” So as he phones the police I was attempting to get a hold of my wife to come and get me and the bike. I peeled off my glove and my left hand had swelled quite a a bit, damn did it hurt. There were several decent cuts and immediate bruising. At this point I couldn’t get a hold of my wife, so I called my friend and co-worker Tony. I relayed to him what just happened and he said he would be there. The police showed up, then just behind them fire trucks, and behind them 5 bike cops, and we didn’t even call 911. The police asked questions, the medics looked at me, the guy kept asking if there was anything he could do, and Tony had shown up and was loading my bike in to his Element. The medics decided that I didn’t need to go with them, but I should get my hand x-rayed, the guy was cited, I finally got ahold of my wife, the police officers (in the cruiser) were cool and funny, the bike cops were actually kind of dicks. Then amidst it all, some strange guy wandered in from the White Castle parking lot and tried to say I ran a red light, but once Tony pointed out the obvious, that if I ran a red light, then the SUV guy would have also been running a red light….and making an illegal left turn…strange-guy-from-White-Castle shut up and wandered back to whatever it was he was doing. I chatted with the officers a bit more, got the guy’s info, and Tony and I headed to the nearest Urgent Care facility.

My wife met us there, we got my bike into our Element and Tony was on his way….THANKS AGAIN, TONY!!! My wife and I ended up having to go to the emergency room anyway, because it’s the only place they bill directly to auto insurance. So, an exam, several x-rays, and 2 hours later (which is damn quick for a ER) I had nothing broken, some cuts and bruising on my right leg, a sore shoulder, a wrist splint and a swollen hand with cuts severe contusions. I have been off the bike ever since, and my hand has only recently felt like typing on the ‘puter, and I still have a bit more recovery before I can put the pressure of biking on my wrist and hand again.

Taken @ home after the ER. My hand swelled even more after this was shot….good times. I figured out how my hand was hurt so bad…it took the full brunt of the impact. My handlebars turn to the right, my wheel to the left, and my the left side of my handle bars smack into the side of the SUV….uummm…ouch!

The good thing: I hit him, he didn’t hit me, no cars were behind me, and I didn’t break anything.

***I also want to thank the guy who had made the turn in front of me…THANK YOU! For one…he stopped, two, he called the police, and three, he took responsibility for what had occurred, and I have to say, I respect him fully for doing that. He wasn’t a bad guy, and I happened to be too hopped up on adrenaline to be social. I know he felt bad. Thanks again, Mr. SUV for doing the right thing***

As always…RIDE SAFE!!!

Peace, Patrick – SSD Crew

PS : On Tuesday, I received no less than seven solicitations from area lawyers, what f-ing dirt bags…No Thanks!!!! I don’t roll with that kind of shit…and I certainly don’t play that way. Mr. SUV did his part by paying for the ER vist. F-ing lawyers!!!

PSS: In case anyone is wondering about the other vicitim here, the OG Langster, he is fine, just needs a bit of TLC and maybe a truing of the front wheel. He took it like a trooper.

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