Sunday, April 1, 2012

A VERY Close Call

Today's ride started out pretty uneventful, but sure ended with an unwanted surprise.

I decided to do a south Sno. Co. tour today, and get in some hills for the first half of my workout, and then hit the Interurban Trail for some flat training for the second half. The hilly portion of the ride had been pretty enjoyable, other than being a bit wheezy. I seem to have caught a very slight cold. On Olympic View Dr, some prick buzzed past me right in the same spot it happened last time I was on the road! At least this guy didn't honk and scream obscenities at me.

Today is surprising warm out, so by the time I hit the trail, I had already decided that I was going to stop somewhere to get more water. From where I got on the trail, there are 2 bike shops (3 if you count REI...but I don't really). The first one is Performance; I rarely go in there. I think they have good sales though... The second is Gregg's; I have been in there and even bought a bike or 2. Today for some reason, I decided to go into Performance...

To get to Performance from the trail, you have to get off the trail, press the crosswalk button, and wait on the sidewalk for the walk signal. So here I was, waiting to cross, when I heard that sound...the sound that all cyclist fear; the sound of screeching breaks and skidding tires. I look up and I see two vehicles coming my way... CRASH!...They collide!...The blue car stays on course, but the enormous passenger van, in an attempt to minimize the accident with the car, swerved right! I am in his direct path now! He slammed on his breaks, but it was no use, he jumped the curb and was barreling right at me!

Skid marks left by the van.
Although this all must happened in just a few seconds, it totally felt like slow motion. I remember this voice in my head saying, "OMG. He's going to hit my bike..." but then this stronger and more powerful voice chimed in, "GET OFF THE BIKE!!! RUN!!!!" It was if someone slapped the sense into me, because I threw her down and ran like hell!

He came to a stop only a few feet from Fiona.

We were both alive! I looked up across the street, and there was one of the mechanics from Performance standing there staring at me. He had witnessed the whole thing. I mouthed to him, "Holy f'ing sh*t!"

Then my brain kicked in. Is everyone else ok?? I did a quick assessment to make sure both of the drivers were not injured. They were both fine, just shaken up. The van driver, I think was pretty shaken up at the idea that he could have killed me. His concern and valiant effort to stop that van was really touching. The girl who was driving the car, was the one who was at fault. She felt awful and was very apologetic. She had never been in an accident before, so that was scary too. She needed a little hand-holding and reassurance that everything was going to be ok.

Then it was time to check on Fi. *gulp* And she was fine; just a couple chips marks to the left break lever and a scuff to the bar end cap.  I couldn't find any other damage, but I will have 1.0 give her a thorough inspection I'm sure.

At that point, I decided to head home. I don't know about anyone else, but near death experiences tend to suck the fun out of a ride for me. They also spook me and I don't think I ride as well. It's better to just call it a day and be thankful for everything you have.

Be safe out there everyone.


  1. Upon further inspection, there is also a slight scuff on my saddle, rear skewer, and pedal. Nothing serious! Yay!

    Thanks 1.0. :)

  2. Whoa!! That's a lucky escape CG, that would have totally made me sad if you'd been injured. Glad you and fiona are in one piece. She's got battle scars now!......knew there was a reason I preferred off road only you to endanger yourself and not numpty drivers

  3. Wow - very scary! Glad to hear you and the bike are ok. I know I would definitely need to take a few days off of the bike after and experience like that!

  4. I am going to stick to bike trails only for awhile... I am still pretty shaken up over it all. I guess it freaks me out more because I wasn't even on the road..I was on the sidewalk! It's tough though... Even though we have tons of dedicated bike trails in my area, because I love to ride so long and far, I run out of trail. Sure I could just go back and forth on the same one over and over, but YUCK! lol It is the beautiful scenery and the adventure I love. You can't get that doing bike path repeats! Also our bike paths tend to be fairly flat. That's great for a lot of people, but if you need to train hills...not so much.

  5. Replies
    1. Yes, hills! That reminds me... I need to get ready for riding in Hawaii in a month! Hills and WIND! Yikes!

  6. Luckily, close calls like that are rare. We all take a risk by being out there. After 25+ years of riding on the road, I was clipped by a car last year. Didn't go down, but a few inches away from being totally rear ended. Scary for sure. Still, that's a few zillion miles incident free.

    Another reason why I still dig mountain biking over road riding. No cars!

    1. That's a pretty darn good record Dan!