Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Man, the cycling gods don’t fuck around.

No sooner did I bray about not being afraid of crashing, than I almost completely ate it (and my words) this morning on my ride to the bus to school.

Rolling down Jackson, doing about twenty miles an hour in the bike lane, I barely avoid getting door prized—and not just any version of the classic inattentive driver creaming the unsuspecting cyclist; this one would have been one for the ages, which is probably how long I’d have been in the emergency room getting reconstructive surgery on my face had I not escaped unscathed.

My nemesis wasn’t the flung-open exit from some little Toyota Celica or something; rather, it was the huge door of a semi cab affixed to a Gai’s bakery truck.

The driver suddenly swung it open just as I began to pass by; I shouted something like “Gaaah!” and simultaneously ducked low and swerved left beneath the metal panel, narrowly missing contact thanks to its characteristic cutout shape along the bottom.

Visions of my face slamming into the unpadded steel sent my heart rate through the roof and flooded my system with adrenaline; I almost fell anyway as I cut back sharply into the bike lane and braked to a stop to turn back and look at my would-be assassin.

The driver had that sheepish, but sort of amused look that people display after they practically kill you. I glared at him until he at least shrugged and then figured what the hell, we were both glad the accident didn’t happen—at least we had that in common—and so, continued my way on down the hill to my destination.

Was I extra-careful for the next few blocks? Sure thing, and I even stopped at the crosswalk-only stoplight, to get my bearings, at least.

But it never occurred to me to stop for the day; besides, riding’s the only way to appease the vengeful cycling gods.


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