Hey buddy. How are things with you? I had a crash on my bike two weeks ago, bloody broken collar bone and shoulder blade. Been refraining from telling you, I’m not entirely sure why.
Hit a bloody rock in the cycle path, mate I feel SO lucky, I’ve thought about you so many times, I think you were my first thought after I hit the ground. I know how much worse it could have been.
That was a message from a good friend of mine.
Although his injuries are pretty bad, they’ll all heal well and there’ll be no long term effect.
I know that a lot of people think of me every time they get on a bike, and I hope that it makes them more aware of their fragility and vulnerability, so ride more safely. Something good has to come out of my misfortune, right?
I find myself watching cyclists’ behaviour, whether it be from my car or from a pavement. Knowing what I now know of course, I feel nervous on behalf of others.
I’m struck constantly by the number of people on bikes that seem oblivious to the dangers around them – and I’m not talking about the fast riding courier types that weave in and out of the traffic ( as they have skill and confidence, if not road etiquette ) I’m talking about the Mums without helmets going to the shops, the over 65’s who have never worn a helmet and aren’t going to start now, that perhaps don’t have the reactions they once had or the vision they did a while ago, the guys not looking behind them as they change direction .
I see the hazards from their perspective, how close they get to calamity, how they don’t appear to notice the mobile phone wielding pedestrian or texting car driver, how when they are fiddling with something in a pocket whilst they ride causes them to veer erratically into the danger zone.
It makes me hold my breath, how unaware they are of how near to death they are, and makes me realise how relatively safe I was on a bike, by virtue of my constant perception of potential hazards as I approached them, and readiness to take evasive action.
It makes the unfairness of my crash all the more painful though. Why me? I didn’t deserve it.
But life isn’t like that – shit just happens, tragically. I could have been killed countless times on my many forays out of safety over many years, but I wasn’t .
I maybe could count myself lucky then?