30 years since coming to Taiwan. Yesterday just before 7pm (so this and the previous story pretty much exactly 12 hours apart – hmmm) I had a traffic accident on my bike. In 45+ years of riding bikes it’s the first time I’ve had something like this. It’s the 2nd time I’ve had what felt like at the time something life threatening.
I hit a motorcycle in the middle of a yellow-bar area. I was travelling (fast with soft brakes … yep) up JianGuo. LOTS of traffic. Dark. I was wearing black (… yep). I did roll up pants and arms so I have lots of flesh showing. Anyway chaotic traffic, my favorite kind. Motorcycle pulls out. Stops midway. I start making yell to be heard far-ish away. He darts in motorcycle and then I don’t know if he’ll continue (so I go behind) or he’ll stop (in which previous trajectory will hit him square at his densest area) and I wonder. And I yell more and louder. And he doesn’t move. And I decide to try to slip in front of him, really yelling now and I hit his front bumper and I and bike and backpack all land in different places. At impact I wasn’t goiing that fast, but mind you there were cars all around and I’m down. Then look at oncoming traffic (all flowing a distance from this, thank you VERY much). Then I stand and hobble to motorcycle. He’s frozen. 20-some. educated. nice guy kinda guy. stunned. Not moving a BIT since that first jerk a while back. He asks (English) “Are you alright?” I laugh. I answer in Chinese “I couldn’t figure out how you would move. Yep, I’m alright.” Gather self. Walk off road before he moves. Walk to side. lean bike sit on wall and treat myself for about 1/2 hour. It’s then that breath and heart rate goes up and i shake and I start to hurt. Lots of places. Ones I’m concerned with are left heel and right wrist up 2 sides of forearm. After a while I’m calm. No real hurt. Straighten steering of bike. On bike (ouch!) and slow bike ride to the monthly group mentoring meeting about a 20-minute SLOW bike ride from there. End of evening it’s only the wrist that is tender. The ride back it aches whenever I put weight on it. Another slow ride back to studio. Shower and right to sleep. In morning 5:20 am wake. no pain in arm, just bruised rt hip and rt thigh. Wonderful. Think I’ll take MRT till I get brakes really adjusted. Best be today.
Oh, 1st lifethreatening bike incident was in 5th or 6th grade with Cindy Pearce coming down the steep gravel road by her house and having the brakes not work. I could choose going straight across blind curved at bottom and risk getting hit by car before going down ravine into stream. I could try to turn with the road (probably wouldn’t work because I was going too fast) or I could jump off the bike. I jumped. I was scraped up for a couple weeks. Much worse than last night. (sound of knocking on wood)