Narrow Escape

by Lou on June 18, 2008

If you ride long enough, you’ll be hit by a car. Every cyclist says that, and every cyclist knows that when a bicycle and a car collide, it’s the cyclist who loses—big time.

I was hit yesterday, and I was lucky. All I have to show for it is a wrecked wheel along with a few scrapes and bruises.
Highway 74 is where it all happened. If you’re not familiar with the area, Hiway 74 has three lanes in each direction as it heads south and uphill toward Idyllwild. The road narrows down to a two-lane highway once it passes the southern edge of Big Horn, which marks Palm Desert’s city limits.

I rode into the entry area at Big Horn Golf Club, a very exclusive gated community, about 100 yards north of where those six lanes become two lanes. I planned to turn around and head back down hill, so I made a U-turn just inside Big Horn’s entry area and was crossing the three lanes of up-hill, south-bound traffic so I could go back down hill. Then I was hit.

I never saw the car coming. She obviously didn’t see me and I’m guessing that she was playing with her two dogs while driving. She hit my rear wheel—her car didn’t hit me; just my bike—and the next thing I knew I was moving sideways, going down in a heap, unclipping my shoes from the pedals, and picking myself off the pavement.

My wheel was completely trashed. It’s carbon fiber, which makes it light, extremely strong, fast, and very expensive, but it can’t stand up to that kind of punishment. Had she hit me a second earlier, I’d probably have broken a leg and maybe more, so I feel lucky that she hit my rear wheel instead of me, and that I came away unscathed.

I ordered a new wheel, which should be here late in the week, and I can’t wait to get back and ride again after my narrow escape. I plan to head right back up Hiway 74 to the scene of the crime. After all, I want to complete my aborted ride.

{ 2 comments }

Dr. Pauly June 18, 2008 at 8:01 pm

Stay safe, Lou!

CSuave June 19, 2008 at 5:20 pm

Wow. Thank heavens for small miracles that you weren’t seriously injured. Glad you are ok.

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