It was with some surprise on Tuesday that i found myself ploughed into the side of a car. Other than some minor damage to me, and the car, and some substantial damage to my bike's wheels, i came of very well, considering the speed and general dangerous nature of the crash. This is roughly what i looked like:
The only difference was, lack of other cyclists, a car, a slightly different fall, and i was rocking a sweet sleeveless Exodus shirt. Also the bike was cheaper, and i wasn't wearing Time knicks, i was wearing jeans. This saved some skin.
What was really brought to bear though was the general indignity of crashing. All the cars watching you, either pitying or tut tuting you. The scew if nature of my ponytail. The ridiculous angle of my helmet. The blood on the Crumpler bag. The indignity went on and on. Luckily for me the driver was a decent man who was genuinely sorry and upset. That did not stop me from swearing and making an ass of my shaken and scared self.
What it does make one think about is a fact that one often forgets during the rigours of bike commuting: people on the road want to kill you. If they did, sure they would be upset, but they would most likely recover, but you would be dead, and your bike scrapped.
I don't say this to sound inexperienced. I've had my share of falls in packs, been doored, heckled, abused, had things thrown at me, done silly things which nearly ended badly. This i have done. What is interesting is that one forgets. Today i rode as if nothing had happened. I can't work out if this is a good or a bad thing. To ride with fear is dangerous. But am i being reckless? Is wearing an Exodus shirt overkill? (heh heh, the metal fans will see what i did there)
When all is said and done however, it makes me realise that, rather than riding fast in the city i should be doing this:
This gentleman clearly has the right idea. Not only is he rocking panniers, he is also wearing reflective and water resistant clothing. Urban, denim clad riders can suck it. I clearly did.