Ride on the right!
I am sad to inform you that one Butler student did not get this message. Instead of riding on the right side of the road, and thus cutting a wide curve when turning into a parking lot, she chose to cut straight across into the left lane, where she promptly crashed into me as I rode on my own bicycle. I thanked my lucky stars I’d been wearing tennis shoes. It’s now almost a week past, and I’m pretty well healed.
I had been minding my own business, pedaling merrily along the right side of the right lane in the Clowes parking lot, about to turn up onto the sidewalk to continue on to my apartment. Suddenly, descending like a particle-like object as its vertical velocity component plunges farther into the negative numbers (physics 14 – Olivia 15), another rider whipped around the parked car that was blocking my right-hand view. Coming down a little hill and from out of nowhere, she made several attempts to avoid me as I did the same. Time slooooowed…
Then we locked handle-bars, I on the left and she on the right, and WOUMPH–clatter! Thrown to the ground.
The first thing I did was stand hurriedly. Hands: bleeding but functional. Head: didn’t even hit the ground. Knees: banged up–going to cause my left knee to click and swell for the next few days. Shins: bruised and scratched. Ankles: a little tweak on the left. “Are you okay?” we both explode simultaneously.
“Yes, yes. Are you okay?”
“I’m sorry. Are you okay?”
“No, no, I’m fine; I’m sorry. How’s your bike?”
“I think it’s fine. I’m sorry!”
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
We were in this state of shock for a few minutes, standing our bikes up and looking mournfully at slipped chains and bloody knees. At least, I looked mournfully at my bloodly knees; the other was wearing jeans and seemed to have sustained no injury. “I’m a dance major!” I wanted to say, but by then she was hopping onto her functional bike.
“I’m sorry. I have to go to class!”
She rode away, while I wheeled my bike up the hill to the Apartment Village. The sprocket was bent and the chain slipped all over the place, and I wanted nothing more than to wash the mess off my legs and ice my ankle. It was only when I walked my bike up the hill that I realized, “Hey! That wasn’t my fault.”
Darn bikers who don’t follow the traffic pattern. Ride on the right!
Here’s a good–if rather sensationalist–page with some bike safety tips. It’s less “ride with reflectors and a helmet” and more “these are common accidents and how one can avoid them with lane placement.”
P.S. Isn’t my picture lovely? I was studying in Jordan Hall the Sunday before the bike accident.