This morning, I was joking with my coworker that I might get hit by a car one of these times when I was picking up change.
I wasn't picking up change, but tonight, I was hit by a car. I'm ok, but my bike is not. I just got back to my apartment and I'm still a bit shaky as I write this. I guess adrenaline will do that to you.
I decided after biking to and from work today that I wanted to go to Prospect Park to run with the Brooklyn Frontrunners group (http://frny.org/fun-runs/tuesday-fun-run-brooklyn/). I changed my clothes and hopped on my bike. As I rode down Gates Ave, I found a shiny penny next to a green classic 70's car that had a for sale sign on it. I hadn't mapped a decent bike route to the park, so I turned on Nostrand. The traffic was heavy. I kept thinking to myself that I needed to take a less trafficked road with a bike lane next time I rode to the park (I think I'll drive next time now).
www.mapmyride.com - this has worked for my runs and rides. I just need to take the time to do it.
Atlantic was buzzing with traffic. I was able to cross half way with no problem. Nostrand starts up a hill at that point. I stopped at the intersection, noticed a shiny nickel in the road, then waited for the "walk" signal to let me know I could move forward. I saw the walk signal and put my head down for the climb…five feet later a black SUV's front fender and light smashed into me. I put my leg out to catch myself, but ended up flat on the road anyway. All I could decide to do was to get out of the road. I picked myself up and my bike and hustled as fast as I could to the sidewalk.
I was immediately surrounded by a bunch of colorful characters asking if I was alright and saying I should sue. I was more concerned with the fact that my steering wheel was at a 90 degree angle away from my bike. My whole body started shaking uncontrollably. Then this Indian American guy with some pretty bad crossed eyes comes running up to say he was sorry and I was I ok. The traffic cop had waved him through the intersection. I insisted I was ok while all the people around me suggested I sue and were yelling at him.
Then the traffic cop came over. I insisted I was ok. I was just shaken up. She then explained to me what I had done wrong and that the walk signal was not what I was supposed to follow when there was a traffic cop (she was on the other side of the street, where no one walking would see her). I yelled at her and told her it was her fault I could have been killed. I wasn't very polite. I told her I knew the law and she was wrong (I will now have to look it up because I probably am wrong). She asked me to calm down, and then asked what I did. She said her job was dangerous, and cars hit her all the time. She asked where I lived, and I told her I lived in Bed Stuy but worked at University Hospital as a fundraiser. She asked what I meant. I explained that I raised money for medical school scholarships. Then she proceeded to ask me how to get more scholarships for her daughter in college.
NYC Bike Safety Laws
I was still pretty angry, but I calmly explained the best way to get scholarships in my opinion and that I couldn't help her by getting her daughter scholarships. Frustrated and still shaking, I rode up one block and around the corner to where I couldn't be seen. My bike wouldn't ride anyway. One of the wheels is seriously bent and it looked like a clown bike.
I called my brother to calm me down, then my sister, and neither answered. I then made the mistake of calling my mother. I love her, but she always reacts terribly to things. We talked until I got home (I found a dime in front of the laundry mat on the corner).
Now I'm sitting here, still a little shaky, noticing the scrapes on my legs and feeling a little muscle ache. I'll be ok in time. That work out will have to wait until tomorrow.
Update: Bike is fixed and I'm riding again thanks to the store called Bike Slug.