well, you should see the other guy
late last night I got hit pretty hard by a car while I was on my bike. I was making a legal lane change, but the driver didn’t see me indicate and by the time I realised what was happening it was too late to get out of the way. it is a bit of a blur and I think I was knocked out for a little while. fortunately for me, my housemate and another friend happened to drive by as it was happening and took charge of the situation — they were incredible. I went into shock, my face was a bit mashed up, and I broke a front tooth, so the hospital ran a lot of tests, but it turns out that I’m otherwise fine. no fractures, no torn ligaments, no concussion even. being hit by a car, falling hard on my mouth, and breaking front teeth is a scenario that’s a persistent fear of mine and an intrusive mental image at times. what can I say, I have Teeth Anxieties and Very Reasonable Cyclist Anxieties. but the reality was not unbearable, and that is very comforting information to have, hopefully true of my other fears too. the worst part of the experience was actually wearing a neck brace for five hours while waiting to see if I had spinal damage.
if I had not been wearing a helmet I would have sustained a serious head injury and probably brain damage. even with a helmet, if the car had been moving even slightly faster or hit me more square on I would have been very badly injured; my bike is basically a write-off. because I live in a country with universal health care and am a citizen I am not financially liable for my trip to the emergency department. dental care is not generally covered by our healthcare system but people hurt in transport accidents get a few extra perks so I should be able to get my broken tooth capped for free. because I live with and near resourceful people who love me, who were immediately on the scene, I didn’t have to worry about being alone in the ambulance or at the hospital or afterwards. it was not a hit and run. I am so thankful for each of these strokes of very good undeserved fortune.
well, I guess the helmet thing was within my control. Please, please, please wear a helmet; I don’t care how good you are at staying out of crashes to begin with, everyone could use an extra safety precaution.