Riding to rowing practice yesterday…my first practice of the season…I had a bike accident. I really have bad luck biking to practice. Last year, I was rear ended, and now, knocked down by a careless woman opening her car door.
I was riding down a busy street. There was about half of lane between the flow of traffic and the cars parked on the street. I put myself in the middle of this space and kept alert for cars turning right AND potential opening doors. The opening doors are tricky because you can't always tell if someone is in the car. If I see someone in the car, I'll give it a wider berth. I couldn't move completely out of car door range without getting too close to the moving cars. I stayed a little closer to the parked cars than the moving cars.
I approached a navy blue sedan and I detected some movement. I rang my bell and steered to the left. She swung the door open fully and quickly…and clipped me on the right side, right as I was passing, knocking me down on the pavement.
What I'll never be able to explain is how I refrained from swearing at her. Instead, I yelled, "What are you doing?!?! YOU HAVE TO LOOK BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR DOOR!!!!" I was still on the ground.
She stood before me, looking stunned, and said, "No I don't." She was in her mid-thirties, possibly younger.
I started to get up, checking that I wasn't seriously injured. I shouted, "What!!! Yes you do! You have to look! You have to check for bikes!" I was angry.
"I never have before! Are you ok?"
I said, "You don't get to know."
I quickly scanned the bike to make sure I could ride it. I hopped back on and rode to practice, swearing at her under my breath. "You don't have to look!? Fuck you!"
People are crazy.
The good news is the bike was completely undamaged. I, however, sustained some minor bruises on my knee and ankle. Not, I realized later, from the fall, but from the force of my collision with the door. The bruises are on my right leg, but I fell to my left. I have one bruise on my left hip from the fall. Overall, though, I'm fine.
Sadly, I've learned little from this encounter. I already knew to check for doors. Hopefully, this crazy woman will now know to check for bikes.
Grateful for: coming through relatively unscathed.