Tuesday was horrible.
I was going to ride my bike to my appointments. The bright sunny clear morning sky cooperated as I headed north on E Street. Upon reaching the intersection of Highway 101, I waited for a green light.
Once it changed, a car heading in the opposite direction proceeded into the intersection, as did I. Yet, instead of going straight, the driver turned on to the highway and directly at me. Unfortunately, the laws of physics say only one object can occupy a space at a time; so when a 2,600-pound car and a 180-pound bicyclist collide at the same point in time, one of them will be moved. Of course, that was me — and in a rather forceful manner.
Upon the horrifying realization that there was no way to avoid being hit, time slowed down.
As I saw the automobile come into contact with me, I thought, “My life is about to change.” The only unknown was “How much?” As the front bumper impacted my leg, I sent up a quick prayer, “please let this be minor, and if not — please let it be quick.”
My bike fell under the car as I rolled on to its hood, smashing into the windshield. I vaguely recall the vehicle continuing to move forward with me on its hood, whimpering. What I later discovered was that I impacted the windshield with enough force to destroy it and was subsequently hurled 20 feet down the road. I remember crashing headfirst on the asphalt, shattering my bike helmet.
What happened next was nothing short of amazing.
As if guided by an invisible director, people descended on the scene from every bearing. Although conscious, I was — needless to say — confused. I couldn’t tell in which direction I was facing, nor from where the voices came, but I could discern individuals coordinating to direct traffic away from me. I heard cell phones click to life from those calling emergency services. Strangers ran to assist me, and one gentleman — an angel as far as I’m concerned — took my head in his hands to hold me still to prevent further injury, his calm reassuring voice a comfort unlike anything I can remember. With my head cradled in his grip, I knew I could “let go.” Even though there was no major pain, I was moaning, more out of fear. I wanted to sit up to survey what damage had been done to me but this Godsend of a man insisted I be still and he held me firm. He assured me help was coming and he would take care of me until then. The EMTs arrived within seconds, as did the fire department, and police. I felt embarrassed by all the commotion I was causing, and by blocking a major highway, but no one seemed bothered. Everyone was focused on helping me. [Read more…]