So, once again, I find myself spending a Friday night recovering after an accident. This time, I was sensible enough not to use the STEAM CLEANER. In fact this was not a Friday night accident, but a Friday morning accident.
I was cycling to work….yes, its another cycling accident…..! I really need to take up a safer hobby like Free Running (aka Parkour ). Its got to be safer for me than this cycling lark.
So, back to the accident, well the good news is it did not involve a motor vehicle or another cyclist. I was heading down the Mile End Road towards Whitechapel. The ride was getting better as the rain had stopped and the sun was coming out. It was the warmest morning of the year so far and my thoughts were turning to how long a ride I could get in after work. I didn’t have a care in the world.
Then, I did have a care…
I passed through the traffic lights in the above picture doing 16.4mph and moved to my right to overtake a bus that was at the bus stop on the left. As I passed the blue square on the road, a male ran across the road without looking. He was clearly (in my opinion) running for the bus. He did not look at all, and despite my shouting a warning to him, he ran into the side of my bike propelling me rapidly to the ground. Fortunately,
I bounce well, and I landed on my bike handlebars. Said pedestrian was prevented from leaving the scene. In fact, I think an irate cyclist terrified him. It turns out the myopic pedestrian is a student from the Philippines who has only been in England a few days.
Warning to all cyclists in East London, keep your eyes open for this risk to your health. He goes by the name of GLEN REGONDOLA.
The damage done consists of:
1. Handlebars of my bike bent beyond repair as they are creased. You may note in the photo below the way the bars are now curved
2. Front wheel damaged beyond repair. In fact the wheel is so buckled that even with the front brake released completely the wheel could not be forced to turn round, let alone be ridden.
3. Rear Wheel Buckled beyond repair
4. Mudguards destroyed as the fixings are snapped at the front wheel.
5. Rear Light broken in fall
6. Helmet – did its job and hit the floor, protecting my head. As a result it needs replacing as helmets should always be replaced after an accident when it has hit the ground.
7. Bib Tights – ripped as I hit the ground
The cost of replacing all the above amounts to £500. That is not including the cost of the labour to replace the handlebars/ tape up the new ones.
Then the observant amongst you will note the blood on my knee in the last 2 pictures. Fortunately the knee was grazed and did not appear to take a significant blow.
Anyway, after exchanging details with the homicidal pedestrian, I had the joy of getting home. I was 3 miles from the train station and 8 miles from home. The bike could not even be wheeled, so I had to hoist it up onto my shoulder and set off walking home. I walked 3/4 mile or so to Mile End Tube station and decided to try to take my bike on the Tube. I know bikes are not allowed on the Central Line which is the one I needed to get to Stratford (1 stop) or else I would have to travel several stops on District Line & Jubilee line to get to Stratford from where I take the overground train. Being a rebel, I ignored the rules and sneaked onto the Central Line & got away with it.
Once back in Seven Kings, I had to carry my bike the last half mile home.
I had already rung work to let them know of the accident and agreed I would work from home. Fortunately I had work I could do and had my laptop with me. It was fortunate that it did not get damaged in the accident.
I had my medical diagnosis on the telephone from Michelle, after sending her picture of the wound. She gave me advice on cleaning the knee and resting it. She does look after me, and she wasn’t slow to point out that I should have had the accident last week when she was down here to look after me.
Resting at home, I discovered I had bruising on my left leg as well, and on my arms. As the day wore on, I started to get pain and stiffness in my shoulders and neck – classic whiplash symptoms! I also realised I was suffering from shock, and it took some 4 or so hours before I was actually able to function effectively. I hadn’t expected the whiplash or the shock. The cuts to the knee turned out to be minor, and looked far worse through the ripped tights than later.
Tonight, I made the effort to drive to the home address of the homicidal pedestrian to deliver a formal letter before action demanding the payment of the £500 to repair the bike and replace my kit. I have to confess to leaving the block of flats he lived in feeling rather sorry for him. The block of flats had evidence of crack / heroin smoking in the stairwells, the lifts smelt of urine, and many of the flats had metal grills over the windows and doors to protect them from burglaries. It is not a pleasant place for anyone to live in. Especially when it was clear that despite being a danger to cyclists, he was not a junkie or a bad lad at all. To come from abroad to study and end up living in such squalor is not pleasant.
So, Saturday will see me trying to replace the handlebars on my bike and tape up the new ones. Then I will have to try to mix and match spare wheels to see if I can get the bike back on the road for Monday’s commute to work.
The positives are: –
a) I do not appear to have any serious or long term injuries, just cuts and bruises
b) It could have been far worse
c) The bike is repairable
d) It wasn’t my good bike for the Police Unity Tour. That is safely in the house ready to ride.
And to those who suggested I should get stabilisers/ training wheel, all I have to say is …”Ha bloody ha”