1979 🚘 You never see it coming
Well, after getting clipped from behind, I decided to ride against the flow of traffic, and not with it, just so I could see what was coming. Cops used to pull me over and complain, I'd explain my reasoning, and they were unimpressed; some reasonable, some mindless drones. Usually I'd follow the law until they were out of sight, and then go back to the much safer way to ride; where I could see what was out to get me.
Well, one day, I was riding home in the street, in the wrong lane (head on to traffic) going at a really good clip. Nothing was around, and I was feeling safe and sane, when BANG! I had that same joyful experience of being clipped from behind!
I remember thinking, "what the f...".
This one was more serious.
- The rear tire buckled on my bike, and the car started riding over the bike, and me.
- Time slows down when you think you're about to die. The car bumper was going over the bike, and me, and especially my left leg pinned between the bumper and the bike.
- I remember sliding, and putting my right leg on the bumper to push myself forward of the car (that was still moving) and to kick myself free (so I could pull my left leg out)... and then I spun over, and was sliding on the asphalt (on my hands and knees), while the car (El Camino) went over my sacrificed bike... and mutilated it.
Since I hadn't gotten caught under the car, I was relatively OK; but it had been close. The bike hadn't been as lucky and was a write-off.
Still, I got up and was hopping mad. I was hopping because my left leg, while not broken by the car, was seriously bruised. And I once again, spent days recovering from road rash; mostly on my hands and knees; and spent weeks with a limp.
NOTE: If you ever get road rash on your palms, it's very annoying as it hurts touching everything and picking things up. And you're constantly grabbing something and cracking open the scabs, so you weep and bleed on everything. It wasn't terminal, but it was annoying. And the leg might not have broke, but it had bruised the bone, so it still throbbed for a couple weeks.
The shrieking mad woman (in all senses of the word), jumped out of her car and started saying stupid things like, "Oh my God, you kids are crazy! What were you doing riding on the wrong side of the road?" and "You're lucky I was only going 25 MPH because it was a school zone".
To which I politely responded something like, "Lady, I was doing at least 30, and you hit me like I was standing still! You came up on me so fast, that I didn't hear you coming. And I was riding on the wrong side of the road so that I could see crazy bitches coming and not get taken out from behind! Now what the hell were you doing DRIVING on the wrong side of the road?"
Typical tactful teenager speak for "I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the situation".
She replied that she saw some kids playing near the side of the road to had swerved into oncoming traffic just to have extra room. Gee thanks.
Nobody is above the law
I pulled my write-off of a bike out from under the front of the car, and hop-carried it (bouncing on my good leg) to the back of her El Camino, and threw it in the bed, and told her to give me a ride home, which she did. In a slight irony, she was an ex-neighbor that had moved away, a few years earlier, so she knew me and my parents (even though we were miles from home). I took her new number, and told her she was buying me a new bike; which she did -- glad to avoid the insurance fiascos or the ticket she would have gotten for sheer stupidity.
The moral to that story was that just because you're alert and breaking the law, doesn't mean you can't get hurt (or that others might be unaware and breaking the law even worse).