If you’re a regular bike blog reader, I’m sure you have already seen this story about a doctor who cut off a cyclist and then slammed on his brakes so the bikers went through his back window.
I’d love to believe the bikers. I’m not so sure, however.
Bike Crunch in Boulder, Colorado
Earlier this year, I caught a crunch out of the corner of my eye and whipped my head around in time to see a biker go down and the car stop. I grabbed my camera so I could take pictures of the accident and get a picture of the license plate in case the driver tried to run.
The biker was coming down a hill outside Boulder, Colorado. The car was doing less than 20 miles an hour and slowing to make a left turn into the parking lot. The cyclist was going too fast — nearly twice as fast as the car. He didn’t realize the car was turning and went to pass. He misjudged distance and intent. The cyclist crunched into the driver’s bumper.
To his credit, the driver stopped. To his credit, the biker admitted he was at fault for the accident.
If the cyclist hadn’t fessed-up, well, there were enough of us in the parking lot ready to blame the driver and beat him senseless before the cops arrived. (It was Boulder, after all. The biker is always right.) The biker did the right thing.
But, what if he hadn’t?
What if the biker said the driver had been ticked-off, unable to pass the biker on a narrow mountain road? What if the biker had said the driver had tried to run him off the road then slammed on his brakes in front of the bike? Road rage. Damn cars.
Would we have believed the biker? I probably would have.
Busted Wheel and Trip to the Hospital
The front, carbon fiber wheel was toast. I’d be surprised if the front fork didn’t need replacement.
We drove the cyclist back to his apartment — five or so miles away — and his friend took him to the hospital. He didn’t think he had any broken bones but was worried about soft-tissue damage. He looked okay on the mountain given the fall but by the time he was back to his apartment he wasn’t feeling well at all.
We joked as to if his repairs or the bike’s repairs would be more expensive.
In the Land of Critical Mass
Cyclists are becoming more militant and organized. Would I run my bike into the back of a jerk’s car if I could get some cash, sympathy and the local government to install more bike lanes? Probably not.
Would I immediately believe every cyclist that is involved with a car? Probably not.
Before I start jabbing spokes under the fingernails of drivers, I’m going to make sure I know all the facts and a court of law has made a ruling. Until then, I’ll just give everyone a bit more space.