Monday, March 11, 2013

One of My Finer Moments--NOT

IT'S A LITTLE AFTER 5 PM. I've just left work and headed down 6th Street towards Highway 20 and home. I have several street options but choose 6th because it is much less traveled, has fewer traffic lights and because vintage railroad tracks, laid in the center of the street, separate me from the oncoming traffic. It's a quiet street. Usually

My first stop is Jefferson. Oncoming traffic has the right of away and in both directions, 6th must yield to it. I see a car about a block away but because its speed limit is 25, I know I have time to jut across. 

As I hit the gas petal I hear a thud and look to my right. A bicyclist is on the pavement and his bent bike hovers precariously over him. He struggles to get up while I fight the daze that's come over me and pull my car across the street to get it out of the way. I kill the engine letting up on the clutch too soon but it doesn't matter. 

I'm out of the car as the bicyclist, a young man, bike in tow, hobbles over to the curb beside me. 

"I'm so sorry. Oh my gosh, I didn't see you. Are you okay?"

"My leg," he says pointing down. He is young, probably a college student, I surmise. It's a college town after all, and bicyclists and pedestrians are about as common as cars. 

"How can I help you? Should I call 911?" 

"No. I'm okay. I'm going to call my friend." He sets the bike down and fumbles for his phone. 

"I'll get my contact information, okay?" I say, needing permission to leave him for a second. 

Back at the car, I grab my purse and my business card which isn't really a business card but I like to pretend. It has my blogs' URLs and a cute garden-themed drawing in pink and green. It also has my email address.

"I'll give you my work number too, okay? Gosh I wish I had some first aid supplies in my car," I say trying to remember my work number and in response to his blood-smeared leg. 

"It's not that bad." He downplays his injury and I'm grateful that he's not an asshole. 

"I'm so sorry. I didn't see you. I was watching for that car and thought I had enough time..." 

"I didn't see you either. I was in the oncoming lane," he says pointing, "and I also thought I had enough time to get past that car." 

Having assumed it was my fault because I hit him and because habitually my first response is to assume fault, I realize that we were both at the stop sign and technically I had the right of way since I was going straight and he was turning left. But I keep my thoughts to myself. I don't want to start an argument. I'm still a little dazed. But I feel slightly better now. 

I head for home. The insurance adjuster, Karen, is nice and awards him his just due, enough to buy a new bike. 

It's all history now but still fresh enough in my mind that I'm a little jumpy when I see bicyclists. I'm grateful that this lesson in the classroom of life didn't have dire consequences. 

I'm getting older and hopefully a little smarter.   


  1. Oh, Grace, I'm so sorry this happened. It must have been so frightening. I'd have been in a daze too. I'm glad that things worked out so smoothly.

  2. You are very lucky and so was he. Once years ago a cyclist who sped in front of the car in front of me cause me to rear end the car...I was without penny driving a broken fiat and the car I hit was a brand new yellow cadillac that bent with a collision at no more than 15 miles per hour...I was so shook up! Hope this is a lovely week for you...I think it will be. xx

  3. Oh my Grace! I am so glad that you and the bicyclist are okay. For the terrible experience it was, it turned out so much better than it could have and I am very happy for that. I bet your heart was beating a mile a minute when you saw the boy down. I pulled out on a road one time, (in my defense there was a big bush blocking the corner road so you had to move forward to see) and got T-boned. It was totally my fault but the guy in the other vehicle was freaking out (no one was hurt and shaking his fist and yelling at me and I felt so terrible. Behind me was a DEA agent and he actually told the guy to cool it and made him go back to his car. I was so thankful for the back-up. LOL I was so nervous about driving the next few will do good though!

  4. A memory that remains and a lesson learned. I wonder if many of us don't identify with your story in some way. Thank you for sharing. :-)

  5. Oh dear Grace ~ I'm so glad it wasn't any worse that it was, for both of you.


  6. Accidents always seem to make us a bit fearful...they teach us to be careful but life happens... and I am also glad you are both OK.

  7. Good God, I would be a nervous wreck after such a thing. I am amazed and impressed at how well you seem to be dealing with such a frightening experience, however well it turned out. Take care!

  8. Grace, so glad you and the biker were both OK, but know that it must have been most disconcerting at the time!

    Blessings, Sherrey

  9. What a dreadful experience, and you were so brave! You handled it just right Gracie. Thanks for sharing so we can all learn from it too.

  10. Grace I can feel your tension as I read this. I feel so lucky, bicyclists seem to take such crazy chances.

  11. Grace I had no idea you had a writing blog! I'll be coming back for more visits!


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