Bike accident

Posted: May 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

This morning at 12:15AM riding back from a birthday party at Benders I was hit by a pickup truck. I was not drunk or even tipsy and neither was the driver of the vehicle. On 19th street as I was crossing Mission a car quickly took a left hand turn in front of me as did the car behind it, which could not see me coming because its view was blocked. I braked hard, but slammed into the passenger side door of the car, my bike absorbed some of the impact, bending my front wheel such that it can no longer turn and literally bending the top part of my frame (pics below).

Bent CAAD9-4 frame closeup
Bent CAAD9-4 frame weld
Bent CAAD9-4 frame
bent front wheel

I went over the handle bars and did a nice faceplant into the car with the left side of my face. By some statistically improbability, other than two nice cuts on my face, a very bloody nose, and a few scrapes and bruises, I am fine, just a bit shaken up (pic below from after initial cleanup, didn’t include the bloodier pics).
Alex Braunstein after a bike accident

I easily could have died or been seriously injured. I rarely think about my mortality or the general fragility of human life. This forced me to. I was lucky, literally walking away from the accident scene. As I initially lay in the middle of the intersection of 19th and Mission, what struck me immediately (other than how much my face hurt) was how many and how quickly people were willing to help a complete stranger. After they asked me a bunch of questions, such as my name, where I was, what happened, and established that I didn’t have any sort of spinal injury, several people helped a bloody stranger to the curb, retrieved me napkins from a nearby restaurant, offered me water, and someone even offered me their jacket, which would clearly be ruined. It was incredibly humbling and gratifying to see complete strangers go out of their way for me.

So what did I learn from this experience? In a way, nothing really. I wasn’t doing anything dangerous or silly, but sometimes random bad shit happens. I didn’t have an out of body or religious experience. I’m not going to change the way I live my life, get a tribal armband or tramp stamp tattoo, or move to Walden pond. I intend to get right back on a bike once I have one that’s rideable.



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