I had an accident the other day. I’ve been lucky in that I really can’t remember the last time I had an accident and I’m pretty sure I was a kid at the time.
I think it must be the season for accidents or perhaps these things just come in threes as the old wives tale would have us believe. Since my accident, my boss’s husband and my Husband’s boss have both came a cropper and done significant damage to their bodies as well as their mega expensive bikes – many thousand of dollars worth of high performance bicycle was written off in the making of this post. Both these accidents occurred spontaneously with no other vehicles involved. Interestingly a recent article I read mentioned the fact that gusts of wind can cause bike accidents!
My accident was an odd occurrence that unfolded in slow motion. I was riding along the road, as I do – pretty slowly on my solid upright style bicycle – and I saw a young man look down the road to check for traffic. Unfortunately, he was clearly looking only for cars as he looked straight through me and then ran into my front wheel. We both staggered a bit, clutched each other until stability was re-established, and then apologised profusely. We checked over my bicycle and realigned the handlebars and front wheel, as I would have ended up riding around in circles in its post-accident state. All was well so I went on my way feeling a bit shaken and horribly at fault as I am usually very careful around pedestrians but it just all happened so fast.
“So how did I hurt my ankle?” I can hear you ask. well that was an entirely different incident and occurred whilst in control of another wheeled vehicle – the death trap that is the wheeled suitcase! I was wheeling my suitcase up a Wellington hill on a dark rainy evening after a long day at work. I lost concentration for a moment and with it my control of the suitcase. I went flat on my face and rammed my ankle into the suitcase, twisting it in the process. No other vehicles were involved … but it was very windy.Â I have previously blogged about the danger of flyingÂ and my altercation with the suitcase has reconfirmed my suspicions. Luckily a helmet is already a legal requirement for operating a bicycle but I strongly believe that this should be extended to encompass cars,Â airplanesÂ and all forms of rolling luggage.
So what have we learned …
- Heavy bicycles that are ridden slowly are safe and quite robust.
- Very expensive light weight bicycles that are ridden fast are much more risky and can cause serious injury to the owners body as well as their wallet.
- Wheeled suitcases are unspeakably evil.
Obviously, this is not an exhaustive study but interestingly aÂ properÂ study seems to come up with the same kind of ideas – fast sporty cyclists are more accident-proneÂ than traditional risk-averse cyclists (that’s me). Unfortunately, the study did not include wheeled luggage …