Sly Cowards

27 May

Sly cowards in cars/They attack you from behind/No time to fight back.

05/22/2013 Bakersfield, CA

Well, this made for an interesting ride. Today’s haiku was inspired by the following incident.

As I was riding in front of the college, just after heading out on my early morning daily solo training ride, near the agriculture yard, I noticed a car in my rearview mirror that appeared to be drifting over into the bike lane. As I was occupying the lane at the time, this got my attention. Watching a car approach in the mirror is a bit tricky and done well, probably takes more coordination than I’m capable of. I slowed and moved farther over to the right and when I glanced again I saw the car was almost entirely in my lane and appeared to be going pretty slowly. The next thing I know my head was violently struck from behind and the car drives, none too quickly down the road. Given the dark and my surprise I didn’t get a license number, but I did get a description of the vehicle. I also remember hearing laughter as they drove away.

Luckily, I didn’t lose consciousness or fall from my bike, but I could feel that my helmet had suffered some damage and I had a little bit of a headache. I sped up, hoping to catch them at the next intersection, but they were nowhere to be seen. I checked my helmet and found that it had been cracked pretty good, and the suspension system was also damaged. My next order of business was to call the police and report the incident, although I didn’t make an official report, as I didn’t want the delay that would entail to interfere with my workout. While I did continue with my ride it was shortened to only 35 miles and I must admit I didn’t derive my usual level of enjoyment from the act. Later in the day, a friend suggested that I call the police and see if they could check the security cameras in the area to see if they caught a video of the suspect/s fleeing from the area. Given all of the security camera issues in the news of late, I’m surprised that I didn’t think of this sooner. While I did make the report, I have not heard anything about whether they have checked on the available video.

While the incident was far from enjoyable, it did remind me how tenuous life is, and how important it is to alway be vigilant and prepared. I have now taken measures to improve my security and safety and I’ve ordered a POV helmet camera that should be able to document any future encounters.

I will report back later on the efficacy of the video or the outcome of the investigation and any future run-ins with drivers.


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