This is my worst bike “incident”

I started thinking about my plans for the evening going down Townsend past the caltrain station. How I would get to the researcher meetup. How I would head up to Russian Hill. How I would find parking.

And then while going around 6 mph—

I suddenly found myself going right as if the wheels had taken a mind of their own. A crack in the road? Something wrong with my recently fixed bike? I weaved between two parked cars and fell on my right side.

A biker passed by and paused. He was a standard hipster with a beard and glasses. Are you ok?, he asked.

I brushed myself and steadied my bike. I responded in embarrassment, Yes.

I stood there in pain, checking myself. My knee. My leg felt scraped. But the most pain was how I fell. All I was happy about was how…if I was male, I would certainly be in more pain.

Then I checked my bike. What was wrong? Was it the back wheel that recently got completely replaced? I sighed testing my pedals. Maybe something was wrong. But then I realized that it wasn’t. It was just…a self-inflicted fall, perhaps caused by something in the road.

After 5 minutes of aching, I got back on my bike and slowly rode home.

Four hours later, I was at a friend’s birthday and someone jokingly put his hand on my knee in a show how much physical touch is hard for me. I yelped in pain, possibly scaring everyone at the bar.

$600 successfully recouped!

Slightly more than a week ago after signing a release of liability, it was over.

The bike accident was concluded. The driver gave me a lump sum for the original value (plus tax!) of the my bike at original MSRP. I had two bruises that have now but all faded both in color and pain. The repairs were fixed thanks to Valencia Cyclery replacing only one part (the wheel) for slightly more than $150. And then a seat from Francis which I struggled to install (on my own).

And this morning, I finally took my bike for a real ride commuting to appointments and work. Steel felt so real.

Sometimes I wonder why I don’t have a paralyzing fear after the accident occurred. Perhaps it was because when I fell I wasn’t facing the approaching “death”. Or that the driver expressed all the anxiety and despair so that I didn’t have to show any. And that if I had any strong emotions they were buried in my bike destruction rather than the fear of my mortality.

Yet I still remember the brief seconds where I immediately had regrets about life.

In the end though, I made $450.