« WABA Urges Safe Cycling as Bike Month Approaches | Main | Secretary of Transportation "Bicycling is an important factor in less carbon-intensive commuting" »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Im in

I'll ride.

yes. thanks for organizing it.

I love the idea of the ride, and the history. I am down to ride. I am not sure how the permitting works though. If you tell me who I need to talk to, I am happy to look into it for you.

I'll join in

Facebook event invitation. Please spread around!


I'm in. See you there and thanks for putting this together.

great concept, i'll be there if i don't get tied up at work.

I'm going to try and make it tonight.

I just wanted to put in a note, I've been a bike commuter for years, riding in far less bike-friendly areas, but I was hit for the very first time on my ride home last Friday, National Bike to Work Day. To add insult to injury, I was wearing my WABA 2009 Bike to Work Day t-shirt and riding the beautifully restored 70's mixte I just purchased the night before. I am very fortunate my injuries were minor (a bruised lung, possible cracked ribs and some road rash), and I'll only need to retape my handlebars and get a tune-up for my bike. It was daylight, I was following all the rules of the road, had my helmet on, employed proper hand signals, and not an earbud in sight. The driver had taken a left-hand turn onto the same road I was on, almost hitting me in the wide breakdown lane I was riding in, straightened out next to me, and then immediately went into a right-hand turn across my path, giving me no time to stop or room to change directions. The driver was a teenager, and I attribute the accident to inexperience more than anything else, although driver education courses need to do more to prepare drivers for non-automotive vehicles on the roadways...

As this was my first bike/car accident, I told her I was fine while I staggered over to my bike but I did pull out my phone to take a picture of her vehicle. I let her drive off. I was going to do the typical "non-reporting bitter bicyclist" thing, but once I pulled everything out of the road, I called my husband who insisted that I report it. Unless the numbers of bike collisions are recorded, the non-cycling public won't listen to the advocates. I called, showed the police the picture on my phone and they found her at her home just up the street, where they cited her. Being a somewhat cynical cyclist, I was surprised by the attention given to me by all of the emergency personnel. My accident was being taken as seriously as a car-car accident! Meanwhile I was taken to the emergency room for a once over, and discharged.

I was lucky. Had she not come close to hitting me when she took the left-hand turn onto the same street, I wouldn’t have slowed down as much as I did. I probably would have been on her front grill. As I never thought I’d need to know what to do in a car-bike accident, I relied on others to tell me what to do at the time. I’d like to remind everyone that you need to treat any collision with a moving vehicle as a you would if both vehicles were cars.

+ Don’t move if you don’t have to. Don’t assume you are okay, some injuries don’t show up for hours, days or even years. Let a medical professional check you out.
+ Call 911 or the police, and report the accident (or have someone nearby do this if you can’t). Make sure the police get your full side of the story. Report any and all injuries.
+ Swap information (names, addresses, insurance info, phone numbers, license plate). Your response to ‘I’m sorry, are you okay?’ should not be just ‘I’m fine…’or ‘I’m sorry, I guess you didn’t see me’. Don’t worry about coming off as impolite or weak, this may be your only chance to get this information.
– If the other person balks at this, write down as much as you can (description of driver, vehicle, etc)
– If the other person didn’t stop – THIS IS A HIT & RUN, it’s against the law! See if there were any witnesses, write down as much as you can remember as soon as possible.
+ As soon as you possibly can, write everything about the whole incident down. EVERYTHING – the road and its condition, where you were going and where you were coming from, the weather, what you saw/heard/felt, what was said, who did what, etc etc etc. It will get harder to remember, especially if the nice doctors give you anything for your pain… You’ll need this narrative for their insurance company, and possibly the courtroom if the driver contests fault.
+ Take pictures of your injuries, the bike, your helmet, the area the accident occurred, basically anything you can think of that will document what happened and what resulted.
+ If you and your bike are lucky enough, make sure you get it thoroughly checked out at a bike shop before riding it again.


That's some good advice. Like you said, even if you and your bike are 'fine' at the time of the crash. 5 minutes later you might not be. And if you're concussed, you might not even know it. So I'd second always exchanging info, etc...

See you there!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader