I HAD A BIKE ACCIDENT
It was Thursday afternoon and I jumped on my bike to cycle home from work. Just like every day. It was a bit chilly outside but the sun was shining. I was determined to improve and get home, quick.
“ Cycling through central London in a rush hour is a real pain. ”
People are walking everywhere, traffic is horrendous and there’s so many cyclists on the road. It’s a mixture of good cyclists with some or the best equipment, people cycling in their suits and people who just quickly hopped on a ‘Boris bike’ with no helmet to get where they need to. The aim, for me, is to get past Waterloo station and then hopefully it will get quieter.
Some cyclists put all their energy into the start when the lights turn green and others act like they’re sightseeing around London. Then, there’s the rest, who fit somewhere in the middle, like me. People who are not quite fast enough with their starts but want to get some speed to get where they want. So, we have to try to get through the herd of ‘sightseers’ and pick up our own pace.
This time, I was finally getting some speed on the long road from Kennington to Stockwell, shaking off all the slow people. The bus lane is quite wide so I decided to overtake this guy on a Boris bike. It was going well and I was already next to him. I’m winning, I thought to myself.
“ At that moment, something went wrong. ”
Suddenly, we are both lying on the road; trying to pick ourselves up to get out of the way. People are helping us. I collect my light from the road and limp to the side. I landed on my right elbow and knee. “Good I didn’t hit my head” goes through my mind. Is my bike ok?
Some lady helps me check my bike. Apart from my mudguard being a bit bent, everything seems ok at first glance, I can’t even see any holes in my clothes. Yay! I start walking and trying to breath it all out.
The shock brings memories back from Nicaragua when me and Charlie fell off a motorbike. Whilst driving down a track on an unpaved part of Ometepe island, we slid. We were both in such a shock and the only thing we cared about was checking if the other person was hurt. We ended up with few bad scratches and Charlie’s sore elbow. As it turns out wearing shorts and a bikini top is not most suitable for riding on a motorbike. We both got badly sunburnt when driving back to our hostel as well. But compare to this time, back then, we had to carry our 20kg backpack everyday to travel through Central America.
I recalled those memories and got a bit emotional. Despite of that, I told myself, I’ve had worse than this and I should probably get back on my bike to get home; before I realise what other parts of my body hurt. I was only half way home so walking didn’t seem like an option to me.
I managed to get home, annoyed by everything that happened. Instead of jumping on the things that I had planned for the evening, I had to wash the dirt off my knee and elbow to avoid infection. I told my boyfriend Charlie about the accident when he got home and he was really annoyed at the guy on Boris bike. I was certain what had happened. I thought a car came fast from a side road or there was a drain the guy next to me had to go over; so he swerved into me.
“ As I got in bed to get some rest, I started recalling my memories... ”
I remember being really apologetic to the fellow cyclist with whom I ended up on the ground. I also remember being really angry at the motorbike guy who was passing by so close to me in the same moment. With all this coming together, I am thinking about the different scenarios.
It may have been me, who jumped, when the motorbike was so close and swerved into the guy next me. I start feeling extremely guilty and upset about it. It’s very easy to make me jump, and even though, I was as careful as I could be, I still managed to hurt myself and someone else. The most frustrating thing about it, is that when something makes me jump, I have no control of my action. I get really clumsy and I am not able to act rationally and quickly upon the situation. What do I need to do to take control?
I accepted this scenario as the one that happened. But, which one was the correct one? I will never know. Did my head create the first one to feel less guilty or did my head create the second one to avoid blaming someone else?