My first traffic scrape: what happened?

Tonight on my way home on 16th Street a pick­up drift­ed through a stop sign (I did not have a stop sign at the inter­sec­tion) with­out even paus­ing, and then see­ing that I was bar­rel­ing right toward him, he did the most log­i­cal thing if you’re drunk and scared: he hit the brakes and kept turn­ing, mean­ing he was not only stay­ing in my lane, he was point­ed more direct­ly at me and get­ting clos­er to me.

So the learn­ing expe­ri­ence is: don’t brake. I can’t brake and turn at the same time. If I’d stayed at speed I prob­a­bly could have just swerved around, but my brak­ing kept the bike upright and made it a lot hard­er to turn. It was a near miss, and some­thing went «thunk.» I think it was a turn sig­nal against the truck, but I can’t find any scrapes to con­firm this. No dam­age, no injury, did­n’t hit the ground, it was just a scare.

The truck went on, and stopped a half block away. Then, pre­sum­ably by the fact that my bike was still upright assumed that I was OK (or else that he did­n’t want to know if I were) and drove on. I was half tempt­ed to chase him down, but that would­n’t have led down a good road, now would it?

Any­way, what’s strange to me is that I swear I felt the rear end of the bike slide, but I went back and looked at the road and there’s no skid mark. The road might be bare­ly wet from fog, maybe that’s it. But I also don’t remem­ber using the rear brake at all. Of course it’s very pos­si­ble that I just don’t remem­ber it. But I’m won­der­ing what could cause that feel­ing that the rear wheel was going out from under me oth­er than a rear wheel skid. Any ideas?

In the end, I’m lucky that it was just a scare. Sat­ur­day night, what are the odds that he was sober while ignor­ing a stop sign and turn­ing towards the oncom­ing vehi­cle in reac­tion to see­ing it? Yeah, exactly.

Leave a Reply