Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Knocked over by a truck

This is a Mack Truck. It looks like one I saw today.

So, I'm at the Port of Oakland.

I'm there every Tuesday.

I get there around 6:20 off the 5:45 ferry from the SF Ferry building.

I'm cruising around and not having a bad time even though the weather is pretty miserable (it's pretty much just pouring).

There's two lanes of traffic each direction, with this dead "lane" in the middle formed by two sets of double-yellow lines about one lanes-width apart, and there's a semi truck parked there near an entrance to one of the berths.

There's also a parking lane, which I'm riding in.

The semi-truck has been there, stationary, since I've been riding, and I'm on my third lap at this point.

As I get near him, with no signal, he all the sudden turns right, right into the berth entrance - crossing both lanes of traffic and headed *right* for me.

He admitted later to the police officer that he saw me but he didn't think I was moving very quickly. No, I'm not flattered by that.

I turn hard to the right when I realize it's really happening but it's too late. The infamous Right Hook got me.

His front-right fender nails me in the left thigh and knocks me forward and over the bike to the right where I skid to a stop in a heap in a puddle right in front of his thank-god-it-was-screeching-to-a-halt semi.

It was ... exciting.

I was not happy, but I managed not to touch him or anything, I just told him that I was very angry at him. Then I called the police who (can you believe it?) showed up in about 5 minutes.

I made sure the truck was where it stopped when the police car got there - with its rear wheels in the double-yellow area and the nose in the turn-in. I can't think of a legal way for a truck to get in that orientation, which should factor for something.

While officer Johnson took a report (08-012887) Brian and Karla saw me and pulled in for a chat. It was freezing and wet and miserable and the Officer offered me a ride so I told 'em to scram before they shivered apart.

I got the ride home, and here I am now (after a warm bath).

My rear wheel looks like it's seen it's last port ride. But my phone appears to have revived (correction: it is, in fact, busted. Sigh), and my laptop still works (despite the rain ride and the crash - I love my Arkel Briefcase bag!). I'm going to have a deep bruise on the left thigh and I've got a little rash on the right hip. All in all, not so bad.

I've tried to think of what I can do differently, but I can't think of anything other than more lights on the front.

Except...he *saw* me! That bastard.

Please, for all your friends and family and loved ones that are out there living and playing near cars, drive safely when you're in one, mmkay? Thanks.


Unknown said...

Glad you're ok! You're having a heck of time with motor vehicles this season!

Mike Hardy said...

No doubt! It was much better as a spectator, for sure

Sarah Thompson said...

Michael, I am so glad you are okay. Whew! Your post is really a good read, btw. I will watch for the right hook now that I am on the bike again.

Mike Hardy said...

Thanks Sarah - yeah, the Right Hook is a classic. For my money, it's the hardest one to defend against. The other ones you usually have visibility into since they are from cars in front of or to the side of you...but the hook, it's a sucker punch from your blind spot.

And I just determined that my beloved treo - which I used hard for nearly 4 years bit the dust in this crash. That's a bummer. Better than a leg though I guess.

Carol G said...

Hey, Mike, sorry to hear about the truck incident. I'm glad to hear that, all things considered, you're o.k. I'm sure a less experienced bike handler would have suffered more serious injuries. I hope that truck driver learned his lesson.

Sean said...

I'm really glad you didn't get more seriously injured. You and I have had some fun with the trucks this year. You ready for some trails yet. At least the trees and rocks don't jump out or swerve intentionally at you. Although, there was this one tree...

Brian P O'Rourke said...

quite a story. glad to hear you're okay!