Wednesday, June 25, 2008

JOHNADA MEETS WALL - Wall, Johnada Agree to Disagree

As many of you already know from the previous post, I was hit by a car while biking earlier this week. Here’s the whole story:

I had just left Chez Johnada, and I was on my way to celebrate Beernada’s 30th birthday. (Yes, thirty. Everyone says he looks fifty, but that’s what a lifetime of tasting beer does to you). It had been a lovely summer afternoon, but the skies were starting to darken with grey clouds. I started to get a bit concerned that I was going to get rained on. I am a delicate creature, so getting wet would have been out of the question. Especially in the seersucker suit I had purchased just for Beernada’s delight. To get downtown quicker, I decided to head down to Dundas, which has designated bike lanes. To get to there, I had to take a short one way side street. No problem, I’ve still got plenty of time.

Cue ominous music.

I was behind and to the right of a car that was going relatively slow. I thought nothing of it since it was a Sunday afternoon; I figured it was a couple of older people out enjoying the sights and sounds of Canada’s largest city. I wasn’t exactly speeding, but I was going fast enough to pass the car on its right. Suddenly, with no warning, the car jerked in front of me, apparently parallel parking on the right side of the street. There had been no turn signal nor any other indication that this was happening. I braked as fast as I could, but some sort of Johnada-Camry contact was inevitable. At the last second, I was able to jerk the bike to the right and only graze the front side of the car. For a second, I thought it wasn’t going to be that bad, and I had successfully maneuvered my way out of a harrowing situation. That was until I saw the stone wall rapidly approaching me. This time there was no avoiding it, so I braced myself for impact. I don’t really remember the exact moment I hit the wall, but I can say that I managed to avoid hitting my head, which I think is quite admirable. I think I braced myself with my right arm. There was quite a scrunch made by the bike. The next thing I realized, I was standing there in a daze and to no one in particular I screamed, “How about a f-ing turn signal?”

Then I looked down and saw that my bike was messed up. The front wheel was bent so that it was basically at a right angle compared to the rest of the bike. This made me quite frustrated. I looked up and saw a younger man (probably about 21) staring at me. Apparently he was the driver. He had a shocked look on his face, and I could tell that he felt pretty bad about the situation. He asked if I was okay. Then he asked if I needed a ride home. Looking back, this was very kind of him, I suppose. I was in a bit of shock, and not really interested in making nice. But I could tell he felt bad, so I didn’t say anything and just stared in silence for a moment. Without even thinking, I just grabbed my bike and started heading walking home. As I walked away, the guy who hit me kept saying he didn’t see me, repeating the phrase at a louder volume every 10 seconds. His father was in the passenger’s side of the car and said something to me in a different language as I walked by. I’m guessing it was, “my son’s an idiot, but look what you did to my 1999 Toyata Camry.” I looked around, and there were a couple of other people on the street. They were all staring at me, but none seemed all that sympathetic. It was kind of strange. Perhaps I looked mean?

Anyway, I began to get my bearings and realized that my hand and leg were bleeding quite profusely. Also, my shoulder seemed quite sore. But it didn’t seem too bad considering the kind of shape my bike was in. I realized that I was not going to be able to carry my bike all the way home since I was about a mile away, so I had to lock it up. I locked it on right in front of a small shop in Toronto’s India Bazaar. Two shop owners stood outside their doors and stared at me and my bike. I’m sure I made for an amusing site, but I wondered why nobody offered any sympathy or assistance? I had to take the street care home, and people really avoided sitting anywhere near me. I don’t blame them because I was bleeding a lot, though not so much that blood got on the seat or floor.

Looking back, the thing I remember most was the time between when I realized I couldn’t prevent myself from hitting the care until I hit the stone wall. It was probably 1.5 seconds, but it’s amazingly clear. I knew I wasn’t going to die or anything, but I also knew that I wasn’t going to able to avoid this either. It’s that weird moment where you’re jerked out of your every day life and your brain goes into survival mode. Kind of interesting, but I’m glad it doesn’t happen every day.

Lessons learned:
1) Side streets are dangerous because cars don’t expect bikes.
2) The wall in front of my house will be made out of rubber and down pillows.
3) Despite the fact that you got into a minor accident, all Beernada ever wants to talk about is his little three week trip to Vietnam or his thirtieth birthday. *
4) Dogs like to lick other people’s wounds.
5) Blood doesn’t come out of seersucker, but still looks quite lovely.
6) People who work in bike shops love to tell you about their entire biking history when you tell them you got hit. It’s a badge of honour, apparently.
7) Just because you rode into a wall, doesn’t mean you get a free samosa.

*This is a complete fabrication. He was very kind.


Zhu said...

One word: ouch.

I'd have felt a bit confused too, especially you must have been scared.

By the way, I was expecting gross pictures (bleeding etc.). Very disappointed ;)

(sorry, last comment not funny, I know)

Aiglee said...

wow, it's really scary, I hope to be able to try and bike in the city some day, I've never done it.

beaverboosh said...

Hey dude, hope you are ok!

Zak Aromyces said...

Wow, that Beernada dude is a really old lookin' jerk. Is your elbow OK?

-Zak Aromyces

Johnada said...

Zhu - I should have taken pictures, but I was in such a hurry to get to Beernada`s B-day activities.

Aiglee - I think this was an isolated thing, and I`d highly recommend biking in the city. I love it!

BB - I`m OK, I think.

Beernada - My elbow is fine, though it wasn`t involved. Thanks for your fake concern. 2008

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