One week before I started my Nike job I got into a motorcycle accident. I was merging on to one highway from another. As I was getting up to highway speeds traffic stopped suddenly. I slammed on my brakes and lost control of the bike. By the time I hit the ground I was probably going about 40MPH. Distinctly, I remember thinking, “I will ride again after this accident” as I slid with the bike for a bit and eventually came to a halt slamming my helmeted head on the asphalt.
Immediately I got up and assessed. No bones broken. The guy behind me had stopped and helped me right my bike. I was completely shaken. He called the highway patrol and proceeded to shout at the top of his lungs at anyone who looked put out by the traffic congestion I had created right before rush hour. He then explained to me that he had been in a motorcycle accident before as well.
I eventually got myself together. I called Andrew.
A: This is Andrew
(he always answers the phone like that even though he and I both know I am calling and he is answering)
Me: Hi, I am fine.
A: Uh Huh. Are you at the emergency room?
(It’s like he knows me)
Me: No. And I don’t think I need to go to one.
A: How many legs and arms are still attached to your body?
Me: No more or less than normal.
Me: So, there is no need to worry, but I got into a motorcycle accident. I am about to ride to my mechanic to drop the bike off and just need you to pick me up.
I drove my bike away from the scene and to my mechanic. I dropped off the key, Andrew picked me up and took me home where he filled me full of Motrin and a distinct lack of hovering or asking after me, just as I prefer it.
Eventually my bike was totaled and I bought a new-to-me bike with the insurance check.
It’s now been about 4 months. I was riding my bike to and from Nike. I was taking advantage of the summer. I was enjoying riding again – almost. Except, I was scared shitless. Every time a vehicle in front of me would brake I would over-react. Every time I was going downhill I would slow to a crawl. Every time I got off my bike my hands would be sore from squeezing the grips so hard.
Then, about three weeks ago, a woman in a Prius tried to kill me. She was upset that I had moved into the right hand lane on the highway to go slower than the rest of traffic when she had intended to go to the right hand lane to use it as a speedway. So, she honked her horn at me after getting in the lane behind me. Then she got in the left hand lane, passed me, got in front of me and slammed her brakes. I was so scared. I am still scared now. As I type this I remember how it felt to be on that bike and to really feel the aggression and anger of having someone literally try to hurt me. I followed (at a safe distance) this mad woman. I was seething with anger.
She pulled into a gas station. I pulled up next to her got off my bike and opened her passenger side door – I am not proud of these actions.
Me: I am so glad to know that the reason you almost killed me on the highway was for an important appointment with the gas station.
CFB: You cut me off.
Me: You crazy fucking bitch – you almost ACTUALLY KILLED ME.
CFB: Shut my door.
Me: YELLING YELLING YELLING YELLING SWEARING YELLING GAHHHHHHHH SHUT YOUR OWN DOOR
I have no idea what we were yelling at each other in the end – we were both at the top of our lungs. There was a lot of swearing. But, I left her passenger door open, got back on my motorcycle and drove safely home. I pulled my bike into the garage and put it up for sale on Craigslist; it sold on Sunday.
Maybe in the future I will be over the fact that I got in an accident and get the motorcycle riding bug again – I do still love the feeling of it. For now, however, I am too scared to ride safely. I was sad when the guy who bought my bike rode off.