I woke up after a very restless night. I’ve never heard so many loud mufflers in my life. At 1:30 am, a loud motorcycle took off from our parking lot and I heard him hit the interstate and hammer down until he faded off in the distance. The AC unit worked but the compressor made a loud noise when ever it called for cooling. The hotel I stayed at allowed pets so as you may have guess it, loud dogs barking all night long. So, when I woke up at 5 am I was not in the mood to ride 41 miles.
After eating breakfast, loading all my gear in my truck, loading the bike on the bike rack I headed off to the church where over 300 bikes were ready to take off. At 7 am all the century riders took off while the other riders took off at 7:15am. We started off slow. Slower than I wanted too. I was in the back of about 50 cyclist and the average speed was about 11 mph. The roads were fairly flat and I was ready to move along.
After about five miles or so the riders thinned out enough to where I could start passing some of the slower riders and get up to cruising speed. There was a older gentleman that wore an army jersey that I was able to keep up with for several miles. Then the first big hill that’s when I lost the lead riders. I soon found another couple that I started riding with and we played leapfrog for several miles. I’d pass them on the down hill and they would pass me on the up hill. That is until the accident.
At mile 12.9 an oncoming car crossed over the double yellow line as the female cyclist that I had been leapfrogging for the past five miles or so, was starting to pass me on the uphill. I saw the car approaching and was really paying attention to it more than I was the young cyclist that was passing me. The car was way over the line, so much so that when I felt the initial hit I thought that the car had hit me. The young lady cyclist saw the car too. Whether or not the cyclist panicked or she actually thought she was about to be hit, she swerved into me and her right pedal went into my rear tire causing me to flip off the bike. This whole time I thought the car had hit me. I didn’t know that she had anything to do with it until the dust settled. The only thing I knew I was eating grass with this lady on top of me.
After the accident, we both layed motionless for a few minutes. Each of us scared to move thinking of all the broken bones we would find. She made the first move by slowly making her way off of me just as her husband came running up to check on her. He was about thirty feet behind and saw everything. I was still laying on the ground when the husband offered his hand to help me up. It wasn’t until then I started putting things together. I still wasn’t for sure if anyone got hit by the car, which by the way never stopped.
I got up and asked if she was okay and she looked rough. Her right arm was bleeding and she had some road rash on one of her legs. I looked over to where our bikes were and knew right away that there would be damage. It didn’t look good. Both of our bikes were white while mine has red bar tape, hers had white. I saw a section that contained the handlebar that had white bar tape but it was too small for it to be the complete bike. Some how her bike broke into two pieces. I was scared to look at mine after seeing hers but mine only suffered two broken spokes on the back wheel. Needless to say we were out of the ride. I waved down the support vehicle, loaded up both bikes and headed back to the start line.
On the way back to the start line the young lady stated that her arm was hurting some and I think their plan was to go to the emergency room. I have not heard any news so I’m hoping everything turned out okay. I loaded my bike, drove 3.5 hours home, stopping at the cycle shop to drop my bike off and took a hot shower once home.
In a nut shell, this has been a non productive weekend thus far. I drove four hours, 225 miles, paid $88 for a nights’ stay only to ride 12.5 miles. But, It could’ve ended up a whole lot worse.