March 1, 2016
By meriwether, Mar 3 2016 10:04PM
Let me just say a sincere thank you for all the expressions of care and concern about what has happened and that I am OK - at least physically. I did feel a little sore this morning, but that is pretty much gone. Frankly, I’m quite amazed that I walked away from this accident. The lady who hit me was traveling at speed - I’m guessing 50 to 60 miles per hour - so it could have been curtains.
She was a lady of the baby boomer set I believe, and of course, quite distressed and apologetic about what she had done. At the same time, she had trouble understanding how she was at fault because the "sun was in her eyes." The CA Highway Patrol officer had to explain it to her more than once. She actually made the comment that she wasn’t sure how to determine if she had hit me or I had hit her! The officer and I just kind of looked at each other in disbelief. Of course, she was without a doubt hugely at fault. She also asked the officer if I had a right to be on the road with no bike lane. Here I fault the California Department of Transportation (as much as this somewhat clueless lady), for this state highway has absolutely no berm to ride on as is the case I understand with many California state highways. The officer informed me this was the 3rd cycling accident on this road in as many weeks.
A police report was made which I will need to call about after 5 or so days to see about the insurance.
I’ve had comments across the board ranging from that maybe this is a sign and a good time to come home to thinking about it for a few days and not missing this trip of a lifetime. I do appreciate everyone’s input and thoughts. A little about my bike - it is a Koga-Miyata (now just Koga bikes) made in The Netherlands. I had to go down to Lexington, KY, to buy it 10 years ago for my ride on the Lewis and Clark Trail, and it cost around $2300. There are no longer any dealers here in the U.S. And as I said, most bike shops do not carry dedicated touring bikes such as my Koga. So a new bike would have to be special ordered which could take one to two weeks. And then there’s the other equipment that goes with a touring bike which would need to be ordered as well, though lots I could just transfer from the Koga. The time factor here is a major consideration for me. And personally, I don’t like to order something as pricey as a new touring bike without trying it out first. The photo I've attached to this post shows the damage to my front wheel spokes and the "pretzeled front pannier (saddlebag) rack which was forced into them. The rear derailleur is severely bent as well.
So I don’t think I would go the totally new bike route (a good pun). I have taken my bike to the local bike shop to see what they can do with it. Scott, the owner, is going to look it over and see what needs to be ordered and how much time we are talking. Luckily, the lady hit my pannier and not the bike which is why I was able to walk away from it. I will talk to Scott tomorrow morning, and decide whether to have him fix it or ship it home.
But another thing working on me now is the “fear factor”. Having been hit head on by a truck in India on my world tour in a similar circumstance (pannier was hit, but not nearly as damaging), and then the accident where I fractured my elbow soon after . . . and being in the middle of a motorcycle accident last month, and now this - beginning to think my luck is running out.
So I’m pretty conflicted right now as to which course I will take. As for the ride of a lifetime, I did have that 30 years ago on my world tour, and then again 10 years ago on the Lewis and Clark ride. I don’t know . . . maybe you’re only allowed so many of those rides. As I was approaching 6,700 miles, I would still have another 4,000 miles to go which is in itself still daunting in spite of the distance already covered.
Again folks, I do so appreciate everyone’s input and kind words about my U.S. Perimeter Ride!
I will keep you posted as to what I plan to do. Right now, I think I’m going to the Brew Pub across the street to have a beer!