If the ‘Fast & Furious‘ franchise has taught us anything then it’s that humans can survive the most unbelievable accidents and come out of the wreckage with just a few scars to show for it!! Whilst my accident wasn’t quite on that same scale it was something of a miracle that I came out fairly unscathed from the ordeal.
On Monday night (12th February) I finished my job a bit earlier than usual and was mildly excited that I’d be back by 9pm in time to see
the Premier League highlights show on J Sports 2 my wife. Sadly that never happened till an hour or so later as I was involved in a crash along Kawagoe-Kaido which is a major road running north from Ikebukuro to Kawagoe.
My bicycle is over a decade now but after some recent adjustments (seat and newly-inflated tires) it felt smoother and more comfortable than recent times and I was flying home at a fairly rapid rate. I was pretty much on the home straight and the Tokyo Fox Global Operations Centre wasn’t far away and then suddenly BANG…
The next few moments happened so quickly that it’s kind of hard to recall them properly. I was either hit from behind or clipped on my right shoulder by a passing car who either didn’t notice me or thought he/she had more room to their left than they thought. I was instantly sent crashing towards the ground as the bike and I tumbled into the middle of the road where I began to let out a load of expletives and cries of pain.
My natural instinct was to roll to safety as this can be a very busy road at times. If a truck (or pretty much any other car) had been following up the car that hit me in close proposition then I’d almost certainly have been a goner. That is one scary thought and one that has rarely left my mind in the days after the incident. However, seeing that no traffic was oncoming I didn’t feel the urgent need to move instantly. I also saw one guy appear to help me and his friend soon joined him. As it turned out they had been in a car somewhere in the vicinity and had pulled over a little further up the road. As for the b*stard that hit me, well he or she was long gone!
One of the guys picked up my bicycle whilst the other was already on the phone to the police. I got up and moved off the road to the safety of the pavement and was so relieved to discover that damage was very, very minimal to both the bike and my body. Quite unbelievably so! My bell had broken, there was a bit of damage to my right gear lever thing and my lights were completely smashed up. Remarkably the rest of the bicycle and my clothing was all intact and, apart from a hole in one of my gloves, I only had a few cuts and grazes here and there with the worst being my right elbow which was bleeding.
I really didn’t want to have to deal with the police but felt I owed it to the guys who helped me. Three police officers arrived on bicycles in no time at all as the nearest police box was only a short distance down the road. They got witness reports from the guys and I was asked for personal details whilst some kind of form was filled out. I already knew that there was no chance of finding the driver but to be honest I wasn’t too fussed about that. It was (hopefully!) just an accident and I really did feel lucky to be alive and was a little shell shocked by all that had happened.
Two ambulance drivers then arrived on the scene and asked more questions and took photos of my bicycle from all angles. Along with the police, all kinds of thing were being measured and the road was inspected for debris from the wreckage and I had to point out where it happened. A tiny puddle of blood made that easy!
After the accident and subsequent administrative work I was straight back on my bike and at home a few minutes later. I even cycled to work the following day (much closer to home than the previous day) but only on the path as I’ve lost a bit of confidence in riding on the roads. Later that Monday night at home I opened my backpack to check for any damage as maybe the bag on my back slightly cushioned my landing but without a video replay of the accident I can’t be too sure of that. A couple of my miso soup packets had burst open making a bit of a mess and some of my Valentine’s gifts from students (the very same students I’d earlier bragged to about being an experienced cyclist!) were a bit crushed but that was it.
Sadly the police informed me that there were no video surveillance cameras around that area which is a big shame as I am so curious to see it. I guess I’ll never know and as the years roll by this story will no doubt become more and more embellished!!
Even now as I write this, it really is difficult to fathom it all and my body, though fully operational, is in a fair bit of pain and sleeping is not so comfortable. I was cycling quite fast at the time and it really is something of a miracle that I was able to get up, dust myself down and walk away from such an incident in true ‘Fast & The Furious‘ style! Due to this incident I never did get to see the Premier League highlights show that night! Given that Leicester had been whooped 5-1 by Manchester City though, maybe it wasn’t so bad that I didn’t have to relive that nightmare!