Saturday, September 27

And Now, The Rest of the Story

Since a single word is likely not sufficient on this issue, I offer you this longer explanation.

First of all, I am fine. Shaken, stiff and still scared. But I am fine.

I shall set the scenario. You are welcome to gasp at the scary moments and giggle at the nonsensical bits. I am certain that some moment soon, I will laugh a little about it too.

I was cycling toward my home yesterday afternoon. (I had spent my day off doing IMPORTANT STUFF like getting my nails done and shopping. My plan was to drop my shopping bags off at the house and then continue my ride out to the school to pick up Andrew from the After School Care.) I was not quite underway (stopped at the red light at the intersection) when Emma called me as she had just arrived home and was wondering where I was. I told her that I was on my way and would see her in about 2 minutes. The light turned green, I tucked my phone into my coat pocket and set off down the bike path.

Just one street away from home as I was cycling this way==> I saw a car on the cross street preparing to enter the main street I was riding parallel to. As is law in this country, as a bike I have right of way to travel first and automobiles are required to yield.

But she didn't.

She accelerated.

I pulled hard on my brakes, realized I was too close to be able to pull off a full stop and tried to swerve forward around the front of her car (risking the dart into oncoming traffic).

I failed.

Her car struck my left hip which caused me to tip, bike and all, into and onto her car. After that moment it all gets a little fuzzy to me and the next moment I have coherent memory of I was lying on the street with a blanket under my head. Millions (okay, a dozen) bystanders were swirling around me shouting directions at each other and asking me a million (yes, a million) questions in rapid-fire Dutch. In the midst of all that chaos the only thing that seemed reasonable (this is one of the non-sensical bits) for me to do was to fish in my pocket for my phone and call Don. So I did.

At that point I couldn't tell you the order of events really. I know there was loads of panic and at some point while I was talking to Don, Emma came running from the house, my colleagues from work arrived (Don made all these phone calls simultaneously while talking to me) and someone shoved a phone into my hand to speak to the ambulance dispatch. Later Ian called from home to ask where I was and as soon as I told him what happened he came running too, with the house phone still in his hand.

The police arrived. The ambulance arrived. They cordoned off the scene with red tape. (When I do something, I do like to do it big!) And after what seemed like a million years (plus one) I was checked out, statemented out, and released to go home.

That's where I am now. Feeling very lucky.


  1. What a shattering experience! I'm so sorry this happened, and so glad to hear that you are home. I hope you are feeling better soon.

  2. Please keep an eye on that lovely head of yours. Head injuries can surface days later.

    And now I want to break the kneecaps of that moronic driver.

    Moron. No, wicked stupid moron.

  3. Make sure you´re okay, I mean, like SMID said, you might have a concussion or something.

    Glad to hear you have no other serious injuries, like broken bones or something.

  4. Good Lord, woman! I'm so glad you're okay and fit to blog about it (of COURSE, you are). I can't believe that woman didn't see you. I mean, in a country where everyone is on bicycle, how could she not take the proper precautions?!

    It could have been so much worse. I'm sooooooo relieved that you're home. Please take care.

  5. I'm not able to peek into your life for weeks....and when I finally do...
    I am very glad to hear you're semi unharmed.
    Please pedal with care.
    Love you!

  6. I'm not able to peek into your life for weeks....and when I finally do...
    I am very glad to hear you're semi unharmed.
    Please pedal with care.
    Love you!

  7. Wow! I am so glad to hear that you were not serious hurt!

  8. Oh, Jenn... I'm SO sorry you went through that. AND RELIEVED that you're okay.

    Please, please take it easy this weekend. You might find you feel it more today or tomorrow (veteran of three bad bike accidents - one
    in the Netherlands, one in Dusseldorf and one in England).

    Yeah, and I'd echo SMID, too about the head injuries.

  9. Holy crap! I hope her insurance is taking care of it. Some drivers are really ignorant to bikers around here, although considering the amount of bikers in the Netherlands you'd think drivers would know the laws before they get a liscence. Glad you're ok though. Take extra special care of yourself this weekend.

  10. Oh, darlin'...

    How many fingers am I holding up? OK, too soon to joke. Seriously, did your version of the EMTs check you out completely? You will be surrounded by people watching your every move for the next couple days, yes?

    I despise people who can't be bothered to pay attention to us cyclists - my worst one came when a guy swerved into a parking space and threw his door open into traffic, catching my handle bar.

    I flew off, just missing the door, and somehow tucked and rolled (helmet on) and came up screaming. He just walked inside some building and was gone.

    Errrgh. Be well. Hugs.

  11. OMG - I am so glad you are okay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Please rest and heal completely!
    All my love!

  12. Are your nails okay? I mean, you'd just had them done!

    Glad you're home safe and sound.

  13. Yikes Jenn! There's never a dull moment in your life! I hope you feel better soon.

  14. Shut up!
    I'm sorry, geez. That'll hurt I bet!
    It's actually one of my biggest fears (that I'll HIT someone, not BE hit) I would just feel so terrible (obviously). Cars are just so much heavier than bikers.

    I'm so glad you're okay!

  15. Your tale was all so scary, but the part that concerned me the most: the rapid fire Dutch. Do you speak fast Dutch? Or did they assume you were more hurt than actual because you couldn't answer fast enough?

    Glad you're okay.

  16. Oshitoshitoshit! How are you today? Besides sore, I mean? PLEASE take care of yourself. Please?

    I'm betting that if you aren't at work today you wanted to go or tried to go. Am I right?

    And I'm with Patois - hope you didn't ruin your manicure.

  17. oh gosh what a story. I shortly blinked at it on Saturday when I posted the link to my Singular Saturday but we were already one step out of the door to leave on our long weekend. I felt so bad for not being able to comment then, but I was very relieved already to see that you could blog about your accident. I hope you forgive my silence for those 3 days. it's not that I didn't care!!!!!

    What a scary experience! Are you sleeping ok now? No nightmares? Not too shaky to go back on your bike? Are you home with sickleave or back to work. I second SMID: keep an eye on your head!!!! Report headaches to the doctor asap if you feel them.

  18. As I read the report of your accident, I called Dad and told him about it. As I read the story to him (with tears in my voice, I might add)... His comment..."and what about the Mom and Dad?" (meaning him and me).

    I'm glad you are not hurt badly. I hope you are healing. Obviously, your guardian angel is still watching out for you!

    We love you!


  19. Ah, mama, I do believe y'all were in China when it happened.
    And I am fine. Really truly fine.

    As to all you other inquiring minds, my nails survived the accident beautifully. The same cannot be said about my boots. And if you know me, you know THAT is indeed tragedy.

    Thank you everyone for the well wishes and good thoughts. I am healing quickly and the bruises are fading.

    Also? I am watching carefully at all cross streets.

  20. Oh no!!! I am so glad to hear you are OK!