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Paul McWilliams
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May 10 2017 5:43PM [2] WHI CHEV PK VS BIKE

It was the day before Silicon Valley Bike to Work Day 2017. #BTWD

I commuted by bicycle on that day too. On my ride home, I was struck by a truck while I riding southbound along the wide shoulder of Santa Teresa Blvd.

Santa Teresa is a fairly straight two-lane road with a 45-mph speed limit. It is routinely ridden by many cyclists every day. I've recorded 226 rides on the STRAVA segment along Santa Teresa that begins at the intersection with Bailey Road and ends just beyond the site of my crash. And at least 4,565 different people have recorded riding it. Should I not have been there? It was not unusual at all.
It was broad daylight, and I was well clear of the traffic lane on the right shoulder. Two witnesses who stopped to assist both told that the driver of the truck had suddenly and unexpectedly swerved into the shoulder where he hit me. There was nothing that I could do to avoid it, except just not be there. The first I knew of it was the explosive impact, and I was already hit and going down.

I am hopeful for a full recovery. I was conscious the entire time, and I don't think my helmet even hit the ground. I have a lot of road-rash on my left side, my left elbow is particularly torn-up, and I have two fractures on my pelvis. No surgery is required, and the fractures are not in weight bearing structures, which means that I will probably be walking around unassisted fairly soon, maybe days. For now, I must use a walker.

I'm not sure when I will be able to lift those little girls again. It will probably be at 10 weeks or more before I can ride a bicycle again.
It could have been so much worse, and I am grateful that it was not. The physical therapist who cleared me for discharge said that I was the best case that he had seen from a car-versus-bicycle crash.

The driver that hit me did stop, and he remained at the scene when CHP arrived. He was very apologetic, and even brought a first-aid kit.

I can only speculate, but I suspect a moment of distraction or inattention from the driver that hit me, or the driver of an oncoming car, or maybe both. The driver that hit me said, "I thought that I was clear of you, and I thought that the oncoming driver was drifting into my lane." Perhaps he had moved somewhat left to give me more space but then he overreacted to the oncoming vehicle and then over-corrected into the shoulder when he hit me.

I heard the EMTs and CHP officers mention that there were scratches along most of the side of the truck that hit me, and it seems that the passenger side mirror was damaged in the collision, so he was not clear of me.

I have a card with the case number and instructions for requesting the accident report from CHP. I have little desire for revenge, or to ruin the driver's life, but I do want the fault to be determined and for some accountability to be held. And my hope is that everything gets paid for by the appropriate parties.

I won't say "be careful out there." My new orthopedic surgeon says I must tell everyone to "wear a helmet" now, and you probably should. But I don't want to say that here either, or offer any other advice for cyclists.

There are no lessons for cyclists here. The only advice I have is for motor vehicle operators: Driving is the most dangerous thing that you do, especially to other road users. Drive with caution always. Watch for more vulnerable road users and protect them. Do not become distracted while driving. Stay off your phone. Stay in your lane. The consequences of your actions are serious.
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I took the other scenic route for my #bikecommute to work today aboard my #steelisreal #konabikes 2015 Honky Tonk. What a fun bike!
https://www.strava.com/activities/969229513
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5/3/17
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I took the other scenic route for my #bikecommute to work today aboard my #steelisreal #konabikes 2015 Honky Tonk. What a fun bike!
https://www.strava.com/activities/969229513
Photo
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5/3/17
2 Photos - View album

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I took the other scenic route for my #bikecommute to work today aboard my #steelisreal #konabikes 2015 Honky Tonk. What a fun bike!
https://www.strava.com/activities/969229513
Photo
Photo
5/3/17
2 Photos - View album

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Coyote Creek Trail flood damage survey.
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3/18/17
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My second 2015 Kona Honky Tonk, which I will keep at my Parents' house in Everett, for riding when I fly up for visits.
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