I always thought of myself as a safe rider. I stop at stop signs, stop at stop lights. Will look down at my bike computer when I see someone that might try to wave me through a 4-way stop. I stay on the shoulder, signal when taking the lane, etc.
So, it was a bit of a shock to be riding home Tuesday night on a four lane road with bike lanes on either side at 21mph and have a Volvo take my right of way.
I knew there was a car somewhere behind me but I didn't have time to look back. I heard the truck behind the car honking his horn to warn the driver of the Volvo. I decided to ride down the road she was turning on to sideswipe rather than hitting head on. Twelve feet from the impact my rear wheel locked up in a skid, three feet from the impact my front wheel locked up and wham, I hit the rear passenger door, shattering the window with my shoulder, bending the door at the pillar, putting two dents at the top of the door where my helmet hit. I bounced and ended up about eight feet from the impact site, on my back, wind knocked out of me.
The bike sustained minimal damage - brake hood bent inward, bar tape slightly torn, scratches on the Garmin and a front wheel that needed truing. I suffered a sprained finger, contusion on my wrist, received a tetanus shot, sore shoulder, sore neck that feels like whiplash. My left hand, shoulder and leg took the brunt of the impact and my fingers hurt for the first two days. My laptop was 'folded', my phone screen is cracked. Ambulance showed up, checked me over, checked her son over (he was seated in the rear seat and cuts on his leg from the glass exploding when I impacted) and gave me the 'We should take you to the hospital, but, you really seem to be ok.' talk.
The insurance company called the first day to offer an immediate, one-time settlement offer of $750. At that point, my finger was still hurting and I didn't go to the ER until that evening.
To add insult to injury, I paid $16 to get the police report and find that she was found in violation of a traffic violation, but, wasn't sited. I recall the officer leading her into 'the sun was probably in your eyes' which is on the report. I am thinking of leaving slightly early so I can get there at the right time and take pictures because I don't believe the angle of the sun would have been an obstruction. Jersey had a few holes in it, but, was fairly well protected because of my backpack. Bib shorts have a few holes that expose parts of my assets. As soon as I was able to stand and walk around while waiting for the ambulance, I stopped the GPS (didn't want to have to crop a ride on Strava), took photos of the damage and her license plate. I should have taken more photos from other angles because the extent of the damage isn't as visible due to the poor contrast in the photo.
In any case, I rode 80 miles on Monday, commuted in today and while I'm still a little stiff, I'm doing fine.
I'm going to get a Garmin Virb, but, I'm really disappointed in the police which seemingly led her into "the sun was in my eyes and I didn't see him."
I think the lesson here is, be prepared and try to have options for your exit should something happen. Had I gone into the street, there might have been a car behind me. I think she was trying to make the turn before the car, but, just wasn't paying enough attention to see me there.