– ODO- 14882 – 14981km
– Location- North of Imphal, Manipur, India
– Weather- 28-33 Hot!
I got hit by a car today. Just a little bit. That makes my second time in my twenty year cycling life. The morning began riding out of Dimapur at four in the morning. After my wheel was fixed yesterday I was still annoyed to be hear it rubbing against something. That’s when I noticed that the metal of the bike frame that held on the rack had sheered off completely. Luckily my bike has two sets of these so moving my rack down a little fixed the rubbing and I was away. Perhaps I’ll get it welded back on in Laos.
Scott, a cycle tourist I’d met back in Nepal warned me that the roads approaching the border were bad and he didn’t have to ride up them. As the flatlands became forest the road surface became loose gravel. There’s a lot of work being done on the road so in five years or so it will be a beautiful ride. For now it’s dusty and winding. Luckily the gradient is very gradual so it wasn’t too challenging. In search of the smoothest gravel and strips of remaining concrete I wove left and right repeatedly looking over my shoulder for upcoming traffic. I was on the very right of the road on a strip of remaining asphalt still intact from the old road. I looked back as a red Sazuki approached seemingly slowely. I signaled my intention to move over to the far right tonlet then pass when suddenly my vision was full of red. I shouted as the car continued without swerving pushing against both my right pannier bags and squeezing my right hand against the bars. I shouted, tried to pull left and stop. The car continued another 20m before stopping.
With a look back the car drove on. I was stunned. I scanned myself for injuries and noticed a rip in my right glove and a graze underneath. Nothing more. I stepped off the bike and shook the frame. No issues. I think the driver got the pedals confused and accelerated instead of braking. Panicking as they approached they weren’t able to break from the shock until passed. A similar thing happened to me the other time I was hit by a car.
I used to ride into work from South Norwood every morning and back every evening. South London is my gem. Very green in London terms. Rolling over the crest at Crystal Palace every morning – the whole city from Battersy Power Station to Canary Wharf laid out below – different from season to season, day to day. I had a grey Trek road bike at the time. My first cycle scheme bike and my first bike worth more than £100. I flew into the office as the traffic built to the rush hour peak.
One morning I reached a roundabout only a few minutes from home, just before a private strip of road the drops through behind the Balham school. I was doing an elementary track stand – keeping my feet in the pedals while standing still – as I waited for a bus and a taxi with priority on the roundabout. Suddenly I was flying. Actually flying. It was a strange sensation that seemed to last for an age. Forwards and upwards like superman. Unfortunately my trajectory couldn’t be sustained and I sprawled out on the stop line.
I looked up to see a large car. Something the villain in a cartoon drives. The driver an older woman. She’d slipped the clutch while waiting behind me engaging the gear and causing her bumper to shunt my back wheel and send me airborne. Unlike today I had some grazes on my arm and leg and I was buzzing with adrenaline. I sat on the grasy verge for a long minute before jumping up and finishing my commute.