RTD strikes again, as I am now the umpteenth cyclist they have hit in the last few months. With the increasing number of bikes on the road, especially in these warmer months, it’s becoming really scary out there. Scary because I didn’t do a single thing wrong.
I was on a ride during my lunch break, following a route that was all bike paths with the exception of this one four block stretch where I would have to ride in the road to get down to another path. The bike path I was on was on the north side of 6th Ave and when I got to Potomac I had to ride from the sidewalk, north of 6th, into the road on Potomac so I could continue south. Well as soon as I rode through the intersection on Potomac, a bus came out of nowhere on my left hitting me and running me into the curb, throwing me over my handlebars and then hitting me 2-3 more times with the rear of the bus as I was tumbling onto the ground.
What I don’t get is what the bus was doing getting over so soon. They jammed me into the curb at least 50-75 feet away from the actual bus stop. I was in plain sight too. At the corner where I started, there was a right turn only lane next to me, and when the light turned green they all yielded to me as I crossed the road into traffic. There was absolutely nothing obstructing the bus’ view of me on the road. I was riding exactly where I should have been, and there were witnesses there to confirm this.
As far as injuries go I was pretty darn lucky, a few nasty bruises, broken cartilage around my ribs, and a lot of soreness. Painful, but nothing serious.
Here’s what my shorts looked like afterwards, sure am glad I decided to wear bright red underwear that day.
I also can’t emphasize enough the importance of wearing a helmet when you ride. I have a huge scratch on the left side where I hit the bus and the pavement with my head. Both the firemen and the paramedics breathed a huge sigh of relief when they saw the helmet.
Speaking of, I’m super impressed with how quickly the police, firemen, and paramedics were on site. I was also in and out of the ER in under two hours, and that was with X-rays and a CT Scan. They hooked me up with some good drugs too, so I’ll be hanging with my pals Valium and Vicodin for the next few days.
Now I’m just waiting to hear the outcome of the police investigation. He has to speak with one more witness and look at the tapes on the bus. Then I get to deal with RTD and getting them to pay for my (brand new) bike, medical bills, missed work, etc. This is really not how I wanted to spend my summer, but I’d rather be alive and annoyed than the alternative.