Sadly, it finally happened. I got hit by a car while I was biking. Happily, it turned out OK. I got grazed on my left elbow by the side mirror. Nevertheless, it was still surprising and disturbing. Of course, anyone who is familiar with my biking activities most likely isn't - surprised at least. And, if I'm being honest, I'm not surprised, either.
I mean, c'mon, I bike along a major suburban arterial 5-lane roadway devoid of bike lanes. The only concession that it makes for cyclists is a couple "share the road" signs. Given that, you could argue that I've been biking on borrowed time.
At the time of getting "hit", I was a few months shy of my 10-year biking anniversary. (I started biking to the gym in March of 2012.) I was also at the 3 1/2 year mark of first biking to the grocery store. The vast majority of my bike trips are along the road on which I got "hit". Still, though, it was a wake-up call. And yet, I don't currently have plans to change my ways. I probably should, but the sustainatarian in me just won't allow for it.
When I got "hit", the car didn't stop. Of course, the impact wasn't to a degree that I would have expected the driver to notice. But, as it so happened, the car got stopped at a traffic light just a short distance ahead, close enough that I was able to overtake the car while it was stopped at the light. I biked up to the passenger side window of the car and knocked on the glass.
The driver, an older woman, acknowledged me, but declined to lower the window. I pointed at my elbow and said "you hit me". I didn't get the sense she understood, so I repeated myself. Her response was friendly, but pretty underwhelming. She said something along the lines of "oops, sorry". It was the sort of reaction I'd imagine she'd have were she to realize that she had unintentionally butted in front of someone in line at a deli counter. The only difference here was that she could have killed or hospitalized me.
But, I let it go and we went our separate ways.
I eventually ended up filing a report with the police. While I didn't have any intention of pursuing the matter with the driver, I definitely wanted the incident recorded for any future data-diving efforts. I'm guessing that policy makers, planners, engineers, etc. use police records when researching bicycle-involved accidents. As such, I wanted my incident included in the total number of "non-fatal bicycle-automobile interactions" for the stretch of road in question.
I'd like to hope that this doesn't portend my future.
*sigh* - Me and my principles.