I’m an Official Urban Biker Warrior

20 May
Bike lane placement

Photo by Richard Masoner. Click to scoot on over to his photostream.

Yesterday, I officially became an urban biker.

You see, although this summer will mark my first full year as a bike-owner, there are a number of things one must do in order to be officially canonized into the urban biking community.  Besides getting a cool bike, good gear, hauling a huge bag full of personal wipes, a change of clothes, and a real pair of sneakers, it also really helps your street cred if you get hit by a truck.

Yesterday, I got myself some street cred.

I’ve only had two accidents in my life in which I’ve been the driver.  The first time, I was in a car and was sideswiped by an oversized black truck.  The second time was yesterday, when I was sideswiped by an oversized red truck.  I seem to have a blind spot on my left side that’s only affected by oversized trucks of both color and non-color.   Apparently, they’re my commuting Kryptonite.   I wish my Kryptonite was something less massive.  And less painful.

I’m sure my story mimics those of several urban bikers – I was minding my own business on the far right side of the road, with enough room for someone to pass me carefully on my left.   But since most people are on the phone, eating food, and reading a magazine while they drive these days, they often tend to miss bikers.  And since I was pretty focused on how wet my underwear was getting from the rain splashing up to my bike seat and working its way into my butt, only something like a truck slam could pull me out of my concern for not having packed an extra pair of underwear that morning.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty darn sure this guy did see me and just tried to squeeze past by pushing me off the road.  But since there wasn’t anywhere for me to go, I instead got hit by his sideview mirror and the back of his truck bed.  Luckily, I maintained my balance enough after the hit that instead of falling into the steady traffic coming from behind, I popped up onto the curb and nursed my wounds.

But the dude didn’t stop.

That’s the truly annoying part.  I’m lugging around an enormous bag of gear and will pedal up a storm to get to work on time so that I can wipe down in the bathroom and transform from a dirty street rat into a presentable office worker.  I’m attempting to buy less gas, save roadkill, and slowly whittle off the enormous gelatinous donut of fat that currently insulates my middle section.  I’m really trying to do a few good things here that are actually rather inconvenient and difficult and you can’t even be bothered to pull over and see whether or not you’ve maimed me.

But hey –  I’m just fine.  And I’m pretty stoked to have had my first run-in with traffic be one in which I’m not severely harmed.  How often can one be officially inducted into the Urban Biker Society with a vehicle collision that doesn’t involve a ridiculously painful and unsightly road rash?  I mean, I almost feel like I can’t really be canonized unless I’ve got unsightly sores and aches that trouble me for months.  But I’ll take the street cred. After all, I survived a truck.  A truck!

I am an urban bike warrior; hear me roar. 

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16 Responses to “I’m an Official Urban Biker Warrior”

  1. pegoleg May 20, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    So in order to get street cred you have to practically become street crud? Props to you (she said while hopping up into her tank-like Escalade to head to McDonalds drive-thru). ps Glad you weren’t hurt!

    Like

    • Jackie May 21, 2011 at 11:21 am #

      LOL Escalades are a lovely cup of tea if that’s what you like. Just don’t go running into any bikers while you much on your drive-thru treasures 😛

      Like

  2. Ro May 20, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    What a butthead! I’m very angry for you. I’m glad you’ve found the silver lining, despite the cynicism I’ve learned comes with being a twenty-something.

    Like

    • Jackie May 21, 2011 at 11:21 am #

      ah, sweet, sweet cynicism. 🙂

      Like

  3. thesinglecell May 20, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    OMG! Are you sore? I have a few triathlete friends (they’re insane, PS) who have dealt with things like this. I can sense their rage from here if they read this. Glad you’re alright!

    BTW: did you immediately think “Blog topic!” right after you determined that you weren’t dead?

    Like

    • Jackie May 21, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      I’m feeling quite well, actually 🙂 Thanks for asking. And no, I actually didn’t give blogging it much thought at all. But when I sat down at night to draft up a topic, I couldn’t think of anything else. I thought it was kind of a cheap move, but I guess not 😀

      Like

  4. Jules May 20, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

    I wear my road rash like badge of honor. It’s not a matter of if but when. That’s a universal truth to bike society.

    Get some bike shorts already Jackie! You won’t have to worry about your normal clothes that way. 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie May 21, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      bike shorts are no contender for the massive amounts of upper body sweat that pour from me as I ride.

      Like

      • Jules May 21, 2011 at 11:29 am #

        Pair it with a decent bike jersey! They’re meant to wick moisture and dries fast. That’s pretty much what I do when I commute to work.

        Like

        • Jackie May 21, 2011 at 11:32 am #

          OOOh got it. I have to actually buy biking stuff.

          Ugh. Okay. But only if it makes things less miserable. You’d better be right 😛

          Like

  5. Harri May 21, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Good lord- so glad you’re ok. What an asshole! xx

    Like

    • Jackie May 21, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      Right? I like to think there was a pregnant lady in the truck that I just couldn’t see and she was going into labor so they couldn’t be bothered with human decency.

      Like

  6. The Hook May 24, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    You go, girl! Born to be wild, right?

    Like

    • Jackie May 25, 2011 at 3:55 am #

      haha yeaaah ridin’ the hog. 😉

      Like

  7. Lindsay May 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    I’m an urban biker too, and it’s not easy! But, it’s also awesome to get from Point A to Point B faster than your friend who is driving or taking public transit.

    I’ve not (yet) been hit by a truck, but I’ve been hit by a couple of doors when drivers open them after parking, forgetting about the bikers going by in our bike line. Ouch!

    Like

    • Jackie May 25, 2011 at 3:30 am #

      My favorite part (besides downhill) is definitely pedaling by rush hour lines. I actually get back and forth to work faster on my bike than in a car. And even on a day when I’m dog tired, I get home faster and can relish in the fact that I’ve gotten a workout too!

      Oh man, running right into a door is one of my biggest biker fears. I’m sure it’s coming eventually. Ouch indeed!

      Like

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