It's been a bit quiet around here lately, mainly due to being the off-season. Winter training, or rather, just riding, is underway, and I'm just keeping things ticking over at the moment. Riding when and how I want to and doing other things like running. It's a few months yet until my 2012 season starts so proper training is a few weeks away yet.
I did have some excitement last Friday though which ended up with a trip in an ambulance to A&E and a concussion, some cuts and bruises. My memory of what happened is vague as one second I was minding my own business, riding home from a MTB ride, about a mile from home, then next I was waking up on the pavement to the voice of a paramedic and a kind couple who were coming home in a taxi, having found me lying unconscious at the side of the road. I'm certain that a car drove past way too close to me (which happens a lot!) and I lost balance, clipped a parked car and I ended up hitting the pavement. My head took most of the hit. There's no doubt about it, if I hadn't been wearing a helmet, things would have been a lot worse.
I was one of the lucky ones and I'm thankful for that. I just had to endure a few hours in A&E, some X-Rays and observations to check I was ok. I walked out of hospital that night. Many cyclists in similar situations don't. It's made me think even more at how selfish, and irresponsible some drivers are, not willing to give cyclists the room they need to maneuver safely around such things as parked cars, sometimes not even allowing enough space on the road for us to cycle in a straight line. Perhaps they think their time is more precious than ours, in a rush to get home from work, unwilling to delay their journey by a few meagre seconds. Perhaps they think we just shouldn't be there.
What I don't think they realise is that whilst they're safe in their vehicles with increasingly more safety features, we, as cyclists have little by way of protection, a helmet at best. We don't have ABS or airbags. If we get hit, we take the full force of it, and we get hurt, often we don't get up. I could go on and use this opportunity to have a good rant, but I won't, but in case anyone reading this is one of the drivers that gets frustrated with cyclists using the roads, just take a minute to think. We have as much right to use the roads as anyone else, we're a vehicle, just like you. Give us space, give us time. The next person who comes off their bike because of carelessness or whatever it is, may not be so lucky.