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Archive for October 6th, 2006

You’ll believe a man can fly….

Well there I was, stationary at a junction, waiting to turn right… when a woman in a Volkswagen hit me from behind at 40 mph…

I have never had a bike crash and I’ve been riding for many years on roads, race tracks and the like.

I heard the screech of brakes and the sliding of tyres on wet tarmac. It is true that everything goes into slow motion when one is in danger. It was one of those “Oh…S**T’ moments… and then the car hit me. Unfortunately there was a car coming in the opposite direction. As the bike lurched forward, I could see a look of horror on the face of the driver in the car coming towards me. It was fortunate / lucky that I was able to twist the bars to the left, the wheel gripped with enough traction for the bike to veer to the left, avoiding the oncoming car, according to the witness, by less than a yard – and then I went down, under the bike, and slid about twenty or so feet with my right leg taking the weight of the bike and the scrapes from the tarmac.

It is fair to say that I used colourful language as I lay on the ground. It was a performance which Gordon Ramsay would have been proud of. I could not move. A big guy ran over, lifted the bike and told me not to move. I moved my neck – my helmet was smashed in on the right side. My head was still attached to my shoulders and seemed to be working. As I tried to get up, onlookers brandishing mobile phones, were intent on informing the Police, Ambulance, Coast Guard and, who knows, even HM Revenue & Customs, so keen were they to help.

A rather beautiful young woman – a student at the local Arts Ed in Chiswick, saw everything and volunteered herself as a witness. The driver, a lovely woman in her late forties, her daughter and the daughter’s child were distraught. As I didn’t die or suffer life threatening injuries I did not want to waste time with the Police. Have you ever waited for a copper to turn up at a non-fatal RTA? Could be days! I certainly did not wish to go to one of our hospitals. Hospitals are full of ill people, infested with MRSA and other nasties – and, frankly, I did not need any more problems that night. (Quite apart from the fact that I am told that hospitals do not serve Rioja in their waiting rooms and I had no desire to sit for six hours next to people with knives in their arms, other injuries, or those who may be harbouring some appalling tropical disease after their holiday to tropical regions)

Codebreaker’s wife (Codebreaker writes for my blog occasionally) is a nurse. She lives nearby. Plasters covered the wounds – I then hobbled to The Swan for a couple of glasses of Rioja and a few absolutely fantastic Silk Cuts. I had to operate on several of my cuts later in the night when the larger wounds split with the swelling – but a needle and thread did the business. The Doc was not that impressed this morning with my auto-surgery and told me that I should have had a scan for my head. He was appalled when I told him that I had been drinking Rioja with a friend of mine, an ex Slaughter & May partner, until midnight. That also did the business. I asked Doc if I was OK, after he shone lights into my eyes and ears, took heart rate etc etc – to which he replied that I was. I agreed with him.

Wine is a great healer!. Still puzzled as to how the woman driver did not see me. My helmet is very yellow, as is my jacket – and the bike is one of the biggest on the road. THINK Bike?

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