I almost died today. Again. This is about the fourth time my life has been in danger. I’ll tell you about the other three times later. The one today still has me shaking. It’s all I can do to keep from vomiting.
I was on my bike. You know the pink Vespa I keep telling everyone about? Well, I went to the grocer’s to pick up a few things. Pears. Onions. Parsely. Cookies. Not much. I get on my bike and instead of shopping some more – I need shirts and would love another presentation dress – I decided to just go home. It’s rush hour. There’s traffic getting back onto the main street and I was tempted.
I was tempted to use the bike lane. Now when I say I was on my bike I really mean my scooter. My 50cc scooter. Just a step above one of those sit-down lawnmowers in terms of speed. It goes maybe 50 mph downhill. But in that inch-along traffic, going 30 mph is like speeding down the autobahn. So I used the bike lane, the lane for real bikes. The lane for non-motorized two-wheeled vehicles. The lane for pedalers who have to be Lance Armstrong to go 30 mph on a flat surface.
I was doing well. I was almost at my turn when I saw a minivan out of the corner of my eye weave through traffic. Now, normally people in the neighborhood I live in never let anyone through traffic to do anything. I guess this woman looked pitiful or she was especially agressive or maybe a passive-agressive combination of the two. Whatever it was, she got through the traffic, was making a left turn and was headed straight for me. I couldn’t brake in time to stop but she saw me and stopped inches short of hitting me on my left shoulder, hip and leg. I had my helmet on. But me versus a minivan wouldn’t have ended up well in that scenario.
Thank God she stopped. I believe with me going that speed and the size of her minivan I could have died, helmet or not. Moral of the story, I am so not getting rid of my Vespa. I love it way too much. But, I will not use the bike lane again, no matter how much I’m in a rush or no matter how much I want to show off. I am bound and determined to live. God gave me yet another chance and I’m not going to let this one go.
BTW – A policeman saw everything and stopped me just as I was about to make my final turn into the shortcut to go home. He read me the riot act, and rightfully so. He was cool about it. But at that point I was so scared, and happy to talk to someone about it, that I wasn’t even mad at him. He didn’t give me a ticket.
The funny thing is, the adrenaline in my body shot up. It was all I could do to stay on my bike. And even though she didn’t even graze me, I still feel funny on my left side. Immediately after “the incident” I just felt different, my left side most of all. But it’s been at least a half hour and I’m still “feeling it.” Here’s to hoping I never, ever do anything that reckless on or in a vehicle ever again.
From your Lisa with five lives left!