To start, I need to apologise to anyone living in the Beacon Street-Wheel Lane area of Lichfield who was woken by a foul-mouthed tirade at 7.30am on Saturday morning.
That was me.
And I am genuinely sorry for my language.
I’ll blame the adrenaline rush.
No, actually, I’ll blame the lady who ploughed into me in her car as I attempted to negotiate the little island near Morrison’s on my bike.
So many drivers ignore the basic rules of the road at that particular mini island and this morning’s expletive-fuelled rant shows what can happen when they do.
I’m counting myself as lucky. Very lucky.
Despite the fact I had my bright yellow flourescent jacket on and was clearly signalling my intention to turn right into Wheel Lane, she ignored me. What is worse is that she had slowed down sufficiently to make me think she was stopping but then accelerated in front of me when I was less than 6ft from her car.
The impact was inevitable, but mercifully not as painful as I thought it would be.
Thankfully, years of negotiating this island as a car driver has taught me to always expect the worst. I braked, swerved and I hit the side of her car with slightly less force than if I’d carried on at the same pace.
After hitting the side of her car, I hit the road with quite a thud. Stupidly I jumped straight up and delivered my angry and very sweary opinion on her driving. But I am physically OK and apart from a bent handlebar, the bike is fine too.
My knee and shoulder ache a little, my hands and legs are still shaking.
Wearing a helmet again proved a wise decision – and reinforces the importance of the Headstrong Ride on May 9.
I singularly failed to be as cool as F1 driver Sebastien Buemi, who shrugged off the fact both his front tyres flew off at close to 200mph with a nonchalant “…it happened…” and a shrug of his shoulders.
But the reason I was so angry had nothing to with my own well-being.
As I got to my feet and walked towards the car that had just hit me all I could think was: “If anything happens to me, who cares for Rachel?”
The consequences of suffering some sort of serious illness or injury are too much for me to contemplate sometimes. As Rachel’s primary carer, I can’t afford to be indisposed.
Of course, the driver who hit me knows nothing of this.
But it was all that was flashing through my mind as she tearfully apologised and a fellow cyclist, who had been following me down Beacon Street, made sure I was in one piece.
I need to thank that cyclist for taking the time to make sure I was OK, reassuring me I had done nothing wrong (he’d seen the whole thing) and helping to straighten my handlebars. Thanks also to the chap stripping the paintwork on the windows of his house on Beacon Street for checking on how I was.
To the lady car driver, I hope you pay more attention to ALL road users in future.
As I slowly rode the rest of the way home I wondered whether the potential risk of riding my bike was worth it.
I love riding my bike, but the stakes are very high these days.
I’ll let you know if I make it back out on two wheels tomorrow.
Update: I did venture out, quite cautiously, on Sunday morning and didn’t encounter any problems. I kept the ride short – despite the glorious weather – mainly because I felt every one of the bumps and bruises I picked up yesterday. I have an impressive collection of aches and bruises down the left side of my body, from my shoulder to my knee.