Wednesday, April 14, 2010


So it happened.

Something I've been worrying about for weeks.

Since the weather turned and all the newbies came out to play.

I was hit by another bike.

I was riding along the Charles River bike path, crossing Mass Ave.  The pedestrian signal had just changed from walk to flashing orange,  and there were probably 20 people (bikes and peds) in the crosswalk, and I know that light has a long warning cycle, so I proceeded at a measured pace into the crosswalk.  Wham!
A woman travelling along the stopped cars over the Mass Ave bridge ran the red light.  I don't know if she was just planning on creaming any pedestrian who happened to be in the crosswalk.  I suspect she didn't think that far ahead.

Fortunately she had almost stopped, and I was almost out of her path, so she just clipped my rear wheel.  Still.  It could have been so much worse.  What if she'd hit a baby carriage?

I yelled at the top of my lungs, (and believe me, for a 5'6" 140 pound gal, I got a set of lungs).
"What the HELL are you doing?!"   You have a RED LIGHT!!  There are PEDESTRIANS Crossing!"

She said "sorry, so sorry" and rode off.
Still at the top of my lungs ( and believe me about 100 people within a 100 yard range heard me)
"Bad enough to have to worry about getting hit by a car, but to have to worry about getting hit by a bicycle?"
I really hope she was shamed and will think twice.
Because it could have been so much worse.


  1. "Bad enough to have to worry about getting hit by a car, but to have to worry about getting hit by a bicycle?"

    I have uttered these very words at that very intersection. I was traveling Mass ave away from MIT towards Boston, I was crossing the Mem. drive intersection (I had the green, mind you) and a "cyclist" barreled across the cross-walk... missed me (thankfully) by only a few inches. Luckily there were no cars! (it was late morning) he had apparently been riding full speed on the sidewalk and did not care about cars, pedestrians, OR other bikes.

    Ride safe!

  2. Oy, glad you are okay! So many cyclists, both newbies and not, do not ride properly for crowded city areas. I try to remember to keep an eye out for cyclists at four-way stops, because they are the most likely to run through. I think about the same baby carriage thing, too, because I seem to be stopping for a lot of baby carriages lately. I've noticed that parents eye me and don't venture into the crosswalk until I stop completely and put my foot down. Makes me sad, but I don't blame them.

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one prone to voicing my displeasure (loudly) when the situation warrants it. And, I'm glad you're OK.

  4. That intersection - plus the one on Mass Ave right at the Harvard campus by the CVS and the Church St T - are horrible beyond words. For the first 10+ seconds after the light turns green, the cars just keep going; sometimes it's longer. And cars turn right on red even when they clearly see there is a hoard of pedestrians and cyclists still crossing. Something must be done about these spots; I can't believe some of the stuff I see there.

    As I was telling you earlier though, my biggest pet peeve has been cyclists passing me on the right, particularly when it's between me and the car doors when I am intentionally trying to stay out of the doorzone. Sad to say, almost all cyclists who have done this have been young women.

  5. Sidewalk riders in the dark with no lights can be extra difficult to see. They can zoom across the intersection as you're setting to turn. Wham!

  6. Ugh, nothing scarier than oblivious people - on a bike, in a car, and even on foot. Grrrrrr.

    I'm so sorry to hear you were hit, and just glad it wasn't worse.