Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Near Death Experience

I'm a big believer in the power of prayer and today was a perfect example. While I'm glad to be alive right now, I'm disappointed that I'm so dumb. I'm sharing this to record that miracles do happen as well as a warning to myself and to other bikers to be more careful and not to assume obstacles don't exist. Cathi if you read this please know I've learned my lesson!

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Today when I got to the T intersection at end of weaver going onto Angel Street in Kaysville, I looked left before turning right going South onto Angel. Problem was, I didn't look right at all since I wasn't turning into traffic, but staying on the right side. I didn't look right at all and totally missed that here coming at me at about 20 mph was a huge double axle tractor, with a row of "middlebusters" (a ripper/plow) attachment on the back. The row of these plows was about 3-4 feet wider than the tractor itself. It took up nearly the whole road including my side!

When I turned I was going about 12 mph and turned into the middle of the right side of the road. I missed the tractor, but coming at me was the plow on the end of the attachment. I had less than a second to get out of the way. I thought, Oh crap (sadly not the tame version of the word), I'm going to die, or lose a leg. I also thought I should instantly intentionally spill to the right and crash to avoid getting hit and let the plow go over me as it was lifted up about 2 feet above the ground.

But somehow I managed to twist to the right enough to miss it entirely. I don't know how it happened. It was coming so fast and was so far into my lane that I should have been hit, but managed to escape with my life.

Now the blame rests entirely on me. There was a stop sign there and I don't typically come to a complete stop on those. I don't know any biker who actually does. But the thing I get from this is to go slower through intersections and to not assume that turning right doesn't mean there won't be something coming at you in the lane your turning into. I need to look BOTH ways at every intersection.

Just because I said a prayer for protection that morning, and was wearing temple garments doesn't turn me into superman and give me a warrant to be stupid and put my life in danger and expect to leave unharmed like I did. I have no doubt had I hit that plow, I would have either died, or lost a leg and been put in critical condition. Getting a higher average mph is NOT worth dying over, or even crashing over!

Lesson learned - slow down and look both ways. Intersections are dangerous! I've broke my arm and thumb before falling off a bike and both times, at intersections.

Distance: 30.6 miles
Time: 1:30
Average Speed: 20.4 mph
The ride home was much less eventful which was good. Slower though. Its the first time I have run out of water this year and had to refill at a park.

Distance: 30.6 miles
Time: 1:32
Average Speed: 19.9 mph

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