On Being Hit By A Car [Deftly Inane]

A car hit me this morning. It was only a matter of time.

I was riding my bike up Selwyn Avenue in Charlotte. I crossed over Woodlawn, heading toward the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. I needed to turn left. This is a tough spot for a bicyclist on a four-lane road like Selwyn. You need to be away from the curb, in the left lane, in the domain of cars. Nobody was ahead of me. Several cars were behind. I was getting ready to extend my left arm when it happened.

I felt it first. Something brushed my elbow. Then my left handlebar buckled. There was the thunk of plastic snapping into plastic. I saw a silver hood out of the corner of my eye. My front wheel shuddered right.


My bike wobbled. I squeezed my handlebars. Then I gently pulled on the brakes, trying not to skid on the wet pavement. Every muscle tightened. I felt the rest of the car moving past me on the left. There was a whoosh of air. Then the wobbling stopped. It was over in two seconds.

I looked ahead and saw the car. It was silver. An older man was inside. I saw the back of his head. He had gray hair. Both hands on the wheel. He was looking up the street. I saw the side-view mirror. That’s what had brushed my elbow, pushed my handlebar forward, and caused me to swerve. I stared at the back of his head, waiting for him to turn and look back.

He never did. Didn’t even slow down.

He didn’t know he hit me.

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