I guess the time comes with every cyclist where you are hit by a car. Saturday night was my closest call yet, as a group of seven people I was riding with in Columbus OH was plowed into from behind at speed, perhaps at 35 mph. Two lanes in either direction with a center turning lane, no traffic at all, sharrows painted on the road, and easily 10 blinkie lights between the 7 people. We were riding in a tight group, taking up no more than 2 or 3 parking spaces length of road in one lane. No sounds of brakes, no sounds of the engine, the first notice any of us in the tight group had was a loud bang with the impact with the first rider and then the actual crash. Somehow only two riders had the complete impact from the car—24hrs later after spending the night in the hospital each is doing well, quite sore and beat up with a single broken collarbone between them. Considering the sickening crunching sounds of the impact and the distance they were thrown (out of their laced shoes…) the outcome is unbelievable. Pieces of the car littered the scene, bikes destroyed, this was no grazing hit. Perhaps cynically and predictably the car sped off with squealing tires, only to be caught on the opposite side of town minutes later with a reportedly very alcohol impaired 70 year old man (wrongly reported as woman at first, no matter really) behind the wheel. It is amazing the entire group wasn’t taken out, it’s amazing the two who got hit aren’t injured worse. We’re talking about making sure people could wiggle toes and fingers in the middle of the street here. One other rider went down in the melee but managed to only scrape his knee as he rolled out. Miraculously I didn’t go down, even though after all was said and done my rear wheel was left unrideable from some sort of impact during the incident.
Be careful out there, be nice to people, live it up.