So, it was 2010 and I was heading home from work and it was around 5pm so traffic was nuts.
And it was in those glorious days when I worked in the city. I was literally a minute into my ride home when I found myself on George Street in the City which is a four lane one-way street. Because all the cars were banked up and I would need to turn right very soon, I started filtering through at about 15km/hr in-between the cars in the two right-most lanes. I have drawn you a shitty picture so might better understand.
The flow of traffic is heading up btw
The traffic then started to move very slowly at this point as we suddenly had a green light ahead and I started accelerating to keep up and eventually move into a lane proper. But to my right a car had stopped to let in a car from the driveway of the big Westpac building. It turned out to be a fully-badged Westpac car and as I passed the driveway he hooked out too far, with quite a bit of speed and smashed into my back wheel.
This pushed me left and sideways at about 45 degrees and as I felt that big crunch of DOOM my legs had to keep spinning because I was riding a fixed wheel but perhaps this — plus my awesome bike skillz — meant I miraculously stayed upright. When I straightened and slowed to stop from behind the rear wheel made this hideous chatter which I assumed was a thousand broken spokes screaming in their death-throes.
I pulled over about 20 metres later and the car that hit me stopped directly behind in the right lane. I got off the bike and to my absolute bewilderment the bike and the rear wheel was almost totally unscathed. Spokes included.
And so what was making that chattering sound was in fact the car’s numberplate which had wrapped itself quite neatly in between a dozen of my rear spokes. The plate was rendered a bit bent and dishevelled in this process but as there were only a few paint flecks on my frame from the car I decided it was not such a big deal.
The only thing is — I FUCKING wish I had taken a photo. It was just so surreal. I was looking down a what was literally the ultimate spoke-card. A surprise spoke-card at that.
The driver, Mr DOUCHECANOE, got out of his Prius, seemingly pious, but was like, “Aw, um, I’ll just take that [the plate] back.” No ‘sorries’, no nonsense — he just wanted to get out of there. I think because it was right outside his work, right when all his co-workers would be leaving, and because he was in a work car which he had just smashed into a bike — I think he was pretty determined to get out of there in a hurry and then worry about the number-plate damage later.
And as he tried to wrestle the plate free I hissed that he was not to touch my “fucking bike” and he instantly agreed with that — quite decidedly giving me some space.
But although I was a bit surly, and a bit aggrieved, after checking my bike was fine, I freed the number-plate and let him go free. Part of me was like, “Well you have a bloody good story to tell now and no real harm done.” I just wish, again, that I had got a photo. UGH!
And so here is my illustration of the event.
And below is the bike in question. My beloved Berretto, built in Brisbane by Brett Richardson. I still have this bike but it got a bit damaged when I took it to New York. But that’s another story.