The other day, I was double-crossed.
While on the trusty bike I like to call Rinaldo, I experienced what many of us bicyclists have – an accident. The male perpetrator came from behind, passed me on the right side, even though I was traveling at a decent speed, and then made a sharp left turn in front of me. In the process of cutting me off, he clipped Rinaldo’s front wheel, causing him to slow. A woman merging into my lane from my right side witnessed the accident, but failed to yield and rammed into the back wheel. She giggled, yelled “sorry” and sped away. The first man looked back in my direction, glancing at the accident he had caused in his haste to get wherever he needed to be. I heard another man say, “Dude, that was vicious, man.”
It was a double hit-and-run. Neither person stopped to take responsibility for crippling Rinaldo.
After paying $30 for Rinaldo’s back wheel transplant, I felt it was my duty to make my voice – and the voices of all bike victims alike – heard. This story is a message for all of you careless bikers who run others into shrubbery. It is a message for all of you who sideswipe others in your hurry to arrive to class five seconds earlier than if you had waited.
Biking at UCSB is already a harrowing experience. Anyone who has successfully biked through the death loop between 8:50 and 9 a.m. would concur. Please be aware that others around you are in as big a hurry as your are, and running somebody off the path is no solution for the fact that you slept through your alarm clock.
I end with a message of hope.
Last year, a male student named Steve rear-ended me in his hurry to be somewhere other than the bike path. At the time, I was riding my previous bike, Beatrice. She was a red, crappy beach cruiser who was later bike-napped. Steve got off his bike and made sure I was okay. He even exchanged phone numbers with me so that he could pay for any repairs.
Thank you, Steve. More people should be like you. However, if anyone has seen the white male in the plaid shirt that caused the dent in Rinaldo’s rear, tell him I’m looking for him and that he owes me $30.
Amy Krakower is a sophomore psychology and law & society major.