Sunday, May 2, 2010
Returning to the scene
Not long after I started this blog, I was in a year-changing bicycle accident. I made it out with a broken collarbone, which only hurts occasionally at this point. The gripping tale of this accident begins here.
In the months since, I've wondered about the cause of the accident. Immediately after, I was sure of the reason -- I was looking out toward the horizon and failed to notice a three-foot pole, or bollard, in the middle of the path where it crossed an access road. The more I thought of it, though, the less satisfactory that explanation seemed to me.
I "re-enacted" the accident probably 100 times on the bike trail during my daily commutes. I'd look out into the distance and try to imagine missing a three-foot pole in my path. It seemed impossible. I finally concluded I must have been looking not at the horizon, but down at my chain or cogs in the critical seconds before the crash.
So, it was with some anticipation that I finally returned to the quiet intersection of path and road where the accident occurred, some 15 miles from my home. Here's the intersection, looking in the direction opposite of my travel on the fateful day:
Second, I'd forgotten how much the path curves immediately before the intersection and bollards. The result of this is the pole only becomes visible a short time before you're upon it. Here's a view from the direction I was traveling on the day of the crash.