I had just finished my Sunday bike ride with my good friend Bekah. We were parting ways to go home after a long ride, she went North, and I went South on the Riverside trail. I was coming up to the trail at a stop light near the casino. The crosswalk was green so I proceeded to ride across. Unfortunately, a car with a red light at the casino was turning right out of the casino onto Riverside Drive. The driver wasn't paying attention and slammed into me. I flew up and over the hood and hit the ground on the other side. As a longtime cyclist you inevitably hear about and sadly, know of people getting hit by cars. I thought to myself, "Well, this is it. I've been hit and probably won't be able to walk again." It was a harrowing thought. But to my surprise and utter delight I could get up. My bike had been tossed into traffic and someone on the trail was kind enough to retrieve it for me. The driver who hit me was remorseful and that made me feel better too. He simply hadn't seen me as he was looking left for traffic so he could turn right. Other than being banged up, sore and bruised I was okay but the "what-ifs" are what eat away at you.
I'm a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. If I had been killed it would cause a ripple effect that I don't think people stop and think about. When you're driving a car and see a person on a bike, most people just get impatient and try to drive around them not viewing them as actual people. But sometimes those people on bikes are your kids' doctor, the firefighter who would show up on a scene of your next car wreck, a future employer and severely injuring them, or worse, killing them, could not only have long-term effects on their lives but yours as well.
As a result of my crash when I'm on my bike I double check when crossing at a light, even if I have a green. I also am very careful around any cars that are turning right onto the road I'm riding in case they may not see me. Stay safe out there, be aware.