Last Friday, May 30, while biking to work, I stopped to take some quick shots of this junked Edsel parked off Murray St. just west of 9th in Berkeley. I rode through the empty lot, which is essentially an old railroad right-of-way, and set my bike down against the curb. This was far enough back to not have it appear in the shots I was taking. Near the bike was a large white pickup truck parked at the curb.
I had taken just a few shots and had my back to my bike taking the shot above. That is when I heard a loud snapping and crunching sound. I turned around to see the big white pickup running over my bike!
The truck, from Berkeley Unified, pulled over, and the driver got out. He looked pretty surprised himself, saying, “Jesus, that scared the hell out of me.” He apologized and was generally nice about the whole thing, as was I. I was too stunned to be angry or to even take a picture of it, if you can believe that.
The driver said, “That’s the problem with these big diesels, you can’t see right down in front of you.” My bike was a ways out in front of him, so I am not quite sure how he missed seeing it. Maybe he did but misjudged the location as pulled away from the curb.
We exchanged numbers and he drove off, leaving me to assess the damage. Fortunately, he only got part of it, mostly the handle bars. Most of what’s up there was crushed to bits: bell, light, gear shift, brake handle The bars, gooseneck (do they still call them that) and the seat are pretty bent up too. Surprisingly, the rest of it was in good enough shape that I could slowly ride it to work and home again. A professional inspection will tell what shape the frame is in.
Hopefully, I will be able to get the issue settled and bike repaired so I can get back to saving fuel, money, and greenhouse gases. And shooting more commute shots from the safety of the sidewalk.