I love biking around DC, but like a handful of my friends, I feel totally intimidated sharing the road with cars. Bike to Work Day is one of the few occasions when I feel justified to take up as much space as I like and I don’t stick to just those streets with protected bike lanes.
One of the reasons I fear cycling in this city is because one of my guy friends got in a pretty scary bike accident about a year ago. Luckily for him, he didn’t get seriously hurt, and found a relationship in the process.
My friend J is an avid bike commuter. He regularly rides from his home in Mount Pleasant downtown towards his office by Metro Center. Usually, he avoids the craziness of 14th and 16th Streets and cuts east over to 9th or 7th Streets, where traffic is slightly less hectic.
One auspicious Tuesday, he was biking to work when it started to drizzle a bit. He’s fully comfortable riding in the rain and this was no downpour, but visibility was slightly reduced and the roads were a bit more slippery than usual. Due to the drizzle, he opted to ride under the tunnel connecting the two sections of the Washington Convention Center for a brief respite from the rain.
He was cruising along M Street when a car ran a stop sign and slammed into him. He toppled off his bike, slid up the front of the car and crashed to the ground. Luckily, the car was going under 10 miles per hour and my friend was wearing a helmet, so he didn’t suffer any serious injuries. The crash caused a commotion that made nearby motorists leap from their vehicles and race over to him.
One young woman ran over to check that he was okay and J noticed she was extremely pretty. She told him she was training to be an emergency medical technician and asked him a few questions to test for a concussion or head injury.
He appeared unhurt, but no one wanted to take any chances. The pretty woman put my friend’s bike in her car and drove him to the nearest hospital. She dropped him off at the emergency room—but not until after he programmed her number into his phone. She also insisted that he call her later.
J was only battered and bruised—no broken bones or fractures—and authorities faulted the driver for the collision. Meanwhile, my friend followed up with the woman who had driven him to the ER and they went on a date a week later. He was still a little banged up, but she was incredibly sweet and didn’t seem to mind his bruises.
This incident happened more than a year ago. My friend is still happily dating his “bike accident babe” and he got an insurance payout of several thousand dollars to boot!
I wouldn’t recommend this course of action for meeting ladies this Bike to Work Day, but it’s one way to make lemonade from lemons, if you ask me!
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