Paranoid Android: because ‘it happens
*** This post was drafted in December 2012 but never published. It was written 10 months before my bike crash. Thankfully (and most importantly), I walked away from it. I spent a few restless nights replaying the event in my head. I did everything I thought was right and would keep me safe. It turns out that neon green and flashing lights won’t stop an inattentive driver from running stop signs.***
I just finished watching The War on Britain’s Roads. Although balanced, the show was dark, sad, and a bit unnerving. The tension between cyclists and drivers was demonstrated through CCTV and helmet cam footage of accidents and near misses. More than once I cringed and wondered how I would ever be able to ride a bicycle again. Of course, I wouldn’t want to be a driver who collides with a cyclist…or the pedestrian who witnesses it…so…I might as well stay inside and never leave. No. Life is meant to be lived. And cycling makes me happy. And the vast majority of riding I do is safe and uneventful and the people I encounter are mostly courteous.
Like any sensible bike commuter I take precautions to limit risk. I wear a helmet and hi-vis clothing. My bikes are wrapped in reflective tape and equipped with enough lights to compete with my neighbor who leaves his Christmas lights up all year and just adds more each succeeding year (yeh, that guy). These measures fall into prevention and protection.
But shit happens. And then what? That brings us to the next phase of bike gear for accidents. The first is a helmet cam. I have the Contour ROAM attached to my bike. I now have an unflappable witness. If a do get into a situation that requires legal action it’ll no longer be their word against mine. Lets just hope the video replay is on my side.
Sometimes shitter shit happens. We don’t want to think about these things but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare. Say I get knocked unconscious and rushed to the hospital. How would my wife find out? I always carry my license with me but besides a name and address it lacks any useful contact information. That’s where RoadID comes in. This personally engraved bracelet has not only my name but also two family members and their phone numbers. I also included a Douglas Adams’s quote on an extra line as a reminder to not panic.
So while there’ll also be the potential to encounter a whacko behind the wheel at least now I can enjoy myself with a little piece of mind.