Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Taking the wind out of my sails

Yesterday, I biked home with new found theory test pass confidence.

Then. this morning, the insurance company for the dump truck that knocked me off my bike last November finally made contact. It turns out that between us we have lost the witness details (not that it would make much difference as he was not responding to my calls anyway despite being very helpful at the time - which makes me think he's maybe switched phones or something anyway). They are hinting that there is no decision to be made without a third party confirming details of the event because the driver 'was not aware of the incident at the time it occurred'.

I certainly made him aware very shortly afterwards by running after them and hammering on their passenger door so he cannot be denying that it happened at all can he? I showed his passenger the damage to the bike (as the driver refused to leave his vehicle). I can imagine that in a cab of a massive 6 ton truck you may not feel a biker as you gently knock them over (it was not a high speed collision) but if you drive as you are meant to, you should be visually aware of what's going on. Once he overtook me, nudging me all the way over to the right, he should have clocked me in his mirrors, initially at a ridiculous angle, trying to hold on to the bike, and then eventually having to give in, drop it and jump out the way. If he didn't see this, I would argue that, in itself, was negligible.

Anyway, the insurance woman was very nice but getting emotionally worked up about the event again, and the thought that the driver is still denying his liability, meant I suddenly found myself in tears, remembering exactly how scary it was to think that for the sake of a few inches, I could have been crushed beneath a dustbin lorry's massive wheels.

Just because some tired old council driver, at the end of his shift, in gridlock on Shaftesbury Avenue on a dark wintery Thursday night, didn't notice the biker in front of him because he was too busy being agressive with the cabs on his left who were stuck on the junction box and trying to cut across the front of him.

I love biking but I hate how vulnerable we are to twats like that.

And I hate how he has the power to ruin my day, again, nearly six months later.

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