Hit and Run

To begin: I’M OKAY.  But on the way home from work Friday, I was hit by a car.  The driver ran a stop sign and struck me with the front left of his car.  The force crumpled the front of my bike, slammed me counter-clockwise into the side of the car and then onto the pavement.  The driver kept going.  There were a lot of witnesses and some extremely nice people came over to help me. They called 911 and provided statements to the police that I was doing everything right.  An ambulance came and brought me to the ER.  I have some pain and bruises, but am otherwise okay.  Coco the bike is in pretty bad shape.

Apparently, the driver of a silver/white car had swerved to the right (illegally – only one lane each direction) around another car waiting at the stop sign, barreled through the intersection, and sped even faster to escape as soon as he hit me.  There was no way for me to anticipate or avoid such recklessness.  That was after I stopped completely for my stop sign (four-way stop), waited for two other cars to go before proceeding, and almost made it through to the other side.  Unfortunately, no one got the license plate number.

My view – car came from my right:

Driver’s view:

The police officer who took my statement at the ER said this would be passed to the major crash unit.  They can check video surveillance from a city camera a block away, but I’m not expecting anything.  Although this person should be thrown in jail and never drive again and I wish I could get some money for Coco, I’m really not worked up about the driver.  I don’t have the energy for that kind of anger.  The extreme kindness of everyone else involved – the witnesses, police, fire department EMTs, doctors, my friend who drove me to pick up my bike later – was much more powerful than one driver’s cruelty.

Of course, I will continue to bike, once I’m feeling better, although I’m sure I’ll be more anxious and I will never bike through this intersection again.  Sadly, no amount of caution can protect you from a reckless driver with no regard for human life, whether you’re in a car or on a bike, but life must go on.

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118 thoughts on “Hit and Run

  1. Alissa Conaty says:

    I’m glad to hear you are physically okay (for the most part).

    Getting hit while on your bike can be so scary. I was run off the road/side-swiped by an angry driver (who yelled at me to get off his road and onto the sidewalk right before hitting me) this past summer, and it scared me off the main streets near my house for many a week after.

    Some car drivers have no regard for cyclists or pedestrians. It’s shameful.

    Hope you feel better soon, and the bruises/pain fade quickly. My condolences on Coco.

  2. Elisa M says:

    Ugh, so sorry to hear this. People suck. Glad you are ok.

  3. Doug Lovejoy says:

    Really sorry to hear about your incident. There was a piece in L.A. Weekly recently about hit and run collisions that was really chilling. I don’t know what it is about driving a car that makes people forget their humanity. I feel like anyone out running who accidentally knocks over an old lady would without hesitation stop to make sure she was ok. For some reason that same compassion isn’t automatically triggered when driving. I don’t get it.

  4. lisa says:

    Sorry to hear about this. I’m glad you weren’t seriously hurt. I’m angry that the driver could have so little respect for others. There has been a rash of hit & runs in my city lately with a number of fatalities, all pedestrians doing all the right things like you were. I wish there was more we could do to stop this kind of driving.

  5. bikinginla says:

    I have less sympathy for hit-and-run drivers than virtually any other form of scum on this planet. But while I hope the schmuck who hit you is brought to justice, I am far happier to hear that you are okay, emotionally as well as physically. Then again, you always seem to find the bright side of any experience, which is a skill I truly admire.

  6. robin says:

    so sorry to hear this and so glad you are okay.

  7. mark says:

    oh that’s terrible, get better and keep sharing thejoy

  8. Cameron says:

    Onward shines your generous spirit.

  9. Fred Smith says:

    I’m really glad you’re OK.

    Hopefully they will find the driver’s details because it’s just not right that people can get away with it. Much as I love cycling, the worst part is being at the mercy of other people’s driving.

  10. Fred Smith says:

    I’m really glad you’re OK.

    Hopefully they will find the driver’s details because it’s just not right that people can get away with it. Much as I love cycling, the worst part is being at the mercy of other people’s driving.

  11. Scott UK says:

    Glad your OK Dottie, that was a close one. Mr Dottie must have had a shock too.

    Was this on your direct busier route to work or your quieter route?

  12. steve_a_dfw says:

    Glad you are OK. Bikes are a lot easier to replace than bodies.

    • my hyggelig says:

      Oh D.O.T.! Poor thing. Yikes. I am SO glad you are OK and SO glad you are keeping a positive attitude. It is easy to get discouraged, but hopefully karma will come around… Take care.

      • Andrea says:

        Sorry to hear some idiot did this and I hope he gets caught. Very glad to hear you are o.k. But an accident like that can shake the confidence out of a person. Good to know you’re going to get back on the horse soon.

        • TrafficMike says:

          First, glad you’re okay.

          Second, this is a good example of why all-way stop signs should not be installed on major streets like Fullerton. Drivers get annoyed at the delays when there is very little cross-traffic, and then just roll through (or barrel through in this case) the intersection. This endangers the traffic that does enter from the side street. If there’s a large amount of traffic on the side street, then it should have signal. This is probably an illegally installed sign per the MUTCD criteria.

  13. steve_a_dfw says:

    Glad you are OK. Bikes are a lot easier to replace than bodies.

  14. So sorry to read! Of the many female commuters I know/know of in real life/on the internet – nearly all of them have been hit by a car at some point. None of them were breaking traffic laws. I hope your commuting confidence heals as fast as your body.

  15. samhy says:

    I’m sorry to hear that, but thankfully you’re okay. I hope you’ll feel better soon.

    Saturday, during the daytime, a driver cut my way (I was going straight, he was going right) on purpose and after that I saw him clapping his hands. Weird.

    Anyway, a hit and run is a terrible thing. Come on, guys! Can’t you face up to what you did?

    Once again, you’re okay and that the most important part.

  16. Rachel Hawes says:

    So sorry to hear this and so glad you’re OK. As you say, no amount of caution can protect you from this :(

  17. Tim Burns says:

    Sorry to hear this. Hope you recover quickly.

  18. Matt Lindsay says:

    I am relived to hear you’re ok. Take care (and don’t neglect your physical therapy, even after you feel better).

  19. Matt Lindsay says:

    I am relived to hear you’re ok. Take care (and don’t neglect your physical therapy, even after you feel better).

  20. my hyggelig says:

    Oh D.O.T.! Poor thing. Yikes. I am SO glad you are OK and SO glad you are keeping a positive attitude. It is easy to get discouraged, but hopefully karma will come around… Take care.

  21. Andrea says:

    Sorry to hear some idiot did this and I hope he gets caught. Very glad to hear you are o.k. But an accident like that can shake the confidence out of a person. Good to know you’re going to get back on the horse soon.

  22. RobW says:

    Wow, I’m so glad they only caught the front of poor Coco, and that you were not any further in their path than that. I truly hope that they cannot rest until they turn themselves in for this, and face the consequences. From the photos, that intersection is as safe as any, but only if laws are obeyed. I hope in time you are able to ride through it again, with only an upleasant memory, but not a defeated spirit. For now, just get better, and enjoy the holiday season.

  23. TrafficMike says:

    First, glad you’re okay.

    Second, this is a good example of why all-way stop signs should not be installed on major streets like Fullerton. Drivers get annoyed at the delays when there is very little cross-traffic, and then just roll through (or barrel through in this case) the intersection. This endangers the traffic that does enter from the side street. If there’s a large amount of traffic on the side street, then it should have signal. This is probably an illegally installed sign per the MUTCD criteria.

  24. Glad to hear you’re okay!! What a jerk!! That makes me so mad!!

  25. Marianne says:

    Yikes! I am so happy to hear that you are okay and so sorry that this happened!

  26. cycler says:

    I’m glad to hear that you’re OK, but I’m so sorry to hear about this horrible collision. I hope you feel better soon, and good luck with the mental issues involved in getting back in the saddle. We’ll all be thinking of you and hoping that they can catch this person and bring them to justice.

  27. neighbourtease says:

    (((Dottie))) I am so sorry to hear this. How scary and horrible.

  28. Archergal says:

    OMG Dottie, I’m so so sorry this happened to you. I’m glad to hear you’re mostly ok. Do give yourself some time to recover physically and emotionally.

    Much love to you. And I hope they catch the bastard that hit you and throw the book at him/her.

  29. Stephen Hodges says:

    Glad to hear you’re OK, Dottie. It’s a relief you weren’t badly injured or worse, and your attitude is wonderful. Very Buddhist, in fact.

    As far as the design of the intersection goes, it looks perfectly fine to me. 4-way stops are great at slowing traffic and allowing users of side streets to cross or turn onto higher-function streets. But some people are just plain reckless and shouldn’t be driving.

    The actions of the driver would merit a stiff fine, points, and possibly removal of the driver’s license in many states. Given the hit and run, arrest is also warranted, and maybe more severe charges. Drivers like this are a threat to anyone, not just bicyclists. Perhaps your local notoriety may flush him or her out.

    Cheers to Mr. Dottie too. I’m sure he was shook up badly too.

  30. Oh, Dottie. I’m so glad to hear that you are (mostly) okay, and I hope that your recovery is quick and uneventful. I am sorry about your bicycle.

  31. Lauren says:

    Oh my god, I’m so sorry! I’m glad you’re ok, but what a huge bummer about Coco! I really hope they catch this driver (or they turn themselves in); I don’t even understand how you can hit someone and just leave them in the middle of the street as you speed off! What if you had been seriously injured and there was no one around to help you?

    Arghhhh, you might not be angry – but I’m angry on your behalf!

    • Michael Wagner says:

      Not sure I would be as composed as you Dottie, but glad you came away from this relatively unscathed, and will be okay.

  32. Lauren says:

    Oh my god, I’m so sorry! I’m glad you’re ok, but what a huge bummer about Coco! I really hope they catch this driver (or they turn themselves in); I don’t even understand how you can hit someone and just leave them in the middle of the street as you speed off! What if you had been seriously injured and there was no one around to help you?

    Arghhhh, you might not be angry – but I’m angry on your behalf!

  33. Michael says:

    Not sure I would be as composed as you Dottie, but glad you came away from this relatively unscathed, and will be okay.

  34. Ann says:

    I’m so glad you’re okay. Love your blog and wish you the best!

  35. Holly says:

    Oh, Dottie! I’m so glad you are generally all right and I hope to see you back on the road once you’re on the mend. I’m not sure I’d be handling this with as much dignity and grace as you are. That’s just one more reason that I adore you.

  36. Anna C says:

    AGH THAT’S HORRIBLE! So so glad you’re ok, and still plan to bike after such an event. Wishing you and Coco all the best.

  37. lem says:

    We (6 friends and I)wish you a quick recovery and pray that the scum ( the hit-and-run driver) be soon apprehended and prosecuted!

    If we do not have a caring society no matter what laws or safety features/infrastructure(s) we have for the safety for ALL, then someone is/are going to get hurt unnecessarily … and saddest if the law-abiding be the victims of some miscreants.

    The correct attitude of all road-users {motorists (especially so), pedestrians and cyclists}, when on the road, itself would cut down on road mishaps ,mayhem, sorrow and regrets drastically!
    L

  38. Oh, Bless you, beautiful Dottie.

    What a horrible end to the week for you. Rest up and get better soon knowing that you are cherished for your contribution to the cycling world. We need you on your bike doing what you do best so please don’t let this slow you down.

    peace and love…

  39. Paul says:

    Glad to hear your ok, I’ve read on other blogs and considered getting something like a go pro camera for reasons like this. I hope your able to get back on the bike soon.

  40. Tom Wyland says:

    I’m glad you are OK, Dottie. It’s so frustrating that drivers can be so reckless but also get away with it. You are one of the reasons I started commuting year-round. Thanks for sharing and I hope you are back in the saddle when you are ready.

  41. Megcetera says:

    I don’t know if you have a car or not, but I have heard that your car insurance might cover up to $5,000 for your bike and hospital damages in a hit-and-run incident.

  42. jamesfduncan says:

    So happy you will be OK. God Bless & Keep You. Jim Duncan

  43. jamesfduncan says:

    So happy you will be OK. God Bless & Keep You. Jim Duncan

  44. Simply Bike says:

    Oh my god, Dottie! I’m so sorry to read this! And I’m so glad you’re ok! I cannot believe that the driver just kept going, it just seems insane to think that someone would do that (although, yes, I know it happens, but still…). I have nothing to add other than I am SO happy that you’re ok and that it wasn’t any worse and I’m so sorry you had to go through that, something that I know must have shaken you pretty badly and will make bike rides a little unnerving until the scare of it all wears off. Please take care! xo

  45. anniebikes says:

    I’m happy that you are okay. Thank you for sharing this episode. I’m glad you have no “what ifs?” in regards to your actions. Knowing that you’ve done the best that you could as a safe cyclist is little consolation because a cyclist is still at the mercy of a driver, especially when that driver is reckless. We all know that, I guess, when we get on our bikes, yet we carve out our place in this auto-phobic world, hoping for the best. My thoughts are with you as you heal physically and emotionally and will soon, hopefully, return to cycling.

  46. anniebikes says:

    I’m happy that you are okay. Thank you for sharing this episode. I’m glad you have no “what ifs?” in regards to your actions. Knowing that you’ve done the best that you could as a safe cyclist is little consolation because a cyclist is still at the mercy of a driver, especially when that driver is reckless. We all know that, I guess, when we get on our bikes, yet we carve out our place in this auto-phobic world, hoping for the best. My thoughts are with you as you heal physically and emotionally and will soon, hopefully, return to cycling.

  47. Jax+Puzzle says:

    Very glad to hear you are okay, Dottie. I cannot believe someone would do this. I also feel like I cursed you, though I know it’s not possible, but just a week or so ago my FH expressed concern about me being hit while commuting – we’ve had several bicyclists struck in my city recently, one death and one serious injury. I retorted back – “Dottie’s been riding in Chicago, which is worse than this, for years and hasn’t been hit.” Ugh. So sorry you were a victim of someone’s unbelievable carelessness and failure to abide by the traffic laws. And I’m sorry about Coco. Sending good thoughts that you are feeling better soon.

  48. Jax+Puzzle says:

    Very glad to hear you are okay, Dottie. I cannot believe someone would do this. I also feel like I cursed you, though I know it’s not possible, but just a week or so ago my FH expressed concern about me being hit while commuting – we’ve had several bicyclists struck in my city recently, one death and one serious injury. I retorted back – “Dottie’s been riding in Chicago, which is worse than this, for years and hasn’t been hit.” Ugh. So sorry you were a victim of someone’s unbelievable carelessness and failure to abide by the traffic laws. And I’m sorry about Coco. Sending good thoughts that you are feeling better soon.

  49. Brian says:

    Dottie, I’ve never met you, but I feel like a friend just got hit. So sorry. I’ve been there, too, and I still ride — and if it’s any consolation, since I’ve become more aware of the freakish stuff people might do, I’ve gotten better at defensive lane positioning and generally paying attention to the periphery. Glady to hear you’re OK. Heal up fast.

  50. leafygreene says:

    Just want to add my voice to all the others and say I’m so glad you’re ok! I love reading your blog and I’m grateful for the time and energy you put in to it. Very best wishes for a swift recovery. I’m glad so many nice people arrived to help. There are nice people out here in the world!

  51. Julie H. says:

    {{{{Oh Dottie!}}}} I’m wishing you peace and fast healing, both physically and emotionally.

  52. Sarah W. says:

    Glad you’re OK, Dottie!

  53. G.E. says:

    I am so glad that you made it through this incident, but am sorry to read that Coco may have seen better days. As you said, it doesn’t sound as though there was anything you could have done differently to avoid this, and I would hope that this would be a wake up call to those who drive recklessly through the streets of this nation. Sadly, most of them will likely never know this story (and the many like it). I am keeping good thoughts for you to have a speedy recovery (even though you say you’re okay) and hoping that the driver will be caught. I’m so glad that those around you were able to help and that even though it was a terrible experience (I’m sure), you were surrounded by those who had some sense about them to help you and stay to report the incident.

  54. Oldbikerider says:

    Especially at this time of year you know the most valuable thing to have are friends, and lots of them!

    Get Better Soon

  55. Lisa Curcio says:

    Dottie, so sorry to hear this. You might be feeling worse before you feel better, but I hope your recovery is quick and uneventful.
    Based upon your description, there must have been damage to that car. Let’s hope someone notices and that the driver is found and charged!

  56. calitexican says:

    oh my dottie! this is shocking news. i’m so glad you are ok and also very happy of the kindness of strangers. much love to you, your family and your stable of bikes!

  57. AKA60643 says:

    That stinks. I’m glad that you weren’t hurt worse. I hope that the surveillance shows a license plate number and that the driver can be located.

    I can’t blame you for not wanting to ride through that intersection again. Sorry to hear that both you and Coco paid the price for this reckless driver’s disregard for anyone else. Sending healing thoughts.

  58. Anne A says:

    That stinks. I’m glad that you weren’t hurt worse. I hope that the surveillance shows a license plate number and that the driver can be located.

    I can’t blame you for not wanting to ride through that intersection again. Sorry to hear that both you and Coco paid the price for this reckless driver’s disregard for anyone else. Sending healing thoughts.

  59. GRJim says:

    If you ride long enough this will happen. Glad you’re ok.

    What I do is a systems check immediately, of body, of brain of the situation. Was there anything I could have done differently. Was I complacent in assuming everyone obeys the law. Was it my fault. Simple questions. Its good to always take lessons learned back onto the road. Then I forget some.

    Point is I always learn/re-learn something for every accident/ training mishap/ near collision/ police procedure, whether it’s a speed or line adjustment or tactical adjustment in negotiations with other parties.. Just a few minutes ago a gal rolled through a red light. Having a feeling it would happen I timed it to use an oncoming car as a blocker. She missed me by a good 5 feet — sucka!

    My entire body is a scar; no worries. Cocoa was my least favorite anyway.

  60. Glad to hear that you are ok after such a dangerous event. Have a speedy recovery & take care.

  61. Megan B says:

    So sorry to hear this, Dottie. Glad you’re ultimately ok, but what an ordeal. My fingers are crossed that a camera somewhere was able to pick up a plate number. Feel better soon!

  62. Lafs says:

    Very upsetting to read this post. Glad you are okay. Truely hope justice prevails. Good to know you plan to continue your riding, because it is important to get back on the horse. Heal well.

  63. Dottie, this is terrible and I’m so sorry to hear it happened to you. I’m so glad it wasn’t worse. I’m sending positive thoughts for physical and psychological healing your way.

  64. Ken C. says:

    Let me add my voice to the chorus of well wishers; so glad that you are safe, and were not more severely injured. Unfortunately, these willfully aggressive hit-&-run drivers are also the bane of safe motoring in southern California [where I live]. I hope this one is eventually brought to justice, but it is much more important for you to heal well, and carry on.

  65. Terry Bruce says:

    Glad you’re OK We have had quiet a few Hit and Runs in Pittsburgh as well. One of my Friends was hit and runned as well as several deaths and one very upsetting attack. I hope I am only noticing these because I’m looking for them instead it being a something that is happening more often.

    I do think you should go to that intersection. a half hour before and wait for a half hour after. look for the car that hit you. take a camera and keep your cell phone ready to dial 911.

  66. Glad to hear you are okay.

  67. daperson says:

    So glad that you are ok and your spirits are up. All the best.

  68. daperson says:

    So glad that you are ok and your spirits are up. All the best.

  69. CWB says:

    I didn’t read all 60 comments, so forgive me if anyone has already mentioned this. But homeowners insurance? (Or renters insurance?) If you have a policy call your insurer and see if they’ll cover your bike/equipment. Vehicle damage is usually one of the named perils (like if a truck drove into your house). You’d probably still have to handle the deductible.

    Also, if you have an auto policy this is where Medical Payments or UM/UIM are huge – for medical expenses anyway (like the ambulance). Even if you don’t have a car, you can get coverage for when you borrow/rent vehicles (which shouldn’t be too expensive), and I would think you could pick those two coverages up along the way. Those usually cover the named insureds as “pedestrians” (which you are if you’re biking, at least according to many policies).

  70. crosspalms says:

    Every time I ride I try to remind myself to be wary of, and civil to, drivers, but that one was an asshole. So glad you’re as OK as you are, and hope the not OK parts mend fast.

  71. welshcyclist says:

    Good to know you’re OK. The driver should be in jail, no doubt about it.

  72. markstos says:

    If you’d like to chip in help repair Coco, I’ve put up a little page for that, with a goal of raising $500 by Christmas. I added in initial $20 to says thanks for the inspiration and the blogging. The money goes straight to Dottie’s Paypal account. Here’s the page:

    http://bikes-as-transportation.com/help-dottie-repair-her-bike-damaged-by-a-hit-and-run/

  73. Liz Almond says:

    Oh lord, that sounds terrifying! I’m glad you’re healing up ok, and let’s hope that the police can track the driver down – it sounds like it’s only a matter of time before they kill someone, driving like that. I hope you (and Coco!) are back up and running again soon.

  74. Estherg says:

    I am so glad you are going to be ok…and so appalled that the driver left you in the street. I am in awe of your positive spirit and hope you are able to get back in the saddle soon.

  75. eriksandblom says:

    That’s terrible. I’m sorry to hear this. Been following the blog for a while so it becomes more personal.

    Not to excuse this person’s actions, but I think there is too much emphasis on free-flowing, ie fast, car traffic in cities. People are just going to work and the grocery store. They don’t need to be going so fast. One nice thing about bicycling is, the cost of screwing up is not so high. If someone screws up while driving, it can get really bad.

  76. eriksandblom says:

    Cycling is widely percieved as an impossible utopia. Yet one-tonne vehicles barrelling through the streets at lethal speeds is accepted as completely normal. This bothers me.

  77. Dennis Hindman says:

    Even though I use a bicycle headlight at night that is rated at 600 lumens, I had a near miss while riding down a arterial street one night going home from work when a car driver moved within inches of my pedal after leaving a stop sign on a residential street that abutted the street I was on. She then drove slowly by me and shouted out apologetically that she did not see me. This incidence makes it clearer to me why car manufacturers are required to have lights on the side of vehicles to enhance safety even though they have bright tail lights and headlights.

    To make yourself more visible from the side to drivers you might want to consider installing something that illuminates a part of your bike (reflectors only are visible to drivers when directly in front of their vehicles). Cateye makes led amber colored lights called Orbit that you can quickly fit on the spokes of wheels and which look very similar to reflectors that bike manufactures install on spokes. This would make your bike more likely to catch the attention of drivers approaching from either side of you. They also have a small light called Loop that you can quickly attach to thebike frame below the handlebars.

    Another product which is much brighter and lights up more of the wheel is called Revolights. This uses several LEDs to project light to the front of the wheel and also the road several feet in front of the bike. They also have a version which sends out red light towards the roadway on the back wheel. It takes over an hour to install both and each one is much more expensive than the Orbit. You should also consider what its worth in terms of your personal safety to make yourself much more visible to drivers when you go through a intersection.

    You can also put on LED lights around your ankle, wrist, waist, or put on a reflective vest that includes lights. But, I have a feeling that you would not like doing that. To give you an idea of what’s available on the market, if you look up the outdoor sports store called REI on Google, and then put in the word reflective, you’ll see a variety of wearable reflectors and some have led lights. Again, the downside of reflectors are that they are only effective when your directly in front of vehicles and by then it maybe too late to stop the driver from moving towards you.

    • Dennis Hindman says:

      There is a another way to illuminate your wheels that i did not mention. You can put photoluminescent tape on the rims. Higher quality grades will stay lit for up to 10, or even 24 hours.

      I got that idea after seeing this video by a company that makes a product called LunaSee that uses luminescent tape that is lit by LED lights that are placed on the bicycle. This is not available as a aftermarket product for bicycles. But you only need to buy a good quality photoluminescent film or tape to achieve similar results. The video is also helpful in showing how effective reflectors, tail lights and headlights are in making people aware of you from the side when riding a bike.

    • RobW says:

      I too find sidemarker lighting a good idea, but highly ineffective against a dim wit behind the controls of a car.

    • eriksandblom says:

      I don’t think an arms race is the way to make streets safer. Cyclists and pedestrians will always lose in an arms race. In fact in Austria they repealed the law on mandatory daytime running lights for cars because it made vulnerable road users relatively less visible.

      The way to prevent a repeat of this crash would be to traffic-calm the intersection, with traffic islands for the pedestrians for example, and maybe to improve the street lighting.

      I believe Dottie’s bike has reflective strips on the tyres, and lights. So she’s perfectly visible both from the front, the side and diagonally.

      • Dennis Hindman says:

        The woman who almost hit me when I was riding home on Canoga Ave from work in my above post was driving very slowly and she still didn’t see me until almost impact when I also had reflective tires and a 600 lumens headlight.
        Better illumination of a bike from the side will not stop all of the potential collisions, but it will almost certainly reduce the amount of them. I believe that the federal DOT has proven the worth of good side illumination with motorized vehicles.

  78. Maria Simpson says:

    Hi Dottie–
    As a long time reader of your blog, I was sorry to hear that this happened to you. I’m glad you’re okay. I have commuted by bike for many years now, and have been hit by cars two times. In both instances, I emerged with only scrapes and bruises and a messed up bike. The second time I was hit, I’m fairly certain that the elderly person in the enormous American car who cut me off had no idea that my front tire was under his wheel. He rode over it, and kept driving, without an inkling that he had hit me, let alone nearly killed me.

    I see this as one of the real dangers of bicycle commuting. However, I accept the risk, and do my best to act safely and smartly. Could drivers be more aware, safer? Of course. But, the trade for me is a greatly enriched life travelling by bicycle.

  79. Philippe says:

    Glad to hear you’re OK.

  80. Deby GM says:

    Oh Dottie glad to hear you are okay. When I was hit i had to build up my confidence i rode on a tandem once i got clearance with my doctor. Make sure to file a claim with your car insurance if you have it and find out if you have the line item PIP personal injury protection, this line item is major deal for helping you out. Take your time with your recovery that includes riding, you will know how you feel when you get near a bike go by that. Always thanks for your blog you are truly a wonderful person and I wish you the best!

  81. Whitney says:

    Dottie, I’m so sorry to hear about this! I’m so glad you’re okay. What a scary experience. I hope they catch the driver.

  82. Becky says:

    Want to help Dottie get Coco back on the road? We are taking donations: http://bikes-as-transportation.com/help-dottie-repair-her-bike-damaged-by-a-hit-and-run/

    • Guesty_McSpanky says:

      Perhaps suggesting a donation to one’s local bicycle coop or cycling advocacy group would be a more noble use of funds during the holidays than helping repair the third bicycle in a fleet of 3, which was procured through an exchange of advertising space. You are all free to disagree with me, of course.

      • markstos says:

        It’s one way to show support for Dottie. She is welcome spend it as she likes, including donating it to the kind of causes you propose.

    • Guesty_McSpanky says:

      Perhaps suggesting a donation to one’s local bicycle coop or cycling advocacy group would be a more noble use of funds during the holidays than helping repair the third bicycle in a fleet of 3, which was procured through an exchange of advertising space. You are all free to disagree with me, of course.

      • markstos says:

        It’s one way to show support for Dottie. She is welcome spend it as she likes, including donating it to the kind of causes you propose.

  83. Holly Harper says:

    Dottie- I am so very sorry this has happened. You are an excellent cyclist and such an influence on me. Once you are ready to ride again, if you want a partner, I’d be glad to ride with you.

  84. Julia Ringma says:

    I am glad you are okay. What a shock that must have been. Make sure you prepare for delayed after-effects, both physical and emotional. They might hit you days and days after the event. Don’t be afraid to tell someone about whatever you are feeling, whenever you feel it. For example, on a very simple level, you might find that you forget things more easily for a while. It’s mild PTSD. It’s normal, it’s okay!

  85. Brent says:

    Unfortunately, it’s almost a rite of passage to be hit by a car. My own experience came in 2009. Like you, I wasn’t injured severely (just a few scrapes), but unlike you, the driver stuck around. I was able to get her details and her insurance paid. The experience taught me something valuable about my own auto policy: it would have covered me even if the driver had been uninsured. I don’t know whether it would have covered me in a hit-and-run situation, but probably so. If you have auto insurance and not yet contacted your agent, you might inquire. Get well soon, etc.

    • LGRAB says:

      Sorry to hear about your situation. Sadly, this does seem like a rite of passage, especially in Chicago. I do not have a car or a license, so no auto insurance.

  86. Sara Struckman says:

    Oh boy, just read this. Glad you’re doing OK. Awful awful awful. Take care and get back to riding shape soon!

  87. Dave says:

    Dottie, so sorry to hear about this, and glad you’re physically ok.

    I think one of the most damaging things about this kind of thing is like with any sort of abuse, there is the emotional stress of never knowing when it’s going to come. We all deal with that to some extent, because we know it could happen. But then you experience it, and you have to deal with the trauma from the experience, too.

    This is one of the big reasons why the culture needs changing, because right now, it’s a culture where abuse is normalized. Even if you don’t get hit, you get threatened all the time. That’s a lot of stress to live with.

    Hugs and warmest wishes for your recovery!

  88. Glad you are okay. You will be tapping those toes in no time! I just purchased a Dinotte 300R tail light that everyone raves about. It is so bright and powerful that cars slow down and move way over to avoid the flashing light.

  89. I’m so sorry to hear about your accident. Thankfully, you are okay. It’s scary to know that even if you do everything by the book, ride safely and defensively, you can still be hit by reckless drivers. What a scumbag driver to drive off like that. Just think, KARMA. What comes around, goes around.

  90. Rachel says:

    Hey Dottie- this is the Rachel that keeps bugging you about my impending move to Chicago. So sorry to hear about your accident and so glad you are ok!! I had a similar incident in Los Angeles a few years ago. It’s definitely nice to have concerned, nice, witnesses around to counteract the morons. Heal up and ride on!

  91. R.Bell says:

    Dottie,
    I just started reading your post yesterday, I guess I have read about 6 months worth now! As an avid, but, probably anal retentive “50 year old guy in spandex”, our riding styles differ. I do however, own an xtracycle, and I have embraced the utility cycle mantra. I use my bicycle for work, shopping and camping, and picnics! My wife and I are tandem geeks who ride every chance we get together. I just told her about you today. I find you to be a breath of fresh air and a great ambassador for cycling! I am so glad that you are alright after your car incident. Thanks for the lift, spirit wise, and continue to enjoy life fully! I look forward to your next post.

    Sincerely,

    Ron

  92. R.Bell says:

    Dottie,
    I just started reading your post yesterday, I guess I have read about 6 months worth now! As an avid, but, probably anal retentive “50 year old guy in spandex”, our riding styles differ. I do however, own an xtracycle, and I have embraced the utility cycle mantra. I use my bicycle for work, shopping and camping, and picnics! My wife and I are tandem geeks who ride every chance we get together. I just told her about you today. I find you to be a breath of fresh air and a great ambassador for cycling! I am so glad that you are alright after your car incident. Thanks for the lift, spirit wise, and continue to enjoy life fully! I look forward to your next post.

    Sincerely,

    Ron

  93. vicster says:

    Oh wow, I’m just now reading about this! I am so glad that you are okay (and now back to riding) and, well, I’m wishing Very Nasty Things for the driver who took off but in equal measure I am wishing for Very Wonderful Things for all those people who helped you.

    I’ve had some close calls (including, last week, a driver who rolled through a stop sign, then accelerated and nearly hit me–I did NOT have a stop sign). Drivers seem especially reckless during the holiday season.

  94. Velofeet says:

    I’m pretty behind in my blog reading, so apologies for the delay. So sorry to heat about your accident. All things taken into consideration you’ve taken it pretty well; your readers are angrier than you are. Hit and run people are a menace and should have their licence taken away forever. Very glad to hear you are okay. Here in the UK there have been several cycle fatalities, most seem to occur to the law abiding female cyclist. ( I am female too)I think segregated cycling as with parts of continental Europe, is the only way to go. Keep well, and chin up.

  95. Carolyn says:

    Sorry to hear about the accident. I am glad that you are back on your bike though. It must be tough to do that. I get my fair share of close calls from idiots. Speaking of hit and runs, recently, there was a car in Vancouver, BC, that ran over two runners who had all the proper safety gear on. Immediately after running them over, he stopped, ran over to them to look at them, and then left! They were injured, one badly, and he just left them! What’s wrong with people?

    Are they afraid of getting into trouble because they were texting or drunk? Or they don’t want to accept responsibility? He was turned in a day or so later as there was a camera that recorded the accident and was shown to the public.

  96. Carolyn says:

    Sorry to hear about the accident. I am glad that you are back on your bike though. It must be tough to do that. I get my fair share of close calls from idiots. Speaking of hit and runs, recently, there was a car in Vancouver, BC, that ran over two runners who had all the proper safety gear on. Immediately after running them over, he stopped, ran over to them to look at them, and then left! They were injured, one badly, and he just left them! What’s wrong with people?

    Are they afraid of getting into trouble because they were texting or drunk? Or they don’t want to accept responsibility? He was turned in a day or so later as there was a camera that recorded the accident and was shown to the public.

  97. [...] where they were hit by cars. One of my favorite bloggers, Dottie of Let’s Go Ride a Bike, was a victim of a hit and run. You never know what can happen. So what I need to do, probably tomorrow, is call Progressive and [...]

  98. E-Bike Bob says:

    Hi,
    I am a random bicycle guy…
    planning a big trip soon…. this is something I have beed considering a lot….
    So .. I have decided to get two (2) GoPro Cameras to mount on my bike… one front and one rear… good resolution and a wide angle of view.. I suggest that everyone do this… if you can…
    To many people get clipped on the road…. We need even more bicycle awareness going on…. and people as a whole need to be aware that we as bicyclists are just as important as cars…. and that we are willing to go the extra mile… when it comes to stopping injustice…. Just my Two cents.. :-)

  99. E-Bike Bob says:

    Hi,
    I am a random bicycle guy…
    planning a big trip soon…. this is something I have beed considering a lot….
    So .. I have decided to get two (2) GoPro Cameras to mount on my bike… one front and one rear… good resolution and a wide angle of view.. I suggest that everyone do this… if you can…
    To many people get clipped on the road…. We need even more bicycle awareness going on…. and people as a whole need to be aware that we as bicyclists are just as important as cars…. and that we are willing to go the extra mile… when it comes to stopping injustice…. Just my Two cents.. :-)

  100. so sorry to hear this and so glad you are okay.

  101. Scott UK says:

    Glad your OK Dottie, that was a close one. Mr Dottie must have had a shock too.

    Was this on your direct busier route to work or your quieter route?

  102. Marianne says:

    Yikes! I am so happy to hear that you are okay and so sorry that this happened!

  103. Oh, Bless you, beautiful Dottie.

    What a horrible end to the week for you. Rest up and get better soon knowing that you are cherished for your contribution to the cycling world. We need you on your bike doing what you do best so please don’t let this slow you down.

    peace and love…

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