I'm staring at a front wheel that I need to build for my wife's bike. And I'm pissed.
A few weeks ago, as she was riding back from work, she was hit by a car. She's okay. But when I went to pick her up, the bike looked like this:
I'm really, really happy that she's okay. Wheels can be rebuilt - she can't. However, I'm still pissed at the circumstances.
From her account, she was on a bike path and crossing an intersection. No light in the intersection, but a crosswalk with associated pedestrian signs. She came up to the intersection, and slowed to a stop. A space had been left by the cars in traffic (4 lane, undivided road in MA). She kept rolling forward, just as the car rolled forward. She hit her brakes, but couldn't stop in time and hit the front right of the car. The car then proceeded to roll forward and over the front wheel, and then JUST KEPT ON GOING!! Yep, didn't stop or anything.
Now, you're probably thinking the same thing she was at the time. Maybe the guy didn't realize he had just run over a bike. For the record, her commuter setup has a magicshine up front (not exactly a dinky commuter light). It also has a flashing, 6" light strip on the left-side of the front fork. And she had on a bright yellow jacket and the intersection was somewhat lit. In my opinion, if he didn't see her, he wasn't looking. If he didn't hear a thump, he's hard of hearing. If he didn't feel a crunch, he shouldn't be driving.
It gets better. She's yelling at him to stop - of course she's on the ground, so she can't do much more then that. Nobody else in traffic offers assistance. They didn't run her over while she was lying on the ground, which I guess is good. One lady circled back a few seconds later to make sure she was okay. But that was it.
I called the cops in route to picking her up. They came and made a report, but not much they could do. Vehicle description? A brown Subaru outback with Obama stickers on the back (If you live in Boston, or NE, you'll understand how laughable that is).
So now I get to rebuild the wheel. I built this set as a present to her last year. Popsicle Purple Deep V Rims on Sapim X-ray spokes w/ Ultegra hubs. Not exactly cheap. To add some more insult to injury, Velocity no longer makes Popsicle Purple, so we ended up with Purple Anodized:
She's pretty upset that she can't have matching wheels. I told her I would refresh the rear next year so that they'd match. Luckily, there was no other apparent damage to the bike or frame.
So that's my commuter story. Time to build a wheel.
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