Well, it had to happen.
Given the amount of rides I go on, and the number of cars that pass me, I was bound to get driven off the road.
Into a four-foot deep gravel-lined ditch.
At 25 miles-per-hour.
The good news: I was able to walk away from it with only a few cuts, scratches, some torn skin and a sore shoulder.
The bad news: My bike is pretty fucked-up, and with my being unemployed and all, I doubt I'll have the money to fix it.
I wasn't hit, but....
I was riding along SW River Road - a route I've never ridden but I thought I'd catch it down to Route 10 - when it happened. The bike lane suddenly disappeared about a half-mile or so before, forcing me into the traffic lane. I was literally riding on the white line when a white van passed me. They didn't hit me or brush me, but were so close that it freaked me out. I swerved, was caught by the gravel (there's no shoulder here; the white line runs along the edge of the pavement, with about 4 inches of gravel before the four foot drop into the ditch) and pitched head first into the ditch.
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I'm not sure what pisses me off more, the fact that there was no oncoming traffic, so the white van had no excuse for not giving me any room (I think he was pissed because the woman driving the truck that stopped to see if I was OK drove really slowly behind me before passing me; he was stuck behind her and took his anger out on me by not giving me an inch), or the fact that there were several cars behind the van that clearly saw me fly face first into a ditch and DID NOTHING! The only person that pulled over was a woman who was driving a pickup truck two cars IN FRONT of the white van. She saw the whole thing in her rear-view mirror and turned around to see if I was OK.
I should have taken her up on her offer of a ride, but I was too stunned and in shock to really talk. I told her that I was OK, but after she drove away I realized that my bike was not. I'm not sure what happened, but the rear wheel doesn't spin easily when my weight is on it (it spins fine when you pick the bike up and spin the pedals). It feels like the brakes are applied, but I can't see any signs of rubbing.
Before heading out on my ride today, I logged-in to our bank web site and saw that the Oregon DMV recently cashed our check for car registration. Our Share the Road plates should be arriving any day now...