I made the most of a sunny morning today and sent myself out for a bike ride. I had decided on a ride of about 80km but I wasn’t sure where exactly I would go. I thought somewhere in the Kimbolton direction. This turned out to be a mistake as things didn’t turn out for the best, but it could have been a lot worse !!
Things were going pleasantly enough in the rare but welcome warm sunshine and very little wind. I headed up through Poddington and Wymington and then eastwards and across to Yelden.
I continued rolling along the quiet country lanes through Upper and Lower Dean
I then turned down the B645 towards Kimbolton. I was approaching Kimbolton along the main road and saw a car coming up the road on my left on the B650 to join my road at a ‘T’ Junction. It was my right of way so I just carried on and was more than surprised when he didn’t stop at the junction and just drove straight out onto the main road and kind of side swiped me. I was able to take some evasive action but he still caught the back of my bike with his front offside wing, pushing the back of the bike into the road at an angle and across the front of his car. Thanks to a few bike handling skills from a history of mountain bike racing I was able to keep control of things and at least stay upright and not go under the car. Also fortunately he stopped pretty quickly. I can’t really recall exactly what happened at the time, or exactly what I did, whatever it was it was just instinctive. Having had the back of the bike pushed out into the road the front of my bike was now pointing at the kerb. I bumped up the kerb somehow at an angle to the accompaniment of two loud bangs, pinch punctures, one from each tyre as I whacked the kerb on my way to the grass verge.
The car driver pulled in and got out, and was full of apologies, well he was when I had finished my tirade of expletives and remarks about his eyesight and driving ability!!! He did ask me the extent of the damage and what it would cost. As it happens there was surprisingly little damage, one tyre sidewall was split and two punctured inner tubes. A financial arrangement was come to for the replacements and he humbly went on his way.
I set to to replace the inner tubes, fortunately as is my practice I had two spare tubes with me. I always carry a small section of old tyre with me as well, a few inches long. I inserted this inside the tyre behind the split before fitting the inner tube, to stop the tube bulging out of the split when the tyre was inflated and I was soon on my way again.
I got a through Kimbolton and all the way up the hill out it, towards Swineshead. just started the descent when I realised that there was no cadence showing on my Garmin!! I looked down and the sensor was missing, obviously another victim of the accident. I turned round and headed back to the scene of the crime, all the time hoping it hand landed somewhere safe. When I got there I could see the rubber mount in the middle of the road and with a little more looking I could see the sensor in the gutter on the other side of the road. Fortunately it wasn’t damaged so I pocketed it and set off once more.
The rest of the ride was uneventful apart from a clunk every time the section of tyre that had the reinforcement behind it hit the road. It wasn’t too noticeable except on the smooth sections of road, which in this day and age are not very prolific. The ride turned out to be 79km, just 1km short of my intended distance so that bit worked out OK. When I got home and stopped and thought about events I had realised I had a pretty lucky escape really. If I had been pushed across the road in the other direction I would have gone into the oncoming traffic and probably wouldn’t be sitting here typing this at the moment.