I Got Doored By a Taxi

16 May

I’m the proud owner of a new road bike. She’s clean and sleek, and I bought her with the intention of long distance riding, along with some general scooting-around-the-city riding. Isn’t she pretty?

bike

I’ve lived in Chicago for 14 years, and I’ve always had a bike. My orange Trek from college was upgraded to a purple Kona. A couple years later, the purple Kona was pinched right out of the basement of my apartment building. (Bastards). The abducted Kona was begrudgingly, yet cost-effectively replaced with a second-hand Schwinn ten-speed that weighed roughly 200 pounds. It was identical to the first adult bike my parents bought me, circa 1996, and was at least that old. It cost $50 and I rode it for 7 years until both gear shifts haphazardly flew off of the handlebars mid-ride last summer. (To the guy who was sitting in the parked car that one of the gear shifts crashed into: Sorry about that! I hope it didn’t leave a mark. Also, thank you for not chasing me down.)

This spring, I upgraded. I love the feeling of being on a bike. Pedaling down the lakefront path on a sun-soaked day is about as good as it gets for me. It’s powerful and carefree at the same time, and one of the easiest ways to feel pure joy. The day after I bought this bike was cold enough for flurries to fall, but I went for a short ride anyway, because I’m hardcore. A few weeks passed, the weather gave way slightly and I got onto the lakefront path. It was great.

A couple of weeks after that, I rode to the farmer’s market on a lovely day. I sat in the grass for a while and watched the people totinh canvas bags stuffed with lettuces and apples. Afterwards, I thought that I would ride 1 mile north to visit the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pond, one of my favorites spots in the whole city for its serenity. I’m pedaling along, happy as can be, and then

BOOM.

I got doored.

I got doored by 20-something guy from Mississippi who was exiting a cab with his wife to check out the Lincoln Park Zoo. They were on vacation. The cab was stopped in traffic. I screamed in the split second between seeing the door swing open and making contact. He was terrified. I was too.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “getting doored” is when someone opens up a car door without checking to see if anyone or anything (in this case a cyclist) is coming up behind the car, and then the cyclist crashes head on into said door. Ouchie.

I value my life, and I’m also not a moron so I was wearing a helmet. Thanks to that helmet and a good bit of luck, the damages were minimal. I cracked three teeth and got a decent-sized bruise on my left knee, but that’s it. I didn’t fly over my handlebars, or into the parked cars next to me, or into oncoming traffic. No broken bones or disconnected joints. I didn’t even have any scratches, and miraculously, neither did my new bike. I am so, so lucky.

Before: Three cracked up teeth.

Before: Three cracked up teeth.

An hour or so later, after a very nice policeman finished up his report, and issued the cab driver a ticket for not pulling over to a safe place to release his passengers, I rode home. Credit shock for giving me the balls to do that.

It’s two weeks later. I’ve already gotten my teeth fixed and you would never know that anything had happened. I haven’t gotten back on the bike yet though. I’d like say that it’s because I haven’t had time, or that the weather has been bad, both of which are true enough. But in reality, I’m a little afraid. I had 14 glorious years of riding around Chicago fearless and unscathed, but I don’t have that fearless feeling any more. Maybe that’s not a bad thing? I’ll get back on my bike soon, maybe even tomorrow. I’ll be a little afraid, but I hope that feeling  will subside, and I’ll feel powerful and carefree again.

My new grill, good as new!

After: My new grill, good as new! Sidenote: My dentist’s office has the coolest wallpaper.

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5 Responses to “I Got Doored By a Taxi”

  1. The1llusiveMan May 16, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    Oooooooh man that is nuts! Before you described what happened I was totally picturing you happily riding, enjoying the ride, the sun, the wind… Then comically hitting a door and flipping right over it.

    Hey! I know, you’re tough, and you’re writing about it so I knew it couldn’t have been that serious. Then I thought that’s how romantic comedies start, but you said he had a wife and was instantly disappointed.

    But yeah, insanely glad it wasn’t worse which it could have been. And I say your fear is justified, but not something you should dwell on. I’d be scared to ride fearless again too, but it’s not everyday you get doored by a taxi. Who knows, maybe this happened to put that fear in you and keep you from being fearless in order to save you from something worse. The world just works like that sometimes.

    • Beth Somers May 17, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Thanks Los! You’re totally right about the fear thing, and I know that I will get over it. We’re registered for a paid ride next Sunday and the tickets were pretty expensive, so I’ll definitely ride then if not before! Laughing at your romantic comedy comment. Afterwards, I also thought how hilarious that could have looked to people just passing by!

  2. bloggeretterized May 16, 2015 at 4:36 pm #

    Ouch! As I read I felt like I was watching it all unfold in slow motion in my mind. Glad you have you Colgate smile back. It’s ok to be scared, take baby steps to beat the fear. Don’t let this mishap take you away from the things that make you happy. Keep riding and try to avoid taxis on your path. 😉

    • Beth Somers May 17, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks girl! I appreciate your support! 🙂

  3. David June 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    The cabbie shoulda paid for the grill…

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