You read it correctly. I am here now for three weeks and yesterday afternoon, in plain daylight, on the cyclepath, a car hit me from behind. Welcome to London, hey?
24 hours after it happened, I don’t know whether I am more angry about the fact I almost lost my life or more angry at the fact the roads are so crap it happens on a daily base.
I cannot really discuss HOW the accident happened, because of legal reasons etc. But I can tell you about the aftermath. Metropolitan Police came to the scene, took me into their car and the first thing their colleague over the radio asked was “was she wearing a helmet or had headphones in”? A car driver drove into a 2 meter long 88cm big bright red cargobike with a cyclist on it totally dressed in red, and they asked me about a helmet. Nice going. Now, to be honest, if my bottom would have worn a helmet,….I am now quite black and blue down there and even sitting down is an effort. The force the car hit me with, threw me straight off my bike and I landed on my bahookie in front of incoming traffic.
Honestly, it is an experience I do not wish to repeat. Metropolitan Police on the other hand were friendly even after asking me about the helmet. Credit given where credit due. They could do with more training. Definitely something they should get into. Victim blaming is a big NO.
While were are on the subject of victim blaming. The Evening Standard contacted me to tell my story. I declined: reasons given below…
So, what happened today? I went to the GP to check out my back. As I had some pretty bad swelling. And I spent the day bothering Haringey council and local MP David Lammy. I wasn’t able to speak directly to Mr. Lammy but to one of his office aides. She is going to draft a letter both to TFL and the council. But I wonder what actual good it will do. Haringey council might perhaps react when easter falls on a Monday when fish fly and hell freezes over. In other words, cyclists and pedestrians are screwed.
I have also asked Haringey council today why it takes the council over a year to put in a zebra crossing at Henry’s school? Their reaction was infuriating. First I had to tweet, then call them, then the person on the phone told me to email. WHAT DOES IT TAKE FOR OUR CHILDREN TO BE SAFE? RUN AROUND IN FRIGGING CIRCLES?
Everybody keeps blabbing on about how “we need to change people’s mentality”, but the councils don’t set the example. Haringey council is by far one of the worse offenders. You can only change mentality when you get to people at a young age. I am currently telling my son, aged five, it is better to take public transport to school, or even a car, because the streets aren’t safe. He could grow with the idea in his head he NEEDS the car to get around. He NEEDS the bus to get somewhere. We inplant the seeds in their tiny heads and the consequences follow 20 years later. We need to act now so the young generation grows up wanting and needing a different world and infrastructure than we have now.
In any case. I am bike-less and soulless at the moment. My Babboe Bakfiets saved my life, but it died in the process. My noble steed sacrificed itself for me. I am eternally greatful. I am alive thanks to some pretty decent engineering. Lets pray we can get it rising like a phoenix soon…
To be continued