As I was riding down the road a group of winos were shouting and causing a fuss on the pavement. A massive white refrigeration van pulled down, out of a hotel car park, right in front of me. In his defence, there's nothing beyond him down the road except for a couple of cycle lanes and a turning bay, but it does go on for 40 yards or so before them.He was distracted by the winos and pulled out right in front of me. I locked up, turned sideways and prepared to hit him, at which point he decided that he might be able to accelerate out of my path, but only succeeded in moving forward at a speed which meant that he ran my bike over.
He stopped and was apologetic, I wasn't cross, it was an accident and he was distracted, but I needed to get details as my bars and my rear mech are buggered, but I had no problem with him, accidents do happen.
What I had a problem with is the winos who surrounded us and shouted at me and jeered and kept shouting that it was my fault and that 'roads are for cars' and that I 'hit his van' and 'he is allowed to pull out'.
"We'll be waiting for you in the underpass' they finished, so I went over it instead.
The driver had a good excuse to deny culpability, with mob opinion being so firmly on his side, but thankfully he was reasonable, knew that he was to blame and we sorted details out amiably and went on our way.
Two of my colleagues cycled past and waved to me and I have arranged to take my bike in to the shop tomorrow. I need new bars and forks at the least and am a bit peeved as I have got nicer bars than I am likely to get in return. (They are top of the range for 1987, but a modern equivalent will be poor and I won't get a top of the range modern set as they aren't comparable.
I've had the bike since my parents gave it to me for coming top of my year in my Common Entrance and I'm a little gutted.
I wrote this as a claim, I have very little idea about these things, so if you know what I am doing wrong then please let me know:
Dear Sir / Madam,
Further to my telephone conversation of October 17th, I enclose details of the collision and a quote for repairs or replacement, as requested.
On October 17th, 2007, I was knocked from my bicycle by your client, <name of firm>’s White Ford Transit Van, registration <VRN>, at the South end of <Road>, when the driver, <Name of driver>, pulled out from a hotel car park without seeing me.
I was wearing a helmet, with lights fitted, a jacket with reflective trim and my bicycle was displaying powerful steady lights, front and back, as well as a flashing red LED light in the rear wheel.
<Name of driver>, by his own admission, did not see me, as he was distracted by a group of pedestrians and pulled out approximately 7’ ahead of me as I proceeded down <Road> towards the underpass.
I immediately saw the transit van which, whilst it did not have its lights on, was visible, and I rang my bell and shouted in alarm, upon which I saw <Name of driver> notice my approach and accelerate, presumably to try and clear my path, but it was too late and the rear driver’s side corner of the transit van caught my front wheel, throwing me from the bicycle and into the van and my bicycle passed under the van’s rear wheel.
<Name of driver> apologised and supplied these details:
<All the insurance details here>
I immediately telephoned a local bike shop, Sidwell Cycles in Exeter, and arranged for them to take my bicycle as the handlebars and forks were damaged to a point where I could not sensibly continue my commute home and the rear mech was not operating. They have supplied me with a cheap courtesy bicycle whilst mine is off the road.
Once I had arranged this I gave <Name of driver> directions to the <Name of driver's destination> Industrial Estate and attempted to cycle to Sidwell Cycles, although the broken rear mech prevented me from doing so and I had to give up and wheel my bicycle.
<Name of driver> was polite and apologetic and I understand that this was a genuine accident, but whilst I am only a little bruised the damage to my bicycle is quite extensive and I am keen to have this dealt with swiftly as I commute to work by bicycle and am currently having to make do with a much heavier hired machine.
I shall forward a quote for replacement or repair (hopefully the latter, I love my bike!) as soon as Sidwell Cycles provide it. The police incident number for the collision, should you require it, is <incident number>.
Anyway, I'll write up my poo when I have it.