Occupational hazards

I had a bit of a tiff with a security guard this morning – or, to give him his official title, which I’m sure he’d appreciate, a Loading Bay Manager.

He had a go at me for riding my bike into the loading bay when a van was reversing, and told me to get off and walk it in in future. I pointed out that this would be much slower, and therefore expose me to the risk of reversing vans for far longer. He didn’t appreciate this logic.

“I don’t want to be the one who has to fill in all the paperwork when you get squashed.”

“You won’t – I spend my entire working day not getting hit by traffic. I’m quite good at it.”

“Well I might just have to ban you from this loading bay then.”

“Oooh – I’ve never been banned from anything before!”

I probably shouldn’t have been so cheeky, but I was a bit hyper, and actually quite amused that someone so normally well behaved as me might be at risk of a loading bay ASBO.

But my flippancy came back to bite me a couple of hours later. I may be very good at not getting hit by traffic, but it turns out I’m even more talented when it comes to breaking rear windscreens using only my head.

Ahem. Yes.

I’ve never caused such a scene before. There was broken glass everywhere. I didn’t realize my head was so hard.

Luckily, I was OK. Surprisingly OK, in fact. But that didn’t stop the terrified driver calling an ambulance, and fussing and fretting and wringing her hands over me until it arrived. I’m so glad it was a nice, posh, friendly woman, who said “gosh, it’s only a car!” when I apologized for the mess I’d made. If it had been a cabbie he’d probably have got out, kicked me, called me something unprintable, and then driven off, being careful to run over my bicycle, even if it wasn’t actually in his way.

And then two lovely paramedics turned up (both gay – what are the odds?), stuck a neck brace on me, gaffer-taped me onto a stretcher (yes, really), and took about an hour to drive me from St James’s Square to St Thomas’s (would have been so much quicker by bike), where I spent the afternoon alternately snoozing and being prodded by medical students.

And eventually they let me out, and I rode home.

I’ve been bloody lucky though. Just the other day I was remarking to someone that I’ve had absolutely no injuries of note – let alone hospital trips – in the two-and-a-half years I’ve been couriering. And it could easily have been much much worse. As it is, I have a bit of a headache and I have a dizzy spell every hour or so (there’s one going on now, so this post isn’t going to last much longer). It could have been a broken collarbone. Or neck.

Something to think about perhaps, when my head’s a little less fuzzy.


10 Responses to “Occupational hazards”

  1. SImon Says:

    hope you’re okay chick! sounds like you’ve got new bicycle syndrome. Symptoms incl. hyper-activity and fast riding which may lead to the odd uncalculated risk. Hows Evelyn? x

  2. sarra Says:

    Very very glad you’re okay. Good head, well done body. Eeeek. xx

  3. Kirk Says:

    Just glad your okay.

  4. David Says:

    Glad you’re OK! And glad you went to the hospital to be checked out – seemingly non-serious bangs to the head can end up being very serious indeed, as in the skiing accident death of Miranda Richardson.

  5. Mike Says:

    Ouch! That sounds like what I almost did 10 years ago except I was lucky and the car had a boot rather than a hatchback so I bounced off.

    They let you snooze after a head injury? I thought that was a big no-no.

    Glad you are OK, internet person I’ve never met.

  6. Zero Says:

    Oooh! I’ve done that trick. Twice. Walked away on both occasions – had to walk ‘cos I’d damaged wheel and/or forks both times. So how’s the bike?

    • thatmessengerchick Says:

      The bike’s unscathed, thankfully and mercifully. And the bump on the head was just about my only injury (found a couple of bruises since, but they could have come from anywhere). The car seems to have taken most of the damage.

      And I just had a very kind text from the driver, saying she’s had it repaired on her insurance, and won’t be chasing me for the excess.

      I’ve been bloody lucky!

  7. tim Says:

    and it was my turn to hit the deck the following day only not quite as dramatic as your incident! I got clipped by a taxi on fleet street. He braked suddenly and I glanced off the right rear of him and would have stayed upright had he not decided to swing out to overtake the lorry he’d braked for. I hit the deck and then when I confronted him he rolled his eyes, wound his window up and buggered off! The only injury was a bent (two week old, brand-spanking new condor) brake and a bruised shin.

    That’s two front brakes I’ve bent in crashes now. Maybe it’s the god of cyclings way of telling me to go brakeless!!

    See you on the road!

  8. Steff Says:

    Brilliant that you’re OK and got London’s last remaining moral-being-in-a-car. Heal up soon and well.

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