I've been riding my bike of late. Not because I want the exercise, but because I keep finding shit wrong with my truck.
So, the other day I pick up my brake drums after having them turned at the parts store (this is fast becoming a lost art,btw) and am on my way to the nearest non-hydration liquids dispensing emporium. I'm going uphill against the wind with 30 pounds of steel in my backpack when a gust of wind pushes me to my left. With all of the weight that was on my back I couldn't stand up fast enough to jerk the front wheel off the pavement and right the bike. I tried going a little left and looping back and a car with three young ladies in it (that was probably going at least ten miles over the posted limit) was suddenly about ten feet off my port bow. She was standing on her brakes and I was going all ahead starboad rudder but it wasn't enough. I ran smackydab into her passenger side just ahead of the passenger door, bounced off, went to the ground and AMAZINGLY stood up, picked up my bike and got out of the road (a four lane state highway at rush hour) without getting run over.
The young lady driving the car was, to put it mildly, freaked right the fuck out. I was a bit abashed, m'self, but, other than a few sore spots and a massive case of "Jeezlouise, you stupid old coot! (sotto voce)" I was okay. My hip and knee did hurt the next morning, but I'm fine. I had a helmet on which certainly would have made me less uglified if I had whacked my head on the pavement and I was wearing a very slippery nylon windbreaker with a thick sweatshirt under it and dungarees with decent shoes. The factors of speed, weather, pavement conditions, etc., were not going through my brain in the seconds before impact. Nor was I "afraid". Most of my brain's activity was focused on my hands and feet. What little wasn't being used for motor control was involved in, "WTF!!!ing".
I don't believe in anything but statistics/statistical anamolies as an explanation for why some stupid things that folks do result in them being able to write about it later and other stupid things, being done, lead to closed casket funerals/Darwin awards. In the instant case, a statistical anamoly allows me to be able to sit here, typing, instead of being involved in some rather unpleasant alternative scenarios.
I have no words of wisdon on this. I do have a few suggestions.
Always wear a helmet when on a bike (people or ponypowered).
Call a friend and have them pick-up the brake drums for you.
Live long enough to develop a sense of humor about making bad decisions.