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THE Lowly Peon

My Bike Crash, or: How the NBA Taught Me to Never Believe People 
09 December 2010, 12:04am

Someone hit me while I was riding my bike this morning, causing her moped to fall. In retrospect, it was pretty hilarious.

It was pretty cold this morning, early, and I was on my way to get two egg pancakes from my egg pancake lady when I came to Fuxing Bridge. The underside of the bridge is a mess of confusing intersections, mostly one way (on which people go in all ways), and red lights that few people pay attention to.

I was heading West, on a public bike with a broken headset. Some other guy was riding in my left blind spot, on a moped, about the same speed. We had the green light, so we proceeded into the intersection. He & I both saw a woman on an electric moped coming from our left (South, heading North), so we slowed down. I'm not sure if she was asleep or just not paying attention, but she kept heading straight toward where we were both headed. The guy near me started shouting to alert her, but it was too late.

Using my exemplary mathematical biking skills, I predicted she would be crossing my path while my rear wheel was still there, so I sped up a bit. I managed to avoid her for the most part, but she hit my back wheel.

I was fine. In fact, it felt like I hit a pot hole. But she took a nasty spill. Mind you that the kind of mopeds women ride here are analogous to women in the states who drive enormous SUVs, so it took a while for her to fall.

She stood up right away. I was going slow enough that I stopped as soon as I saw her go down. I asked her if she was alright. Of course she was alright. She brushed off her clothes, checked out her bike, and started yelling at me. It looked like she was about to cry, but only because she couldn't decide which part of her body was supposed to hurt, given that her bike was spotless. So she took turns: first it was her knee. Then it was her shoulder. Then her elbow. And with each one, she grabbed it as if it was causing tremendous pain, only to realize that it wasn't.

The guy who was behind me came to the rescue — I have no idea what he said, but she quickly realized that I wasn't to blame by any means. In fact, if I were a normal Chinese man, I probably would have been yelling at her, demanding money "in case" I need to go to the hospital. Instead, she got on her bike, mumbled something, and I shouted at her something about how she doesn't know what red means. (It sounds funnier in Chinese, believe me.)

Then I kept riding to get those delicious egg pancakes!

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[09 December 2010]

I'm glad you're okay!



[09 December 2010]

Ahhh! So glad you're okay! Good thing you have those mathematical biking skills!