My husband came within a second of getting hit by a truck this morning, as I watched.
It all unfolded in slow motion in front of me, a flurry of screeching brakes, streaking vehicles and screams.
We were biking to swim practice at Western Hills Athletic Club at about 6:30 a.m. It’s still dark at that hour, so we each had bright white headlights and flashing red blinkies attached to our bikes. I was wearing a bright pink reflective vest.
We were pedaling south on Winsted Lane, which runs parallel to Loop 1 (MoPac). As we approached the Windsor Road intersection, Chris was slightly in front of me, and moving fast on the slight downhill.
Our light was green.
I happened to glance left and noticed a pickup truck barreling westbound on Windsor. I could tell it wasn’t going to stop, even though the traffic light on Windsor was red.
I screamed as loud as I’ve ever screamed. I knew they were going to hit. Chris locked up his brakes and skidded; the truck slammed on its brakes and swerved.
I waited for the impact that, thank God, never came.
In nearly 20 years of commuting to work by bike and riding all over Austin on two wheels, I’ve never come this close to a terrible wreck.
Yeah, I’ve nearly been knocked off my bike a few times, but a low speeds. I might have broken a limb or two, but I’m pretty sure I would have survived.
Not this one.
We dragged our bikes to the side of the road to gather ourselves. The truck slowed, paused a few seconds in the darkness, then drove away.
Those seconds keep replaying in my mind. My knees still feel wobbly. I’m so grateful we were able to get on our bikes and keep riding.
Please, look twice for cyclists.