Curse Spear's second crash page

Ooops I skidded again,
I smacked into a car,
got my face in the tar,
oh, baby, baby,
oops, I skidded again,
gotta a break in my ar-rrrm...

With apologies to the other Spear...

As you all know, in November 1999, while on a bike ride in the Bay Area, I had a little run-in with the side of a hill.  I was out in CA to teach a PLI class, (Programming Language Interface for Verilog) during Synopsys's VCS Fest, where field and factory people exchange ideas.

In mid September, 2000 was Vera Fest.  I signed up to teach a class on UDF, which is Vera's PLI.  Andy Seigel kindly prepped my bike and I had a great ride Monday morning.  So far so good.  My class was scheduled for Friday, and Thursday I started getting a minor premonition.  (Maybe it was an upset stomach from the 5 desserts from the night before at the Straight's Cafe with Mary Ann & the gang.)  So I ask a couple of guys from Corporate if they would teach the class if I crashed.  "No problem!" they laughed.

Chris on DeAnzaFriday morning I went for a early ride, heading up Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, site of last fall's fall, across Skyline, and down 9 into Saratoga.  So far, so good.  Now all I had to do was get to my car in Los Altos.  Hmm, this Hertz map does not show much detail, so I cut across Cupertino on DeAnza, a busy road.  I rode in the bike lane, obeyed traffic lights, and was wearing an obnoxious neon yellow jacket at 9am.

Somehow that didn't matter to the woman driving a white Accord who made a right turn in front of me, into a parking lot.  I screamed at her while hitting the brakes, but still bounced off her right rear fender, and fell on my left side. She pulled into the office building and got out, while I got up and continued yelling at the top of my lungs.  Two women who witnessed the whole thing pulled over.  Mystery woman looked around, then went into her building, locking the door after her!

Melissa and Shirley called the cops, and soon there was an emergency vehicle, an ambulance, a cop car, and two motorcycle cops, all there to help me and my little bike.  I knew I banged my shoulder pretty well, but I had to get to work to tell them I could not teach.   Shirley gave me a lift back to my car, just a few miles away.  When I left the police, they were still trying to get into the office building, with the dented Honda still parked in front - so new it didn't have plates yet!  Can you say, "Hit & Run" ?  A big thanks to Melissa and Shirley who stopped to help me!

Another big thanks to Vickie, my co-worker who took me to the hospital where I learned that, as expected, my left clavicle was broken.  The initial diagnosis at El Camino Hospital was a severe fracture of the distal left clavicle, which is surprising since the X-ray (taken by a sadist radiologist) was black where it showed
the fracture.   Vickie took care of everything so I could catch the afternoon flight to Boston.

My orthopedist here took a better X-ray which showed a minor break and a small chip floating around.  After 10 days of wearing just a sling, I started some stretching exercises, and after only a day had full movement.  There is still some pain, perhaps from the chip on my shoulder

So, no bike ride this fall on the Kangamangus Highway in the White Mountains, and no riding in Las Vegas during the sales meeting.  I'll probably will take off riding in California during 2001, especially before classes!

Should I change my first name to Curse, or Britney?

Now there is a moral dilemma.  The woman who cut me off and hid in her office building has been charged with Felony Hit & Run.  While I am plenty mad at her for not even stopping to see how I was, do I want her to go to jail?

After only two weeks the doctor gave me a clean bill of health (but no cycling for another month).  Should I sue her for pain, suffering, and an extremely ugly looking bruise?  Do I go for Old Testament revenge and take her to court, practice New Testament and forgive, or stick to my basic agnostic attitude and hope someone steals her car?

Once again the bike transferred all the force of impact to me, so only has scratches and rips from the landing.  I am out a couple of co-pays, and flowers to Vickie and Shirley.  While it would be nice to sue and get a nice titanium bike, I'd rather not help James Sokolov, Esq. make another boat payment.

In the end I asked her insurance company for a "pain & suffering" as my shoulder still hurts, enough to wake me at night.  This paid for a nice bike and a donation to 
Better to improve my karma than get carried away by dogma.

This page last updated 3/19/2002

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