On Friday i was riding my bike to interview a woman (and carrying a crazy expensive work camera), riding pretty fast when suddenly some car just zooms out in front of me. I jammed on the front brake, hit the side of his car and ended up sprawled on the hood. I slid off, and yelled at the driver a bit. "Fucking hell! what the fuck are you doing? Is that the way to drive?" (1/2 in Eng, 1/2 in bad Chinese). I was repeatedly slamming my fist down on the car hood. It was very exciting. He was certainly apologetic and asking if i was hurt or needed to go to the hospital.
I was acting pretty mad, but in my head there was a little voice saying, "No problem. You don't need to be so mad." So i paused and looked over my body, which seemed to be quite free from damage. I looked at my bike, which seemed to be quite free from damage. I worried about the camera, but assumed it was free from damage.
"Sorry, I shouldn't have yelled at you," I apologized. "We should both be more careful." Then I hopped on my bike and rode away. Maybe 5 minutes later i realized that the front tire sustained a flat. Which complicated matters, but actually led to some very cool things that afternoon/evening.
Anyhow, that's the 2nd time i've been in a car accident in BJ, both times, very fortunately escaping body unscathed. Most sincere thanks to the powers that be.
I would never ride a fixie without brakes in Beijing. Or anywhere pbly. I like brakes.
Riding a bike in Beijing can definitely be a bit dangerous. But even the cyclists can be dangerous too!
Like some months ago, it was a rainy day, and some pedestrian was wearing dark colors and I totally rammed into him at pretty high speed. That wasn't so cool.
And another time, I ran into this old man who had a little girl on his bike. Everybody ended up on the road. the girl was crying. The old man's shirt was all dirty. I looked up and was like, Hey who had the red light? Oh, it was me. Sorry!
The good side of those bike accidents is that now every time i'm annoyed at people riding like idiots, i have to say, "Well at least they're not crashing into people!" Really, i shouldn't gripe about other's riding habits. Or driving habits. So long as i come out okay, no big deal. And thanks to the universe.