Beware Friday The 2 x 13th…

And by that I mean, Friday the 26th.  Because for us, it felt like last Friday had double the bad luck of Friday the 13th!

Here’s how it went.  Despite being 30 miles away from one another, both commuting to our jobs in opposite directions (Mr PoP in the car, me on my bike), we both managed to execute a series of bad decisions culminating in a very unfortunate outcome at the EXACT SAME TIME.  That time – 7:49am.

Mr PoP’s Drive

Mr PoP was distracted by a podcast he was listening to and forgot he had to make a stop on his way to the office.  As a result, he overshot the stop and had to make a U-turn.  Which he did.  At a median that apparently had a clearly labeled “No U-Turns” sign.  And this median was at the end of a small street that contained a police sub-station.

So of course Mr PoP got caught making his illegal U-turn.  And had to ignore my phone call that rang as the cop was writing a ticket.  (More on that in a second.)  We’ll pay the fine, and he’ll have to take online traffic school so we don’t get any points.  But we will have to pay ~$200.

My Bike Ride

My thigh on day 2. Less swelling, more color. #nofilter!

My thigh on day 2. Less swelling, more color. #nofilter!

While I usually listen to podcasts or audiobooks, I had forgotten to download a new one, so was listening to some upbeat music on my bike ride in.  That probably distracted me more than usual.  Then a car drove past a little closer to me than I usually like in the small part of my ride where the bike lane is basically non-existent.  I did what *isn’t* the safer move, and chose to ride as close to the edge of the road as I could.  My front tire went off the asphalt, and dropped down ~3″ into the grassy shoulder.  That would have been fine if I had rolled with the drop and come to a stop in the grass, but instead I didn’t think about the drop and turned my wheel back towards the asphalt to try and get back on the road.  My wheel couldn’t make that jump back up to the road and my front wheel went crazy and I went down.  It was apparently pretty epic.

There were several good things about this fall:

  • There was no traffic, and even if there were the speed limit in this zone is 25mph and is enforced by cops regularly.
  • I went down into the grass/dirt on the side of the road.
  • It was a cold day, so I was bundled up wearing long pants, two long sleeved tops, and gloves.  So I didn’t get any road/dirt rash.
  • I was wearing my helmet.  Which as my head was hitting the ground I remembered thinking how glad I was that my helmet was on.

I got up and was shaken, but brushed myself off and assured the concerned passersby that I was fine, had a phone and that they didn’t need to call an ambulance.  I called Mr PoP (he didn’t answer because the cop was writing a ticket for him at that exact moment).  Then I called a friend from work to let him know what happened and that I was headed home.  Then I walked 4 miles home, pushing my bike because the impact of my thigh on the handlebars had thrown the front wheel completely out of alignment.


We Weren’t Unlucky…

In fact, we both fully accept that our respective experiences on Friday morning at 7:49 am were the culmination of a series of bad decisions.  Luck, I suppose… would be all those times when those bad decisions don’t result in unfortunate outcomes.

We know we’re not perfect.  And neither of us expects the other to make every decision perfectly.  But we do try and make more good decisions than bad, so when the bad decisions (and their consequences) happen, we are prepared to handle the consequences.


Good Decisions We Made To Prepare For These Bad Ones

  • We’ve structured our financial lives so that a $200 ticket isn’t going to make or break us.  Also, Mr PoP is a very good and very safe driver.  (Way better than me, I fully admit.)  This is his first ticket since moving to Florida almost a decade ago.  With that kind of driving record, one ticket isn’t going to harm his record, especially after he takes the online course to prevent any points, so we don’t expect any increases in our insurance rates as a result of this bad decision.
  • I was wearing a helmet while riding my bike and it absolutely did its job in protecting my noggin.  When Mr PoP and I looked at it together Friday night, there were dents in the hard foam and some of the plastic shell popped away from the foam as a result of the impact.  (I much prefer the dents to be in the helmet than in my skull!)  So the first thing I did Saturday morning was go out and buy a new helmet to make sure that stays a good decision I make every day!
  • I also ride to work about an hour early as a rule.  So even walking 4 miles home with a broken bike and a bruised body (and ego), I managed to VPN in to my work computer by our “official” 9am start time.  Granted, I just VPN-ed in to tell my coworkers that I was taking a sick day due to the accident… but I was still impressed that I did it all by 9am!

We’ll try and keep making good decisions as often as we can, so that we’re prepared when we make the bad ones… because sooner or later, we all seem to make a bad decision or two.


What good decisions are you making today to prepare yourself for the inevitable (although hopefully rare!) bad decisions you’re going to make?

22 comments to Beware Friday The 2 x 13th…

  • Glad you ended up being fine! That could have gone much worse. I’ve done similar on my bike; it’s an easy enough mistake to make. I am really_really glad you got a new helmet right away. I assume you also got your bike fixed, yes?

    In the grand scheme, these are but a little bump. I was nervous clicking through, and I’m glad to see that you’re both well and healthy!
    Leah recently posted..The Evening RoutineMy Profile

    • Thanks, Leah! Mr PoP fixed the bike pretty well, but I did knock my derailleur around pretty well. Luckily, we were already planning to drop the bike off at the shop for a really good tune up when we leave for vacation at the end of the month, but Mr PoP’s repairs fixed it up well enough to get me through until then.

  • So weird, that timing! Last week a couple we’re friends with told us they both had simultaneous nightmares in the morning. The guy’s nightmare actually made him wake up yelling, which woke up his wife. So maybe she wouldn’t have known she was simultaneously having a nightmare if she had slept through it and woke up later. It’s like there’s something in the air…

    When I bike to work, I only get there 20 minutes early or so, so I can change clothes. Still don’t wear a helmet, since all the biking is done on a flat bike trail with hardly any other riders on it, so if I crack my head open, that’s my own damn fault. At least I started carrying my cell phone with me last year, so that’s one good decision!
    Norm recently posted..How Much Did Our Trip To Japan Cost?My Profile

    • The timing was so crazy! We didn’t even realize it was the same minute until that night, actually. Maybe some kind of weird cosmic bond that proves Mr PoP and I are meant for one another? =)

      If I can make a case for wearing a helmet, though… they are an incredibly inexpensive insurance policy to protect your most valuable asset – your brain. My replacement helmet was $40 at the local bike shop. I’m sure I could have found cheaper if I had shopped around, but I got the exact replacement of my previous helmet (since it did such a good job protecting my head on Friday). It was eerie how aware of the helmet I was as I was falling and how glad I was in that moment (and after too) to be wearing it.

  • Ouch! Glad it wasn’t more serious PoPs. There are so many ways the day could have been worse. Still, no fun :(
    Income Surfer recently posted..Drywall RepairMy Profile

    • Yup, it definitely could have been worse. Thankfully the rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Mr PoP had a normal day at work, and I spent the day in bed watching Law and Order reruns on Hulu and feeling sorry for myself. =P

  • Oh man, those look brutal. I have had three bike wrecks all involving cars that didn’t stop at stop signs. Thankfully, I always had my helmet and none ruined my bikes. The first resulted in huge bruises, but I was a block from work, so I just went in… Actually, I was just planning to get ice, but by the time I had iced down, I felt better so I just worked instead.

    • The bruise is starting to get even more shades of color as the days go on – it truly looks impressive. =P

      I did consider going in to work, especially when my friend said he would stop by and pick me up on his way in. But when he stopped by, I was feeling sorry for myself and just wanted to sit with some ice packs by myself all day.

  • Yikes. I don’t know which is worse, the run-in with law enforcement/traffic school or the bike accident. Mr. PoP is a smooth operator. Did he try to talk his way out of it? Too bad you didn’t crash 5 minutes earlier. Everything else being equal, he’d have an excuse for the U-turn.
    Mr. 1500 recently posted..Ask the Readers: Are you a Hopeless Optimist or a Pissy Pessimist?My Profile

    • mrplantingourpennies

      Ha! I didn’t even try! I was on a roll before this though-talked myself out of 5 in a row over the past 10 years. This was tax collection at the point of a gun-he just wanted to hit his quota and get off the clock.

  • Lucas

    Making good decisions on the big things helps us ride out all the little issues that pop up that you can’t control :-) Glad everyone is ok!

  • Ouch! Just wanna say I’m glad you’re OK.

  • MamaPoP

    Did the driver realize that you went down?

    • My guess is no, the SUV was probably blocks away when I went down since I was probably riding on the very edge of the road for a good block and a half before slipping off the road and tumbling.

  • Wow, I’m so glad you were fine after the crash. We’ve had some pretty bad bike vs car accidents in our circle and it’s got me worried about PiC every time he commutes by bike.

    Like you, we save our pennies so that these unexpected hits don’t sink the boat. We just had a few of them, as I griped on Monday, and they’re piling up in the hundreds and thousands but we’re still managing to keep a lid on it.
    Revanche recently posted..Net Worth & Life Report: February 2016My Profile

    • Thanks, Revanche! Does PiC ride with a helmet? I’m embarrassed about my accident, but not so embarrassed that I haven’t reminded all of my bicycling friends that helmets work!

  • Wow! You couldn’t get me to ride a bike on a busy street, much less do it every day as a commute. I want two layers of steel between me and my fellow homicidal drivers. Very, very glad you had a helmet on and that you’re more or less OK.

    Two hundred bucks for a U-turn? That’s ridiculous.
    Funny about Money recently posted..Friday FrolicsMy Profile