Monday, April 26, 2004

Today I was hit by a car. Kong Deng (I will never forget the name after all the crap that has gone down) was turning southbound onto 14th Ave as I was travelling through eastbound on 5th Ave. SW . Jon Keech went through the intersection about 50 meters in front of me. A red car turned after he went through. Kong and his passenger entered the intersection and stopped. As I entered the intersection, he started to accelerate to complete his turn. At that moment I had to decide what direction to go in and I decided to continue in the direction I was going. Dropping the bike at 35kph may have damaged me more than I was, but it's hard to say. Anyways, he t-boned me and I landed with the bike in the northbound lanes of traffic. I amazingly got up and walked away. Jon came back immediately and Kong got out of the car. The passenger hopped in the drivers seat and moved the car to the Roger's Video parking lot before we could get a plate number. We exchanged information and Kong left before we realized that a witness had called 911. The police, fire and ambulance showed up soon after. Just before they arrived the passenger of Kong's car came back to us looking for Kong because he couldn't find him. He left about 20 seconds before the police arrived. We told them that the driver and car were still in the parking lot, however they never went over there right away. By the time they did, Kong and the car were gone.

I talked to Kong the next day. He seemed to be concerned about how I was, and luckily I only had a bruised hip (which I couldn't sleep on for two weeks) and some scratches and bruises. I went and got a replacement assessment done on the bike and told Kong how much it was going to cost. He said he was going to call again tomorrow with his insurance information, which he never did. I never talked to Kong directly again.

Forward to today, August 5. The cops are obviously dragging their feet on this one. As of last week, they still hadn't contacted Brooks RCMP to get a statement from Kong. He has refused to return any of my phone calls or the police's and as of a month ago, his phone number was disconnected. By law he is required to fill out a police statement, which still hasn't been done. This is freaking ridiculous; I am going to be the one to pay bigtime for this accident. After consulting with lawyers, it seems the chances are slim to none that Kong nor his passenger (who I understood from Kong's explanation the day after was the owner of the car) had insurance on the vehicle. As is stands right now, this could be considered a hit-and-run or at least a case of driving without insurance. If it wasn't for the thought that this could be a long drawn out five-year affair if I decided to take him to small-claims court, I would sue him. Seems sort of futile trying to get blood from a stone. I guess I'll take the hit, pay the deductible and take the hit on my insurance rates in order to get this over with. If only they can find out whether there was insurance on the car or not. Fucking police.

I can only hope that the quotes I'm getting redone at Ridley's Cycle and Calgary Cycle will be big enough (replacement value of damaged parts only), that it will offset what I paid for the parts, plus my deductible. Barring the fact that I've already paid hundreds to get things up to spec on the 2100 for racing, I am definitely going to be at a loss. I paid $4250 for the bike and wheels. I'm figuring a replacement quote on the frame, fork, seat post and wheelset will be around $4500, minus the deductible will be around $4000. The shitty thing is unless I want to invent another $1200, I'm going to have to settle for a Trek 5200 or something less than what I had. *sigh* Life sucks sometimes. All I know is that since the accident, I've really taken on a lot of hatred towards city drivers. I wish killing stupid people was legal, because I would be carrying a firearm. I'm sure one of them would have dinged me off long ago since cyclists are such a 'pain in the ass' for them.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Tucson trip April 6-14, 2004

Tuesday April 6:
Arrived in Tucson via Dallas. Bike was missing, most likely in Tulsa. Got in late to heading to Dwayne and Hazel's for bed.

Wednesday April 7:
Bike doesn't arrive in Tucson until late afternoon. Spend day with Dwayne driving around town. Craig Good and Chris Hooper arrive mid-afternoon from Phoenix. We checkin at hotel, they decide to go for a ride. I return to Dwaynes, have a few beers with him and Greg Chyz.

Thursday April 8:
143.3km 5:58:30 26.1km/h AVS. Hot hot hot - 32C
Picture Rocks - Saguaro Nat'l Park (West) - Tucson Mountain Park - Old Tucson - Kinney Rd - Valencia Rd - Houghton Rd - River Rd.
Craig, Chris and I went for this ride. Cory Fagan arriving today, Marcus Lemaster arrives late day. Valencia Rd cuts through south part of town, will avoid next time by following route around the city flanking on the south side (name eludes me right now).

Friday April 9:
101.5km 3:49:42 26.5km/h AVS Hot hot hot - 32C
Oracle Rd N to Biosphere 2 and return.
This was the first ride together of the entire group. Oracle Rd very busy. Biosphere 2 is very cool, didn't go in though. Entry rates into most tourist spots around here (including Old Tucson yesterday) averaging around $15 USD. Too rich for my blood.

Saturday April 10:
111.1 km 4:05:22 27.1kph AVS Hot @ start, ended scattered showers cooled nicely, remained overcast.
River Rd - Tanque Verde - Houghton Rd - Saguaro Nat'l Park (East) loop - return via Sunrise Dr.
Nice ride. Saguaro was very cool and requires more study at some other time. Entry was pretty cheap, $3 or something like that. Check out pics.

Sunday April 11 EASTER!:
119.6km 4:40:21 25.5kph AVS Hot @ start, scattered showers and snow in mountains, cold descent but warmed up again around 4000ft, hot (32C) upon return to Tucson
MT. LEMMON ASCENT. Great climbing, felt a bit bonked by the top but the descent made it worthwhile. Still tons of tourists around.

We all went to Dwayne and Hazel's place for Easter dinner. What a treat! Greg and his wife and friends of the Chyzes were all there as well. Good times, even watched a hockey game.

Monday April 12:
67.3km 2:32:30 26.4kph AVS Hot 31C
Ina Rd W. to Picture Rocks - Kinney Rd. - Gates Pass Rd - Silverbell Rd to return
Short recovery ride. Nice intense climb @ Gates Pass. Pretty busy roadways, not too bad though. Cory dropped out early before the climb and headed back to the motel. This is the day we went to the Casa Grande outlet mall and did some souvenir shopping....

Tuesday April 13:
200.9km 7:26:34 26.9kph AVS HOT 36C
Ina Rd - Sandario Rd - Ajo Hwy - Kitt Peak - return
Our last day, the hottest day, the longest ride. It was awesome! Had a great sense of accomplishment completing the climb to Kitt Peak. ~6000ft climb in 13 miles. Lots of kudos from passersby on the road up and down as well. Even a few people slowing down beside us asking us if we needed water! Others loved Craig's Italian national champ jersey. Viva Italia! The US Immigration Dept has a LOT of people manning the watchtowers and surveilling via trucks along Ajo Hwy. Apparently b/c the Indian Reserve is just south of here, it is a favorite place for Mexicans to jump the border.

Overall, fantastic trip. Would love to do it again next year, if we weren't already planning a trip to Eastern Canada in the summer and the World Masters Games in Edmonton...