That moment when you’re hit by a Citi Bike
After a visit to Chinatown on a recent Sunday afternoon, I was walking north along the river to Waterside, my home. I stayed close to the railing since I am 77 years of age and wanted to avoid being hit by distractions: bikes, skateboarders, etc.
I was enjoying the estuary’s sea air when something hit the back of my left knee with a bang and sent me flying into the air. My glasses flew off, my shoulder bag left my body and I landed with a heavy thud on my lower back and thought, “It is over, I will never walk again.”
I have osteoporosis, arthritis and all the muscular ailments that beset 77-year-olds. As I lay on the ground, I slowly turned my head to my left and saw the wheels of a bicycle. After the initial shock, I began to slowly move my body as I had learned to do as a fitness/health instructor. I saw a bicycle lying beside me and then saw a bicyclist, a young man, standing beside his bike looking shaken.
He said, “I am so sorry, I am so sorry.”
I slowly managed to get up off the ground and when I was on my knees, I groped around for my glasses. He waited until I had my glasses and again apologized. I told him I had to call the police to report the accident since I was afraid I had really damaged my body. He said, “Do not do that. I was not looking and did not see you. I am sorry.”
When I asked him his name he began to shake and said, “I am from Hong Kong.” He then picked the bike off the ground and took off on his Citi Bike. I knew the bike had a number so I looked at the back of the bike for its number. There wasn’t any. I later learned the bike numbers are on the sides of the bike and not the back.
The incident happened near the toilets along the East River esplanade so I slowly, like a beaten animal, limped over, washed up and very slowly, psychologically and physically, limped towards home. At home, I took all the precautionary measures to help my body heal.
The following day, I called Citi Bike to tell them about the incident. They informed me that they are not responsible. If I had a police report and the bicycle number, Citi Bike would then contact the cardholder of the Citi Bike.
I suggested to Citi Bike: the bicycle numbers should be placed on the backs of the bikes as well as the sides so one could follow through if one is accidentally hit by a Citi Bike, especially if the bicyclist takes off.