Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The dangers of biking

Bike04

People have always been relating their horror stories on how safety while riding a bike is a very fragile thing indeed. There isn’t a person who has ridden a bike, owns one or has been a passenger that you won’t have relating to you a personal experience of being in an accident, major or minor. Thus it is with this that I’ve never really got to getting a license to ride one even as my form 4 mates were scrambling to get their freedom on wheels as I waited till form 6 to get licensed for a car.

This morning I received bad news that two of my colleagues, Chen Fong and Johleen Koh were caught in a hit and run on their way back from the lab. Luckily they were not too badly hurt, the car knocked them down as they were turning in the roundabout into Kingfisher Park and instead of coming down to see if they were all right, sped away towards town. It was an act of kindness that the vehicle behind them was moving at a slow pace and the person was kind enough to come out and help the two girls. Fortunately they went away from the incident with not too bad a wound, Johleen with various bruises on her arms while Chen Fong’s leg felt the full brunt as the bike collapsed on her as she hit the ground. Today they didn’t show up to the lab but as of this evening they were up and about albeit with blue black marks to show for their injuries and limping. Adding insult to injury was the fact that they just got their L license a week ago to allow them to find transportation to the university as normal bus services were discontinued for the holiday duration and also the bike belonged to a friend of which they had to pay for the repairs.

I have horrible premonitions about the possibilities of being caught in an accident while on a bike. My first time on one was in form 5 as my friend Jaya Prakash who offered me a ride to a friend’s party. I didn’t know how to sit on the passenger’s seat and whether it was proper to put my arms around his waist so in the end he said I should grasp the back bar. The ride was hell, I hated the wind plastering my face, my arms were stiff from the death grip I held onto the bar in fear of falling off and my legs were cramped. I seldom rode a bike after that besides a few experiences riding to and fro with friends while here in Kota Kianabalu. With the stories they told including of lost teeth, being flung onto a car’s windscreen, motor flung up a tree (don’t ask), getting hit from the back by drunks, crashing headlong into a parked bus and even the occasional self injury (e.g. someone I knew actually tipped over while the bike was stationary), its enough to put me off from getting a license although riding a bike is more affordable compared to a car. I just have to imagine the lack of any protective steel structure encompassing my fragile body, the various death dealing drivers that swoop past the little bike, no safety backup equipment such as seatbelts and air bags to ensure some measure of protection and I’d steer clear and settle for a car any day.

Don't view the next pic if you're the least bit squeemish, you've been warned...........
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Noteeth

Permission for posting of this photo has not received the permission of the said person in it, sorry :D Rest assured anonymity will be respected hehe. This is the consequence of buying a second rate helmet to save a few bucks, so be warned.

3 comments:

5xmom ~chanlilian.net~ said...

My hubby has scars on his body, like bullet holes. And *sigh* he is now looking forward to buy a nice bike as soon as my eldest reach Form 4. We have one Yamaha scooter now. Men. I can just pray.

Adrian said...

Why is it that I sorta know who it is that you were talking about? Flung up a tree, flew onto the windscreen... Falling off the bike at a certain traffic light junction in Likas... Sounds pretty familiar eh? hee hee hee :p

Kervin said...

5Xmom: My friend keep on relating to me the ratio of bikes to people in Penang, kinda unbelievable, he said one friend had 6 bikes but only 4 people who can ride them in the house :D Well its not the rider that I worry it's the other motorists on the road, mini busses, other bikes, cars etc.

Adrian: Of course you know them hehe ;)