Once again I decided to head out on a ride with the TriTalk crew, that is organised by my mate Phil.
The morning was a bit overcast, but dry and warm. Once everyone had arrived he headed of at a nice pace for everyone to warm up. As we started up Cold Harbor Hill it was me who darted of the front, new wheels and eagerness from following Dr's orders for the last few days thanks to developing Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and from an uncomfortable A&E visit :-(. This kinda of set the pace for the start of the ride, with my rest and stomach and bowels feeling betters and this being the exercise ordered by the Dr's I was going to ensure it was a good days rid ein the sun.
We wound our way up and down the Surrey Hills towards Peaslake, as the sun started to come out and brighten up the day. We pushed on with a nice steady pace and some chatting as you do until we came to the long descent of Peaslake.
Phil got a jump on us and headed off down the hill with me first in pursuit. I caught him 100 meters before the first blindish corner swept back in line and continued on with Phil hot on my tail.
We descended with me keeping a keen eye on the road for on coming traffic, MTBikers and walkers crossing the road, its a busy stretch of road. With about 300-400 meters of the descent to go I saw a Pugeout 307 Estate coming up the final corner (about 150 meters away) I called car, as a warning to the crew following.
I could clearly see the car and he could see me also, there was no way he couldn't. I eased the brakes on a bit, sitting up slightly but not enough to signal that I was stopping (I was still on the drops and tucked), he started to indicate a turn to his left and then swung right out of view for a moment ( I was about 50 meters away at this point), I feathered the brakes some more, thinking he is not going to turn is he?.
As I came to the conclusion of that thought, the 307 re-appeared and started to turn across in front of me, some how I swerved heavily right then left again, almost laying the bike down, I straightened and screamed CAR!!!!!!, a second later I heard a sickening crunch and then nothing. I came to halt about 30-40 meters past the car.
Turned to see Phil slumped upside down (feet on the roof of the car head on the edge of the bonnet), I bolted back up the road. The driver stood there stunned, I screamed at him to go call an Ambulance. I screamed at him again and he came to life.
I returned to screaming at Phil who was out of it, blood coursed through his veins on his temple and he continually twitched, I kept yelling at him to wake up as a couple other of the group arrived (Dom and Bob, I think) we didn't dare touch or move him.
I yelled again, "Phil, wake up!" "You are OK!". Suddenly he woke up, looking at me and saying "You F***ing C***!" the last thought in his head before impact. He spun himself around, stepped off the bonnet and headed for his bike to check it out, he was still out of it, adrenaline pumping.
We got him sat down as the driver returned. He approached me and said "I saw you, indicated and thought you would stop" "I said I slowed, but didn't think you were going to turn......you don't turn across traffic, it f***ing illegal and dangerous" His son arrived and got involved and got especially arsey. At which point the driver change his mind and said he hadn't seen me, until I had passed. This came as no surprise to any of us. Shortly after this he clammed up and said I don't want to say anything else until the police arrive. Fair enough and it shut his son up as well.
The ambulance arrived after a little while, whilst Phil sat on the side of the road and Bob and I took some pics of the car, the road and the PX (a write off for sure being carbon)
The para's checked Phil over and decided he seemed Ok, but he was off to A&E for further tests and some observation. The para's were great as usual (that sounds bad we don't see them that often), so it was into a lovely neck brass and on the a back board for Phil, we have photo's. Just before the ambulance headed off, the police arrived.
I will not go into any detail here as that is for the police records. He had a quick chat with the driver and then the car was moved. Whilst the car was moved the officer had a word with our group. I had just ducked down the road to grab my bike. As I came back the police officer and I had a quick chat. He then interviewed the driver, whilst we waited.
Next it was my turn again, as I was first on the road and had narrowly missed being hit myself. All this took a while and then that was that. Rob had been called whilst Kim headed to hospital to be with Phil. Rob arrived and picked Phil's bike up, we had a quick chat and then he headed off. I suggested we continue on as Phil is the sort of guy that would be annoyed that even if his being hit by a car stop the group from riding on.
So we headed off on a slightly shortened route, but at a frantic pace, the descents, were a bit slower, the flat hard bunch riding and the climbs assaulted rather than climbed. We added in Box Hill and I attacked it like a mad man, we regrouped at the top and the group started riding as if they were possessed. We hammered it across the top of Box Hill, drop down Pebble Combe and from the round about at the bottom turned right for Dorking and the pace went up again. We arrived back at Dorking Leisure Center, discussed the last 30km's and put it down to adrenaline. However, it is worth noting that the rest of the ride did not go without incident, more than one or two cars pulling out in front or across the group, we blamed my top.
I tried to call Kim again to find out how Phil was doing, if he was still OK from the last time I spoke to her. I couldn't get through, so we headed off with Dom saying he will pop something on TriTalk once he heard from me. He heard from Phil, before I saw Phil at Robs house.
Phil is OK, which is bloody amazing when you consider the crash. I don't think the stress of that helped my IBS, but writing this is calming me down again. But Phil is OK! Yay!
(All words in this post are a summary of the event on the 13th June 2009 and are in no manner in detail, statements where given to the police at the time and the words only reflect my memory of events. All details of the driver shall remain closed.)