My first crash
I was on my way back to my apartment one day between classes. I made the mistake of thinking of school projects, instead of focusing on riding. I took a shortcut road that I didn't often use because it was in such bad shape. Fate would have me take it that day.
I was doing about 30 in this 35 zone, when I noticed rather suddenly that there was a large golden retreiver in front of me. He was maybe twenty-five feet away, meandering across the road, looking away from me down the road. My first instinct was to grab a handful of brake. I recall the front end getting loose, so I released. I attempted to swerve around the head end of the dog, when we collided.
I kept the bike upright, and slowed to a stop up the road about a hundred feet. I dismounted the bike. I was a little shaken, but my hands were calm and I was thinking clearly. I turned to see the owner run toward the fallen dog, who lay still in the road. He had been outside raking leaves in the front yard, and heard the impact.
I went to offer my cellular phone to call a veterenarian, but it was apparent that the dog was no longer alive. The response I got was, "Only if you tell him to bring a shovel." At that point I realized that I was dealing with someone who was extremely upset. A woman in a bathrobe joined him within a minute, and they were both crying. From his position next to the dog, the owner proceeded to blame me for going to fast (I wasn't), and for killing the dog that he had grown up with. I asked if there was anything else I could do, and the owner replied, "No. You probably should just go." I wasn't about to stick around, so I donned my gloves and rode home.
After I got home, it struck me what had just happened. It really upset me, but the owner was within the city limits, and his dog was wandering free. I wasn't happy about the dog, but I was glad it wasn't me.
I was committed not to let this set me back, so after taking care of my business at home, I fired up the bike and rode back to school. The normal route this time.