My brother sent me a text around 1 a.m. this morning, asking me to call him in the morning. My sleep schedule has been wonky anyway, and since I was just starting to fall asleep, I called him immediately to see what was going on. He doesn’t tend to text me very late at night, so I figured that there was something up.

“I crashed through the window of a Porsche today.” Not how one wishes to start a conversation, whether you’re the one speaking or the one hearing the words.

T is a Boston bicyclist. He has been riding for years, knows the rules of the road and manages to get where he needs to go without being one of those bikers that people who ride around in cars hates. He’s a safe rider who always wears his helmet, having too many friends with the battle scars to prove the need for safety. But he knows how to get the bike moving quickly.

He was riding on Mass Ave. last night, moving past a hotel with valet parking, when one of the valet employees kicked open the door of the Porsche he’d been parking. The valet didn’t bother to look behind him; had he taken a quick glance, he would have seen my brother approaching.

It’s a good thing it was a Porsche. Had it been a larger vehicle, I’d probably be freaking out at a hospital today. With the size of the car, the front of the bike hit the car first and shattered the glass of the window. Tommy flew over the handlebars and wound up on the hood of a car stopped at a red light nearby. He didn’t think about how lucky he was that the car wasn’t moving until at least an hour after this all unfolded. He didn’t suffer any injuries, but was understandably freaked out.

Here’s the kicker: T was most worried about whether insurance companies were going to go after him, somehow put him at fault for the incident. “It was a PORSCHE. I’m screwed. What if this comes back on me?”

Some of you have had a chance to meet my brother. He’s pretty much the single kindest and funniest person I know. And since I didn’t bother to take him out when he was a baby and I was bigger and stronger, I become furious at the mere thought of someone else causing him pain or fear. Especially when it’s someone who made a simple mistake, but one that no one who drives a car in Boston (or knows what to do when driving or parking a car in Boston) should make.

If things had gone differently last night, there could have been plans for a ghost bike on Mass Ave for my brother. That scares the hell out of me, even if he’s perfectly fine today.

If you ride in Boston, please remember to wear your helmet and try to have some gear on that will help protect you in the event that things go wrong. If you drive in Boston, please remember that there are people out there without that steel cage of protection. One of them is my brother. Please help keep him safe.

Advertisements