Had a close encounter of the vehicular kind this morning, though it was -- of all things -- a motorcycle. Thankfully, the only harm done (other than to my fragile psyche) was the ground-up pedal you see above. Those silver circles on the right side used to be three-dimensional cast traction pins, but they've been ground flush to the pedal body. The pedal reflector is pretty shredded, and the right side of the body lost a bit of paint for good measure. I was ready to just live with a slightly less grippy pedal, but the weird wobble underfoot on the homeward commute tells me that I bent the spindle pretty badly too. I could save it with some heroic measures, but they were $15 pedals to begin with (the humble VP-565, which you may know from such posts as Chapter 1 of my Hail to the Cheap series). Methinks they're recycling fodder now, the Viking funeral of bike parts.
My amateur CSI reconstruction of the near-accident scene? I was making a fast downhill left turn with a green turn arrow in my favor when Mr. Moto (in the stopped oncoming lane) decided he could make a right on red... thus, two bodies on two-wheeled vehicles were about to occupy the same little nook of the time/space continuum. What follows is pure conjecture, as I was running on instinct and adrenaline (with the blessing of a predictable bike underfoot), but I think I straightened the bike up a little so I could grab lots of brake without sliding out. That allowed me to (just) slip behind the moto, but my line through the curve was thrown WAY off, so I stuffed my outside pedal into the curb before I could get back on track. I'm sure the resulting grind of metal on concrete (which seemed to last for days) would have gotten me mad props (really, old man? mad props?) from the BMX set, though. How I rode out the other side of all that without tasting pavement is a mystery to me.
So, the moral? Two wheels aren't ALWAYS good. But when two wheels and two wheels meet at high speed and close proximity, the resulting four wheels are DEFINITELY bad.