An update on the fallen Pista

The mangled PistaAs regular readers of this blog will know, I was hit by a car while cycling to work last week. Apart from a rather bruised and tender leg, I’m ok, but my faithful Condor Pista took a very nasty knock. I assumed the Condor was dead and wrote a touching epitaph, which proved remarkably popular – so much so, that lot’s of people have been asking after the bike and wondering whether she could be saved. Being a steel bike, it’s a possibility. So here’s an update.

Yesterday, I took the Pista to Condor Cycles for an assessment. I happened to be served by the managing director, Grant Young, who was extremely sympathetic and very helpful indeed. The bad news is that the Pista is a write-off, as expected. The good news that Grant is going to give me a full quote for a like-for-like replacement and stressed that Condor would help me with the inevitable insurance claim.

Grant explained that the white and mauve paint scheme on the Pista is no longer available, but I rather admire this very classic-looking cream design and Condor is unveiling a new scheme at next week’s Cycle Show at Earl’s Court in London. I’ll be going next Saturday, with a free ticket given me by Grant (told you he was helpful – cheers, Grant).

A letter from the Metropolitan PoliceSo, that side of things is looking good. I got home to find a letter from the Metropolitan Police saying they were not going to conduct an investigation into the accident due to lack of the kind of evidence that would be required to get a conviction. I guess the many witnesses just didn’t see things clearly enough (rather like the driver). I’m going to follow this up, though – at the least, the driver should have been given a good talking to; at most, she should be sent on a driving safety course.

Bruised legThe accident was 100 per cent her fault and she’s lucky I wasn’t badly hurt. If I’d been a metre closer than I was, she’d have hit me straight on and probably run right over me, too, since she was still accelerating when the impact occurred. As it is, my shoulders are still stiff and painful and the front of my right calf is extremely sensitive to the touch. It’s also yellow and has a strange mark which may well scar.

Anyway, none of this should make any difference to my insurance claim. I’ve been through this before, so contacted Jonathan Lear at Bikeline again last week. Last time I was hit, he got me a decent payout and did a very good job indeed. I know the routine now – independent medical assessment, presentation of evidence to the driver’s insurer, negotation and settlement. It *should* be straightforward, but I guess we’ll have to see how far the insurance company is prepared to niggle to avoid a payout.

So that’s where I’m at. A dead bike, a bit of pain and a lot of hassle. Still, could be worse – I could be a paraplegic in a hospital bed. Thank heaven for small mercies, eh?

Dented bicycle frame

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2 thoughts on “An update on the fallen Pista

  1. I’m glad things are progressing for you – disappointed, if not surprised, that the Police are taking no action.

    unless it can be proven that you threw yourself under the car, it’s careless driving, end of. Hopefully the shock & financial implications will make the driver more careful in future.

    • Thanks, John. Interestingly, the driver’s insurer got in touch with me last week and a very obsequious man tried to talk me into negotiating a settlement there and then. Apparently, this is known as ‘third party capture’ – calling the injured party, offering to settle the claim, but not telling them they may be entitled to more injury compensation than they tell you. It’s not considered very ethical, but it does suggest they accept the fault, which is good for my claim.

      I don’t know what the threshold is for prosecuting someone for careless driving, but this was, frankly, as careless as it gets (she could quite easily have killed me). The girl admitted at the scene that she ‘hadn’t seen me’ (ie, she hadn’t looked properly – I was plain as day directly in front of her); there were witnesses, an independent third party who spoke to both of us in the immediate aftermath, etc, etc. I keep meaning to call the Met and ask if they, at the least, are making her go on a safe driving course. I doubt it. I think they need to rethink all of this; I’ve read, for example, that police will only prosecute for ‘dangerous driving’ if there’s a fatality. This really needs clearing up.

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