Carmageddon Day 2: Rocky road
September 26, 2019 § 7 Comments
Well, it didn’t take long for the fat to drop into the fire.
I emailed my auto insurance agent and told him to cancel my coverage as I was no longer driving. He emailed back to ask if I still had a driver license, because if I did, he highly recommended not canceling the coverage even if I wasn’t intending to drive.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because your rates will go up if Yasuko is the only person on the policy. Rates are cheaper when the number of covered drivers exceeds the number of insured vehicles.”
So the chubby refund check I was expecting from my liability coverage isn’t going to appear any time soon.
But there was another, bigger problem: My insurer has no replacement UM/UIM coverage for “pedestrians,” which is what cyclists are categorized as. This make a lot of sense, like if a vet categorized your dog as a cat.
I’ve written a lot about UM/UIM coverage, and have lectured lots of people to max that out because of the protection it affords you if get hit by a car while cycling. If I were to cancel my auto insurance I’d lose that very important coverage, coverage made even more important since I’m no longer driving.
So the next step is to start searching for “pedestrian,” non-motorist insurance that covers me if I’m hit by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. In other words, unicorn search.
The biggest hurdle of all, however, and something that shook me to my core was this: I went speeding through the grass in my gravel bike, hopping off the curb in order to pedal to work.
A few strokes in I heard something hitting my spokes and saw four of five horizontal pine needles stuck to the tire and whacking the spokes. Pine needles aren’t sticky. I pulled over to remove them and saw that I’d run over a giant, steaming pile of dog shit that was now nicely ground into the tire tread. The excess shit, with even a couple more revolutions, would have kicked up onto my back or legs, and sheared off into the cogs/chain.
What a great client meeting it would have been. “Hi, I’m your new lawyer and I never go anywhere without flecks of dog poop on me.”
Luckily, some environmentally minded cager had tossed his Big Mac french fry box out the window, and I picked it up to use the sharp paper edge to surgically wipe the crud off the sidewalls and pick it out from the tread.
Problem was, these were IRC sand tires with a super fine knobbed surface. Other problem was that the dog had eaten something bad for breakfast because the stench was intense. Other problem was that a group of about 20 people were walking up the sidewalk taking a tour of the property, and there I was, blocking the way with a french fry box covered with stinking dog shit.
Our apartment manager, who knows me well, was in the process of telling the walkers that it was a pet-friendly complex just as I scraped off the biggest patch of dung and flicked it into the grass. They parted around me like the Red Sea.
I couldn’t remember ever having been concerned about dog crap during my days as a cager, and made a note to pick up a box of wet wipes for the office. Just in case.
Get rid of the car — ride over dog shit: cause and effect relationship. Also, in a car, you’d never have noticed.
You left off the last word, “anything.”
This reminds me of the advice you gave me (guess it applies to off road as well) which was, “keep your head up”.
p.s., car free for 2 years.
Car free, free of the car! Yes, following one’s own advice is awfully tricky. And huge props!
I was wondering what would happen with your insurance coverage. Let us know what you find out. It is totally crazy that you have to have car insurance when you don’t drive to cover you from damage inflicted by motorists.
“these were IRC Sand tires”. The picture brings laughter.
The reality less so!