Coming back Saturday night from our inaugural visit to The Thirsty Crow Bar — our new favorite neighborhood watering hole — we decided to get some food to-go from Cowboys & Turbans up the street, one of our new favorite local eateries. In going there we passed a gathering of cyclists in the parking lot at SilverSun Plaza, getting ready for a group ride hosted by the MOM Ridazz crew, a group I’d heard of but didn’t really associate with because their reputation precedes them as partiers (their logo prominently features a marijuana leaf), and who did little to endear themselves to me when I found photos posted of a past MOM Ridazz ride some months ago in which one participant thought it awesome to climb the fragile Echo Park Lady of Lake statue. I’m sure their rides are great for those they appeal to, but they’re just not my bag.

Anyway, while waiting for our order outside Cowboys & Turbans, Susan and I were talking and in the distance I heard a loud thump, but it took a few seconds to register that the noise didn’t sound good. Stepping into the street and looking east up Sunset, I saw a person down in the bike lane next to a bike, and another person kneeling down next to them.

At first I thought it was just a case of a spill, but as I got closer and saw there wasn’t a second bike, I wondered if there’d been a car involved. Sure enough after getting the injured cyclist and his messed up bike out of the street, I found out the woman had opened her car door and he’d barreled into it — loud enough that I heard it 100 yards away and with enough force that the door now wouldn’t close.

The nasty knot on his knee, an abrasion to his back and some other aches and minor scrapes notwithstanding, the young man was lucky. Besides seeming not to have hit his helmetless head, he also avoided sprawling out into traffic where he might have been struck by another vehicle.

As with any traffic accident with injuries I wanted the police contacted, but the young man begged us not to, claiming he was fine, and despite my best efforts to encourage him at least to go to a hospital to get checked out, he was understandably amped on adrenaline and that just wasn’t really a priority to him.

Eventually the MOM Ridazz participants began their ride (which is where he’d been heading). Passing us the downed cyclist called out to them and a couple of his buddies came to his aid. His rather blunt explanation that he “got hit by a motherfucking car” with the apologetic driver right there drove her to tears and I did my best to calm her, telling her that thankfully it wasn’t any worse and that the first opportunity she had she should file a report with her insurance company — especially if he didn’t want to go to a hospital and  no one wanted to call the police.

In the chaos of the victim talking with his buddies and trying to get the bike working I wished everyone well and Susan and I got on our way home.