With Ciclovia/Manyfest being celebrated this week, I felt that I must share a story from two years ago.
My husband and I are avid cyclists and were looking forward to sharing our love of cycling with other like-minded people. We had also just returned from my brother’s funeral in Ottawa and were badly in need of a lift for our spirits.
As I cycled through the intersection at Maryland and Wolseley, I became aware of a distracted driver (who was actually looking in the opposite direction) about to make a left turn directly into me. Time slowed as I simultaneously screamed, pushed as hard as I could on my pedals and mentally prepared myself for the inevitable impact. My husband could only stare in shocked disbelief from his vantage point mere metres behind me.
Somehow the collision failed to happen, the driver at last became aware of me directly in his path and swerved slightly, the last frantic push on my pedals moved me those critical centimetres past the point of impact.
I was feeling very fragile as I pulled up to the curb beside the Misericordia Hospital. The full impact of what had almost happened was just starting to hit me when a woman who had witnessed the near miss approached with a very relieved look on her face.
As she wrapped me in her arms, she whispered, "You must have a guardian angel." Her warmth and kindness in that moment meant so much to me.
In the rush of events following this, I neglected to get her name and thank her for her compassion. I have thought of her often in the past two years, and would like her to know that I agree with her completely: I DO have a guardian angel, and I was very lucky that she and a friend were out for a run on that sunny Sunday.
— Sheri Fandrey