Reader Feedback: My Bicycling Accident in Phuket

To recap: My Phuket Challenge to not gain weight during eight days and nights staying at five star resorts and eating breakfast buffets and dining at gourmet restaurants came to a crashing halt on my third full day on the Southern Thai island.

 Readers of the Accidental Travel Writer reacted to the news in various ways. A sampling of their comments follows.

 Something I loved about China when I first lived there in the late 1980s was the possibility to ride bikes in bike lanes that were well separated from the cars. 

The most dangerous parts, however, were intersections, where the cars and the bike riders negotiated what looked like a version of rows of dancers weaving in and out and just missing one another. 

When I saw collisions between cyclists, I noticed that friends who bumped into each other did not get angry.  However, bumping into a stranger elicited angry responses from each party.

Since most Chinese city streets have now been taken over by cars and traffic jams, I doubt I'd risk riding a bike there again. 

Good luck healing from your bike collision.

Suellen Zima of Laguna Woods, California, via email. Suellen publishes a blog called Follow the Senior Hummingbird, in which she wanders, wonders, and writes. She is also author of the award-winning autobiography, Memoirs of a Middle-aged Hummingbird. We met when we were both teaching English in Macau.

Accidental Travel Writer responds:

You hardly see any bicycles on the streets of major cities in China these days.

On my first trip to Beijing a few years back, I was surprised not to see any bicycles on the road.

Finally I spotted one. Lo and behold, the rider on it wasn't Chinese – she was a foreigner!

Regarding your comment about bicycle lanes separated from automobile traffic, it reminds of the wonderful weekend I spent in Davis, California, when I was at university in the later 1960s or early 1970s.

The University of California has a campus there, and there is an incredible network of bicycle paths – not only through the university's campus, but also throughout the entire city.

What a wonderful concept!

Even here in Hong Kong, there are excellent bicycle paths throughout the New

Territories. And there are tunnels or bridges at most intersections so bicyclists and cars are kept separate most of the time.

Pedestrians wandering unto bicycle paths are the real peril!

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Hi Mike,

That was quite a catapult and fall, and I hope you're on the road to a swift recovery from your injuries.

Though one can never be too careful, such an incident underscores the importance of having travel insurance. As with my passport, I never leave home without it!

Michelle Wan in Singapore via email. Michelle publishes a very well written  travel blog called WANderlust Journeys. While all of her posts are both interesting and well written, my favourite is the one she wrote about her trip to North Korea!

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Accidental Travel Writer responds:

You are absolutely right, Michelle!

Not only is it imperative to have travel insurance, you should also be crystal clear about what is covered and what isn't. I had to sign waivers, which were not shown to me until the last minute – so I didn't have time to check. It had never really occurred to me. Live and learn …

Fortunately, after I returned home, I checked my policy, and bicycling was not exempt. But certain activities, such as bungee jumping, paragliding, piloting an aircraft, and even hot air ballooning (if I remember correctly) were exempt.

As each policy differs, I would recommend going over the exemptions before leaving home if you plan on doing any kinds of sporting activities while on holiday.

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Oh, no, Michael!

Sorry to hear of your accident. Hope you are back in kick boxing shape very soon to lose all those Phuket Pounds.

S. in Phuket, Thailand, via email

Accidental Travel Writer responds:

Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to more kick boxing lessons – and also to that great food on the terrace at Paresa! Those Thai breakfast noodles were awesome!

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When the injuries heal you can get back on track with your exercise program. For now concentrate on healing and portion control. You'll be just fine!

D. in Sparks, Nevada, via Facebook

Accidental Travel Writer responds:

Thanks for the encouraging words! My physical therapist says I can resume mild exercise now as it has been six weeks since the accident.

No more excuses!

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You need to stay away from bikes!

J. in Pleasanton, California, via Facebook

Accidental Travel Writer responds:

I know, I know! But this wasn't a motorbike. It was a conventional bike! Do you still think I should stay away from them?

I must admit, since this accident, I have spoken to so many people that have friends or relatives that have had serious accidents on bicycles, some of them catastrophic.

Believe me, I count my lucky stars!

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You're still lucky enough to be able to enjoy food for the rest of your stay in Phuket.  You're really blessed.

Helen Wong in Hong Kong via email

Accidental Travel Writer responds:

The real blessing, Helen, is to have friends like you!!!

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