I wear a helmet, obey traffic laws (which drives my husband crazy when we’re riding together) and have a bell. On one of my first solo rides I was struck by a car, while IN the bike lane, by a driver who was too impatient to make his right turn.
On the ground, stunned but unhurt, I looked up to find the large male driver exiting the car and screaming at me. His car was completely unharmed, he was at fault, and I was scratched up but apparently in his mind I deserved a lecture in the middle of the street.
I was so frightened that he was going to kick me that I hopped up and on my slightly bent bike and rode away. No pedestrians offered assistance, no other drivers stopped to help, and I know now that it truly is every man for him/herself. Now I scream at cars turning into me, verbally assault drivers parked in the bike lane, and generally kick and scream my way through the streets, trying to stay alive while riding.