“I never saw him. I just heard a loud crash,” said Justin Von Liebig, a Hispanic male with a non-Hispanic sounding name, employed as a delivery driver for North Park Glass and Mirror, after colliding with a slender, heavily bearded, white male bicyclist in Normal Heights on the afternoon of Saturday, March 28.
Von Liebig told reporters that en route to delivering a very large, gilt-framed mirror to a home in Kensington, he stopped at a red light at the intersection of Adams Avenue and “some other president street” when his truck was struck from behind by the cyclist.
A San Diego Police spokesperson said the bicycle rider, whose name has not been released to protect him from shame, became entranced by the sight of his own reflection in the giant mirror mounted face-backwards on the rear of the truck and plowed straight into the stationary vehicle. The rider, who was wearing a handsome, vintage Italian racing cap instead of a dorky-looking helmet, sustained critical injuries to his head and face, as well as an estimated seven years' bad luck, when he was thrown from the bike and into the mirror, shattering it and, perhaps, his ego.
“I already knew I looked cool,” the rider told reporters crowded around his bed at Sharp Memorial Hospital, “since I'd caught my profile in the reflections of store windows before, but this was the first time I ever saw myself so clearly, and from the front view.”
The anonymous rider's fixed-gear bicycle was partially damaged in the accident, leading several other “fixie” riders in the area to rush immediately to the scene to salvage components from the wreckage.
One rider, Dick Velo, who witnessed the accident, told police that he “assumed the dude thought another dude was coming toward him, and he just wanted to get close enough to check out the other dude's rear hub.”
Police estimate that the cyclist was traveling at 28 mph when he hit the truck. Asked why he was going so fast, the cyclist responded, “I noticed that the stoplight was red, and since I have no brakes, I naturally sped up to tear through the intersection as fast as I could. Then I saw myself looking so ridiculously awesome in the big mirror that I just had to get a closer look.”
Doctors expect the man to recover and stubbornly cling to the fixed-gear trend until something else becomes popular.
This story was part of our April Fool's Day issue of 2009. Don't believe it.