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Old 07-08-05, 03:33 PM   #1
seeker333
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first time i've heard of someone killed during a tour

i thought this thread may be pertinent to a&s readers.

Please be careful when touring this summer

this seems like the perfect example of a highly experienced, safety minded bicyclist riding in good location/conditions, and being acidentally killed by the one guy whose job is to protect you. tragic.
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Old 07-08-05, 09:25 PM   #2
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http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/...ory.asp?ID=611

Publish Date: 6/27/2005

Bicyclist killed on Colo. 67

David Young
Daily Record Staff Writer

WETMORE — William Bliss, 69, died Friday after being hit by a pickup while riding his bicycle northbound on Colo. 67, according to the Colorado State Patrol.
Doug Havens, 34, a Cańon City police officer who was off duty at the time, was driving northbound on Colo. 67 in a pickup two miles north of Wetmore at 11:25 a.m.

According to CSP, the Westcliffe man’s vehicle skidded before colliding with Bliss’ bicycle from behind. The truck came to a stop on the right side of the road.

Bliss, of San Jose, Calif., and his bicycle were carried a short distance by the truck after the initial impact and rolled to a stop on the east shoulder of the road, according to reports.

According to authorities, Bliss died at the scene, and Havens was uninjured.

Fremont County Coroner Dr. Dorothy Twellman said Bliss’ cause of death was an atlanto-occipital separa-tion, which is a neck fracture at the base of the skull.

“He was traveling in the middle of the lane and a vehicle behind him just didn’t see him at all and struck him at about 60 miles per hour,” Twellman said.

Bliss was doing a cross country tour with Adventure Cycling, a company based out of Missoula, MT., that offers bicycle trips.

The crash is under investigation by the Colorado State Patrol Accident Reconstruction Team.
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Old 07-08-05, 09:31 PM   #3
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“He was traveling in the middle of the lane and a vehicle behind him just didn’t see him at all and struck him at about 60 miles per hour,” Twellman said.
Cyclists hear this all the time, "I didn't see you", even when they have the right of way. "I didn't see him" because I was driving too fast and was not paying attention is what they should say or was driving while in a rush or driving while talking on the phone, etc. Too often "I didn't see him" is misinterpreted to mean it was the cyclists fault for not being more visable.
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Old 07-08-05, 10:06 PM   #4
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Cyclists hear this all the time, "I didn't see you", even when they have the right of way. "I didn't see him" because I was driving too fast and was not paying attention is what they should say or was driving while in a rush or driving while talking on the phone, etc. Too often "I didn't see him" is misinterpreted to mean it was the cyclists fault for not being more visable.
Sadly the whole credo of Vehicular Cyclists is that one should be expected to be seen when one rides where vehicles usually are. "Foresterites" advocate riding in such a position as to depend on motorists "predictibility" in avoiding said cyclist due to their supposed increased visibility of being right in the "vehicle lane."
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Old 07-09-05, 01:47 PM   #5
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Sadly the whole credo of Vehicular Cyclists is that one should be expected to be seen when one rides where vehicles usually are. "Foresterites" advocate riding in such a position as to depend on motorists "predictibility" in avoiding said cyclist due to their supposed increased visibility of being right in the "vehicle lane."
I don't understand your point. Are you saying we shouldn't ride on the road? You don't have to be riding on the road to get hit by a driver that's not paying attention. Getting run over from behind is one of the rarest causes of fatality in cycling. Avoiding riding on the roads by riding on the sidewalk or in the gutter because you are scared increases your chances of getting killed by a more real threat.
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Old 07-09-05, 03:02 PM   #6
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This reminds me of one time when my mother's car was almost hit by a big truck. The guy said "I didn't see your little car" (note: it was a station wagon!). My mother's reply is that her children (at the time) are smaller still -- if he hit one would that be his excuse?

On the rare times I drive, I try to be super-attentive at all times, for my own safety as well as that of others. Everyone has brief lapses of attention as I know, but long enough to miss a cyclist in the middle of the road?
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Old 07-09-05, 10:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dwightonabike
I don't understand your point. Are you saying we shouldn't ride on the road? You don't have to be riding on the road to get hit by a driver that's not paying attention. Getting run over from behind is one of the rarest causes of fatality in cycling. Avoiding riding on the roads by riding on the sidewalk or in the gutter because you are scared increases your chances of getting killed by a more real threat.
Perhaps not riding right in the middle of the traffic lanes might be a better way... As far as getting killed from behind... well, the various accident statistics are a bit skewed in this manner... While overtaking accidents are the rarest form of all the accidents that can happen to cyclists, they are also the most deadly. Of course the most common form of accident is simply cyclists falling down... Can you imagine what might happen to you riding in the "middle" of a traffic lane (where you are supposedly the most visible) and you simply happen to fall down?

Look, I am not saying riding in the VC manner does not work, but simply that there are times and places where one should not push "visibility" issues, and that one should be aware of the fact that you may not be seen from behind, no matter how predictible you are riding. Fast roads, blind corners and hilly roads can put a slow moving cyclist right in front of fast approaching traffic... relying on the vehicular method of being in the roadway "visible and predictable," can also put you right where you depend most on a driver's attention and rapid reaction time.
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Old 07-23-05, 01:58 AM   #8
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Can you imagine what might happen to you riding in the "middle" of a traffic lane (where you are supposedly the most visible) and you simply happen to fall down?
Sure. Same thing that happens when anyone slows down or stops (for whatever reason); other travelers see and avoid them.

Of course, I regularly check my clothing for tire tracks (just in case someone ran me over from behind when I fell off my bike, and I just didn't happen to notice). Haven't found any such marks yet, but I'll keep looking.
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Old 07-23-05, 03:50 PM   #9
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Or they have a "rear end" collision with the vehicle in front of them. If you are in a car then you can look forward to paying your deductible and the inconvenience of getting it fixed. That is if you don't get whiplash, or are driving a Pinto.

If you are on a bike a "rear end" collision can and probably will be much more serious. It would be nice to think people will avoid you, but it only takes one instance to make life suck and/or short. The only time my life truly passed before my eyes, I laid my bike down in bumper to bumper traffic on a three lane, one-way street. The van behind me had no way to "avoid" me other than slamming on the brakes. I was trying to get up off the ground only to hear the sound of locked up brakes and tires skidding and look up to see the van coming toward me, nose down. It didn't hit me but came to stop less than six inches from me and the bike. The van driver was a nice guy and stopped to see if I was OK and helped me get out of the traffic, but if his attention had been elsewhere for even a second, I would have been lucky to come out of it alive.
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Old 07-23-05, 04:18 PM   #10
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Or they have a "rear end" collision with the vehicle in front of them.
Only if they break the law. The following comment about Rear-End Collisions is from the NOLO legal encyclopedia:
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If someone hits you from behind, it is virtually never your fault, regardless of why you stopped. A basic rule of the road requires a vehicle to be able to stop safely if traffic is stopped ahead of it.
While the offending driver may not have been impaired in the case you mentioned, they certainly could have been. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is offering a way for each of us to help fight that problem:
Advice about "What you can do" from Mothers Against Drunk Driving:
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Humantransport.org: Advocacy on behalf of humans traveling under their own power
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Old 07-24-05, 05:25 PM   #11
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Bruce,

Who cares if they were in the right or not when they run you over? Can I rise from the bloody grave and sue somebody? Give me a break.
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Old 07-24-05, 05:30 PM   #12
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God I wish someone would start a campaign to suspend these drivers who try to use the "I didn't see him excuse."

Only in the US can you murder someone, claim you didn't see him, and get away with it.
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Old 07-24-05, 11:41 PM   #13
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Recently I joined a newly formed cycling club in Tainan, Taiwan. Every Tuesday Night there is a 15km Time Trial event, weather permitting. The route is a 4 lane boulevard that runs along the beach just south of town. For those who don't know, many of the streets here have an extra scooter lane that is usually 1/2 to close to the full width of a car lane. This particular street has a very wide berm that is close to the width of a car lane and similarly paved. I was 3rd in a line of 3 riders who were in the process of warming up on the berm. We were all spaced about 30 yards apart. As I started to turn and head back, I heard a "smack" and then the sound of plastic scraping on the ashphalt. Turns out that a scooter was evidenly playing chicken with the 1st rider (unbeknownst to him) and then they collided and both went down. Both were mostly OK, except that the bike rider must have had his hand between the handlebars and the pavement when he fell. He had a large abrasion and puncture wound on the back of his hand.

Even though this was after dark, the bike was equipped with a headlight and there was a nearby streetlight. If this had been the US, it would have been very unusual for someone to ride against the traffic. Here it is a common occurance as there are many lane dividers. No law can protect against stupidity. This accident didn't have to happen.
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