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  1. #1
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    Doubting my claim as an cycling advocate now

    Now don't kill. I am doing that on my own, very nicely.

    This just happened to me about 2 hours ago. I was part of a vehicle/bike accident. I was the driver of the vehicle. I was about to leave the parking lot of the grocercy store. Looked to my left and saw nothing. Checked to my right, clear. Or so I thought. As I look forward and start to go, a 12yr old kid pops out in front of me. I stopped, but bumped him into the street. Luck was on our side, he only scrapped his knee. He had no lights, wearing dark clothes, and worse of all no helmet. His dad was apologizing to me for the incident, and telling the kid the bike repairs to his 24'' mtn bike was coming out of his allowance. The dad noticed the bike rack in the back of my truck, and said " and you think your a cyclist." My response was to get some cycling safety info for the kid.

    Ironic, tomorrow I was going to pick up my new NiteRider headlight for the Houston Moonlight Ramble. BikeHouston does the ride at 2am to raise money for cycling awareness and helmets for children that cannot afford it. I have already signed up.

    I wanted to share this. NO matter how much we donate, or talk about being a cyclist..... not everyone hears it. This incident has given me perspective. Get active. I know just reading this my not have the impact it has had on me, but hopefully it will reach some. The next time you see kids riding without helmets, think it could be your kid, or you behind the wheel seeing their head going below the edge of your hood.

    Ride on... carefully

    This has

  2. #2
    Dances with Rocks Dirtgrinder's Avatar
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    Glad the kid wasn't hurt. Even if it was his fault, if he had been seriously hurt, you would have had to live with it. Hopefully it will wake him up and prevent him having a more serious accident in the future.
    If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough...

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  3. #3
    Just Pedal
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    I see this mantality of the children rider's all the time. They think lights are uncool or "dorky". I have been told helmets are for whimps, helmets are gay, they don't look cool, and the constant barage of "I know how to ride I never crash". The excuses go on and on. Worst of all we sell Vigor helmets at a reduced price to get people to get them and use them. Still parents will come in look at them with their children and think it is too much to spend at the moment. i try to tell them that $22 to $26 is not a whole lot to spend on a human skull, but what do I know.
    Sorry I had to let that out.

  4. #4
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    Glad it worked out as well as it did. It could have been far different. It really bugs me when bicyclists act irresponsibly. The dad in this case ought to be strung up.

    There are a lot of people in this forum that seemingly always blame motorists but in my experience there are loads and loads of irresponsible cyclists.

    This seems to be one of those cases.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    You probably feel terribly shook up after hitting a child on a bicycle - especially since you are a bicyclist yourself.

    I will never forget backing out of the driveway and running over my child's bicycle. Nobody was on the bike, but the experience was so tramatic that I was shook up for days. Just to think what could have happened was so dreadful. That was one incident that pushed me toward a mostly automobile-free lifestyle.

    The reality is that no amount of activity, promotion, or campaigning is going to prevent kids from doing dangerous things - they don't read and they are difficult to reach to get the safety info to them.

    Drive safe and look at the sidewalks as well as the streets.
    Mike

  6. #6
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    I once almost took another cyclist out. I was giving another biker a lift home from work, at night. we stopped by the side of the road on a hill with no street lighting. he opened the curbside door and then there was a screech of brakes. A kid had been riding fast, down the dark narrow sidewalk dressed in black with no lights, and had ignored the possibility that the stopped car may open a door.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Stor Mand's Avatar
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    Think of the response that would have come from this forum if it were told from the other person's view. You wold have been ridiculed something fierce. The point is, everyone errs at some point and accidents do happen. Glad it worked out ok for you and the kid.

  8. #8
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    i too had an accident with a child/predestrian. i was pedaling along, doing ~18-20 mph and there was a dad/child holding hands right on the center yellow line of the 2 lane road that goes through a lazy/sleepy downtown area. the dad checks for cars only and doesn't see me coming (years ago i was a bit more shy about 'taking the lane' when then there was no other traffic coming) ---> the dad darts out and crosses the street leaving his 8 year old girl standing on that yellow center lane line. he crosses and says "no cars/all clear" while motioning 'come here' with his hands-->and the girl looks both ways, hesitates while the dad is calling for her to run to cross. as i am seeing this i am thinking/knowing that she isn't going to run right into my handlebars on the left side.
    she ran right into my front wheel - it was surreal. it happened so fast yet in slow motion.

    i took some evasive action (on such short notice) and flipped over the top of my bars. i hit my helmet near the temple of my left eye and it split (the helmet) i just kind of layed there, rolled around to look at the girl. she was just shaken up with some scrapes. the dad was apologizing to me and saying it was his fault.

    i rode off and felt just sick about it for weeks afterwards. i've never came even remotely close to a situation like that again.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

  9. #9
    Poky Oxymoron's Avatar
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    We have a gas station in my town that is on a very busy road. A side walk exists but isn't used much as the road doesn't really go anywhere. Some genius planted shrubs at the corners of the parking lot entrance/exit meaning a driver has to pull ahead of them into the sidewalk to see the road. I could see the rest of the sidewalk, but the cyclist must have been perfectly lined up with the bush b/c I never saw him. They were able to slam on their brakes and avoid the side of my car. As a cyclist myself I felt like the biggest doofus.

    It was good for me though because I am an even safer driver now, and a better biker. I learned that even the best drivers aren't perfect so don't ever think they see you. When in doubt slow down. This cyclist was doing 20mph on the sidewalk. They weren't prepared for cross traffic, they were going too fast, and they didn't anticipate me. Even if it's the driver's fault techinically, it's no good to be right and dead.

    When I was a teenager, my dad, in his infinite uncoolness, made me wear a helmet and use a light at night. He even made me put an orange flag on my bike when I rode on country roads. The light was OK because no one knew who I was at night, and I could take it off during the day to save myself from the ridicule of my peers. But the other stuff...it was removed as soon as I turned the corner of my house. Of course, now I do all those things, and then some. I even have two lights and two triangles. Hmmm... Could he have possibly influenced me? Could my dad of been right in any way? Say it ain't so! He cruises around at exactly the speed limit and slows down carefully, and I drive slow and am careful. Oh, this is horrible. And to think the junior high kids laugh at me when I go by.

    All a parent can do is plant the seed. I feel sorry for the kids who get nothing planted in their brains. They get nothing out of them, even if they do live to see adulthood.

    Clay

  10. #10
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I have been struck by a wrong-way young adult cyclist while motoring, and I have struck a child while cycling. Fortunately, I was definitely not at fault in either case, neither incident caused significant injury, and I dealt with rational people in both cases. Although lights, visibility, clothing colour, etc. were not factors in these two incidents, I strongly advocate wearing bright colours while cycling, using bright lights at night while cycling or jogging (I actually carry a Cateye halogen headlamp, which I also sometimes shine at motorists too inconsiderate to dim their lights, and wear a red blinkie on my backpack), and staying alert whenever using the public road system in any mode.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  11. #11
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    First off, I'm sorry that you were involved in this accident and I'm even sorrier that you are blaming yourself (you shouldn't - lucky for him to have the opportunity to learn an important lesson with only a scraped knee!). However, I don't agree with the philosophy that a 'helmet-cures-all' which nearly all internet cyclists subscribe to.

    Originally posted by SpiderMike
    This just happened to me about 2 hours ago. I was part of a vehicle/bike accident. I was the driver of the vehicle.
    Sorry to be pedantic but a bicycle should be considered a vehicle and operated like one. I submit that not doing so is what caused the accident. A 12 year old is old enough to ride on the road but of course needs instruction like anyone.

    I was about to leave the parking lot of the grocercy store. Looked to my left and saw nothing. Checked to my right, clear. Or so I thought. As I look forward and start to go, a 12yr old kid pops out in front of me. I stopped, but bumped him into the street.


    Was he riding on the sidewalk or was he on the wrong side of the street?

    Luck was on our side, he only scrapped his knee. He had no lights, wearing dark clothes, and worse of all no helmet.
    NO HELMET!!!! Yet he survived!!!! I guess he won't be able to write his 'a helmet saved my life' story on the internet just yet.

    It seems to me that the two biggest factors in the accident were that he was not visible (You imply that this happened at night but don't say for sure) and that he came from somewhere you weren't expecting (the sidewalk, or riding on the wrong side of the street) and in the case of the sidewalk, at a higher rate of speed than you would expect such as a pedestrian who you would be looking for.

    These are the main factors which kill cyclists, especially children, and should be given the emphasis.

    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm

    Putting a helmet on a kid (or any cyclist, for that matter) and sending him off down the sidewalk (especially at night without lights) and implying that he is now 'protected' because he has a helmet is not the way to prevent injuries and deaths. Anticipating the inevitable replies, I state this is not the same as saying that people should not wear helmets!

    For a support of my position, have a look at this article, published last year in the NY times and based on data compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

    http://www.topica.com/lists/massbike...t=d&start=4140

    A summary, "The number of head injuries has increased 10 percent since 1991, even as bicycle helmet use has risen sharply, according to figures compiled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But given that ridership has declined over the same period, the rate of head injuries per active cyclist has increased 51 percent just as bicycle helmets have become widespread."

    His dad was apologizing to me for the incident, and telling the kid the bike repairs to his 24'' mtn bike was coming out of his allowance. The dad noticed the bike rack in the back of my truck, and said " and you think your a cyclist."
    I'm afraid I don't understand what his position was. He didn't blame you but then he did?

    My response was to get some cycling safety info for the kid.
    Excuse my cynicism but isn't this just more 'wear a helmet so you are safe' literature? Why not just explain to both of them why the accident happened in the first place, namely no light at night [I inferred this] and riding along the sidewalk much faster than a pedestrian would be walking?

    I wanted to share this. NO matter how much we donate, or talk about being a cyclist..... not everyone hears it. This incident has given me perspective. Get active. I know just reading this my not have the impact it has had on me, but hopefully it will reach some. The next time you see kids riding without helmets, think it could be your kid, or you behind the wheel seeing their head going below the edge of your hood.
    There is no lack of promotion about helmets. A press report of any incident involving someone on or with a bicycle will comment on whether they were wearing a helmet and imply blame based on this status. The general populace has got the memo from cyclist 'advocates' themselves: Bicycling is very dangerous unless you wear a helmet; helmetless cyclists should always be lectured and ridiculed and deserve to be run over.

    In other words, count me out of this vein of Cycling [Helmet] Advocacy as it currently exists.
    Last edited by bikerider; 09-29-02 at 02:40 PM.

  12. #12
    Just Pedal
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    Bikerider,
    i do not know how you got what you did out of the NY Times but it sure was not a advocacy article against the no use of helmets while riding. You may wish not to where one but to decrease ones chances of a head injury, if you are going to smash into the pavement is a good idea.

  13. #13
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Bikerider,

    While the overall effectiveness of a helmet can be debated, the truth is; a helmet can and has prevented injuries.

    Your endless rants against helmet use (or the advocacy of helmet use) do not help ANYBODY!!!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Precision Pedal
    Bikerider,
    i do not know how you got what you did out of the NY Times but it sure was not a advocacy article against the no use of helmets while riding.
    I didn't state that it was. I did anticipate that someone would misconstrue my position as saying that people should not wear helmets but you apparentely glossed over that as well.

  15. #15
    Senior Member bikerider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Moose
    Bikerider,

    While the overall effectiveness of a helmet can be debated, the truth is; a helmet can and has prevented injuries.
    That's true.

    Your endless rants against helmet use (or the advocacy of helmet use) do not help ANYBODY!!!!
    Well, thanks for the attack but obviously I don't agree.

    I am not 'against helmet use' and your suggestion of this (besides being somewhat amusing considering I had predicted this exact response) is simply dishonest. Also, my 'rant' actually attempted to address the topic of the post; have *you* anything to contribute to that?

    Look at the basis for this thread; the OP hit a kid on a bike [at night?] who he stated had no lights and came from his right (riding on the sidewalk or wrong way on the road). The proposed solution from 'cycling advocacy' seems to be simply to make sure that next time the kid is hit, he is wearing a helmet.

    My point was that teaching the kid to ride properly and lawfully is far more important than simply slapping a helmet on his head. See, this actually does have the potential to help somebody, unlike your little jab. Of course the two things can be used in combination as they probably should be but unfortunately I never see anything relating to 'cycling advocacy' given the emphasis of helmets.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    bikerider,

    Count me as one who sees your point. For the helmet advocates who do not see bikerider's point, read on.

    Something that I have been noticing with all the helmet threads is that:

    1) It is always the helmet advocates who are attacking people.

    2) Both sides are really saying the same thing.

    Point (1) may be debated, but point (2) is most important. The people on the "choice" side emphasize the importance of training cyclists to keep accidents from happening in the first place. Their complaint is that with all the emphasis on helmets in the last few years, the point of training has been lost. They obviously think that training is more important than the equipment.

    The helmet advocates construe the choice argument as an attack on a very reasonable piece of cycling safety equipment. After they are done yelling about the stupidity of the "choice" people, they state in the next breath that "of course cyclists have to be trained to ride with traffic" or something to that extent.

    The fact is that nobody is advocating that no one should ride ride with helmets. Likewise, nobody is advocating slapping helmets on heads and that be all. From an advocacy standpoint, a debate about the effectiveness of helmets vs. the effectiveness of training would by much more productive than a shouting contest. Then we will have a basis for distributing the limited resources of cycling advocacy. When having this debate, remember these two things:

    It is true that requiring helmets will turn some people off to cycling. It is also true that helmets afford a measure of protection to the head.

    And no yelling please!
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  17. #17
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    Well said Brian!

  18. #18
    Zzzzzzzzzzz earleybird's Avatar
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    I knocked someone down once on my bike.
    I was living in bath England at the time and each summer we got an unbelievable number of coachloads of tourists from japan USA all over the world.
    I was humming down the road in the centre of the city and spied a middle aged couple standing at a traffic island in the middle of the road. As I was in full view only 15 -20 yards away I didn't slow but just put my mitts on the brakes as a precaution.

    I couldn't believe what happened next. ! they looked up the road the wrong way for traffic and then both stepped straight out in front of me .!.....:confused:

    I jammed on the anchors ,skidded then went straight over the bars and landed on the couples heads. ( nice soft landing at least)

    When we sorted our selves out miraculously no one was hurt!.

    It turned out they were on holiday from the States and had looked the wrong way for oncoming traffic instinctively. bet they looked both ways the rest of the day


    I'm ready for something , but I don't know what!!..

  19. #19
    Senior Member Harry's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Joe Gardner
    Well said Brian!
    As it's so well said I have two questions for Brian

    1. Have you ever been hospitalised due to an accident?
    2. Have you ever fallen from your bike and banged your head?

  20. #20
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    NO HELMET!!!! Yet he survived!!!! I guess he won't be able to write his 'a helmet saved my life' story on the internet just yet
    Bikerider,

    The above quote from your original reply is not a jab?

    In this thread, your post was the first that contained "attacks". When you post a qoute and then respond to it with a sarcastic comment like the above, it comes across as condescending and takes away from the point you're trying to make.
    I feel more like I do now than when I first got here.

  21. #21
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    First of all, glad the kid was not hurt to seriously.

    Second, he should have been wearing a helmet.

    Third, it was obviously his fault, but of course you feel bad for it happening, who wouldn't?


    It was good that the father pointed out the kids fault in it and did take some of the responsibility himself.

    Hopefully this kid learned a valuble lesson.

    Was this at night when this happened? You mention dark clothing, etc, thats why I ask.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Stor Mand's Avatar
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    Originally posted by bikerider
    [snip snip [/i] ... Putting a helmet on a kid (or any cyclist, for that matter) and sending him off down the sidewalk (especially at night without lights) and implying that he is now 'protected' because he has a helmet is not the way to prevent injuries and deaths. Anticipating the inevitable replies, I state this is not the same as saying that people should not wear helmets! snip snip
    Are you really saying that wearing a helmet does not prevent injury or death, are you :confused: ? If so, I'd say you're mistaken. Is it the cure-all? Of course not but it does help protect one's noggin from cracking open when it contacts the pavement.
    Personally, I don't feel that most children should be riding on busy streets without proper training and maybe adult supervision for a while. If they are riding in the evening, proper lighting and reflectors should be used (obviously).


  23. #23
    eert a ekil yzarc SpiderMike's Avatar
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    Sorry for the delay on replying to questions. AFter going to the bike shop to get my light, I took a trip down to the beach house, sat in my hammock, and played my guitar to clear my head and get my bearings(so to speak).

    It was dark, and where the kid was riding from, there were no lights to make reflectors effective.
    He was on the side walk going against traffic, and no lights. In Texas you cannot ride on the sidewalk, and at night have lights, not just reflectors.
    As for the bike helmets save lives....They help prevent second impact. That is all. I know there is more to safety than a helmet. Wearing light colors is a good start. I wish everyone rode by the rule my dad told me, Don't assume they see you, until they look directly at you and let you know like waving. I use that even when driving.

    The weather is miserable down here. I am sitting in my office, looking at the sunny clear day wishing I had rode my bike. I will not ride until my light gets here.

    I thank you all for the support/response. When I got to work this morning, my boss said I looked like I just ran someone over. You should have seen his face when I explained my Friday night.

    Keep on cranking.

    Laters

  24. #24
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Harry


    As it's so well said I have two questions for Brian

    1. Have you ever been hospitalised due to an accident?
    2. Have you ever fallen from your bike and banged your head?
    No, in 5+ years of semiserious to serious road cycling and commuting, I have not had the opportunity to use my helmet. I would like to think there is more than luck to this.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member knobbymojo's Avatar
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    I definitly think it should be the riders choice as to wearing a helmet or not, at least in the case of adults. But I can talk from personal experience when I say that a helmet saved my butt more than once. I have ridden motorcycles for the last ten years, a little less than half my life, and have crashed a few times. The worst was when I layed the bike down around a slippery corner. I wasnt speeding or riding recklessly, I just hit a little patch of sand, and over it went. The stars I saw as my head hit the pavement, and the very deep gouges on the side of the helmet convinced me to wear one religiously. I refuse to believe the claims that say: I wont hit my head or crash because Im such a good rider! What a bunch of crap. ***t happens, even to the best riders. So if youre not going to wear one, at least be aware of the risks you take. Kids also dont have the best judgement, so a helmet might not be a bad idea for a little extra protection.
    Now, I promise no more helmet rants till im on the rants and raves section.
    Last edited by knobbymojo; 09-30-02 at 08:29 PM.
    I have gone looking for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait for myself.

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