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Old 01-23-06, 04:10 PM   #1
baiskeli
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Sometimes there is nothing you can do (close call)

I normally ride vehicularly, take the lane when I need to etc. However, yesterday I had a close call that showed that sometimes there is nothing you can do.

I was riding down a road at about 27MPH (its a slight downhill) in the middle of the lane. I had given the car ahead of me lots of space. He slows down and has his left indicator blinking (the road is wide enough that two cars can travel abreast, in fact, it almost has a turning lane) and moves all the way to the left. He has left a space wide enough for a car or a truck to safely pass on his right. I continue straight and right before I pass him on the right he decides to take a RIGHT!. He guns it and goes straight and veers right into my path. It seems that he was intending to pull into a parking lot on the left until he saw a parking spot a bit ahead to the right.

Here I am moving at 27MPH. By the time I realized what this knuckle-head was pulling I had two choices

1. Grab a handful of brake and hope to stop. However, by virtue of how fast he had cut me off there was no such chance of me stopping before he sideswipes me.

2. keep going and swerve right and hope to squeak by the idiot and the parked cars on the right.

I passed him with about 1 inch between my handlebar and his mirror. I was also a couple of inches from the parked cars on the right. I was yelling bloody murder but it wouldn't have helped. He actually almost clipped my rear wheel.

I kept going but I was tempted to loop round and go berserk on him for almost killing me. No matter how much you prepare and watch out, you will always find the driver who does something so boneheadedly stupid that there is almost no way you could prepare for it.
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Old 01-23-06, 04:16 PM   #2
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Congratulations on still being alive!
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Old 01-23-06, 04:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by baiskeli
I kept going but I was tempted to loop round and go berserk on him for almost killing me. No matter how much you prepare and watch out, you will always find the driver who does something so boneheadedly stupid that there is almost no way you could prepare for it.
Like the pizza guy that ran the red just in front of me last spring... I had no idea he was there as he was in his far right lane and I could not see him through the other cars that were patiently waiting at the light...

It is amazing what goes through your mind when that stuff happens...

You didn't stop, but if I were you, I would have... I would have read that driver the riot act.
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Old 01-23-06, 04:20 PM   #4
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Congratulations on still being alive!
Thanks

It freaked me out. I even got scared more later when I thought of exactly what would have happened had my left handlebar clipped his right mirror and I'd lost control.
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Old 01-23-06, 04:22 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by genec
Like the pizza guy that ran the red just in front of me last spring... I had no idea he was there as he was in his far right lane and I could not see him through the other cars that were patiently waiting at the light...

It is amazing what goes through your mind when that stuff happens...

You didn't stop, but if I were you, I would have... I would have read that driver the riot act.
I know. I should have stopped but my problem is that I was so full of adrenaline that if the driver had given me lip I don't know how I would have reacted. However, I could have looped back and taken the number plate.
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Old 01-23-06, 04:45 PM   #6
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An audi did that to me once. He ended up with a big dent in his rear wing & passenger door, plus me lying across his rear window... Me? Bit of red paint on the left pedal. Tip: If you're going get hit by a car, make it one with good aerodynamics... :-D
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Old 01-23-06, 06:22 PM   #7
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I almost got creamed by a crap-for-brains in a black Mazda that decided to go right from the left lane at an intersection the other week. Then there was the ditz that backed into a parking space from another, then pulled out and backed into it again. Or the dimwits that cut off busses and light rail, when not slamming right into them. I lost count of meatheads that floor it and blow past me too close as I signal for a left turn, or at stop signs...
God must love idiots. He gave us too damn many.
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Old 01-23-06, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baiskeli
No matter how much you prepare and watch out, you will always find the driver who does something so boneheadedly stupid that there is almost no way you could prepare for it.
That's why you always plan for Murphy - plan for the other guy doing the stupidest thing possible, then you are prepared to deal with it when he does, rather than being surprised. When a car is stopped in the roadway ahead of me, I always slow down and watch him close, I don't care which way his signals are indicating...and I do the same when I am driving.
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Old 01-23-06, 06:57 PM   #9
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You really should have stopped, and let him know that you are a rational and sensible person, who happens to be on a bike. For all you know, he may think you're one of those ss/fixie guys getting cheap thrills dodging cars. Best to stop, open your wallet, and show him a picture of your wife and kids, then remind him that he's not the only one on the damn road.
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Old 01-24-06, 12:42 AM   #10
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Close call indeed. I'm glad you're okay. My only suggestion is to always apply extra vigilance, and brakes, when passing on the right. However, from this armchair, it's hard to say how much, if any, slowing down might have helped in this case.
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Old 01-24-06, 07:52 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by chipcom
That's why you always plan for Murphy - plan for the other guy doing the stupidest thing possible, then you are prepared to deal with it when he does, rather than being surprised. When a car is stopped in the roadway ahead of me, I always slow down and watch him close, I don't care which way his signals are indicating...and I do the same when I am driving.
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Old 01-24-06, 07:56 AM   #12
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I don't think motorists really expect cyclists to be passing them. They seem to indicate this often by their behavior. Sometimes its as if they don't even know we're there.

Thanks for the reminder!
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Old 01-24-06, 09:55 AM   #13
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There is something you could have done to avoid this accident. As stupid and unpredictable as the motorist's behavior was, it is illegal to pass cars on the right. Aside from this dummy's actions, drivers coming from cross streets farther down the road will see this car stopped in the only travel lane, and will assume no cars will be approaching and it is safe for them to pull out. They won't be able to see you behind the stopped car until you pop around him going 30mph.

I know it sucks to slow down when you're going so fast, but you should never pass a running car on the right.
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Old 01-24-06, 10:08 AM   #14
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I know it sucks to slow down when you're going so fast, but you should never pass a running car on the right.
Except that the guy in the car behind me probably hasn't read his driver's handbook lately. I've nearly been hit from behind by a car wedging through under similar circumstances.

I wouldn't have stopped either.
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Old 01-24-06, 10:14 AM   #15
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Except that the guy in the car behind me probably hasn't read his driver's handbook lately. I've nearly been hit from behind by a car wedging through under similar circumstances.

I wouldn't have stopped either.
tough situation, I hadn't considered that. I still think you'd be safer stopped close to the car front than you would be zipping past stopped cars. I've seen way too many morons turn against their own signal. Maybe passing the car would be OK, but not at 27 mph.
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Old 01-24-06, 10:29 AM   #16
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And then of course there are the morons that make right turns from left lanes... pretty hard to predict that as whole lanes are involved. I have only seen this once in about 10 years... so it probably doesn't happen often...
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Old 01-24-06, 10:33 AM   #17
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After all the years of being parked on, turned on, doors opened on and being told.... "I'm sorry, I didn't see you.." I've come to the conclusion that when I ride I am invisible despite the day light, colours I wear or the lights I ride with. We are vehicular ninjas. I don't watch signals...the MOST EXPENSIVE OPTION on the car obviously as sooo many ppl didn't buy them. I watch the front wheels and the head of the driver, after riding in traffic for almost 20 years I know he's gonna turn almost before he does. You can't always stop for every ahole. He signals left, that is his signal. You go right and then he changes his mind with no signal, his fault your fault whatever.... just be prepared. Yell scream scratch and hit. Knock the damned mirror off his car. No sense letting his mirror take you down, remove it from the equation with a swat or an elbow. Then deal with the aftermath later.

It's not easy to get killed by a car.... If you get popped by the side you aren't dead. Mashed and bashed maybe but not dead. I've gone around corners with my hands on the roof of the ignorant drivers car while riding....again I'm sorry I didn't see you in my passenger window as I look in the opposite direction for my turn.

I don't get freaked until the six inch rule is broken. I've pushed many a drifting car away with a polite knuckle knock on the windows or sheetmetal. Seriously, like knocking a door, just a tap tap. I know this doesn't apply here. What applies here is high speed handing skills. being able to carve and lean around sudden obstacles, and keeping your head about you. Remember you are alone out there, but at this point you'd have to drop your car out of the sky to get me I think.
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Old 01-24-06, 03:40 PM   #18
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Congratulations on still being alive!
Amen!

I have no patience for these idiots anymore, I would have gone bezerk on him, even if it would have landed me in jail.

Some people do not deserve to drive.

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Old 01-24-06, 04:21 PM   #19
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it is illegal to pass cars on the right.
Not everywhere, and certainly not in CA. I don't know about MA. I'm pretty sure it is legal to pass a car turning left on the right just about everywhere.

But like I said before, passing on the right is a time to be extra vigilant and to slow down.
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Old 01-24-06, 04:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
After all the years of being parked on, turned on, doors opened on and being told.... "I'm sorry, I didn't see you.." I've come to the conclusion that when I ride I am invisible despite the day light, colours I wear or the lights I ride with. We are vehicular ninjas. I don't watch signals...the MOST EXPENSIVE OPTION on the car obviously as sooo many ppl didn't buy them. I watch the front wheels and the head of the driver, after riding in traffic for almost 20 years I know he's gonna turn almost before he does. You can't always stop for every ahole. He signals left, that is his signal. You go right and then he changes his mind with no signal, his fault your fault whatever.... just be prepared. Yell scream scratch and hit. Knock the damned mirror off his car. No sense letting his mirror take you down, remove it from the equation with a swat or an elbow. Then deal with the aftermath later.

It's not easy to get killed by a car.... If you get popped by the side you aren't dead. Mashed and bashed maybe but not dead. I've gone around corners with my hands on the roof of the ignorant drivers car while riding....again I'm sorry I didn't see you in my passenger window as I look in the opposite direction for my turn.

I don't get freaked until the six inch rule is broken. I've pushed many a drifting car away with a polite knuckle knock on the windows or sheetmetal. Seriously, like knocking a door, just a tap tap. I know this doesn't apply here. What applies here is high speed handing skills. being able to carve and lean around sudden obstacles, and keeping your head about you. Remember you are alone out there, but at this point you'd have to drop your car out of the sky to get me I think.

After years and years of cycling, this "invisible ninja" method was what I had come to accept as my cycling method... I called it casper mode, as no matter what I did, some folks still couldn't see me.

Now the thing that bothers me the most is the speed at which roads are being pushed. At 25MPH and even 35MPH I could probably survive a brush aside incident... but roads are being pushed to 45, 55 and even 65MPH... and at those speeds I am more likely to become road kill and I don't like it. And even the roads marked at 35MPH are being driven at 40+...

This and the inconsiderate nature of some drivers is just making the roads "not fun."

Yeah they can be navigated and ridden... but it just isn't much fun just trying to just "stay alive." Frogger anyone?
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Old 01-24-06, 05:00 PM   #21
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27 is pretty fast. at that speed, in traffic, you have a very small amount of time to correct a situation. even if you slam the brakes, you'll be skidding for a good distance.

i've had too many instances like this and they scare the crap out of me. after i finally got hit i changed the way i ride. i rarely crank the speed when i'm in the city, it's just not worth it. glad you're safe though!
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Old 01-24-06, 05:13 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Expatriate
You really should have stopped, and let him know that you are a rational and sensible person, who happens to be on a bike. For all you know, he may think you're one of those ss/fixie guys getting cheap thrills dodging cars. Best to stop, open your wallet, and show him a picture of your wife and kids, then remind him that he's not the only one on the damn road.
'fixie guys' are rational, sensible people too...

sometimes with the occasional family as well
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Old 01-24-06, 05:20 PM   #23
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You really should have stopped, and let him know that you are a rational and sensible person, who happens to be on a bike. For all you know, he may think you're one of those ss/fixie guys getting cheap thrills dodging cars. Best to stop, open your wallet, and show him a picture of your wife and kids, then remind him that he's not the only one on the damn road.
Yup, I'm on a fix and don't have a wife or kids (or a husband for that matter) and my wallet is pretty much empty. Tell him to hit me instead.
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Old 01-24-06, 05:25 PM   #24
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For all you know, he may think you're one of those ss/fixie guys getting cheap thrills dodging cars.
and you are a moderator why???

Thanks for the stereotyping. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us "ss/fg" folks in your next appearance!
Yeah, cheap thrills. Like making sweeping generalizations about other riders. How awesome you must be. I hope we can all learn from your observations.
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Old 01-24-06, 05:28 PM   #25
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and dodging cars isn't "cheap thrills"...it's trying not to become roadkill while still making time. because i dodge traffic, i get places in one piece and faster than most people in cars can.

those damn fixie guys

i agree with traffic jammer. totally. ninja riding. that's how i think of that "cheap thrill". you can't trust cars, so don't try. just have your eyes open and use your ears as eyes on the back of your head, know the little signals, go quick, but not too fast to control your vehicle, and dodge--cuz sometimes it is dodge or get hit.
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