Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Cary, NC
Bikes: 1983 Trek, 2001 Lemond, 2000 Gary Fisher
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Almost hit a cyclist with my car - have you seen this?
I'm driving my car, complete with NC "share the road" license plate and Bicycle Friendly Vehicle magnet, straight through an intersection on a green light, headed into a shopping center. As I reach the far side of the intersection, a ~30 year old cyclist on a mountain bike coming from the sidewalk at my right runs turns right on red into the outside lane without stopping.
He's turned in the same direction I am, into the 4-lane shopping center driveway, but is using the right (outside) lane while I am using the left (inside) lane. "No trouble," I think, "I wasn't using that lane anyway." But I slow down because something doesn't seem right.
Half a second later, he makes a sudden 90-degree turn to the left and is about to cross my lane right in front of me.
I skid to a stop and so does he. He looks embarassed and I proceed.
I see a lot of teen and adult mountain-bike riders make similar maneuvers at intersections: They turn right, on red or green, then suddenly U-turn, followed by another right turn (to avoid the red) or straight across (to avoid a vehicular left turn.) They usually start this maneuver from the sidewalk, and often appear to be trying to cross behind the cars on the side street rather than in front of them. They surprise me as a cyclist and a motorist when they make the U-turn.
This particular intersection is close to my house and I cross it frequently on my bike with my family with me, including my son in the Burley trailer. We operate vehicularly though this intersection and have not had any problems there. Hopefully this cyclist will see us ride through sometime and think that if the vehicular approach works for us, it can work for him.