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Old 05-05-07, 04:41 PM   #1
bikingMILF
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Glad I was paying attention...

So, in my inaugural ride today with my brand new Trek 1600 I took to the street to break her in and see how great and different road cycling is compaired to mountain biking, where I have spent the better part of the last 2 years. Anyways, I was happily riding along down the road and a car came up and passed me, but slowed down shortly after passing me. Up ahead was a stop sign and a gas station on the right. Since she didn't use her BLINKER, i figured she was slowing down for the stop sign, and was planning on going straight after she proceeded. WRONG. This crazy lady took a right hand turn into the gas station and was literally within inches of my front wheel. No blinker, no warning, no concern for me in my BRIGHT PINK helmet and jersey. She could have killed me. I actually skimmed her car as I swerved from keeping to get hit.

Tell me....is this kind of driver ignorance the norm for road cyclists? I always look out for cyclists, and give them the right of way. Was I the one at fault for not stopping to let her in the parking lot of the gas station? In NC, cyclists have the same rights to lane usage as cars, so I can't really imagine her pulling the same stunt had I been in a car.....Sad realization is, whether or not drivers know the laws doesnt matter if the aren't following them anyways.

I dont know....I'm just kinda scared to get back out there. I know i *will*, but the fear of bone heads not even paying attention to people on bikes is a pretty rational one, I would imagine.
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Old 05-05-07, 05:14 PM   #2
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i just wanted to clarify some stuff so i dont seem like a real weener here. because the driver was not using a signal and was slowing down, it appeared she was stopping for the stop sign ahead of us, not turning into the gas station on our right. i was riding on her right hand side, and intended to take a right at the stop sign. so just to make clear, i was not trying to pass her on the right as she was slowing for a stop sign. if she was actually doing what it appeared she was doing, she would have made a complete stop and begun to accelerate again before i even got to the stop sign.

i guess i better practice my reiiteration of situations because its pretty certain that at some point in time, i'll have to be giving my statements to a cop in an accident report.

im going to try to be concise, just for the sake of being concise....

car and i both going same direction. car passes me on my left and proceeds in the same direction. car slows down, no blinker, apparently to stop for stop sign. as i come up on the car, which is now going about 2mph and still appearing to be slowing for the stop sign, i prepare to make a right at the stop sign. my intentions are cut short and i have to veer into the gas station parking lot in order to avoid collision with this car as it takes a sudden right hand turn into the lot, without signaling.

make sense?
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Old 05-05-07, 05:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingMILF
i just wanted to clarify some stuff so i dont seem like a real weener here. because the driver was not using a signal and was slowing down, it appeared she was stopping for the stop sign ahead of us, not turning into the gas station on our right. i was riding on her right hand side, and intended to take a right at the stop sign. so just to make clear, i was not trying to pass her on the right as she was slowing for a stop sign. if she was actually doing what it appeared she was doing, she would have made a complete stop and begun to accelerate again before i even got to the stop sign.

i guess i better practice my reiiteration of situations because its pretty certain that at some point in time, i'll have to be giving my statements to a cop in an accident report.

im going to try to be concise, just for the sake of being concise....

car and i both going same direction. car passes me on my left and proceeds in the same direction. car slows down, no blinker, apparently to stop for stop sign. as i come up on the car, which is now going about 2mph and still appearing to be slowing for the stop sign, i prepare to make a right at the stop sign. my intentions are cut short and i have to veer into the gas station parking lot in order to avoid collision with this car as it takes a sudden right hand turn into the lot, without signaling.

make sense?
Makes perfect sense. This is a classic maneuver. One of the prime categories of car-bike collisions (another is the car turning left, from the other side of the street, and plowing into the cyclist).

I was in a very similar situation last summer. --Except it was a green light rather than a stop sign. She came roaring up alongside me as I entered the intersection (I was moving at about fifteen mph), and then she suddenly and sharply turned right into me. I was lucky my injuries were not worse.

One term that has been used for this is 'the right hook'.

Watch out for them.

And the 'left cross' as well. (There is a bicycle safety website that diagrams these well. Michael Bluejay might be the author.)

Better to minimize exposure to these situations, it seems to me.

There is another one that Ken Kifer describes on his website (before he got killed by a car (drunk driver)). A friend recently had it happen to him. It scared him, and left a lasting impression. He is still shaken up. He called it a 'reverse hallucination' -- the driver was cutting a corner while turning left onto a side street. He was standing there in the middle of his lane at the stop sign, waiting to proceed. She was looking right through him, and would have plowed straight into him if he hadn't jumped off his bike just in time (Ken Kifer had a nearly identical encounter). It took place in broad daylight. She didn't see him at all, even after he started waving his arms.
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Old 05-05-07, 06:27 PM   #4
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Yes, it's the norm. If we pull out into the lane to avoid this, the car drivers also get frustrated with us. Around here some car drivers do that to other car drivers.
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Old 05-05-07, 06:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingMILF
Since she didn't use her BLINKER, i figured she was slowing down for the stop sign, and was planning on going straight after she proceeded. WRONG.
Sad to say, if you are relying on motorists to properly signal their intentions, or even turn from the proper lane you will be in for many unpleasant surprises, whether you are driving or cycling.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:32 PM   #6
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It's not the norm. It happens, but it's not the norm. Don't let it ruin your cycling experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingMILF
So, in my inaugural ride today with my brand new Trek 1600 I took to the street to break her in and see how great and different road cycling is compaired to mountain biking, where I have spent the better part of the last 2 years. Anyways, I was happily riding along down the road and a car came up and passed me, but slowed down shortly after passing me. Up ahead was a stop sign and a gas station on the right. Since she didn't use her BLINKER, i figured she was slowing down for the stop sign, and was planning on going straight after she proceeded. WRONG. This crazy lady took a right hand turn into the gas station and was literally within inches of my front wheel. No blinker, no warning, no concern for me in my BRIGHT PINK helmet and jersey. She could have killed me. I actually skimmed her car as I swerved from keeping to get hit.

Tell me....is this kind of driver ignorance the norm for road cyclists? I always look out for cyclists, and give them the right of way. Was I the one at fault for not stopping to let her in the parking lot of the gas station? In NC, cyclists have the same rights to lane usage as cars, so I can't really imagine her pulling the same stunt had I been in a car.....Sad realization is, whether or not drivers know the laws doesnt matter if the aren't following them anyways.

I dont know....I'm just kinda scared to get back out there. I know i *will*, but the fear of bone heads not even paying attention to people on bikes is a pretty rational one, I would imagine.
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Old 05-05-07, 09:53 PM   #7
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Basically, when you ride on the street, keep the mindset that drivers are less aware than you are, and that riding defensively, while sometimes annoying, is the safest way to ride. When I am riding in town, I also assume that any car has the potential to put me in a dangerous spot. Make sure you know where cars are, and start developing plans for getting out of situations.

ALSO: Don't worry, most drivers don't do this, but it does happen from time to time. Just be careful out there. In-town cycling can be a scary thing.
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Old 05-06-07, 12:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Sad to say, if you are relying on motorists to properly signal their intentions, or even turn from the proper lane you will be in for many unpleasant surprises, whether you are driving or cycling.
But you can't assume that everyone is going to swerve into your path every chance they get, or you'd never get anywhere. The OP did right - there's not much you can do against sudden craziness like that. Keep your eyes open, and keep your brakes handy.

A few months ago I nearly got hooked three times on a one-mile stretch. Twice I was in the bike lane, once coming within inches of hitting the car. I didn't even have time to call out. Now sometimes I'll catch myself slowing extra near a Cadillac or a pickup for no real reason, and sure enough they turn right in front of me without signalling.
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Old 05-06-07, 06:10 AM   #9
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That is good capt Likely, you noticed the slight drift before the hook. That is what usually happens.
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Old 05-06-07, 06:48 AM   #10
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Also, drivers can change their minds faster than they can safely change direction. With the widespread use of cellphones came a new phenomenon:The last-minute new route/itinerary formulated while underway. Beware it.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:19 AM   #11
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Its best not to assume anything. You shouldn't have to but indeed as proven in your near miss, drivers don't always signal and / or think about what cyclists think you might be doing.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:24 AM   #12
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Now you know why I made such a big deal about taking a class or reading a book about dealing with
traffic.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:25 AM   #13
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Situational Awareness

If you had been a car, would you have driven up along her right side?

If you ride on the road, act like a car. Don't ride into positions are car wouldn't normally drive.

Won't solve all the problems but it will perhaps diminish the number of instances.


And for my What The Hell moment:

Out for a ride about 6pm yesterday. Westbound down a two lane country farm road. I'm wearing a blazing yellow shirt, bright white helmet. I'm a big boy, you're not going to lose me in the background.

I've got a tractor pulling a combine approaching from the west, down a long sloping hill. Behind him in trail I can see a big dual cab pickup, he's got his lights on. I'm thinking it's a coworker bringing up the rear. No other traffic on the road.

The closer I get, the more I start thinking "what if" this pickup tries to go around the combine. I'm in the center of my lane, clearly visible. I reach down and flip on my 20w light and my flashing LED. We're closer now, maybe 100 yards apart. Tractors doing maybe 10 mph, I'm going 14-15.

The truck is clearly straddling the center of the road now, unless he's blind he's gotta see me. We're closer now, 50 yards. Truck is still back there.

25 yards and the truck slowly, and I mean slowly, pulls out around the combine. He's even got his turn signal on.

The guy is looking right at me, I mean I'm 25 feet away, bailing right now. I'm in the sand shoulder now, truck and combine directly to my left, the geezer in the truck just driving along like he's headed to church.

I keep it upright and regain the road, stop and turn around. Truck continues plodding along.

Blink, blink, blink
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Old 05-06-07, 07:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by late
Now you know why I made such a big deal about taking a class or reading a book about dealing with
traffic.

cute...now you know why when you said that, i replied with "however I might see about a safety class in the area just to refresh. I'd like to make it home alive to my kids"


someone at the LBS would know where a class like that would be held, ya think? i didn't see one in their lineup of classes. they've got daily road rides and a 'meet your bike' class to learn about bike repair and the like.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:37 AM   #15
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Also watch out for left turners turning in front of you because you were not visible to them because there was a car or truck waiting to make a left turn in your line of traffic.
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Old 05-06-07, 08:38 AM   #16
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This happens. I alway wonder if people would do this with other cars moving too slowly for them. Just assume that you are invisible and ride accordingly.
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Old 05-06-07, 08:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingMILF
So, in my inaugural ride today with my brand new Trek 1600 I took to the street to break her in and see how great and different road cycling is compaired to mountain biking, where I have spent the better part of the last 2 years. Anyways, I was happily riding along down the road and a car came up and passed me, but slowed down shortly after passing me. Up ahead was a stop sign and a gas station on the right. Since she didn't use her BLINKER, i figured she was slowing down for the stop sign, and was planning on going straight after she proceeded. WRONG. This crazy lady took a right hand turn into the gas station and was literally within inches of my front wheel. No blinker, no warning, no concern for me in my BRIGHT PINK helmet and jersey. She could have killed me. I actually skimmed her car as I swerved from keeping to get hit.

Tell me....is this kind of driver ignorance the norm for road cyclists? I always look out for cyclists, and give them the right of way. Was I the one at fault for not stopping to let her in the parking lot of the gas station? In NC, cyclists have the same rights to lane usage as cars, so I can't really imagine her pulling the same stunt had I been in a car.....Sad realization is, whether or not drivers know the laws doesnt matter if the aren't following them anyways.

I dont know....I'm just kinda scared to get back out there. I know i *will*, but the fear of bone heads not even paying attention to people on bikes is a pretty rational one, I would imagine.
Glad you were paying attention as well! It happens, so just ride defensively and be ready to dance!
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Old 05-06-07, 09:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingMILF
cute...now you know why when you said that, i replied with "however I might see about a safety class in the area just to refresh. I'd like to make it home alive to my kids"


someone at the LBS would know where a class like that would be held, ya think? i didn't see one in their lineup of classes. they've got daily road rides and a 'meet your bike' class to learn about bike repair and the like.
Hi,

http://bicyclesafe.com/

http://www.humantransport.org/bicycledriving/

http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle...e_Cycling.html

http://ncbikeclub.org/

http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/6213/nc.htm
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Old 05-06-07, 09:28 AM   #19
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thanks!
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Old 05-06-07, 09:35 AM   #20
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Old 05-06-07, 10:47 AM   #21
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*blush*

i should update with my second ride on the trek. WOW. im so impressed. i know that people around here (this forum) are used to going mega fast, but im used to a slow and clunky 8-10mph through the woods, ya know? i averaged just below 20mph today on my 11 mile loop around my town and the neighboring town and back. i *knew* i should have invested in a little computer so i could marvel in my speeds on the downhills. i must have been cookin'. only took about 2 hills to get over the fear of the speed and just go with it. nice country ride, long stretches of road, rolling hills. im so happy i could cry. and get this....people actually looked out for me today! amazing!
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Old 05-06-07, 12:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingMILF
i just wanted to clarify some stuff so i dont seem like a real weener here. because the driver was not using a signal and was slowing down, it appeared she was stopping for the stop sign ahead of us, not turning into the gas station on our right. i was riding on her right hand side, and intended to take a right at the stop sign. so just to make clear, i was not trying to pass her on the right as she was slowing for a stop sign. if she was actually doing what it appeared she was doing, she would have made a complete stop and begun to accelerate again before i even got to the stop sign.

i guess i better practice my reiiteration of situations because its pretty certain that at some point in time, i'll have to be giving my statements to a cop in an accident report.

im going to try to be concise, just for the sake of being concise....

car and i both going same direction. car passes me on my left and proceeds in the same direction. car slows down, no blinker, apparently to stop for stop sign. as i come up on the car, which is now going about 2mph and still appearing to be slowing for the stop sign, i prepare to make a right at the stop sign. my intentions are cut short and i have to veer into the gas station parking lot in order to avoid collision with this car as it takes a sudden right hand turn into the lot, without signaling.

make sense?
Was the car in the rightmost/outside lane, but positioned to go straight rather than turn right? If so, you did pass her on the right side, which should always be done with extreme care, and never done at an intersection, no matter how minor (you were at an intersection with a driveway into a gas station as you passed on the right).
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Old 05-06-07, 12:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikingMILF
*blush*

i should update with my second ride on the trek. WOW. im so impressed. i know that people around here (this forum) are used to going mega fast, but im used to a slow and clunky 8-10mph through the woods, ya know? i averaged just below 20mph today on my 11 mile loop around my town and the neighboring town and back. i *knew* i should have invested in a little computer so i could marvel in my speeds on the downhills. i must have been cookin'. only took about 2 hills to get over the fear of the speed and just go with it. nice country ride, long stretches of road, rolling hills. im so happy i could cry. and get this....people actually looked out for me today! amazing!
That's the norm, if you ride predictably and visibly (including don't pass on the right, especially at any intersection with any place where they could turn right, like a gas station entrance). But never-the-less, don't bet your life on them noticing you without verifying that they have: trust, but verify.
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Old 05-06-07, 04:26 PM   #24
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it was one of those super wide lanes where if it was two cars, they could both fit at the stop sign together, one to go right, one to go straight or take a left. altho its not painted as seperate lanes, it is how that intersection operates. if i was in a car, she would have either paid better attention, or hit me in my car. that being said, i guess *knowing* that the intersection works that way made me judge incorrectly, since the lanes arent painted, technically, i did pass her on the right. after yesterday, i doubt i will ever use the pseudo-right lane again, car or otherwise. LOL

curious tho....in that situation, or any where the street continues and there is a parking lot to turn into on the right....where should the cyclist go? say there is a car in front of me, a car behind me, speed limit is 35mph or so, car in front of me signals to go in the gas station......

if i were the driver and was turning in, i'd wait for the cyclist to go on by. but thats just me. i dont want to hit a cyclist. i guess since the cyclist is like any other vehicle, the technical, proper thing to do would be to let the car turn in since i was the vehicle behind him? or pass him on the left and hope that the guy behind me knows im allowed to do so? or what? i can read the rule books, but since drivers dont always follow the rules, im curious what all you experienced cyclists do

thanks!
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Old 05-06-07, 05:36 PM   #25
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I ride in Cary as well, and the rule of thumb to assume you're invisible is a good one imo. I'd also support the idea of a mirror (I have one on both my road bike as well as my commuter).

I saw the below on the rtp bike - ped listserv - if you are interested in a class to build road technique and confidence, they're offering one...

Message: 1
Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 13:00:22 -0400
From: "Alison Fiori" <fiori (yaknow) rtp.org>
Subject: [Rtp_bike_ped] upcoming street cycling class - REGISTER today
To: <rtp_bike_ped (at.) lists.ibiblio.org>
Message-ID: <6F36E0DC495C664BAD2B436C3ECF4AAC74AB26@rtfsrv1.rtf.lan>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Street Cycling course registration open

You can learn how to enjoy road cycling more and worry less about other traffic. The Street Cycling course trains bicyclists to travel the roads in the most effective manner known: as pedal vehicle drivers! During 9 hours of instruction and on-bike practice with a certified cycling instructor, discover how to:

* travel more safely and confidently with other traffic
* become more comfortable on your bicycle
* improve your bike handling skills
* fix flat tires and make other minor emergency repairs

2007 Spring session:
May 11th (F) 6-8PM, 12th (Sa) 9 AM-12:30PM & 13th (Su) 9 AM-12:30PM
Location: Cary, NC (exact location will be emailed to students).
Instructor: Bruce Rosar (<brucewr(.at.)mindspring.com <mailto:brucewr (yaknow)mindspring.com> > or 481-0933)

Course fee: $30 for each student.
Deposit: check for $10 payable to Bruce Rosar
Registration: mail deposit and completed registration form http://brucewr.home.mindspring.com/e...ation_form.pdf
<http://brucewr.home.mindspring.com/ec/road_i_registration_form.pdf>
to: Bruce Rosar, 101 Ripley Ct., Cary NC 27513

Registration postmark deadline: Friday, May 4th. The class may be cancelled if at least five registrations have not been received by the deadline. Checks won't be deposited if the class is cancelled.

See the course web page for additional information and updates:
http://brucewr.home.mindspring.com/ec/StreetCFrame.html
<http://brucewr.home.mindspring.com/ec/StreetCFrame.html>

Bruce Rosar



Alison Fiori
Director, @rtp Programs
The Research Triangle Park
2 Hanes Drive, PO Box 12255
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Ph 919.549.8181
Fax 919.549.8246
www.rtp.org <http://www.rtp.org>
www.smartcommute.org <http://www.smartcommute.org/>
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