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Old 08-17-07, 06:53 PM   #1
SmoothRide
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Almost Killed Twice

Well, this week I've been hit by two different cars, and neither time could I come up with a plate number.

The first time I was doing around 25mph down a very busy road when someone clipped me lightly on the back of the shoulder with their rear view mirror. This normally would just bother me that they were close enough to do that, but since I was pedaling so hard I was knocked over the curb and grind across the sidewalk with my feet still clipped in. Now, half my body is lying on the sidewalk, but my head and torso were still in the middle of this almost highway. I sure anyone who runs clipless pedals here knows that getting your feet out after falling over is pretty hard to do. So I'm sitting here with cars almost running over my face for five minutes. 'Twas very frightening.

The second time I was doing around 15mph down a quit road near a demolition site. The speed limit was 30mph. I suddenly hear a horn and feel another side mirror hit me, this time square in the back. I get flung over my handle bars, with my feet still clipped in. I then crash into a metal rung fence, face grinding against it. I then turn over and crash on my head (ruining my Pneumo) and cheese grate my arm. Then, my saddle hits me in the spine.

Both times I was lucky I didn't get run over again or brake my neck (or anything else). I'm an extremely cautious rider- I always stop at red lights, crosswalks and stop signs, and I never do anything sudden or without signaling.

Is there anyway I can avoid being hit by JAM's? Or am I doomed to be hit for the rest of my life?
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Old 08-17-07, 06:56 PM   #2
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dude, take the lane.

If I feel even .01% unsafe, I don't give cagers ANY space.

Eff them. They are in a motorized car, they can slow down and go around me on the oncoming lane.


No remorse, no pity, no worry !
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Old 08-17-07, 09:44 PM   #3
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dude, take the lane.

If I feel even .01% unsafe, I don't give cagers ANY space.

Eff them. They are in a motorized car, they can slow down and go around me on the oncoming lane.


No remorse, no pity, no worry !
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cars don't own the road,you have just as much right as they do to be there
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Old 08-17-07, 10:29 PM   #4
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+1 take the lane. The driver probably didn't notice that he clipped you with his mirror, but he would certainly notice if you're right in front, blocking the lane.

I like to always pretend I'm as wide as a car; it seems to work.
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Old 08-18-07, 02:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SmoothRide View Post
Well, this week I've been hit by two different cars...

...someone clipped me lightly on the back of the shoulder with their rear view mirror...I was knocked over the curb and grind across the sidewalk with my feet still clipped in. Now, half my body is lying on the sidewalk, but my head and torso were still in the middle of this almost highway. I sure anyone who runs clipless pedals here knows that getting your feet out after falling over is pretty hard to do. So I'm sitting here with cars almost running over my face for five minutes. 'Twas very frightening.

The second time...I suddenly hear a horn and feel another side mirror hit me, this time square in the back. I get flung over my handle bars, with my feet still clipped in. I then crash into a metal rung fence, face grinding against it. I then turn over and crash on my head (ruining my Pneumo) and cheese grate my arm. Then, my saddle hits me in the spine.
Dear God!

Whatever the answer is, I hope you find it soon!



I can't really say why you're having these problems, but Lord, I hope you can solve it quickly!



Hang in there, bro. You might find some help in these forums.

Whew...
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Old 08-18-07, 06:03 AM   #6
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Since you're in Raleigh, you might be interested in our class:
http://www.humantransport.org/bikeclass/

Also our advocacy site:
http://www.humantransport.org/bicycledriving/index.html

And some pictures of traffic cycling:
http://www.humantransport.org/bicycl...ery/index.html
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Old 08-18-07, 01:22 PM   #7
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I know that I'm the oddball around here, but what if he 'takes the lane' and instead of getting clipped by a mirror, he gets run over ?????

Good God, man. I'm glad you're alive.

(and they call ME accident prone. )
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Old 08-18-07, 01:41 PM   #8
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Hi John, are you fully recovered? Doing the Birkie this year?
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Old 08-18-07, 02:46 PM   #9
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I know that I'm the oddball around here, but what if he 'takes the lane' and instead of getting clipped by a mirror, he gets run over ?????

Good God, man. I'm glad you're alive.

(and they call ME accident prone. )
Obviously, he gets injured or killed.

However, the OP's experience came from some idiot/careless/incompetent driver either not noticing him, or totally misjudging their overtaking gap.

If he takes the lane, he will be seen and since rear-end collisions are amongst the rarest of motor vehicle/bike interfaces, he will greatly reduce his chances of being hit and therefore reduces his chances of injury/death.

There is also the driver behaviour characteristic that the majority of drivers, if forced to move out to overtake, will tend to give a reasonable amount of room. Likewise, if they aren't forced to move out to overtake, may well not bother to move out at all, even tho' it means that they will leave either a little space, or, as the OP has experienced, no room.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:00 PM   #10
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I'd suggest a big (or bigger) "see me" light on your backside, under your saddle, over or under your rack (your profile doesn't show what else you have hanging on the bike so hard yo judge a good mounting point). I use a 12V Xenon amber strobe like you would find on the back of a school bus or a garbage truck. Visible from a mile away. Motorists don't know what it is, but they do know something is there in the lane, and then when they're close enough to track me I have a bright tail light that runs day or night with the strobe anytime I am riding (put the red tail light on based on advice from local law enforcement when I asked them about city/state lighting laws). Strobe was less than $10. Xenon tube makes an extremely bright flash.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:29 PM   #11
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Well, this week I've been hit by two different cars....

Both times I was lucky I didn't get run over again or brake my neck (or anything else). I'm an extremely cautious rider- I always stop at red lights, crosswalks and stop signs, and I never do anything sudden or without signaling.

Is there anyway I can avoid being hit by JAM's? Or am I doomed to be hit for the rest of my life?
Some possibilities came to mind while reading your post:

One is to minimize your exposure to traffic, if possible. If there are alternate routes with lower traffic, or alternate times, they might be worth considering.

Another is to use a spike to keep the cars farther out. Some cars will brush you pretty closely. Some people seem to think they have little to lose. Others might have some latent or subconscious aggressions that come out in these situations.

If you have a spike mounted at the rear of the bike, projecting out at an angle, toward the traffic (in addition, perhaps, to a more vertical flag), then they give you more room. They don't want to scratch their car. Some of these people don't mind at all knocking you in the shoulder or the back with their mirrors (I have a friend who heard the occupants of a pickup laughing after they hit him); but these same people don't want to scratch their paint.

There are various possibilities here; I use a light-colored, highly visible ski pole with the basket removed (it has a sharp-looking tip).

They give you *noticeably* more room.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:34 PM   #12
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Best wishes for a speedy recovery. When you're back on the bike, take the lane when appropriate. Good luck.
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Old 08-18-07, 08:39 PM   #13
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@ Niles

How do I mount said pointy thing on my bike?
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Old 08-19-07, 07:06 AM   #14
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Take that lane, man.
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Old 08-19-07, 07:49 AM   #15
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There are various possibilities here; I use a light-colored, highly visible ski pole with the basket removed (it has a sharp-looking tip).

They give you *noticeably* more room.
Intentionally damaging property, thats mature.
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Old 08-19-07, 12:57 PM   #16
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Obviously, he gets injured or killed.

However, the OP's experience came from some idiot/careless/incompetent driver either not noticing him, or totally misjudging their overtaking gap.

If he takes the lane, he will be seen and since rear-end collisions are amongst the rarest of motor vehicle/bike interfaces, he will greatly reduce his chances of being hit and therefore reduces his chances of injury/death.

There is also the driver behaviour characteristic that the majority of drivers, if forced to move out to overtake, will tend to give a reasonable amount of room. Likewise, if they aren't forced to move out to overtake, may well not bother to move out at all, even tho' it means that they will leave either a little space, or, as the OP has experienced, no room.
He won't be seen by the idiot/careless/incompetent driver. Been there (the story), got the scars.

It doesn't matter what the statistics are ... one hit and you're history.

Stay right, keep the impact to a minimum. If you're going to be seen, it doesn't matter where in the lane you are, you'll be seen and given proper clearance.

Yeah, I'm recovered.

Birkie? Hmmmm ... been thinking about it!

Have already had a few dreams about skiing.

Last edited by John Wilke; 08-19-07 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:36 PM   #17
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I have to say that I just don't have that problem around here.

But if it's happening to a fellow-cyclist, I'm concerned.

Just do what works. Take from the various suggestions and try them. Don't leave any resources out.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:14 PM   #18
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install 1/2 a foot metal wire each side of your handlebar so if they are too close they'll get their paint scratched and they ... ( I think) don't want it
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Old 08-23-07, 09:24 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SmoothRide View Post
Is there anyway I can avoid being hit by JAM's? Or am I doomed to be hit for the rest of my life?

By the "Take a Look" mirror right away. If a car wants to you hit you, there's not much you can do. However, this mirror is a god send and you'll be able to tell when the cars come too close.
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Old 08-23-07, 09:40 PM   #20
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clipped me lightly on the back of the shoulder with their rear view mirror
I hope you mean sideview mirror, elsewise you're already dead, dude.. and you're just getting passed THRU by these cars.
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Old 08-24-07, 07:07 PM   #21
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The idiots are out there period. My father was making a left turn into his driveway and he was passed on the left! It is a two lane road in the country. The truck was speeding and the only saving grace in our favor (if we had collided) is that my father drives an old heavy body Mercedes. Thankfully we were not hit, however, it was very close.
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Old 08-25-07, 03:05 AM   #22
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If there's not enough room for cars to safely pass (like when there are traffic 'calming' bollards) then i always take the lane and put the hammer down to make it that i'm harder to overtake and give them more time to see me. I always wear something bright and wrap a day-glo yellow strap round my waist or on my messenger bag or backpack. If there's a bike path i'll use it, especially going uphill. And also i take a lot of shortcuts, get a map of your area and you'll find that there will be other routes that you can take with less volume of traffic, and they might even be shorter journeys.

I also ALWAYS run flat pedals (kona jacksh!t) in traffic. I don't notice any change in speed from clips and straps, but the ability to bail if necesary is a very useful thing.
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Old 08-25-07, 08:58 AM   #23
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By the "Take a Look" mirror right away. If a car wants to you hit you, there's not much you can do. However, this mirror is a god send and you'll be able to tell when the cars come too close.
Too close for what?

If there is heavy traffic on the road, I already know that I need to stay to the right and out of harms way. If someone is 'passing' closely, I can hear them, I can see them. If traffic is light, I can hear a car comming 50 meters behind.

If I'm planning on a left turn ... I turn my body and head and LOOK.

If you see a car in your mirror and think to yourself "OH OH !! he's too close! ", at what point do you bail into the 3 ft deep ditch to avoid being run down? 3 car lengths? 2? 1?

Have you ever bailed when a car was 'too close' ?

Just curious.
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