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Old 04-19-08, 11:31 AM   #1
Flying Merkel
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Have you ever hit a cyclist?

We all ride and the vast majority of us drive. Have you ever hit or come close to hitting a cyclist?

I caught a guy on PCH with the door of my Camry. Checked my rear view before opening the dor- he clipped the door. In my opinion, he was riding way to close to parked cars. I'm sure he has a different version. Brief exchange of profanities, and he was off.
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Old 04-19-08, 11:37 AM   #2
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A roadie almost hit me coming off of Killington Rd onto Rt. 4 in VT.
He was going about 40mph when he passed through his stop sign at the intersection.
He was so close I braced in the car for the 'ThuD' but it never happened, how I
dont know....does that count ?
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Old 04-19-08, 12:45 PM   #3
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"Almost" been hit many times. "Been" hit a couple of times.

Once, a wrong way rider (direct head-on hit), another time, a JAC who decided to cross directly in my path just after he looked right at me (T-Bone). Both times, my bike was wrecked and I had minor injuries.

I hate spring because of all the JAC's who come out riding bikes

*did I mention that I'm talking about when I'm riding a bike? I've never hit a cyclist while driving*

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Old 04-19-08, 12:59 PM   #4
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This post once contained information, the author has chosen to remove his intellectual property: web 2.0 is a *****.

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Old 04-19-08, 01:01 PM   #5
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Had a student go over my hood when I was in college delivering pizzas! It was dusk/dark and he was riding on the sidewalk on a busy intersection. Came flying out of nowhere when I was taking a left turn. He nor his bike was damaged, my fender had a tiny dent. He apologized profusely as he had no lights of any sort. It was the law at the time to have them. I believe he would have been issued a ticket. Then again, with me in a Domino's outfit I doubt the police would have viewed the situation in my favor. Either way, no harm no foul. I gave him $10 and told him to get a light.
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Old 04-19-08, 01:48 PM   #6
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I haven't, but my mother almoist hit a cyclist sometime in the past year (I posted about it here). She was leaving a parking lot, stopped at the sidewalk to check oncoming traffic and pedestrians, then just as she was starting to apply the gas, a cyclist crossed her path-- no lights (it was nighttime), riding against traffic on the sidewalk. She hit her brakes, and he didn't get hit.

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Old 04-19-08, 01:48 PM   #7
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Once a wrong way bike ninja at nite, our coats only brushed against one another tho. Another time some guy burned the red out from behind a row of cars as I was going real fast downhill towards the intersection, barely avoided him. In both cases I think I could have done better by paying more attention.

Not hit anyone in a car, but this one time as a kid I thought I heard one of my buddies calling me so I turned around to look for a second or two, ran into a parked car.
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Old 04-19-08, 04:35 PM   #8
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Yes...
he was riding on the sidewalk in the same direction i was driving. i took a right turn, he was behind parked cars, i did not see him. messed up my antenna, his frame/wheel bent. not my fault, but felt bad for fellow bicyclist.
i took him to local used bicycle part dealer (1983), got him a replacement bicycle ($10), and he came out ahead of the deal with a better bike. my antenna cost about $45...to replace.
vb ride and be seen!
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Old 04-19-08, 05:10 PM   #9
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Yes...
he was riding on the sidewalk in the same direction i was driving. i took a right turn, he was behind parked cars, i did not see him. messed up my antenna, his frame/wheel bent. not my fault, but felt bad for fellow bicyclist.
i took him to local used bicycle part dealer (1983), got him a replacement bicycle ($10), and he came out ahead of the deal with a better bike. my antenna cost about $45...to replace.
vb ride and be seen!
Wow, interesting -- that's just like what I wrote in this post in another thread, thinking about what a driver sees during a right turn.

I haven't hit or been hit by any yet, been close a few times. Once, it would have been my fault, as I was riding, saw another cyclist fixing a flat on the other side of the path, and slowed & turned to ask if she needed anything. My problem was that I also turned into the oncoming lane, and a third cyclist had to warn me.

My mom once backed into a recumbent trike rider in a parking lot in California (Van Nuys, maybe?). She was coming out of her space, didn't see anything (he may not have had a flag, either), and heard a crunch-like noise. She stomped on the brakes and got out to check -- he was fine, I think his bike was alright, and both of them apologized to each other. Sort of like being doored, but call it "bumpered". When you're lower than the trunk lines of the cars around you, the risks increase.

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Old 04-19-08, 05:30 PM   #10
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I have not, closest I came was a wrong-way sidewalk cyclist as I was turning left at a light, but I caught him in time and delayed my turn.

But I must say, I'm intrigued by the amount of "came out of nowhere" reasoning in this thread already, especially from those who hit sidewalk-cyclists. I can't square it with the replies in this thread, where it is mentioned many times that the motorist has a responsibility to yield to those in the sidewalk, even if it's a person illegally on a bike.

I'll mention that I agree more with that other thread, in that I hold drivers to a higher degree of responsibility than they are already. Too many people, I think, see the default state of a car as "moving", and "stopped" is an inconvenience to be avoided. More care should be taken before pressing the gas pedal when pulling out of a driveway or a stop sign. I've said before that when I'm turning right, I want to be looking where my car is pointing, not in the other direction at oncoming traffic; if I can't do that, if I have to gun it out into traffic while looking behind me to make sure I don't get hit, then it's not a safe move to make and I wait.

Of course this won't solve all problems, but it's something I feel is important and more drivers should exercise. The attitude I see in this thread already mirrors what we hear all too often from motorists, and which I think is only accepted because of built-in prejudices towards common driving habits.
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Old 04-19-08, 05:51 PM   #11
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Old 04-19-08, 06:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by shatdow View Post
But I must say, I'm intrigued by the amount of "came out of nowhere" reasoning in this thread already, especially from those who hit sidewalk-cyclists. I can't square it with the replies in this thread, where it is mentioned many times that the motorist has a responsibility to yield to those in the sidewalk, even if it's a person illegally on a bike.
Here's what I posted in that thread (and linked above) --

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Right, a riding cyclist isn't a pedestrian -- but then again, a cyclist riding on the same path as a pedestrian (in your scenario, taking a crosswalk) is NOT behaving as a vehicle would, either.

That's really the difference, and why it's more dangerous to continue riding into intersections. Drivers are looking in the road for other high-speed users, and sidewalks are almost exclusively used by pedestrians, not other high-speed users.

Look at it from the other side, from the driver's seat, even as someone who's trying to do the right thing. Picture driving up to an intersection where you're planning to turn right. Put on your signal, start braking, check to the right to see if there's anyone standing on the corner or already walking in the intersection, and you don't see anybody. Then, start looking left to find a big enough gap in traffic. You might wait for the clump of traffic to pass, so before the clump passes, you glance right again to make sure that there isn't a pedestrian either in front of you or standing & waiting to cross the same street you're turning onto. You still don't see anyone, so you look left again, the clump passes, and you start your turn.

The actions in that last sentence can take only two seconds, and those two seconds are NOT spent looking to the rear right quarter. Realize how far a cyclist can move in two seconds at even moderate speed -- far enough to go from being hidden behind the cars parallel parked on the side of the street to being IN the intersection.

So, no, despite the vagueness of cyclist-as-pedestrian laws, a cyclist should NOT behave as a cyclist when using a pedestrian crosswalk. Just like a pedestrian, you should stop and wait, because you're coming from the blind spot in the second-least important quadrant of a right-turning car (least important being to the rear left, of course).
Basically, that's how a cyclist can "come out of nowhere", even if a driver is trying to drive properly.

And, again, I say, "Never forget what it's like to be a cager." Know how to drive a car well, and know how badly people often drive. ALWAYS look for their possible errors, know where they can and can't go even if they do something stupid, and come up with options to keep yourself safe.

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Old 04-19-08, 06:21 PM   #13
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(BTW, I said specifically "know how to drive a car well", because once you get to that level, you'll have a good understanding of the mistakes that bad drivers can make. If you're a bad driver, you're clueless already, and don't understand the mistakes that YOU make -- which will make it unlikely that you'll ever anticipate other drivers' mistakes while riding your bike.)
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Old 04-19-08, 08:10 PM   #14
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I've never hit a biker or, as far as I know, come close to hitting one - but I've been startled a couple of times when I realized that there was a bike ninja in my path - usually someone who appears to be from a lower socio economic level, but often students or roadies in full uniform. To my mind, law enforcement resources would be better spent ticketing people riding bikes at night without lights and paying less attention to bikers running stop signs in broad daylight when there are no oncoming cars.
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Old 04-19-08, 08:17 PM   #15
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To my mind, law enforcement resources would be better spent ticketing people riding bikes at night without lights and paying less attention to bikers running stop signs in broad daylight when there are no oncoming cars.
But ninja cyclists are too hard to see...
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Old 04-19-08, 08:18 PM   #16
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Yep, I hit a biker once. I was on my bike, and it was totally my fault. I was commuting on the street, with a two-way bike path to my right separated by a shoulder. There was a break in the shoulder and I attempted to merge onto the bike path, crossing the oncoming lane of bike traffic. I did not look ahead of me and ran square into another biker coming the opposite way. Neither of us fell off our bikes and the other rider wasn't hurt. I, however, got a cut on my thumb that required stitches from a protruberance on one of our bikes. So I basically got what I deserved, haha.
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Old 04-19-08, 08:32 PM   #17
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Had one case in the car when making a right hand turn onto a reasonably highly traveled two-lane, when a wrong-way cyclist riding through the parking spaces on the median (at a reasonably good clip) cut in front to switch onto the sidewalk.

Only time on the bike that I can recall that was particularly close to potential collision was when a JAC on his Trek 4300 came at me for a classic wrong-way head on. Once I realized he had no intentions of letting me through in my legal direction, I pulled out wide to the left to clear him.

Murphey's law kicked in - he mirrored my exact movement at the same moment - now we were coming in for a head-on in the center of the lane. I then pulled back to the right...and he pulled back to the right. At that point, I made a quick move for the center again, and sure enough, Mr. Mirror did so as well. Finally had to come to a stop and walk past the character, just to be on the safe side.

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Old 04-19-08, 08:45 PM   #18
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On Thursday my negligent behavior almost caused me to hit a cyclist.

I was speeding along a bike trail, decided to take a side nice curving route to the left, did not signal, did not check mirror and, the very instant before I darted left, heard "On your left."

It was not driving a car and I guess the cyclist would have hit me, but it's a fine example of how it's easy to be the cause of hazard.
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Old 04-19-08, 09:02 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=BarracksSi;6548903]Wow, interesting -- that's just like what I wrote in this post in another thread, thinking about what a driver sees during a right turn.

clearly the bicyclist's fault, riding on the sidewalk, not a pedestrian, not a police officer.

"vb" represents Vehicular Bicycle, same road/same rules...! if on the sidewalk with bicycle, get off and walk it as a pedestrian. follow the rules of the road you're on... :=)
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Old 04-19-08, 09:24 PM   #20
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Old 04-19-08, 09:31 PM   #21
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This forum never eases to amaze me: the posts about motorists, from the cyclist's POV, invariably conclude that the "cagers" are 100% at fault in every possible instance. And yet when the forum denizens trade their bikes for their cars, it suddenly becomes the cyclists who are always at fault.

Accountability merit badges have to go begging in this crowd!
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Old 04-19-08, 09:31 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Merkel View Post
We all ride and the vast majority of us drive. Have you ever hit or come close to hitting a cyclist?
No, not even a close call. If I ever hit a cyclist while driving, I would consider it my fault.

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Old 04-20-08, 05:44 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by shatdow View Post
where it is mentioned many times that the motorist has a responsibility to yield to those in the sidewalk, even if it's a person illegally on a bike.
I don't believe that a motorist has a responsibility to yeild to a someone operating illegally. I would reccomend Bob Mionske's book Bicycling and the Law. You would learn that everyone on the road owes everyone on the road a certain duty of care, but that duty does extend to expecting others to violate thier duty(s) to others. If we had to be responsible for everyone else's illegal actions we'd never get anywhere.

[QUOTE=tomg;6550008]
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if on the sidewalk with bicycle, get off and walk it as a pedestrian. follow the rules of the road you're on... :=)
In some places you can ride on the sidewalk and still be considered a pedestrian if you are riding at a walking pace and otherwise following pedestrian rules.
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Old 04-20-08, 06:40 AM   #24
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I was riding in the passenger seat of a car that hit and killed a young boy on a bike. He had been sitting on his bike leaning against the guard rail at a rather sharp bend in the road that also sat at the top of a rise. We crested the rise just as a tractor trailer did the same from the other direction. He (the boy) either lost his balance or had begun to push himself off from the rail. The roadway had rather narrow shoulders as I remember.

Anyways, through a combination of narrow road, poor line of sight, airflow from the truck and the boy apparently moving, we struck him with the front fender.

I still see vividly recall the imagery even though it's been over a quarter century.

The body suddenly there in the windshield in front of me and then as quickly gone.

Cars skidding to a stop.

My friend jumping out and racing back up the road.

The pair of shoes in the middle of the road.

Our frantic search for the boy.

Finding his crumpled body down the side of the hill.

My frantic but futile attempt at resuscitation.

The stillness of death.





An inquiry ruled it an unfortunate accident. Unforeseen circumstances. I've driven by the scene over the intervening years. A blinking caution light and signs mark the approaches. The shoulder is much wider.

Time has passed. It's been 20 years since I've spoken with my friend, he's been very successful at his profession but I've often wondered how it affected him.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:08 AM   #25
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i hit one about 2 years ago i was making a right turn when he came across the front of my truck in a attempt to beat the light he caught the ram bar and got thrown into oncoming traffic lucky for me a beat cop saw the whole thing and gave him a citation for operating a unsafe vehicle.
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