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Old 07-20-08, 09:59 PM   #1
veggie_lover
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Have you ever had to bail ?

Have you ever veered your bike off the road or onto the curb because you saw a car coming fast behind you that did not appear to be slowing down?
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Old 07-20-08, 10:10 PM   #2
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Once (at least).

I was on a bike tour with a bud. We just crossed a drawbridge before it closed to auto traffic to let a boat pass. We got a couple miles down the road before the bridge swung back and unleashed the hell-spawned fury of fifty SUVs and pickup trucks pulling Boston Whalers straight from the garage of Satan himself.

The opposing lane of traffic on this two-lane road was bumper to bumper as the traffic roared up behind us at 60mph. I was in the lead and could not see past my bud with my helmet mounted rear-view mirror. At some point he yelled "DITCH!", so I bailed. Not sure if it was truly called for leaving the paved surface, but my bud has nerves of steel and if he says ditch - I ditch no questions asked.

No one was hurt. We took a water break until the traffic passed and resumed our day on the road.
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Old 07-20-08, 10:13 PM   #3
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Been in a few dicey situations where I knew that if things went badly, Plan C or Plan D might be to bail off the road, but I've never actually had to do it.
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Old 07-20-08, 11:56 PM   #4
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I bailed off my bike after loosing control coming round a corner and ended up in the bushes..
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Old 07-21-08, 12:06 AM   #5
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Have you ever had to bail ?

Yes, once ..... when I was picked up by a small tornado.
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Old 07-21-08, 02:55 AM   #6
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I came real close yesterday (not from behind, though). Sharp corner, wet road, and even though I was aware of the corner and slowed considerably, I didn't slow enough and felt I was going to lose traction. I started to take the corner wider, and then realized a large truck was coming the other way. I very quickly though of ditching, hit the brakes, and _totally_ lost traction on my front wheel.

Miraculously, I managed to stay upright, and the driver of the truck slowed, and we both passed, waved, and breathed a sigh of relief.
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Old 07-21-08, 05:51 AM   #7
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I've toured some miles but can count the number of times I've bailed on one hand. Much more common is to see something big coming, e.g. http://www.bikerussia.com/photos?pat...f=img_0839.jpg and temporarily get off the road.

The most recent times I did bail was on the M7 motorway in Russia between N. Novgorod and Kazan. We had gotten ourselves on this highway because it seemed like the most straightforward road. Unfortunately it had little to no shoulder, a steady stream of trucks, deep ruts where asphalt had melted/buckled and periodic cracks/potholes across the road. Here is the one photo I got that day where M7 was in better shape than average: http://www.bikerussia.com/wp-content...5/img_0625.jpg

It took some nerves to ride the road and mostly watched my mirror and when I saw some many trucks coming briefly got off the road. However, there was an occasion or two that I didn't notice it until too late. At some point my riding partner gave up and started walking the shoulder. We did a total of ~80km on M7, not all of it that extreme. However, my riding partner told me in no uncertain terms that she was not continuing on that highway. The next day we found ourselves on still rough but much quieter roads, e.g. http://www.bikerussia.com/wp-content...5/img_0640.jpg
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Old 07-21-08, 06:40 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by RickAccused View Post
I bailed off my bike after loosing control coming round a corner and ended up in the bushes..

now, if we're talking about bailing out on a MTB manuever, yea, lots.


but bailing out in front of a car?

If I have time I get the bike off the pavement, but I just pull off the shoulder and stand there. And even that's only where I have the opportunity. There might not be anywhere to pull off, so then you just have to hope they aren't drunk or crazed murderers.

But you should definitely understand that you are completely at the mercy of your fellow man when you are out on a public road. And your fellow man these days is pretty wound up over alot of BS and stress, so don't expect much empathy for your situation.
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Old 07-21-08, 06:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
Have you ever veered your bike off the road or onto the curb because you saw a car coming fast behind you that did not appear to be slowing down?
No. And cars come up behind me all the time that are not slowing down? Maybe I don't understand the question?

Do most of the cars slow down as they come up behind you?
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Old 07-21-08, 07:42 AM   #10
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Do most of the cars slow down as they come up behind you?
in Pennsylvania, yes, they really do

drivers even wait if they can't pass you safely

then when they pass, they go completely in the other lane.

It's unbelievable, especially if you've ever ridden in the South.
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Old 07-21-08, 11:20 AM   #11
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Yes, I've bailed a couple of times, but only to avoid right hooks. One of those, as it turns out, was unnecessary.
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Old 07-21-08, 11:47 AM   #12
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Never for a car, but once for taking the wrong line into a curve at the wrong speed. I was riding my old Specialized Hardrock around Presque Isle in Marquette, MI. I was at the north end of the island and about to go down hill. The road eased a bit to the right then made a left. The left side of the road was basically a cliff face and the right side of the road was a cliff with trees. I took the wrong lane too fast and had less then three seconds to:
  1. scan the road ahead of me
  2. identify the potential problems and my options
  3. predict when would happen as a result of the aforementioned options
  4. decide on a course of action
  5. execute the plan
My choices where to either a) drop the bike and get a bad case of road rash or b) go over the cliff and through the trees to almost certain severe injury and possible death. I dropped the bike and screamed like a banshee. I was riding alone and still had to ride about 3 miles back to the house I was staying at.
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Old 07-21-08, 12:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggie_lover View Post
Have you ever veered your bike off the road or onto the curb because you saw a car coming fast behind you that did not appear to be slowing down?
I have moved right at the last moment to give myself more buffer from a vehicle overtaking too closely, but never all the way off the road. That's one of the benefits of always keeping a buffer on your right.

Here's a poll on the same subject.

How often have you had to bail while taking the lane?

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 07-21-08 at 12:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 07-21-08, 01:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
Have you ever had to bail ?

Yes, once ..... when I was picked up by a small tornado.
WHAT ?

You can't post that without at least a little bit of the back story.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:55 PM   #15
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Have you ever veered your bike off the road or onto the curb because you saw a car coming fast behind you that did not appear to be slowing down?
Anecdote: I actually sort of had to do it while driving on the freeway today... I was slowing in the right lane to enter the traffic clogged off-ramp, and a black BMW (surprise) basically came roaring between me and the car in the centre lane at about 130km/hr. I'm pretty sure we both had all four wheels in the same lane at the time he passed, although I veered pretty close to the guy on my right to avoid losing my left side mirror.

So if you are feeling unfairly picked on as a cyclist....


as for that poll about riding, I'd have to go with "Didn't bail in time and got hit"
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Old 07-21-08, 10:00 PM   #16
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WHAT ?

You can't post that without at least a little bit of the back story.
Well, they actually called it a "dry microburst" with 100 mph (161 km/h) winds ... but ...

I was riding my bicycle through an old section of Winnipeg which winds along the river. Storm clouds started gathering, and I thought it might be time to head for home. The sky grew dark and the wind picked up.

I rounded a corner and looked up in awe .... there, about 100 feet in front of me, was a swirling mass of bricks, wood, and other debris. The cyclindric wind had touched down on an empty lot littered with the debris from a recently knocked-down building ... and everything was up in the sky spinning around.

Just then a gust of wind hit me, and lifted me and my bicycle ... and I bailed onto the grass.

All in a matter of seconds I thought through what to do when you encounter a tornado.

1) Run at right angles to the tornado. I've heard this over and over but have never figured out what it meant, so I discarded that idea.

2) Lie down in a low place. Well there was a river right behind me, but I don't swim and don't particularly like water ... so I also discarded the idea of throwing myself in the river.

At that moment the wind in general picked up and the cyclindric wind started heading for me and the river ...... so I grabbed my bicycle and ran for all I was worth into a forest off to the right (who knows, maybe I inadvertently ran at right angles to the tornado). I couldn't ride for a while ... the wind was too strong ... but as soon as I could, I got onto my bicycle and rode as fast as I could to a low cement picnic shelter where a crowd of people had gathered for shelter from the storm.

When I got in, I discovered I was all cut and bleeding from the flying branches and debris ... and as I cleaned myself up while waiting out the storm, a little boy started crying near me ... afraid of the storm. His mother said to him, "Don't worry dear, it's only wind and wind can't hurt you." "Oh yeah?", I thought ... but I didn't say anything.

Later I found out the speed of the wind, and that it had crossed the river and wiped out the Red River Exhibition.

The next day I rode the same route and discovered that a very large branch from one of the many oak trees had dropped right where I had been standing debating about what to do. Very large branches were down all over the place ... but that one gave me a funny feeling. If I'd stayed there a moment longer ......
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Old 07-22-08, 07:24 AM   #17
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^^^^^^^ Glad you got out of there when you did.
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Old 07-22-08, 11:59 AM   #18
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I have ditched into the ditch only once. It was last spring, a month after I just started riding. I was on the way to my friend's house and it was in a 25mph zone with zero shoulders. I was going just under 30mph as it is slightly downhill and he lives only 2 miles from me, so I can do the trip quickly.

It was 4pm and I was in the right tire track and a car came up behind me. He matched my speed and just sat behind me for 1/4-1/2 a mile. I moved over to the fogline to make room for him to pass, but he just sat 30 feet behind me. There is 1 lane each way on this road and the other lane had no cars the whole time. He was giving me room and seemed happy to sit back there, so I let him. Right when I got to this place where there is a stream going perpendicular and under the road. The fogline and that part of the road has fallen into the stream making it especially narrow. As soon as I got to that point, there was finally a car in the other lane and the guy behind me decides he is going to pass me right at that moment. Even if he wasn't going to hit me, there would have been less than an inch between my bars and his car.

I rode off the side, into the stream that was 10 feet below the road surface. Going just under 30mph got me to clear the stream and slam into the other side of the stream bank. I pushed the bike down into the stream and jumped off the front and onto the other bank while in the air. The car that was passing me saw me disappear, and stopped to watch me crawl out. As soon as he saw in his mirror that I wasn't dead, he drove away. I bent/broke my steel bars, stem, headlight, taillight, RD and my chain. Had a couple bruises and the rest of the ride was not so fun.

I have no idea why that guy decided that was a good time to pass, but I learned to take the lane that day.

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Old 07-23-08, 12:19 PM   #19
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Last summer I was coming home from work on a stretch of single lane road that runs through a field connecting a commercial sector with a residential area. As I was approaching a 90 degree left turn, a Chevy Astro came up behind me. I entered the turn with the Astro about 5 feet behind me, and within two seconds was right beside me and moving right. I had to hit the ditch (shallow, fortunately) to avoid being clocked by the passenger side mirror. As I pulled back onto the road behind the vehicle, I noticed the passenger side window was rolled down and took the opportunity to scream some colorful metaphors at the driver.
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Old 07-23-08, 01:59 PM   #20
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Once i took the ditch. I was riding in pea soup fog in the early morning on a coutry lane. The motorist showed no sign of moving to the left so i waited as long as i felt 'safe' and then bailed to the ditch. I may have over-reacted, but on the other hand I'm alive to spam BF with my lame opinions.
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Old 07-23-08, 02:44 PM   #21
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Only time I had to run off the road is when a ricer decided to play chicken with me. (driving at me head-on)
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Old 08-01-08, 08:03 AM   #22
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Is there a proper (& safe) technique for bailing off the bike? I was wondering about this last night on my way home. What if I wanted to jump off while being hit by a passing car - how would I do it?
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Old 08-01-08, 08:32 AM   #23
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"jump off while being hit by a passing car - how would I do it?"

Your kidding right? I doubt you will have time in that case to think about it. You might take judo classes, and concentrate your efforts at learning how to fall without getting hurt. I once flew off my bike head first face down into concrete but managed a judo roll, got up and road off. Tuck head, bend arm, roll like a wheel, it works.

As to actual judo skills, forget it throwing another person that is resisting you is very difficult if not impossible in most cases. That is way it is so amazing when someone can actually do it.
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Old 08-01-08, 08:37 AM   #24
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When I first started running I would practice a forward roll. It was cool, just running, broke into the forward roll, and rolled up and kept running. Just wondering if anyone has bailed and has suggestions for how to do it. You suggestions make a lot of sense.
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Old 08-01-08, 09:50 AM   #25
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I was once forced off the road by a police car in Miami. The car was coming the other way and he was passing a slower vehicle. I bailed another time to avoid an apparantly drunken driver in Michigan. I bailed once in Colorado to avoid a rapidly approaching logging truck. I think that is it though. It happens very rarely.
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