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Old 04-12-09, 11:19 PM   #1
unterhausen
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a new excuse for a right hook

I'm riding through a nearby town, going up a false flat with a headwind so I'm not going too fast, and a car catches me and right hooks me. I realized it in time and just turned with the car onto the side road. Until we completed the turn I don't think I was anywhere further back than the passenger side door. I'm not proud to say I had a temper tantrum that started when I realized I wasn't going to be able to continue on my intended path. Since I was now going the same direction as the car, I chased it down and confronted the driver. She told me she thought I was supposed to yield. I'm still trying to figure out how that was supposed to work. I told my daughter if she ever does something stupid, almost runs over a cyclist, and they chase her, she shouldn't drive home until after she drops them.

On a more serious note, I'm resolved to tell the next person that right hooks me that they could slow down for a couple of seconds and avoid a potentially fatal accident. Seems like a reasonable use of time to me.
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Old 04-12-09, 11:57 PM   #2
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She told me she thought I was supposed to yield.
Did she apologise after you set her straight on that one?
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Old 04-13-09, 12:25 AM   #3
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I think there was a "sorry" in there somewhere. The incident was almost more disturbing than the usual right hook because usually the driver at some point was trying to get in front of you. In this case, she just drove like I wasn't there for the most part. Unfortunately, I don't think I really convinced her.
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Old 04-13-09, 06:31 AM   #4
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I think motorists don't realize they slow down to bicycling speeds when they turn. It's sort of "Look how much faster I am then that cyclists I'll just tun as a pass." Never realizing that they didn't finish passing.
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Old 04-13-09, 06:31 AM   #5
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She told me she thought I was supposed to yield.
Yep. You are on a bike completely exposed - so it's your problem. That's what she should have said.

The brain of non-cycling motorists see only two things: Moving objects and non-moving objects. Their eyes see a cyclist and the brain registers "Non-moving object" just like a dog walker or a parked car. That is never going to change.
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Old 04-13-09, 11:49 AM   #6
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On a more serious note, I'm resolved to tell the next person that right hooks me that they could slow down for a couple of seconds and avoid a potentially fatal accident. Seems like a reasonable use of time to me.
Maybe the driver prefered to IGNORE what didn't suit her fancy. Lots of morons do it, some even brag about it.
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Old 04-13-09, 12:46 PM   #7
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In the past three years that I've been cycling in this area, (13,000 miles) I have been right hooked zero times. I attribute this to our superior bike facilities. Nearly every street and road in this region is narrower than 14 feet, and so we have no legal restrictions on where to ride laterally within the lane. Therefore, I ride to the left side of the lane.

If you are subject to inferior bicycling facilities, either wide lanes that permit the "safe" sharing of the travel lane, or worse, a bike lane, then right hooks just come with the territory. But who cares? As long as you feel that these inferior designs will make you safer, that's what really counts. After all. perceived safety is so much more valuable than actual safety, right?
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Old 04-13-09, 01:36 PM   #8
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In the past three years that I've been cycling in this area, (13,000 miles) I have been right hooked zero times.
I believe you are just lucky. If I stopped and counted, I could probably remember each time I've been right hooked in the last 35 years. The previous right hook I was taking the lane on a fairly narrow residential street. The guy had to be going at least 50 by the time he got beside me, it was incredibly stupid.

I didn't really want to get into it, but my lane strategy yesterday was somewhat submissive. I ride through this town fairly frequently, and I usually ride just to the right of the white line. This is a 55mph rural highway with a 35mph speed limit in town and over the mountain just outside the town. I'm reconsidering my riding approach in this town.
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