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Old 09-17-04, 08:38 AM   #1
Whoodie
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50km/h Crash - What choices did I have?

A few weeks ago I took on a flat section of the road, no exits within, very high pavements. I didn't want to obstruct the traffic so I decided to keep to the pace and maxed to 50km/h. The vehicle infront is about 10m the one behind stopped to drop someone. Then all of a sudden some lady jumps into the road immediately the first vehicle passed (her intetion probably to cross the road before the second vehicle could start off - there is no pedestrian crossing at the point). Well, you can guess what happened next. What are should have been my best approach to not ram into her or crash when you try to swerve and we are talking a max of 5m and moving at 50km/h. I tried to keep it straight and brake but rammed on to her good, resulting in me getting flung over the hand bar.

Any suggestions.
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Old 09-17-04, 05:02 PM   #2
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I have hit parked cars at slow speeds and that hurts bad. I could only imagine eating asphalt at your speed.
How badly were you scuffed up and how is your bike?
Was it only one lane on your side of the road and were you able to see her on the side before she crossed?
From your description it kind of sounds like you were taking the lane and your view was obstructed but I wasn't sure of that. If she popped out of from behind an obstacle into a busy road without scanning the traffic then chalk then she is lucky that it was a bike and not a motorcycle.
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Old 09-17-04, 11:14 PM   #3
Chris L
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoodie
Any suggestions.
Yeah, don't ride at 50km/h if it isn't safe to do so. Slow down if that's what the situation requires. What's worse, "obstructing traffic" or crashing?
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Old 09-18-04, 03:03 AM   #4
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Whenever a car stops and I am not sure what their intention is, I go on instant alert. The best thing to do in these situations is assume that they may do any fool thing which is what the lady did do. Given this lady's behavior (jumping out of a car and into a street without looking is not exactly a prudent action), one has to wonder how she has managed not getting herself killed a long time ago.
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Old 09-18-04, 04:37 AM   #5
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My instinct would be to use the errant pedestrian as padding to cushion my fall. If you hit them shoulder first, you will probably do less damage all round. When you take a high speed fall, the biggest problem is coming to a quick stop, so try to figure out a good fall zone. Avoid the high curb, and try not to fall onto the opposing lane. As you hit the ground, try and relax, avoid sticking your hand out, keep your head tucked in, and roll or slide along. That is the theory, but it can be difficult to apply.
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Old 09-18-04, 04:15 PM   #6
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50 km/h is a little fast... Lets keep it under the speed limit
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Old 09-20-04, 06:45 AM   #7
yak
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... As you hit the ground, try and relax ...
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Old 09-20-04, 08:26 AM   #8
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People please, wear protective gear, its for your own good. Although I had to stay off the bike for about two weeks the gear took most of the damage for me. I had to buy new groves and elbow pads. Damaged part of my body were only from none cushioned parts. Lets say from the above answers I didn't have much choice. The lady agreed to damages.

My bike is back on the road.

TaterSalad what is the accepted speed limit. I thought I could move as fast at the conditions/situations allows.
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Old 09-20-04, 11:53 PM   #9
barolo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
As you hit the ground, try and relax, avoid sticking your hand out, keep your head tucked in, and roll or slide along. That is the theory, but it can be difficult to apply.
Yup, it can be a little difficult to apply. Your advice sounds like the right thing to do, but I found it's very hard to react intelligently when you go over the handlebars at 40-plus km/h.

I got hit by an SUV from the side, this time last year, while I was travelling about 40 km/hr. The only reaction I remember having time to apply was to say "o no" as I bounced a couple of times end over end on the ashpalt. It seemed to happen way too fast to be able to react any particular way on purpose - but based on injuries, I'm pretty sure I did stick my hand out and didn't tuck my head in.

I broke my jaw, wrist and shoulder, and donated a bunch of the skin off my face and knees to the pavement. Helmet did a great job of protecting my brain, but didn't do much to help the face. :-)

A surgeon at the hospital told me, while he sewed my upper lip back together, that one should always wear one of those heavy-duty mountain bike helmets with the jaw guard. Does anyone actually do that, for commuting?

Whoodie, you're amazing - you must be made of durable stuff if you only lost two weeks of bike-time!
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Old 09-21-04, 12:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
My instinct would be to use the errant pedestrian as padding to cushion my fall. If you hit them shoulder first, you will probably do less damage all round.
'Troll Competition'....

I can suggest some good discount hockey gear sites if y'all wanna play in traffic at high speeds. Where's jarhead#42 when you need him??

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