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Old 06-01-06, 10:11 AM   #1
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Doored? My own damn fault.

Nearly got doored today. I was passing traffic on the right (not flying, not at all; just rolling). (This is where I'm supposed to be riding, right? Not my fault if traffic is crawling.) Some lady flings her door open -- as is the habit of the very fat, who need all momentum they can get to extract themselves from their cars. She did this right in front of me; she did it without looking. I braked and swerved and yelled. I glared at her over my shoulder as she finally poured her monstrous self from her car.

But this was my fault. I should have seen her. One second difference and I would have crunched her door. I rode the next miles with jelly legs.
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Old 06-01-06, 10:19 AM   #2
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Yes, you should be paying better attention. But sometimes these things happen, and there is nothing that can be done about it no matter how closely you are watching.

Glad you were able to avoid it!
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Old 06-01-06, 10:22 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
as she finally poured her monstrous self from her car.
man, i have this horrible mental image in my head right now. i hope it fades away soon...
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Old 06-01-06, 10:28 AM   #4
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Jabba the Hut?
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Old 06-01-06, 10:47 AM   #5
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I just wrote a long reply but the server apparently ate it. Anyway, technically, passing on the right is illegal. Bike lanes do a good (bad) job of making cyclists think it is ok to pass on the right, even through intersections. If you are going to filter, it's probably much safer to split lanes (assuming two lanes of same direction traffic) than it is to ride along the curb. People aren't very likely to exit a vehicle in the middle of the street. Regardless, this woman should have looked before exiting her vehicle.
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Old 06-01-06, 10:56 AM   #6
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Joejack, you're no doubt correct. But this was a single lane of traffic. When the traffic is moving, I hold the lane; I pull to the right if traffic is moving and I'm going to clog it. But I don't wait for a line of 20 honking cars who are stymied when somebody wants to make a left turn.

Last edited by Bklyn; 06-01-06 at 11:07 AM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 06-01-06, 10:58 AM   #7
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Jabba the Hut?

No....PIZZA THE HUT!!!

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Old 06-01-06, 10:58 AM   #8
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Now, my feeling is that if I'm in the bike lane, I'm not required to stop behind cars who are not (hopefully) in the BL. Signal devices must still be obeyed, however I will roll up the right to the light or stop sign. On the road is a different story. If I'm riding in the lane I will wait my turn, I usually take the lane at lights or intersections with a stop sign anyway.
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Old 06-01-06, 10:59 AM   #9
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Filtering like that is fine in my book. It being illegal is a huge contradiction so I wonder if it really is (you're supposed ride as far right as practical and cars can pass you even on a single lane road, so the instant the car passes you, you're breaking the law? WTF?). Anyhow, I'm reeeeeeeeeeeeeally careful and slow when I do it, looking for doorings from BOTH sides. You never know.

Glad you made it through unscathed.
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Old 06-01-06, 11:03 AM   #10
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yeah you gotta watch every car. it sucks when they have tinted windows though.
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Old 06-01-06, 11:05 AM   #11
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Oboeguy, you nailed it. A huge contradiction. It reminds me of watching traffic-safety filmstrips in grade school in suburban Pittsburgh. We were instructed to look left, look right, and look left again before crossing the street. Only when there were no cars on the horizon could we cross. My kids, growing up in Brooklyn, would be stranded on the streetcorner for hours if they followed that very sensible advice.
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Old 06-01-06, 11:35 AM   #12
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I stay the hell away if I can, otherwise, when I'm filtering, I do it when I know cars are slow enough for me to stop or at least bang off them.
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Old 06-01-06, 11:41 AM   #13
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Live and learn. I notice Bklyn takes some responsibility for not seeing the inattentive driver. We can't just hope for drivers to be responsible for our safety. Thanks for making that point, Bklyn, and I'm glad you weren't injured.
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Old 06-01-06, 11:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabaka
Yes, you should be paying better attention.
Sounds like he was paying good enough attention to avoid being doored. What would better attention have gained him?
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Old 06-01-06, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
Nearly got doored today. I was passing traffic on the right (not flying, not at all; just rolling). (This is where I'm supposed to be riding, right? Not my fault if traffic is crawling.) Some lady flings her door open -- as is the habit of the very fat, who need all momentum they can get to extract themselves from their cars. She did this right in front of me; she did it without looking. I braked and swerved and yelled. I glared at her over my shoulder as she finally poured her monstrous self from her car.

But this was my fault. I should have seen her. One second difference and I would have crunched her door. I rode the next miles with jelly legs.
That happened to me about a week ago except the car was in the middle lane of a 3 lane road (3 lanes each direction) and I was passing by in the right lane when the driver's kid opened the door to get out for school. Is it common practice to let your child out for school from the middle lane of a 45mph road?

BTW-I saw someone do the same thing again this morning as I rode through that area.
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Old 06-01-06, 12:12 PM   #16
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In the past 6 months, I've had two near doorings.

In both cases I braked hard enough to lift the rear tire, and did a slight carve left.

The first time, I was actually beside a bus, and I checked it with my left shoulder, bouncing off and continuing on my way.

The second time, my drive side axle nut snagged on the door, pulling it open further, and nearly tossing me over the bars. I was able to ride out of that one as well.

Both were due to my inattention.
But man does that ever snap you back to reality right quick!
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Old 06-01-06, 12:12 PM   #17
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Is it common practice to let your child out for school from the middle lane of a 45mph road?
It is if you really hate your kid.
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Old 06-01-06, 12:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
Joejack, you're no doubt correct. But this was a single lane of traffic. When the traffic is moving, I hold the lane; I pull to the right if traffic is moving and I'm going to clog it. But I don't wait for a line of 20 honking cars who are stymied when somebody wants to make a left turn.
Notice, I said technically. The confusion stems from whether a bikelane/shoulder can be considered a real lane in which case, you are not doing anything illegal as you just using your free lane.

The real thing to consider, though, is whether or not it's safe. As you and many others have proved, it's safe as long as you are paying attention and going slow enough to avoid those who are not paying attention (and in their minds, why should they are traffic shouldn't be passing on the right, hence why I mentioned the technicality).

FWIW, I filter when the situation arises where I can (not often in my semi-surburban area).
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Old 06-01-06, 12:18 PM   #19
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I am from Iowa

Being from Iowa I have no idea what filtering means..we dont have bike lanes either in my area. I rode for 2.5 hours today on country asphalt (brand new at that) and saw one car and passed one tractor. I am very glad I live where I live 44 miles today and two encounters with vehichles. (the car was an old lady who was topping about 35 mph and nearly went into the opposite ditch trying to give me room)
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Old 06-01-06, 02:20 PM   #20
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I don't think I ever said I wasn't paying attention. [winking smiley or something here.]
I guess my point is that something I read about dooring stuck with me: "Someday, you WILL get doored." It's just that 1) it hardly seems like a fair fight if you can get flattened by somebody who's not even in the game, and 2) I'm responsible for my own safety. And Iowa, that sure sounds like a nice ride you got there. But I be the Cuban food around your parts isn't any good! [winking smiley!]
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Old 06-01-06, 02:30 PM   #21
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I almost got doored from the *left* on Tuesday. I was riding closer to the cars in the street than the ones parked on the shoulder simply to give myself door clearance, and some guy at a stoplight decided he wanted to get out of the passenger side door.

Luckily, he only opened it a few inches and looked back and saw me, and waited till I passed to get out.
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Old 06-02-06, 07:42 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bklyn
I don't think I ever said I wasn't paying attention. [winking smiley or something here.]
I guess my point is that something I read about dooring stuck with me: "Someday, you WILL get doored." It's just that 1) it hardly seems like a fair fight if you can get flattened by somebody who's not even in the game, and 2) I'm responsible for my own safety. And Iowa, that sure sounds like a nice ride you got there. But I be the Cuban food around your parts isn't any good! [winking smiley!]
If you do something wrong or stupid you are bound to get hurt. If you do something both wrong and stupid your chances of being hurt are increased. Passing on the right is both stupid, wrong and illegal and not expected. You just increased your chances of being hurt not by 2 times but by 4 times. Exit Darwin theory stage right.
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Old 06-02-06, 08:31 AM   #23
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I believe its' now called "winning a door prize"
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Old 06-02-06, 08:53 AM   #24
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Quote:
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Passing on the right is both stupid, wrong and illegal and not expected.
Gee, what are you trying to say?
Well, I thank you for your candor. But riding a bicycle in New York is different than it is in other places. Check out this thread about 6th Avenue in Manhattan (this very stretch is part of my commute for about 10 minutes).
video: awesome bike lane

Regular rules don't apply -- or at best, they're guidelines. Let me draw your eye up page to the post by Oboeguy, who sagely points out: "Filtering . . . being illegal is a huge contradiction. . . . [Y]ou're supposed ride as far right as practical and cars can pass you even on a single lane road. So the instant the car passes you, you're breaking the law? WTF?"

You're absolutely right with the "not expected," though. And that's where I was on sketchy ground. As for "stupid," I disagree. Leaning a hand against a slow-moving minivan that can't decide whether to let me through or cut me off? Now, that was stupid.
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Old 06-02-06, 09:07 AM   #25
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Getting doored when you're to the left of parked cars would be your own fault...you should be riding far enough out to avoid the door zone. Getting doored when you're passing stopped traffic on the right is both your faults. They should pull over to the curb before letting off passengers, and you should be alert to the possibiltiy they won't.
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