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  1. #1
    Shut Up and Ride MyPC8MyBrain's Avatar
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    Over the Bars and into the gutter

    We all know it's coming...sooner or later we're gonna hit the deck. I received my opprotunity to meet asphalt this morning on the way in. I'm trying to figure out what I could have done differently, but I think I've got to hang this one on the pickup driver.

    I come to a stop sign, and stop before turning right. While I'm stopped a car pulls on my left and he looks like he is also turning right. I take off to make complete my turn, and 1 second later he does the same. He cuts really close to me while making the turn, forcing me over the margin in into the gutter. They like to chip seal the roads here so there was a good 1"-2" margin between the asphalt and concrete. It didn't help that the concrete gutter was busted up as well.

    Next thing I know is my front wheel hooks a crack, hits the curb, and I'm headed over the bars to the deck. Lots of MTB riding has taught me to swing legs, and clear the bars to land on my feet. Toe clips gave the millisecond delay necessary to prevent this from happening exactly as planned. Right shin hit the bars on the way over, and the other shin hit the curb when I landed. The bike also pulled a flip on the way down.

    I sit for a second to make sure all my parts are at least somewhat intact. I see the driver puttering off into the distance. I gather scattered and broken bike parts, straighten my bars, hobble around a bit, then continue on my ride to work.

    Carnage includes:
    Knots on both shinbones..really really smarts
    Bruised palm [gloves saved road rash here]
    Both wrists hurt, one feels sprained.
    Brake Hood Mirror busted
    Cateye TL-1000 blinkie busted

    In the end, it hurts, but I will live and ride again. And the slow motion effect while headed down is priceless.

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyPC8MyBrain
    We all know it's coming...sooner or later we're gonna hit the deck. I received my opprotunity to meet asphalt this morning on the way in. I'm trying to figure out what I could have done differently, but I think I've got to hang this one on the pickup driver.
    I think that this one can solidly be placed on the driver being a prick and cutting you too close. What could have been done to prevent the issue would be taking the entire lane. When making a right, or when travelling straight in a right-turn-or-straight lane, I take the middle of the lane. It seems that every other morning there's some buttmunch that gets behind me, wanting to make a right, and they feel that they have to lay on the horn as if that will make me move out of their way... but it won't. Would they honk like that if it was another car, or a motorcycle impeding their right-on-red? Doubtful.
    Take the lane. It's yours; stress that fact, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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  3. #3
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    I second take the lane, even on a right turn. Even if it was his fault, which it clearly was, that doesn't mean you can't try to prevent it. You're better off not giving others the opportunity to make a mistake in the first place, even if they don't always appreciate the fact that you're just protecting them (and you) from themselves. We know better!

    Glad you're okay. Too bad about the Cateye, though...
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
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  4. #4
    All Weather Commuter Trek930's Avatar
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    ^^^ +1

  5. #5
    Shut Up and Ride MyPC8MyBrain's Avatar
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    I believe I was good 2' + out from the margin. He was out pretty far to the left in order to get around me.

    Maybe he was in a hurry to get to the donut store cuz his Lard-O-Meter was falling to the danger zone.

    I'll buy a new LD-1000 tonight, then see if I can order a new mounting bracket from cateye. The light is intact, it just snapped off he mounting bracket. I wanted one for the Tandem anyways.

  6. #6
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    You are probably going to be more sore tomorrow. Try to strech and take some ibuprofen (if you can) today and tonight. Any doubts about things getting better, see a doctor.

    Sorry it happened, glad it wasn't worse, and here's to healing fast.

  7. #7
    SSP
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    That sucks. Hope you feel better soon.

    In future, signal your intentions and take the whole freakin' lane...if you do, it's unlikely the driver would be able to right hook you like that. Also, if you intentionally take the turn a bit "wide" (something feasible given your head start), you'll have more room on your right to evade into if the driver does something stupid.
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  8. #8
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    Ouch, man, glad you're (relatively) OK. I second the ibuprofen, and I'd ice tonight, too.

    Here's to living!
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  9. #9
    Pinstriper SemperFi's Avatar
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    Glad that you were not seriously hurt but it could have turned out much worse than it did.
    Keep telling yourself that as you nurse your injuries.
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  10. #10
    Raving looney
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    Keep an eye on your wrists, mine felt like a sprain but turned out to be a fractured scaphoid (a very fickle bone from what I've learned).

    Glad to read you're OK though, up and back at it is the way to go. Ice, ibu and eat a decent meal - feed that recovery!

  11. #11
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    mypc8mybrain - heal up man. Glad you were'n't hurt worse.

    Obviously this truck drivers fault here. But as for what might have helped here. I probabbly would have just let him go first. If I read your post correctly - you were stopped. He pulled up next to you on the left. You went right. Then he too went right. I'm betting he never even looked to the right. I'm betting he's fixated over his left shoulder and you'd have just been squashed if you pulled out wide.
    Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more. Bark less.

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  12. #12
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    I always try to be directly on the center of the arrow in any intersection lane that has them, at least by the time I'm actually stopped or at the front of the lane. I use my mirror to monitor for traffic behind me, to make sure I'm not pulling in front of someone, and move to the center gradually as I approach the intersection.

    Motorists underestimate a bike's speed all the time. Sometimes they think they have more time than they do. This morning, two people almost in a row passed me on the left approaching an intersection, only to move over in front of me to turn right once they had passed. (I was aiming for the middle of the middle lane, to go straight.) I didn't get too mad because they actually did have enough time, but it was still annoying. Like "geez, what difference would it have made to wait a few seconds until you had enough clearance to pull into your lane on my right?"
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
    Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Meetup

  13. #13
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalmore
    I probabbly would have just let him go first. If I read your post correctly - you were stopped. He pulled up next to you on the left. You went right. Then he too went right. I'm betting he never even looked to the right. I'm betting he's fixated over his left shoulder and you'd have just been squashed if you pulled out wide.
    But he should have seen PC8 as he approached him from behind! He should also have seen him if PC8 started moving first! I don't buy it. I think he just didn't have a good sense of how close he was cutting the corner, and how much room bikes need to be given, and was impatient. Or maybe just the latter.

    My basic philosophy is passing should never be done in an intersection, including cars passing bikes, so do your best to not let them do it. And you're more visible closer to the center as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
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  14. #14
    Shut Up and Ride MyPC8MyBrain's Avatar
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    feeling better tonight, the tequila seemed to take the edge off.

    It was an unlined side street, so position is somewhat arbitrary. I was out far enough, and I'm sure he had to see the CatEye TLD-1000. I was starting off to go right as he came up and did a rolling stop and turned right. I think it was impatience and not knowing how close he was.

    Bike is fixed, blinkie replaced, Mirror Replaced, Bike Cleaned and Tuned. There are a couple of gouges in the braking surface i will have to polish out. But all in all, I will be riding that same corner before sunrise.

    Thanks all for the kind words of encouragment. I think I might pull through just fine. Swelling is down, wrist feels ok now. Yeah, it could have been worse. In the end, it was a 5 mph tumble. Some sections on my route approach 40mph every day. They have a bit more of my respect now

  15. #15
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MyPC8MyBrain
    We all know it's coming...sooner or later we're gonna hit the deck.
    True dat.... its inevitable. I had my first crash of the year 2 weeks ago. I'm glad your OK.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP
    That sucks. Hope you feel better soon.
    +1
    ain't no man can help being born average. but ain't no man got to be common - satchell paige

  17. #17
    Neat - w/ ice on the side dalmore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBrooking
    But he should have seen PC8 as he approached him from behind! He should also have seen him if PC8 started moving first! I don't buy it. I think he just didn't have a good sense of how close he was cutting the corner, and how much room bikes need to be given, and was impatient. Or maybe just the latter.

    My basic philosophy is passing should never be done in an intersection, including cars passing bikes, so do your best to not let them do it. And you're more visible closer to the center as well.
    I have no problem with anything that you are saying. Taking the lane before the turn is clearly the best thing to do here. And I hope that MyPC8myBrain understands that I am not trying to blame this fall on him as saying it was his fault.

    However, I do think that it's beneficial to try to learn from an incideent and I think one thing that can be learned from this incident is that some times it's safer to let a car go even though you have the right of way. It doesn't matter if you have completely blocked the right turn lane in such a way that the driver can not get next to you in that lane. If he gets next to you in the next lane and is looking like he's going to turn right - just let him go. It's the same idea as seeing a car approaching a red light that you don't think is going to stop. You don't pull out in front of them just because you have the green...

    Be right, but don't be dead right.
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  18. #18
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    You're right, Dalmore, that sometimes it's just not worth being right. I think I was mainly skeptical with the conjecture that the motorist did not see PC8, based on what he told us. In the situation PC8 found himself in, perhaps you are right that waiting for the motorist to go would have been the lesser of two evils. However, I still think it's likely that taking the lane would have prevented having to make the choice in the first place. Basically, I believe it's usually the safest way to maintain your legal right of way.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadfiNch on Commuting forum
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!
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  19. #19
    Recumbent Evangelist
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    I'm glad you and your bike are healing.

    In situations like this I always:

    1. Take the lane
    2. If I can't take the lane, assume the car to the left is going to cut me off, and let them go first.

    In general, it helps to assume that anyone around you - cars, other bikes, peds - are going to do something stupid. That's a might bit pessimistic, but it has saved my skin before...
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  20. #20
    SSP
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeff-o
    I'm glad you and your bike are healing.

    In situations like this I always:

    1. Take the lane
    2. If I can't take the lane, assume the car to the left is going to cut me off, and let them go first.

    In general, it helps to assume that anyone around you - cars, other bikes, peds - are going to do something stupid. That's a might bit pessimistic, but it has saved my skin before...
    A 3rd option is to throw a full water bottle at the side of their car when they do something stupid/dangerous. Of course, you might need to be prepared to back that up and/or flee (pepper spray helps with the former, and working on your sprint will help with the latter ).
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