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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 04-05-07, 01:19 PM   #1
Schwinnrider
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Hit by a truck today

was doing my normal commute, which I've done since 11/1/06. Most of it is lightly travelled road, but there's a 3/4 mile section which is 45mph 2 lane. It's not usually a problem.

Today was different. Some guy in a truck with towing mirrors was following the car in front of him too closely(he said) and when she swerved to get around me( I take the lane, at least 18 inches) he didn't see what she was swerving for and he hit me in the head with his towing mirror. All I remember is doing a flip and then laying on the ground. Luckily my brother's fiancee was on her way to work and saw me. The driver stopped and sat with me until EMS showed up, as did an off-duty nurse and five cops, highway patrol included. The driver got a ticket for "improper pass", and the trooper said I was crazy for riding on that road when he visited me in the ER.

I spent three hours strapped to a backboard while they took a CAT scan and xrays of everything on my left side. Nothing's broken, no concussion, not even a suture. HOWEVER, my left elbow is scraped and looks like hamburger, as does my left calf, the back of my head, and my left buttock. My left buttock is deeply bruised and is purple. I was wearing my helmet, which in this case was an excellent idea.

I have no idea what's up with the bike. A co-worker picked it up for me. She's told me it does not roll, and my cheapo Topeak panniers are torn and ripped. Could have been much worse, but I dont' think I'll be on the bike for a few days.

Mike
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Old 04-05-07, 01:22 PM   #2
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heal quickly.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:30 PM   #3
dalmore
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Sorry to hear that but glad to be hearing about it from you. Get well!
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Old 04-05-07, 01:34 PM   #4
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...wow...

Glad you are around to share your experience. Sounds like the whole situation could have been a lot worse, though I'm not saying it didn't suck.

Get better.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:35 PM   #5
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God bless and Godspeed. At least the impatient driver stayed with you, still a dick driving move, but at least they stayed.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:36 PM   #6
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OH WOW... that is a bummer. Makes my close call with a side view mirror last week seem paltry in comparison. I hope you heal up quickly and your bike isn't too bad.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:37 PM   #7
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OUCH, at least the driver stopped and waitied with you. his insurance may be able to replace your vehicle, ot at least get it fixed, since this was technically a traffic accident.

hope the burger heals well and the bruises go away.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:39 PM   #8
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damn dude, that sucks, try and get a newer, betterer ride out of his insurance.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:40 PM   #9
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Ow! Glad you're mostly okay. Hope you are back on the bike very soon.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:49 PM   #10
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Wow...that sucks!

I went through a similar experience less than two months ago, when a guy's trailer hit me while I was riding at 40 mph down a winding canyon road.

Some things to keep in mind:

1) You'll probably have some Post-Traumatic Stress. I was a bit freaky for a few days afterwards, thinking about "what if", and what I could have done differently. Just go with it...hopefully it will pass after a couple of days.

2) Contact your insurance company. Your medical bills may be covered by your automobile insurance (mine were for the first $5000). Also, your homeowner's policy may cover your bike and bike clothing (mine did, less a $500 deductible).

3) Get a copy of the police report (even if it's preliminary). Consider filing your own statement to be included with the report...that way your side of it is in the official report.

4) If you're not already doing so, consider getting a good mirror (e.g. the Take a Look). That situation you describe is all too common, but using the mirror you can usually see it coming in advance. If I see a line of cars approaching from behind on a narrow roadway, I worry more about the following vehicles than the first one. As they approach, I intentionally move my bike further to the left, forcing the lead car to move well to the left - this alerts following drivers that there's something to be avoided up ahead (me!).

5) Don't second guess yourself too much

6) Get used to changing bandages and wound dressings...I'm still applying scar cream nearly 2 months after my accident. Tegaderm bandages are good for getting new skin to grow, as is "Silvedeen(?)" a cream that you put on the road rash.


Heal up, and best of luck with your recovery.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:56 PM   #11
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Wow, glad to read the report from you - as others have said...

Heal well, SSP looks to have some good advice there. Good luck with a speedy recovery and back in the saddle.
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Old 04-05-07, 02:10 PM   #12
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Glad you're ok. Heal up soon!
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Old 04-05-07, 02:16 PM   #13
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ouch! get well soon, sorry about your bike!
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Old 04-05-07, 02:19 PM   #14
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Wow. Get better. Try Arnica for the bruises. Get some now, and work it in till it hurts. Can't tell you how quickly this dissipates a deep bruise.
Where are you riding?
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Old 04-05-07, 02:30 PM   #15
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Glad that you are OK.

JG
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Old 04-05-07, 02:30 PM   #16
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Best wishes, get better soon! If only people would learn some patience...
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Old 04-05-07, 02:33 PM   #17
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I can't believe you don't have a concussion! Go buy some lottery tickets. Try and stretch your muscles so they don't turn into one very large knot. Anytime I've been in a significant crash, I'm completely sore from head to toe within a day or two. I find that gin & tonic with lime [Vit. C!] plus some aspirin works wonders. Heal up!
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Old 04-05-07, 02:53 PM   #18
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I am so glad you're OK. Man, that could have been so much worse. Well, it could have been better if people would drive safely and pay friggin attention.

Get well.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:20 PM   #19
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Get healed and back on the road soon; don't let the trooper discourage you in your commute. I put thousands of miles on 55MPH roads every year--on a lowracer even! I'm totally dependent upon my "take-a-look" there is no substitute for me.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:26 PM   #20
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Ahhh, the old mirror slap to the back of the head trick. I used to not wear a helmet until a friend, who had got slapped on the back of the head by a truck mirror, had me sit on my bike next to a truck mirror. Yep, the perfect location for a slap to the back of the head.

Heal up soon and whenever you get together with cyclists and compare wounds, like in the movie "Jaws", remember you'll probably win now. Although, I think Axxon is the Quint of the group with the smashed front teeth and all.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:35 PM   #21
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dude, that's a real bummer, but a very cool thing that you weren't hurt in any really serious way.
Heal well and quickly and get back in the saddle.

My only comment to you is that IMHO taking the lane a little more may have stopped this particular accident, but I can't say I'd be doing anything differently; I actually ride too far to the right in my own opinion but I am slowly trying to correct myself.

I think there's a lot of blame for both drivers here; the first driver didn't have to wait until the last second and then swerve around you, effectively blocking you from view. IMHO she's partly to blame.

Secondly, the second driver was following too close. I've been thinking a lot about that lately as I'm getting passed by a line of cars; if they left the proper 3 second gap between them, this sort of thing just wouldn't happen.

Also, the "didn't see what she was swerving for" doesn't cut it IMHO. If a driver in front of me swerves, at the very least I'm on the brakes until I figure out what's going on.

IMHO the "improper pass" that the ticket was actually issued for was just the natural result of these two bad driving habits. I think the vast majority of traffic incidents occur because of bad driving habits, and I'm with some police departments that have stopped calling them "accidents" - hardly any of them are.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:40 PM   #22
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Man, that sucks. I'm glad you are still able to post about it here though. Thats a good sighn that you still have your faculties with you. Heal up, get well and ride again soon.
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Old 04-05-07, 03:43 PM   #23
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HOLY CRAP!!! I am glad you are okay......Here's to a quick recovery
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Old 04-05-07, 04:22 PM   #24
aley
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Ouch! Glad to hear you're (substantially) OK.
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Old 04-05-07, 04:36 PM   #25
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God bless you and hope you heal quickly. On the bright side maybe you can get a new bike out of this.
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