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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 10-30-08, 06:34 AM   #1
recumelectric
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What a Night!

Tonight (I guess it would be last night at this point), I went out riding the bent. My goal was to see how far it could go using mainly the throttle and very little pedaling. It was after sunset, but I was going down familiar terrain.

I ended up miscalculating where a right hand turn lane began, and bounced off the edge of the asphalt unexpectedly. While trying to regain control, I bounced again where the asphalt really began. At that point, I was all out of control and ended up going down in a tangle of handlbars. Handlebars stabbed me in the boob (right on the nipple) and in the abdomen (left both an abrasion and a bruise). Also cut up my leg on my pedal. ...Guess my first spill on a bent at least verified my theory that I wouldn't fly over the handlebars on a bent; instead I flew right into them.

After checking myself and adjusting some things on the bike, I started off, bloody and all, towards home. About a mile later, 2 guys jumped right into my path, held up their fists at me, and started yelling, "Get off the bike." (Another first for me, since I've never been harassed before on a commute.) At that point, I was thoroughly freaked out, and just yelled, "HEY!" in the same way I'd yell it at a naughty kid. It kind of stopped them for a few seconds. Then I just hit the throttle and pedaled hard to get around. ...I still have no clue what the F--- those guys were trying to do--freak me out, attack me, take my bike, or ???

Upon arriving home, I decided that a trip to the ER might be a good idea, due to the poke in the abdomen. Boyfriend took me, and I finally told him to go home and sleep when it became apparent that it was going to take 3-4 hours just to get the whole X-ray of the internal organs done. So I'm just getting home from a night full of drinking the orange drink dye and being injected with contrast chemicals. Every CNA, nurse, and doctor there had me repeat the story--not just "Where do you hurt?" but also, "How exactly did you do this?" along with "Were you drinking?" (No) and "Were you wearing a helmet?" (Yes)

Short part of the story is that my diagnosis is just contusions and abrasions. No internal problems. Oh, and the answer to my original question is that the Bionx motor took me about 11 miles with minimal pedaling.

While waiting for BF to come and pick me up afterwards, I talked to some guy who was there with a surface stab wound on his belly that was was actually lighter than what was on my belly. It was some hispanic guy who had been attacked by a couple of skinheads when they realized he wasn't white. ...It was just a crazy mess out there tonight.

Now I'm just sore and tired and going to bed.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:45 AM   #2
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Wow, I'm glad you're okay.

I have a LWB bent... so I guess I know what to expect when I wreck now... hopefully without the harassment

Take care, I hope it doesn't hurt for long.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:51 AM   #3
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Glad it wasn't worse. "Get off the bike"? Weird.
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Old 10-30-08, 06:53 AM   #4
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Wow, glad to read you're ok.
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Old 10-30-08, 07:02 AM   #5
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Ouch

I commute on my bent, but I've never experienced anything bad like that.

I hope you feel better real soon. If I remember reading your posts before, you have above seat steering? I have USS and both have advantages and disadvantages, but I don't think I'd get poked by the steering like that.
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Old 10-30-08, 07:43 AM   #6
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Glad you made it back in one piece! Does the 2nd event make you think about carrying mace or anything like that?
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Old 10-30-08, 11:46 AM   #7
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Glad you made it back in one piece! Does the 2nd event make you think about carrying mace or anything like that?
Yeah. I haven't carried anything like that in years, but it may be time to get some pepper spray. (Last time I checked, pepper spray is legal here and mace isn't.) The thing is that I had a big ring of keys in my pocket that I could have swung in their faces, but I couldn't get to them in time. It was faster to try to pedal out of the situation. But if they had taken me down, something sprayable would have probably worked.

I'm still not sure what they were trying to do. To me, it seemed like they could have brought me down if they really wanted to, since I was trapped up by a wall.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:49 AM   #8
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Forget pepper spray. Use wasp repellent. That stuff will seriously dissuade any would-be attackers.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:50 AM   #9
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Ouch

If I remember reading your posts before, you have above seat steering? I have USS and both have advantages and disadvantages, but I don't think I'd get poked by the steering like that.
It's above the seat steering. Without the handlebars, I guess I would have been tossed out onto the asphalt, face and arms first. Not sure which scenario is worse. ...I think I need to learn how to "lay it down." That would have just left me with a bunch of road rash on one side. Are there lessons for that kind of thing?
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Old 10-30-08, 11:52 AM   #10
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Thanks, everyone, for your messages of concern. I knew I could come here with my strange little tale.
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Old 10-30-08, 11:59 AM   #11
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Wow- so glad you are OK. I have no doubt that those two guys were going to rob you!
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Old 10-30-08, 12:07 PM   #12
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From experience: when you go to the ER after a fall like this, always say, "I fell off my bicycle." (not bike, as they then assume motorcycle).

Unless of course you want the staff to panic and ask you all kinds of questions....

Glad you're OK. If you'd shown them the recumbent they probably wouldn't have asked whether you were drinking, as they'd probably think it's impossible to ride one while impaired.
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Old 10-30-08, 12:33 PM   #13
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Glad you're OK. As someone else suggested I would start carrying something for self-defense, and perhaps some kind of alarm to draw attention.

Were you on a street or a MUP?
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Old 10-30-08, 12:40 PM   #14
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Glad you're OK. As someone else suggested I would start carrying something for self-defense, and perhaps some kind of alarm to draw attention.
+1 I always wear my helmet, gloves, and carry pepper spray. I would imagine a 'bent would be perfect for mounting a .50 cal machine gun on the bars, that would make people think twice about messing with you.
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Old 10-30-08, 01:28 PM   #15
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Nashbar carries a little clip that you can use to clip a can of Halt! to your bars. Put that on your bars and put the can of Halt in there where you can just put your hand on it and you are ready to spray. Works perfectly.
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Old 10-30-08, 01:31 PM   #16
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Now get back to work and show your boss your "new" biker legs!!

Recover well.
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Old 10-30-08, 01:42 PM   #17
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...Guess my first spill on a bent at least verified my theory that I wouldn't fly over the handlebars on a bent; instead I flew right into them.
My bike has the Rans Flip-it stem, so if I stop abruptly the bars will tilt up until my crotch removes the riser from the bike. Maybe I should wear a cup.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:14 PM   #18
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Were you on a street or a MUP?
During the accident, I was on the street. To go home, I had to turn out onto a fairly busy street that crossed over the freeway. I figured that between that and my riding condition and possible problems with the bike, I should go up on the sidewalk crossing. So I was on a wide sidewalk with walls on either side. These guys literally jumped over the wall from the road. It was weird.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:18 PM   #19
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Nashbar carries a little clip that you can use to clip a can of Halt! to your bars. Put that on your bars and put the can of Halt in there where you can just put your hand on it and you are ready to spray. Works perfectly.
I like that idea. Only issue is that I would have to figure out a way to hide it before I get to work. I work in a school, and that kind of stuff is not allowed on the premises. That's why I quit carrying the pepper spray years ago.
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Old 10-30-08, 08:20 PM   #20
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Now get back to work and show your boss your "new" biker legs!!
Different bosses now, but I'll definitely show off my battle scars.
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