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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 04-01-09, 11:40 AM   #1
oboeguy
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Hit from behind == "sorry!"

Yesterday's commute home required an alternate route I haven't used in many months (intermediate destination called for it). I'm tooling along, only a minute or two out from my job and I feel a car mirror strike the left bar end of my bike. Hooray for slowish traffic, spring-load mirrors, and solid bike handling skills! (the latter having saved me on many an occasion) I started viciously cursing out the idiot who just hit me -- the only thing that caused her to stop her car. The weather was nice so the window was rolled down enough for me to spew more nasty words to her face. The only reply was a self-righteous "sorry!".

My reaction wasn't really the best, I admit, but "sorry"? in such a way as to make it sound like it was my fault? Sheesh! So much for the 3-foot passing rule. Not sure what the idiot driver was thinking (anything?). Oh, and to the the VC nuts about to get medieval on me for not taking the lane: the "lane" is really a double-wide lane with no stripe, IIRC, so I was more-or-less taking a lane.
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Old 04-01-09, 11:49 AM   #2
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Look at it this way: "Sorry" is better than "get off the g.d. road you f'in piece of..." so on and so forth. Good thing you're ok.
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Old 04-01-09, 11:58 AM   #3
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The weather was nice so the window was rolled down enough for me to spew more,,,,,,, water from your water bottle and say "sorry"! Glad your OK.
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Old 04-01-09, 11:59 AM   #4
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The weather was nice so the window was rolled down enough for me to spew more,,,,,,, water from your water bottle and say "sorry"! Glad your OK.
I'd forgotten to refill before I left -- needed every drop for hydration!
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Old 04-01-09, 12:03 PM   #5
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Well I in fact prob would not do that but it is fun to think you could.
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Old 04-01-09, 01:43 PM   #6
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Well, if you'd been riding on the sidewalk where you belong it wouldn't have happened.... LOL
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Old 04-01-09, 01:48 PM   #7
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Well, if you'd been riding on the sidewalk where you belong it wouldn't have happened.... LOL
OK, stop with the sidewalk
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Old 04-01-09, 01:52 PM   #8
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Glad you're ok enough to spew! It coulda been way worse. (I don't know personally, and I don't wanna! ) I'm sure it was a huge scare tho.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:01 PM   #9
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Reminds me of a couple of years ago, I was climbing hill on a quiet country road on one of my routes, I hear a car coming up behind me, and oddly just as I was thinking it was getting too loud for comfort, smack...something (Probably the mirror) tags me in the ass/hip and knocks me into the roadside ditch.

It's a minivan and the lady driving has a young child in a car seat in the rear. She gets out, starts profusely apologizing, asking if I am okay and what not...then she states, "I didn't even see you I was talking on my cell phone..."

I was already not in a good mood, but I almost erupted, then thought about the kid in the back of the minivan, thought about my own wife...and after cooling down a bit, I checked myself and my ride and everything was good. I gave a pretty stern lecture about distracted driving and cell phones, how it could have been worse and she could have hit another car or something more imposing, or a kid on a bike who would not have been as fortunate as me. I saw the wheels spinning in her head and figured she was getting it. She called her husband as she was too shaken up to drive, they must have lived nearby as he was there in short order.

Anyway, I have been hit a few times, once seriously, and to me it seems that either unless damage is done to their vehicle or if you are knocked down, drivers are pretty casual about incidents such as this, or too shocked to respond coherently.

Glad you/bike are okay. Be safe
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Old 04-01-09, 02:26 PM   #10
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Wow! I'm glad you're okay (you too, Zac). I've had far too many cars try to "buzz" me. Sometimes I yell out that they're too close. Cars should give cyclists at least 5 feet of space. Anything less gets dangerous especially with protruding mirrors and forcing a cyclist into "door zone" just to get more space between them and moving vehicles.

I swear I'm going to die under the wheels of a 'Fresh Direct' truck or a yellow school bus in Williamsburg but I think there might be a side-view mirror of an Access-A-Ride out there with my name on it because I've had two of them come close to hitting me in the back of the head! Muthertruckers!
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Old 04-01-09, 02:32 PM   #11
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I was already not in a good mood, but I almost erupted, then thought about the kid in the back of the minivan, thought about my own wife...and after cooling down a bit, I checked myself and my ride and everything was good. I gave a pretty stern lecture about distracted driving and cell phones, how it could have been worse and she could have hit another car or something more imposing, or a kid on a bike who would not have been as fortunate as me.
zac
you should have asked to see the cellphone and accidentally crushed it.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:32 PM   #12
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Hey, a "sorry" beats the sound of an ambulance any day.
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Old 04-01-09, 02:44 PM   #13
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Glad you're ok but it sure takes the 'glow' off the day huh? Yesterday an elderly lady ran up behind me blowing the horn while aiming her car right at me - i thought she just wanted to yell at me for riding on the road but no....she wanted to ask for DIRECTIONS..................................go figure, scared the hell out of me. The rest of my ride was spent looking for the 'lost'.
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Old 04-01-09, 06:40 PM   #14
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Glad you're ok but it sure takes the 'glow' off the day huh? Yesterday an elderly lady ran up behind me blowing the horn while aiming her car right at me - i thought she just wanted to yell at me for riding on the road but no....she wanted to ask for DIRECTIONS..................................go figure, scared the hell out of me. The rest of my ride was spent looking for the 'lost'.
That same thing happened to me and it was an elderly lady! And yea, I turned and looked like,,, What the heck is your problem and she was lost.
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Old 04-01-09, 06:51 PM   #15
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When I have to dodge a driver doing a stupid stunt, 85% of the time it's someone on a cellphone. Sorry, you can't prove it by me that they don't distract drivers.
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Old 04-01-09, 07:35 PM   #16
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gj on keeping the bike up right! i've been clipped by a folding mirror to back, never makes for a fun day
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Old 04-02-09, 06:12 AM   #17
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I got whacked in the back of the head by an extended mirror on a pickup truck when I was a kid. I was knocked into a ditch. They just kept driving.
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Old 04-02-09, 07:36 AM   #18
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My own story reminds of another time, when riding the "Ramapo Rally" century a few years back, I stuck my left arm out to signal a left turn... and smacked the windshield of a car speeding by me. I was on my roadbike at the time, fortunately, or else I might have gone down from a similar mirror-to-bar-end connection.
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Old 04-02-09, 08:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by oboeguy View Post
Yesterday's commute home required an alternate route I haven't used in many months (intermediate destination called for it). I'm tooling along, only a minute or two out from my job and I feel a car mirror strike the left bar end of my bike...I started viciously cursing out the idiot who just hit me -- the only thing that caused her to stop her car. The weather was nice so the window was rolled down enough for me to spew more nasty words to her face. The only reply was a self-righteous "sorry!".

My reaction wasn't really the best, I admit, but "sorry"? in such a way as to make it sound like it was my fault? Sheesh! So much for the 3-foot passing rule...
There is a similar current thread on the Commuting Forum, "How to handle a deliberate [or olivious] buzzer?":

How to handle a deliberate buzzer?

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Originally Posted by duke_of_hazard View Post
I always take the lane, which works perfectly fine in my small city. The only time I have problems is on single lane roads where I force cars to overtake me in the oncoming lane to pass me. One bmw driver has deliberately buzzed me twice now. The first time I gave him the blast of my airzound. Today I did it again and he just mockingly honked back...
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I sympathize, I really do, I but had to lol that you had an airzound to zap him back. That might be a good device to have.

http://www.deltacycle.com/product.php?g=1
I think that airzounds could be a really great response to a cager since it would be so unexpected, compared to insults and obscenities. It would be really cool if it came in obnoxious sounds, like flatulence, or "rasberries." I have seen such noise makers in joke shops, but I wonder if they would be loud enough. Pthftttt.
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Old 04-02-09, 08:37 AM   #20
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you should have asked to see the cellphone and accidentally crushed it.
Trust me I have left a few fist/hand prints in some front right hoods and quarter panels from "distracted drivers" pulling out into my lane. After I do that, I give them the two fingers pointed into my eyes (telling them to look out) and shake my head as I ride away. The hand slap on the front end really gets their attention.

But that particular situation was sort of surreal. She seemed genuinely affected and did need me to add any more. Her husband was a nice guy too, I think he was a bit in shock by the incident too, maybe because no claim was going to be filed (dont forget I live in lawsuit rich Massachusetts, although that particular incident happened in NH). I didn't even exchange info, despite him wanting to do so. (State Law in NH to call police for any accident involving pedestrians/bicyclists).

BTW I never told my wife about this incident, she doesn't need any more excuses to try and keep me off my bikes. She doesn't like it (one of our first dates oh so many years ago, she was left feeling stood up...I was supposed to meet her in Boston...while I was in ICU after having been run over by a truck, noone had thought to call her and her family didn't know about the accident until later in the evening.) and the fact that I commute and ride in heavy traffic.
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