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Old 04-24-09, 02:11 AM   #1
xenologer
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Avoided a Right Hook

Angled parking spots are stupid.

Was riding down University ave Palo Alto.
And a car pulled fast right in front of me to get into one of those angled parking spots.
No warning signs like signaling or car slowing down beforehand.
I guess drivers figure there's no need stop first since the spot is so conveniently angled to get into huh?

It was too close for me to stop, so I turned right and rode into the parking spot parralel to the car. Thats when he noticed me and stopped, and I still had too much momentum so I avoided hitting the curb by riding around in front of the car, and the next parked car, then back out into the street via the next open parking spot. Rear tire skidding and tail whipping around the whole way.

Seeing as how I was still rolling without touching anything, and back in the street, I kept going along my way. Figure that seeing me do all that right in front of him the driver probably realizes what happened.


Anyway, I'm happy to avoid a near miss. That's the closest call to date and I'm suprised at my reaction time.
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Old 04-24-09, 09:12 AM   #2
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Glad you're okay.

Yesterday I had a very close left-hook. I was on Adams Street which runs into the Brooklyn Bridge. The guy didn't signal. He was in a very low black sports car. I had the green light and was the only vehicle crossing the intersection at the moment. (GAP EFFECT!) He decided to gun it. I had to slam on my breaks hard and shift me weight back a bit to stop in time. He stopped a few feet from my bike. I yelled at him and kept riding.

Later that day a white SUV tried to slowly right hook me. We were coming to a red light. I'm riding as far right as I safely can. There was an empty space along the curb for a parked car but this asshat thought he could pull in ahead of me, magically, going 3 miles an hour, to get in line at the light then peel out in front of the other drivers waiting next to him: this is a common jerl move by a lot of motorists here. They don't want to wait their turn behind a car at the light so they pull into a PARKING SPOT at the light then floor the gas pedal and peel out just as the light turns green ahead of the car first in line. It's very dangerous.

Anyway, because he was trying to do this at the last second as I'm approaching and at such close range I had to slam on my breaks, my handlebars hit the right nose of his car and my hand hit the hood. Another 6 inches closer and I would have been under his right front wheel!! I was so freakin' pissed off. I started screaming, "WTF?!? Are you a moron!? Are you trying to kill me!! WTF are you doing!!!???!!!" For this one I was about to call the cops but I wanted to get the heck away from him before he tries to run me down again.

I'm going to save more money and invest in a bike mounted or helmet mounted videocamera. I need it in order to document this sh*t and give it to the cops. Because by the time I pull over in a safe stop to even reach for my cell phone, the car is gone.

Late at night while riding home I sometimes have my cellphone set to 911. Now I think I'll be riding around all the time, day and night, with my phone set to dial 911 with a press of my bluetooth headset. No stopping to pull out my phone. Just press the button and start reporting these crazies.

Last edited by KitN; 04-24-09 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 04-24-09, 08:12 PM   #3
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we share the responsibility of being seen, cycling is VERY dangerous
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Old 04-24-09, 08:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
we share the responsibility of being seen, cycling is VERY dangerous
I do my part to be visible. I obey all traffic laws. I ride predictably. I am aware of my surroundings. I yield for peds. I use hand signals. I have THREE sets of lights including a Planet Bike Superflash that I have on even in broad daylight. No amount of lights, hi-vis vest, hand signals, etc can stop a crackhead cager from running you over if he/she chooses. Sadly. Just be prepared for evasive maneuvers and some emergency breaking.
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Old 04-25-09, 01:00 AM   #5
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we share the responsibility of being seen, cycling is VERY dangerous
Thats true, but no amount of effort on your part will make you be seen if the driver isn't Looking.
I kinda wish I had a strobe bright enough for daylight running, something like that to shine into a rearview mirror might slightly increase the chances of a driver being aware of surroundings.

I already have a habit of avoiding riding alongside cars when approaching intersections; this time was extra unexpected since it was the middle of the block.
I guess I'll have to keep an eye open for empty parking spots and pretend they're intersections too now, where cars might suddenly turn right without signaling, slowing down, or checking their blind spot...



Anyhow, regarding the emergency braking, I mentioned earlier through all my manuvering to avoid the car my rear wheel was skidding. Since I grabbed that brake lever.
Funny thing is, my rear brake is on my left hand. I swapped them since I'm right handed and the theory goes that the strong hand ought to control the front. I guess old habits die hard though, I learned to ride with the brake levers 'normal' and grabbed the left one first... artificial left hand dominance since standard brake levers are set up that way.
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Old 04-25-09, 01:22 AM   #6
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I think a lot of times, drivers in a line waiting for a light to change will see a bike fly past and have this uncontrollable urge to beat it - to the corner, to the intersection to make a right, ANYWHERE, ahead of some guy on a bike that is ahead of their 40K SUV. I was almost right hooked yesterday, by some moron who had to speed up to pass me, then brake to make his right turn about 5 ft. in front of me. I can almost understand if you are coming up on a car waiting to make a right and they don't see you, but when you're wearing a high vis jacket and some Einstein has to pass you in order to cut you off . . . its not like they can't see you, right? I just take a deep breath, repeat my mantra, "M-S-T-D-A-S-Y"* and go about my business. Anyway, glad to see that everyone's reflexes were sharp and you all are well enough to vent here in the forum.

*MSTDASY = Make Sure the Dumb Ass Sees You
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Old 04-25-09, 07:21 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=El Gigante;8797349]I think a lot of times, drivers in a line waiting for a light to change will see a bike fly past and have this uncontrollable urge to beat it - to the corner, to the intersection to make a right, ANYWHERE, ahead of some guy on a bike that is ahead of their 40K SUV. I was almost right hooked yesterday, by some moron who had to speed up to pass me, then brake to make his right turn about 5 ft. in front of me.

This happens all to often.
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Old 04-25-09, 07:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
we share the responsibility of being seen, cycling is VERY dangerous
not sure what this means. And I disagree that cycling is VERY dangerous. If that's the case, then driving is very dangerous too.

In general, people are afraid of being caught behind you. There seems to be an imperative in their mind to pass, and in many cases, not to slow down. To me, the right hook is nearly inexplicable. The person is behind you, can easily judge your speed, and could slow down the tiniest bit and turn safely. Instead, they speed up, fail to complete the pass, and turn right even though they should be able to recognize that you are still there.

Last edited by unterhausen; 04-25-09 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 04-25-09, 07:34 AM   #9
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I kinda wish I had a strobe bright enough for daylight running, something like that to shine into a rearview mirror might slightly increase the chances of a driver being aware of surroundings.
A P7 on high with the 3/sec or 1/sec or rapid (8/sec) strobe in the daytime is more than bright enough. When I used to use it for daytime riding, cars would take significantly longer to go at stop signs. I still use it on cloudy or rainy days.
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Old 04-25-09, 07:54 AM   #10
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Cycling is dangerous only because drivers are dangerous. Cycling by itself is very safe. A cyclist's challenge is to look out for idiots and ragers and defend against them.
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Old 04-28-09, 08:33 AM   #11
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Just to note that back in angle parking seems to be a lot more bike friendly. I would use your incident as part of a request to have that parking angles changed.
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