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Old 12-23-10, 06:11 PM   #1
dobber38
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My Bike Was Almost Destroyed Today

Okay, so I just put my bike on a bus bike rack and settled into my seat. Not 5 minutes later the driver hits the brakes *hard*. A cager turned in front of the bus " a little" too late.
The rack was able to hold 3 bikes and mine was the only one on it, so I placed it in the inner rack. The front of the car totally demolished the middle and outer racks. The part of the rack that nestles around the rear bike tire was not hit head-on, but sideswiped. It ended up on the passenger side door-that half-inch piece of metal being the only thing separating my beloved Peugeot from a 3,000 pound hunk of menacing metal.

I hope I explained that clearly.

I removed my commuter from what was left of the rack, did a quick inspection, turned on my lights and hauled you-know-what!
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Old 12-23-10, 06:18 PM   #2
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Old 12-23-10, 07:22 PM   #3
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Each of the last 2 days, I have seen a bus and compact car stopped after an obvious collision. At least the dumb JAMs are mostly targeting big busses rahter than cyclist.
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Old 12-23-10, 07:26 PM   #4
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Question: If the car had damaged your bike on that bus rack, would the car's insurance pay repair/replacement?
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Old 12-23-10, 07:49 PM   #5
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Question: If the car had damaged your bike on that bus rack, would the car's insurance pay repair/replacement?
I'm not sure how that would have played out, and that is an interesting question. I know that if my ride had suffered any damage at all, even a scratch, I would have stuck around until the police arrived and would have been a part of the accident report/investigation process.

I will throw this thought out...when I placed my bike on that rack, I did so with the reasonable expectation that I would be able to retrieve it at the end of my commute. Although the bus driver was clearly not at fault, whether I would have any recourse against the bus company if my bike had been damaged is a question I have been wondering about and am unqualified to answer.
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Old 12-23-10, 07:58 PM   #6
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Question: If the car had damaged your bike on that bus rack, would the car's insurance pay repair/replacement?
One more thought...I only paid 40 bucks for my bike, but it sold new for much, much more that that and it's "replacement value" is much more than the money I paid for it. It's not my fault I got a good deal for it and I have put way more money into it to get it into what I perceive as "rideable" condition.

Another thought, is a car insurance company qualified to determine the value of my ride if it is destroyed, or what even constitutes "destroyed" or totalled?
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Old 12-24-10, 08:36 AM   #7
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Question: If the car had damaged your bike on that bus rack, would the car's insurance pay repair/replacement?
Why not?
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Old 12-24-10, 08:49 AM   #8
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Not trying to pick on the OP but I have wondered for quite some time why anyone would get off of their bike and put it on a bus. Every time I pass, or get passed by, a bus and I see a bike on the rack I ask myself "Why"? Am I missing something?
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Old 12-24-10, 09:52 AM   #9
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people put their bike on the bus for a lot of reasons. I have done it for ice. Distance, cold, time are all valid reasons in my view.
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Old 12-24-10, 11:01 AM   #10
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I have used the bike rack on the front of a bus a few times. I have not been real comfortable that the bike is held in that securely. I once asked the bus driver if he had ever seen any fall off. He said "oh yeah" and that if that happens he just keeps on driving (I imagine this would include thoroughly flattening the bike in the process). It make me wonder about what happens if a situation arises where bike damage occurs.

The driver may have been doing some mind games with me or I could have had an overactive imagination in how often this might happen. I imagine some cyclists aren't real careful in putting the spring-loaded arm up over their tire when securing the bike in the rack -- in my mind I am thinking this may mostly account for any bike damage the driver has seen.

I do wonder what the bus company's policy is about bikes on the rack. If a bike falls off and gets destroyed will the bus company take responsibility and pay, or do they figure the rack was used at the cyclists own risk? Of course, if another motor vehicle was also involved that adds another option into who could pay.
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Old 12-24-10, 11:16 AM   #11
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People (like me) often drive or ride a bus or train part of the way for their commute for a variety of reasons... in SoCal it's not uncommon for a commute to be 40-60 miles so riding a bike the entire distance is impractical. In my case there are no safe routes to ride all the way to work (freeways, narrow/busy canyon roads) so I haul my bike through the dangerous parts then ride the remaining distance to work and back.
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Old 12-24-10, 11:37 AM   #12
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Not trying to pick on the OP but I have wondered for quite some time why anyone would get off of their bike and put it on a bus. Every time I pass, or get passed by, a bus and I see a bike on the rack I ask myself "Why"? Am I missing something?
I bike 6.5 miles and take a bus the other 18. Part of the bus ride involves the Interstate, so that automatically rules out the bike. I could probably find an even longer route to bypass the freeway, but I simply do not want to bike 50 plus miles a day.
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Old 12-24-10, 12:11 PM   #13
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One more thought...I only paid 40 bucks for my bike, but it sold new for much, much more that that and it's "replacement value" is much more than the money I paid for it. It's not my fault I got a good deal for it and I have put way more money into it to get it into what I perceive as "rideable" condition.

Another thought, is a car insurance company qualified to determine the value of my ride if it is destroyed, or what even constitutes "destroyed" or totalled?
Once in a while, I write up replacement estimates for customers at the shop I work for. Usually, we peg the replacement value to the retail price of an "equivalent" bike we have on the floor. For vintage bikes this can be tricky, but an old Peugot might be compared to a modern "road/sport" or touring bike, ie. a value of about $1000.
Generally we get to dictate the value of the stolen or damaged bike and also decide whether it's worth repairing or just replacing. I don't remember an insurance company taking issue with any or our assesments.

Another reason to foster a good relationship with your local bike shop!
(ps. Christmas is tomorrow, have you dropped off your case of beer yet?)
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Old 12-24-10, 01:49 PM   #14
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Question: If the car had damaged your bike on that bus rack, would the car's insurance pay repair/replacement?
Sue everyone in this litigious society. Truthfully I don't know the answer, but I suspect the car's insurance would pay. The OP did the right thing by placing his bike on the inner most rack of the bus.
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Old 12-24-10, 02:25 PM   #15
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Not trying to pick on the OP but I have wondered for quite some time why anyone would get off of their bike and put it on a bus. Every time I pass, or get passed by, a bus and I see a bike on the rack I ask myself "Why"? Am I missing something?
I've done it before due to distance reasons. When I was working 25 miles away, it was quicker to ride my bike 2 miles to the bus terminal, throw my bike on the front of the regional bus, ride 20 miles on the bus, then grab my bike and bike the rest of the mileage.
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Old 12-24-10, 02:42 PM   #16
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Not trying to pick on the OP but I have wondered for quite some time why anyone would get off of their bike and put it on a bus. Every time I pass, or get passed by, a bus and I see a bike on the rack I ask myself "Why"? Am I missing something?
Fair question, I ride the bus when I have too much to carry comfortably in my shoulderbag and sometimes when its pouring rain and I don't want wet shoes all day.

Last edited by tben; 12-24-10 at 05:46 PM. Reason: redundancy
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Old 12-24-10, 02:50 PM   #17
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OK, I understand a bit more. Sorry to have hijacked the thread
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