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  1. #1
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    My first close call encounter

    Yesterday morning, on the way into work, I was riding west on this road you see here, turning left onto the road shown on the left side: http://goo.gl/maps/8PWiM

    As I approached I was in the left side of my lane (no cars behind me) with my left arm stretched out. A car was waiting there, or had just stopped at the stop sign, to turn left to go the same direction I was going. Just as I got in front of the car to go left around it, the car immediately starts pulling out! I had to swerve right to avoid hitting the right side of the car, or the car broadsiding me on the left.

    As this was happening I was yelling HEY HEY HEY HEY!!! at the top of my lungs. Car's windows were up. This was a small-ish SUV type vehicle, Jeep Liberty or something I think, so the driver was higher up than in a normal car. It sort of looked like the driver was looking my direction, but made ZERO attempt to avoid me, to say anything, to make any kind of hand motions or anything else. As the car rolled on past me and I made the turn, I yelled after it "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU???" No reaction at all.

    I was wearing this high-vis orange jersey on the left, Cygolite ExpiliOn 700 going full-tilt on daytime flash mode.



    How the driver could have not seen me is beyond me, or acted like he/she didn't even care that I was there.

    I wanted to smack the side of the car or something, but as I was making that turn and avoiding the car, I was also dealing with my stupid@$$ FD dropping the chain off my small ring as I was going from the large to the small ring, and trying to back-peddle a bit to keep it from dropping off.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  2. #2
    Rocketship Underpants Dwayne's Avatar
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    Something like that happens a few times a week to me, if not almost daily. That's the big reason why I ordered a Contour Roam camera to mount on my helmet.
    '94 RSBikes Stampede (commuter), '05 Prophet, '09 Scattante XRL Team
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  3. #3
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Yeah I'm starting to think I may need to invest in something like that.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  4. #4
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    It seems that driver courtesy is general is getting worse as the years go by. Assuming you live through an incident, the camera would be a good documentary of what really happened.

    Its a shame that accidents involving cyclists aren't treated the same as pedestrian accidents...vehicular manslaughter would definitely opens some people's eyes. An oops in a car usually involve an insurance call and an exchange of numbers. An oops with a cyclist involves a trip to the hospital or morgue.

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    Edit - sorry, you weren't pulled up behind the driver, right? When you said "go the same direction" it sounded like you were both taking the same left turn. So you were taking a legal left turn and the driver was pulling out perpendicular to you, against a stop sign? Is that right? In that case, it's inexcusable, and you're lucky you didn't get hit.
    Last edited by FatherAlabaster; 06-13-13 at 09:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    I use evil glares as I approach intersections, I'm amazed how often that gets the drivers actual attention, and I keep eye contact if I can/am able to while passing them to make sure they know I know that they know.. it's worked well so far.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  7. #7
    apocryphal sobriquet J.C. Koto's Avatar
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    From the layout of that intersection and the time of day, it looks like the sun may have been in the driver's eyes.

    It sort of looked like the driver was looking my direction, but made ZERO attempt to avoid me
    Never ever assume a driver has seen you under any circumstances. Glad you're ok.

  8. #8
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    OP do you mind if I ask what kind of bike you were on so I can get an idea of how high up you were yourself?
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Glad you're okay. That situation has almost happened to me a few times, but the driver sees me at the last second and jams on the brakes. I think they underestimate your speed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
    OP do you mind if I ask what kind of bike you were on so I can get an idea of how high up you were yourself?
    \

    It's clear by now to most of us that it wasn't an issue of visibility but an issue of civility. What baffles me is why the o.p. put so much effort in presenting the case. I mean... Google maps? Photo's of what they were wearing..... and this really was the first time they have ever been so affronted in traffic? I just don't know... ... I have a pretty high tolerance for annoyance... some don't. The o.p. sounds pretty annoying. We don't have the full story. Somebody was trying to teach somebody a lesson. Without the SUV drivers side of it we just have yet another of the one sided screech off threads that solves nothing.


    H

  11. #11
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    a couple of days ago I was riding in the right lane passing the entrance to a very busy Target/shopping center. Someone in a Toyota Rav 4 passed me on my left and then took a right turn into the lot going so fast that their tires screeched during the entire turn like an scene from Fast and Furious. Lucky for me I noticed that idiot two stop lights back because they were doing about 80 mph in a 35 and weaving in and out of lanes. I was fully expecting them to do something like that so I delayed crossing the intersection until they turned otherwise I would be dead right now. But yes, that is a least a weekly occurrence if not more. I am hyper vigilant of all the cars around me when I ride and look for people who could be threats way before I cross their path.

  12. #12
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    Run front and rear bright blinkys 24/7.

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Airzounds, mounted handy enough to hit in panic mode... tends to wake up the "driving dead."

    I have had similar encounters with motorists pulling out of commercial driveways and residential streets onto narrow roads where I was the only traffic. It is as if the motorist plans on pulling right through you to go on their merry way... they are not moving fast, as they just get started rolling, but they are oblivious to you completely... as if you are a ghost. I call it "casper mode" as apparently only those that believe in cyclists can see us; to everyone else, we must be invisible, no matter how bright and flashy we are.

    Loud sounds can sometimes pull a driver out of their stupor. But as others have suggested... Never ever assume a driver has seen you under any circumstances.

    Always ride with an escape plan. Kind of a pain I know, but that is the way it is.

    It's one thing when someone does a quick glance and doesn't see you, it is quite another when they are looking steadily in your direction, and you swear you see the whites of their eyes, and yet they still pull right out into you...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
    I use evil glares as I approach intersections, I'm amazed how often that gets the drivers actual attention, and I keep eye contact if I can/am able to while passing them to make sure they know I know that they know.. it's worked well so far.

    Oh yes, you really strike terror in their hearts as you roll to a stop. Guessing here... ~210lbs. of man and machine... vs. 4000lbs. of economy sedan or 6000lbs of SUV but your "evil glare" gets their attention and their respect and holds it long enough for you to pass unmolested through their midst. Well if that's what you imagine is at work and its been working for you so far.... who am I to try and convince you otherwise. To anyone else who might be reading, however, I suspect other forces might be at work. I suggest that a neutral expression might work just as well and will not require the same amount of concentration. Safety is often a thing of microseconds and fearful people (even when they pretend otherwise) don't usually have the best responses. They react quickly but often incorrectly. FWIW.

    H

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
    I use evil glares as I approach intersections, I'm amazed how often that gets the drivers actual attention, and I keep eye contact if I can/am able to while passing them to make sure they know I know that they know.. it's worked well so far.
    Evil glare doesn't work when you have a Howdy Doody face. Now, if you look like a terrorist... maybe.

  16. #16
    Warning:Annoying to jerks RaleighSport's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec View Post
    Evil glare doesn't work when you have a Howdy Doody face. Now, if you look like a terrorist... maybe.
    DURPA DURPA MOHAMED! I keed I keed, I make a little joke with you, I definitely have more of a mean face than a howdy doody face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Oh yes, you really strike terror in their hearts as you roll to a stop. Guessing here... ~210lbs. of man and machine... vs. 4000lbs. of economy sedan or 6000lbs of SUV but your "evil glare" gets their attention and their respect and holds it long enough for you to pass unmolested through their midst. Well if that's what you imagine is at work and its been working for you so far.... who am I to try and convince you otherwise. To anyone else who might be reading, however, I suspect other forces might be at work. I suggest that a neutral expression might work just as well and will not require the same amount of concentration. Safety is often a thing of microseconds and fearful people (even when they pretend otherwise) don't usually have the best responses. They react quickly but often incorrectly. FWIW.

    H
    Never claimed I intimidated anyone, I just think forcing them to make eye contact makes them react as though you are there and can't play the "I didn't see you card" they probably can't even tell it's an evil glare either, given my shades, beard, and cycling cap and/or helmet. But yeah run with it and put what you interpret I meant and imagine that I think I strike terror into someone who could easily smash me with their car.. I personally think it just raises their awareness that I am there and hopefully changes their reaction as well (at least in the case of jackholes). So tell me Leiser, what's your method if not eye contact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    \

    It's clear by now to most of us that it wasn't an issue of visibility but an issue of civility. What baffles me is why the o.p. put so much effort in presenting the case. I mean... Google maps? Photo's of what they were wearing..... and this really was the first time they have ever been so affronted in traffic? I just don't know... ... I have a pretty high tolerance for annoyance... some don't. The o.p. sounds pretty annoying. We don't have the full story. Somebody was trying to teach somebody a lesson. Without the SUV drivers side of it we just have yet another of the one sided screech off threads that solves nothing.


    Your style reminds me a lot of people from A&S, I'm asking the OP a simple question so I can build the mental picture further in my mind.. but yes declaring the OP annoying and acting as though you have omnipotent ESP of the entire situation is surely the way to post in this thread...
    Last edited by RaleighSport; 06-13-13 at 12:15 PM.
    “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”


    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emerson in His Journals

  17. #17
    Senior Member Scotty Bot's Avatar
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    Wow... My 1st call close encounter was when I was around 16, barreled through an intersection on the wrong side of the road, and got hit by someone pulling out onto the highway. I was knocked off my bike and across 3 lanes of traffic. I and my bike both survived, and luckily the driver was soo shaken up she did not press charges against me for damages to her vehicle. True story.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Double0757's Avatar
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    For that same reason I stay in the right side of my lane. Make sure nobody is behind me and make a sharp left from the right of the lane. It avoids distracted drivers on the stop sign finishing their call on the phone then going wide open into the incoming lane (where you are). At least that's how I see this thing happening. Double O

  19. #19
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I follow cars ...
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  20. #20
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    I follow cars ...
    So on the occasions when there are no cars on the road in front of you to follow... do you just stop?

  21. #21
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatherAlabaster View Post
    Edit - sorry, you weren't pulled up behind the driver, right? When you said "go the same direction" it sounded like you were both taking the same left turn. So you were taking a legal left turn and the driver was pulling out perpendicular to you, against a stop sign? Is that right? In that case, it's inexcusable, and you're lucky you didn't get hit.
    I was heading west and turning left to go south. Driver was on the perpendicular road facing north at the stop sign, turning left to go west on the road I was on to begin with.

    Quote Originally Posted by RaleighSport View Post
    OP do you mind if I ask what kind of bike you were on so I can get an idea of how high up you were yourself?
    My Felt road bike, 56cm frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
    Run front and rear bright blinkys 24/7.
    Believe me I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    \

    It's clear by now to most of us that it wasn't an issue of visibility but an issue of civility. What baffles me is why the o.p. put so much effort in presenting the case. I mean... Google maps? Photo's of what they were wearing..... and this really was the first time they have ever been so affronted in traffic? I just don't know... ... I have a pretty high tolerance for annoyance... some don't. The o.p. sounds pretty annoying. We don't have the full story. Somebody was trying to teach somebody a lesson. Without the SUV drivers side of it we just have yet another of the one sided screech off threads that solves nothing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Oh yes, you really strike terror in their hearts as you roll to a stop. Guessing here... ~210lbs. of man and machine... vs. 4000lbs. of economy sedan or 6000lbs of SUV but your "evil glare" gets their attention and their respect and holds it long enough for you to pass unmolested through their midst. Well if that's what you imagine is at work and its been working for you so far.... who am I to try and convince you otherwise. To anyone else who might be reading, however, I suspect other forces might be at work. I suggest that a neutral expression might work just as well and will not require the same amount of concentration. Safety is often a thing of microseconds and fearful people (even when they pretend otherwise) don't usually have the best responses. They react quickly but often incorrectly. FWIW.
    Dude what is your problem with other fellow commuters and cyclists in this forum? You have this attitude that your way is the right way, and it's your way or the highway. Every post I've seen from you is like this. How about taking a chill pill and show some compassion and camaraderie with your fellow cyclist.

    What gets me about this whole encounter was that I saw the car actually STOP at the stop sign, which almost NEVER happens around here. The car actually had plenty of time to go on and pull out and make the left turn before I got there. But he/she didn't, which is why I ASSumed they saw me. There were no other cars behind me, or ahead of me on that road. No cars from either direction, and the car on the other road was sitting there which is why I thought it was waiting for me to make my left turn. But the car started pulling out right as I got in front of it, such that I had to swerve right sharply.

    All this was made worse by the fact that my chain was trying to drop onto the BB shell, and my feet were clipped into both pedals. So I was trying to backpeddle to get the chain back on the small ring AND avoid the car at the same time.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  22. #22
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    What gets me about this whole encounter was that I saw the car actually STOP at the stop sign, which almost NEVER happens around here. The car actually had plenty of time to go on and pull out and make the left turn before I got there. But he/she didn't, which is why I ASSumed they saw me. There were no other cars behind me, or ahead of me on that road. No cars from either direction, and the car on the other road was sitting there which is why I thought it was waiting for me to make my left turn. But the car started pulling out right as I got in front of it, such that I had to swerve right sharply.

    All this was made worse by the fact that my chain was trying to drop onto the BB shell, and my feet were clipped into both pedals. So I was trying to backpeddle to get the chain back on the small ring AND avoid the car at the same time.
    This does sound like a worst case. You can either say "I was very unlucky" or "I will never assume that driver is waiting for me again - because they could be looking at a map or texting." I'd go with the second. Never assume cooperation when lack of attention is possible - that doesn't mean you were culpable, just that there is a lesson you should learn.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
    Dude what is your problem with other fellow commuters and cyclists in this forum? You have this attitude that your way is the right way, and it's your way or the highway. Every post I've seen from you is like this. How about taking a chill pill and show some compassion and camaraderie with your fellow cyclist.

    What gets me about this whole encounter was that I saw the car actually STOP at the stop sign, which almost NEVER happens around here. The car actually had plenty of time to go on and pull out and make the left turn before I got there. But he/she didn't, which is why I ASSumed they saw me. There were no other cars behind me, or ahead of me on that road. No cars from either direction, and the car on the other road was sitting there which is why I thought it was waiting for me to make my left turn. But the car started pulling out right as I got in front of it, such that I had to swerve right sharply.

    All this was made worse by the fact that my chain was trying to drop onto the BB shell, and my feet were clipped into both pedals. So I was trying to backpeddle to get the chain back on the small ring AND avoid the car at the same time.
    You won't make me anymore kindly disposed towards you if you misuse peddle where you mean pedal. Your chain should not drop on the BB shell. There are chain keepers for that, to say nothing of low limit adjuster screws. Wouldn't it be silly to lose a limb over a $10 jump stopper? There seems to be enough compassion and camaraderie in these forums without my signing on to the general feel goodery. Someone needs to slap some of you upside the head once in awhile and kick it to you live, as they say in the 'hood. She didn't hit you. Rejoice. Move on. It will happen again, if you are doing it right. That's life out there among the heathen.

    H

  24. #24
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Your chain should not drop on the BB shell. There are chain keepers for that, to say nothing of low limit adjuster screws.
    Wow genius, you think I don't know that? Low limit is adjusted with the FD inner plate as close as it can get to the chain without rubbing. The outer plate is slightly bent and I haven't had a chance to deal with it.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
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  25. #25
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    That's rough man, with the dropping chain to deal with at the same time it's really hard to say you should have done this or that, you don't really have time to think out a plan. Seems to me best case scenario is you slow down enough that you don't get rammed by their grille, but rather you slow down enough to ram their door (and not damage your rim!), nobody would get hurt, and their attention would be got good enough to be more alert in the future. Smacking the car would be good too, but as you noted, you were otherwise occupied.

    And even though I say we can't really fault you for not finding time to think to do this or that, my advice for you in the future is: always seek to make Eye Contact. If you had eye contact (and they were't homicidal or intentionally trying to scare you), they would have waited. It seems at that intersection you should have been able to see the driver's head, and as you approach them and still no eye contact, slow down to a speed and course that will enable you to react safely.

    And after every time eye contact has kept me alive, I try to throw in a friendly wave or thumbs-up to say "thanks for watching out for me and being a considerate driver!" There's a lot of drivers out there that need to be trained by positive reinforcement (not to mention a lot of drivers that are angry about bikes on the road because of stupid hot dog cyclists, or for no reason at all)

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