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Old 01-27-09, 12:49 AM   #1
Red Rider
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Close call

Yesterday I was reading Litespeed's thread about close calls and was glad for her safety, in a detached way. I thought, "That blows; be careful out there."

Today I have a different perspective and appreciation for the pucker moments.

I was headed west at the end of a 35 mi. training ride. A ginormous diesel-powered pick up approached a stop sign on my right, headed south. He had the stop signand I had the right-of-way. As he came toward the sign at speed I noticed that he was looking west, not east, and thus didn't see me. I guessed (correctly) that he was going to roll through the stop and turn left (east). Without thinking I swerved into the (fortunately empty) lane and stared at him. He had a bluetooth and was talking on it; he didn't see me, and his face was all Seriously, he was scared. The look on his face made my day.

Still, I was scared as well; it was a close call -- had I not swerved into traffic he would've hit me; had there been traffic I would have been hit. I looked over my shoulder all "Dude, WTF!" and he was waving and apologizing and looking relieved.

I hope he stops at that sign from now on. And I'll continue to pay attention.
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Old 01-27-09, 12:59 AM   #2
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I noticed that he was looking west, not east, and thus didn't see me.... He had a bluetooth and was talking on it; he didn't see me,
Glad it was just a close call.

Good thing you were watching him. If I can't see a driver's eyes at an intersection like that I assume they don't see me. Amazing how often in turns out they were on the phone.

When I'm commuting downtown in Seattle I can see into a lot of car windows at stoplights. Amazing how many drivers are texting.

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Old 01-27-09, 01:39 AM   #3
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At least he had the decency to be appologetic. Glad you are okay.
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Old 01-27-09, 04:04 AM   #4
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Glad your ok. Good lesson for everyone.
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Old 01-27-09, 08:56 AM   #5
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Way to stay on your toes, RR. Sometimes we forget how dangerous this thing we do can be.
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Old 01-27-09, 08:58 AM   #6
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Glad you are okay and great reactions.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:00 AM   #7
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Nice job on being alert at the end of a ride Red Ryder. I will sometimes get a little sloppy with my attention near the end of a hard ride. Did you take advantage of the adrenalin rush and do a max sprint out of the intersection?
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Old 01-27-09, 09:03 AM   #8
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Shudder. Hope no one ever makes your day like that again.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:04 AM   #9
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I still remind myself to ride as if traffic can't see me except in the most obvious of conditions, even though I light myself up pretty good. It's like that "do the test" video. People just aren't looking for moonwalking bears. Or cyclists.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:16 AM   #10
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Great job of being alert and aware of your surroundings! I know I try to watch all the motor vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.), and anticipate what the drivers will do, and I'm very glad to hear you were up to the challenge!

As noted above, it's good that he (the driver) was apologetic and not evil/assertive, as so often is the case.

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Old 01-27-09, 10:24 AM   #11
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I've taken to yelling at drivers that come close to hitting me. Just yelling "Hey!" frequently gets some attention, and yelling something more profound (I like "Get off the phone!" although it probably sounds like "Geofffonnn!!") is usually a good idea.
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Old 01-27-09, 10:27 AM   #12
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great job of being alert and aware of your surroundings!
a big +1
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Old 01-27-09, 11:09 AM   #13
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Cyclists tend to be invisible to inattentive drivers.
Been hit 'bad' at least 3 times . . . once on single bike and twice on our tandem.
All 3 driver's reaction: "I didn't see you!"
Is that so? What did you see????
We don't count the close ones . . .
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Old 01-27-09, 11:22 AM   #14
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If you cant see there eyes, it's a good idea to watch there front wheel. It gives you pretty good idea, what they are going to do.
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Old 01-27-09, 11:28 AM   #15
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Glad you're okay, RR.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:36 PM   #16
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I tend to assume that half of the drivers can't see me and that the other half see me and want to kill me.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:45 PM   #17
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I tend to assume that half of the drivers can't see me and that the other half see me and want to kill me.
I assume they all want to kill me, so I've got an edge on the one's that don't see me.
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Old 01-27-09, 02:59 PM   #18
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He needs to be more careful.

You could have killed him!
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Old 01-27-09, 05:41 PM   #19
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We can't be reminded too often to keep on the look out. I try to make eye contact with the drivers, but that's not always possible.

Almost as dangerous are the drivers, who are trying to be courteous, who stop in the middle of the highway, or in the middle of the intersection, to let cyclists pass. There have been many times I have been at an intersection, foot down, and a motorist is out in the intersection motioning to me frantically to go in front of him.
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Old 01-27-09, 06:06 PM   #20
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Today when we rode the tandem, we saw THREE near crashes between automobiles (guess that makes up for my other ride where it seemed like they were out to get me). People certainly don't pay enough attention to each other or anything around them.
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Old 01-27-09, 06:38 PM   #21
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Glad you survived. There is no question that we have to ride defensively. Same thing applies to motorcycles - drivers just don't see you. It doesn't even make sense to get angry at them -- they literally don't see you. Their brains are tuned in to larger objects. I have experienced the problem myself -- I have become hyper aware of cyclists over the last couple of years since I started riding regularly. But a couple of times at tricky corners I didn't see a cyclist until he was right in front of me, rightfully giving me the evil eye.
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Old 01-27-09, 06:49 PM   #22
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Thanks for this information and good luck in the future. We need luck and be alert.

I just like to report that cell phone usage while driving IS a big problem. There is so much abuse it is ridiculous.
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Old 01-27-09, 07:30 PM   #23
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A couple years ago on the way to work I pulled up to a stop sign, ready to turn left onto a fairly busy road. There I sidewalks in the area but I have never seen them in use in the many years that I've been making this commute. Check both ways and pulled out and just about ran over an older gent who was crossing the road in front of me. Holy cow, was I glad nothing bad came of it. And did I feel stooopid.

Point is, even good and generally attentive drivers fall into habits.

Glad you lived to tell the tale.
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Old 01-27-09, 07:39 PM   #24
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Geez, Louise, that's scary but with a good outcome.
Last weekend, I had a young fellow at a 4-way stop turn onto the street that I was already turning towards (it was my turn), as if I didn't exist. Not a close call or scary - I yelled "Hey!" and when I rode by the driveway he had turned into a block later, he was getting out of his car and offered a "Sorry".
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Old 01-27-09, 08:24 PM   #25
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..., it's a good idea to watch there front wheel. It gives you pretty good idea, what they are going to do.
+1 Where they go, the rest must follow..
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