Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-27-09, 11:43 AM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Space Coast, Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 2,423
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Almost killed on today's ride

So I'm on the way back from the beach this morning. I always start early to avoid both the heat and the traffic - getting out there before nine means beating the teenagers with their surfboards hanging out the window of their Civics. It was a great day for the beach this morning - sunny and hot - so by the time I was heading back the traffic going out to the beach is getting heavy.

The road is two lanes, long, narrow, flat, and straight, with a 55 mph speed limit and no paved shoulder. There is a swing bridge at the entrance to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge over the Banana River that opens regularly for boat traffic, resulting in backups of cars when they enter the refuge. That means there is always some moron who just can't wait behind a car doing the speed limit.

About two miles east of the bridge, I'm heading west and a line of cars is approaching eastbound. An SUV or pickup moved into my lane to pass - usually when that happens they see me and pull back in. Not this idiot. Some panicked mental calculations show he will be right beside the overtaken car when he gets to me, so I bail out onto the grass. The jerkwad missed me by a few feet doing at least 65. Futile, injudicious gestures and shouting made no effect.

So how was your Saturday ride?
Kurt Erlenbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 11:47 AM   #2
Floyd
el padre
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: South East Kansas
Bikes: Rans Stratus, ICE TRike, other assorted
Posts: 1,491
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Mine was short and sweet with very little traffic...glad you were smart to get out of this guys way, sounds like he has a death wish and it may not be his own.
Floyd is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 11:50 AM   #3
cooker
Prefers Cicero
 
cooker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Bikes: 1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
Posts: 10,227
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
Unfortunately, people see what they look for. He looked for oncoming cars and didn't see any. You may have been invisible as he wasn't expecting you. Or he saw you but misjudged your distance and speed.
cooker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 12:21 PM   #4
BremenCole
Old but New
 
BremenCole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Texas
Bikes: Orbea Mitis for the Road (love it!) And a Trek 3700 for the dirt trails
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Glad for your quick thinking! It saved your life. Reality is we have to assume auto drivers do not see us and will hit us. We have to practice extreme defensive riding.
BremenCole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 12:29 PM   #5
bcoppola
King of the molehills
 
bcoppola's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Detroit 'burbs, east side.
Bikes: '04 Giant OCR2, '87 Schwinn World Sport F/G conversion, '85 Schwinn Super Le Tour, '92 Trek 820
Posts: 1,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On this morning's ride I thought 'this saddle would kill me on a long ride'. I guess it could have been worse! Glad you dodged that bullet - er, idiot.
bcoppola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 12:36 PM   #6
cyclinfool
gone ride'n
 
cyclinfool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Upstate NY
Bikes: Simoncini, Gary Fisher, Specialized Tarmac
Posts: 4,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
He was probably one of those drivers that will pass you with only angstroms to spare - if he can do it while passing with you - why not against you...

Great to hear you survived!

BTW - my ride was great, thanks for asking. Did get rained on some but that doesn't bother me when it is warm out.
cyclinfool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 01:12 PM   #7
BluesDawg
just keep riding
 
BluesDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia
Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL Comp frameset (custom build), 2015 Zukas custom road, 2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB, 1980ish Fuji S-12S
Posts: 13,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Those are the worst kind of hostile drivers imho. I think they usually do see you but expect you to get out of their way, totally disregarding your right to the road. Sometimes I wish I had a rock in my hand when they come by. But that would probably get me beaten, killed or arrested.
BluesDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 01:15 PM   #8
BengeBoy 
Senior Member
 
BengeBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
Posts: 6,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Same thing happened to me last weekend, though not quite as close a call, so I didn't have to ditch into the grass.

I personally don't think the drivers are expecting you to get out of the way - I think they are just ignoring you. I think they see a bike and their reptilian brains just process this: "bike = toy in the road = ignore."

Not hostile, just stupid.
BengeBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 01:36 PM   #9
thompsw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Florida and Ontario
Bikes: Litespeed Classic, Lynskey
Posts: 168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I know that bridge -- ride it all the time when we're in our New Smyrna Beach home. While there is little traffic in general in the refuge, overtaking and oncoming cars at the same time & those needing to pass are a menace. At least the grass is roughly level with the road in most places . It doesn't help that we have a right to safe passage, does it.

Right now, however, we're up north of Toronto so I can ride later in the day without the heat and humidity.
thompsw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 01:56 PM   #10
kjc9640
Slo Spoke Jim
 
kjc9640's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Altamonte Springs, FL
Bikes: 1982 Raleigh road bike & love it
Posts: 2,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Kerlenbach,
Glad you lived to ride another day and post your store here as a reminder that we all need to ride very defensively. We don't need any more fatality statistics here in FL.

kjc9640 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 02:59 PM   #11
Bud Bent
Wheezing Geezer
 
Bud Bent's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Crowley, Tx
Bikes: Bacchetta Corsa, RANS Stratus XP
Posts: 1,782
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had that happen on my 300k brevet last week. The guy squeezed the car he was passing enough that I didn't have to get completely off the road. Glad you're ok.
Bud Bent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 03:10 PM   #12
Dchiefransom
Senior Member
 
Dchiefransom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Newark, CA. San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes:
Posts: 6,192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Glad you didn't get hit. It might be time to start carrying a large bag of ball bearings on the handlebars.
__________________
Silver Eagle Pilot
Dchiefransom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 03:19 PM   #13
ironhorse3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Kentucky
Bikes: Diamondback entry level.
Posts: 263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Frankly that road sounds very dangerous. It's too bad that this car ignored the great danger they put you in. I'll remember this post when I am on a similar road. I usually look to the side to see what kind of bail out prospects there are. Sometimes the side of the road drops off or has so many trees that it wouldn't be a reasonable option.
ironhorse3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 03:27 PM   #14
cyclezealot
Senior Member
 
cyclezealot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fallbrook,Calif./Palau del Vidre, France
Bikes: Klein QP, Fuji touring, Surly Cross Check, BCH City bike
Posts: 13,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
I do my best to cycle only where there are wide shoulders.. Sometimes, there are so many jerkwads they don't really care if they kill someone or not.. You did say, there was a line of cars.. So there were witness' present.
__________________
Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






^ Since January 1, 2012
cyclezealot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 03:28 PM   #15
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm doing alot of driving at present and look in envy at the cyclists out doing exactly what I want to do. Only problem is that I have come across 2 in the last month that were not as fast thinking as you. One was a hospital case- and after making sure that his bike was being taken care of- I went on my way as I came to the accident about 30 minutes late. The other was a rider like you that was not quick enough to get off the road. His bike was wrecked But he was OK. Good thing to note was that the Police were on scene and reading the driver his rights as they put him in the back of their car. The cyclist was swearing as he now had to make a statement and would miss his club ride that night. I managed to contact my LBS and they contacted the club to let them know he would be a no-show.

Ridiculous part is that both these accidents happened on Straight- wide open roads and the cyclists were not at fault. If this is happening in the UK where cyclists do get some respect- I would hate to meet some of your drivers.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 04:24 PM   #16
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Bikes:
Posts: 14,529
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I've had this happen recently. Didn't get off the road though. Happened so quick that there was no point anyway. Small car, headed to somewhere in a park in a hurry. The stupid thing about the passing in my case is that there are packs of cars and the guy was going to have to slow down again in 20 seconds. Road really should be no passing in any case.
unterhausen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 04:56 PM   #17
doctor j
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Louisiana
Bikes:
Posts: 2,875
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post

So how was your Saturday ride?
Hazy, hot, humid, hilly. Heat index 112, plus or minus.

We had one minor issue with traffic, fortunately not of the magnitude you described. Some numb nuts, who had to wait five seconds to pass, blew around us waving his fist and screaming.

I believe it always pays to be aware of the bail-out areas when traffic is heavy. That's why bridges on busy roads scare me. No bail-out except over the side.
doctor j is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 05:06 PM   #18
BluesDawg
just keep riding
 
BluesDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia
Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL Comp frameset (custom build), 2015 Zukas custom road, 2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB, 1980ish Fuji S-12S
Posts: 13,213
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
That's why bridges on busy roads scare me. No bail-out except over the side.
The only thing to do there is to get in the middle of the lane. Don't give the drivers the slightest encouragement to try to pass you.
BluesDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 05:49 PM   #19
John E
feros ferio
 
John E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: www.ci.encinitas.ca.us
Bikes: 1959 Capo; 1980 Peugeot PKN-10; 1981 Bianchi; 1988 Schwinn KOM-10;
Posts: 16,907
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
The only thing to do there is to get in the middle of the lane. Don't give the drivers the slightest encouragement to try to pass you.
Yup. Moving away from the curb also makes you more likely to be noticed. The San Diego cycling community lost a superb rider and gentleman to a head-on with a motorist overtaking oncoming traffic, in a scenario very much like yours. In this case, there was a shoulder, and Hans was dutifully riding it to be polite to motorists going in his own direction.
__________________
"Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069
John E is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 06:01 PM   #20
trackhub
Senior Member
 
trackhub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Watching all of you on O.B.I.T.
Bikes: Gunnar Street Dog
Posts: 2,039
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Really glad for your quick reflexes.

I continue to hear bad things about cycling in Florida, with the greater Miami area being deadly for cyclists. It's all hearsay, is there anything to it?
trackhub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 07:03 PM   #21
Kurt Erlenbach
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Space Coast, Florida
Bikes:
Posts: 2,423
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As thompsw points out, the shoulders on this road are level with the road, so a quick exit from the road is not too hard. In the ditches just past the shoulder, though, we find this:



So it's not too wise to get too far off the road.
Kurt Erlenbach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-09, 08:47 PM   #22
RepWI
Senior Member
 
RepWI's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 414
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Unfortunately, people see what they look for. He looked for oncoming cars and didn't see any. You may have been invisible as he wasn't expecting you. Or he saw you but misjudged your distance and speed.
This is why I run my P7 three mode flashlight on strobe during the day.

Newer cars are now engineered to have their lights turn on with the key. This, so other drivers see the car approaching.

Not a bad idea if we cyclists adopt that tactic.

Glad the OP is safe.
RepWI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 07:06 AM   #23
cgallagh
DoubleTrouble
 
cgallagh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Vacaville, CA
Bikes: 06 Co-Motion Tandem, Fuji Team Pro mine,-Hers, Specialized Dolce
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
As thompsw points out, the shoulders on this road are level with the road, so a quick exit from the road is not too hard. In the ditches just past the shoulder, though, we find this:



So it's not too wise to get too far off the road.
Nice gator shot.
cgallagh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 07:19 AM   #24
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS
Posts: 14,320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
- usually when that happens they see me and pull back in. Not this idiot.
Just curious....do you ride with a blinkie on the front during daylight hours?
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-09, 07:32 AM   #25
maddmaxx 
Small Member
 
maddmaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
Posts: 7,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 132 Post(s)
I'm glad you got out of the way in time. Here in Ct we have had idiots like this take oncoming cars in the face as well.

I've been spending more time on the road this year and a couple of near misses have led me to blinking front lights. I'm running a Planet Bike Beamer 5 at present, not as bright as some here have but I've noticed some improvement in my visibility.
maddmaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:26 AM.