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

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Old 11-05-12, 07:09 PM   #1
DnvrFox
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Strange and unique 50+ accidents and near accidents.

Tombays don't count here - something more unique and different.

Here's mine:

While leading a ride on the Platte River Trail in Denver, an entire car wheel from an elevated road next to the trail went whizzing by my head at about 40 mph, bounced on the bank of the river and then splashed into the Platte. Two seconds difference and it would have hit my head. The driver stopped (well, he had only 3 wheels left - he sort of had to) - seems (he claimed) that he had recently had new tires put on, and, evidently, they did not tighten the lugs correctly.

We rode away. I guess the driver had a spare somewhere.

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Old 11-05-12, 07:35 PM   #2
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I had the same thing happen on a ride coming back to Detroit from Ann Arbor, but in my case the car wheel made contact with the top of my front tire. I had just crossed a major road and had stopped to check the road name and my directions. A few seconds after I started riding again something flashed in front of my face and the bike was torn sideways. Fortunately I was only going a few mph and I stayed upright. Glanced to my left and saw the car wheel hit the curb and bounce way up in the air before disappearing across a vacant lot and into a gully. Looked over my right shoulder and there was a car in the median with a missing rear wheel. Traffic on that road was going about 50 mph so that's probably the speed of the car wheel.

The car tire must have just barely nicked the top of my front tire since the wheel was only slightly out of true and I was able to continue my ride. The driver was still walking across the vacant lot to retrieve his wheel/tire when I left.
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Old 11-05-12, 08:03 PM   #3
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Looks like we need to be on the lookout for 3 wheeled cars!!!!
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Old 11-05-12, 09:53 PM   #4
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Riding up a, to me, very steep hill not far from home. I'm on my road bike and in my very lowest gears and suffering. A cyclist going downhill points into the brush on my side of the road as he flashes by. ?????? Not more than a minute later a large mother moose steped out of the brush, paused, gave me a look as if to say: "Who or what are you?". I was slow and couldn't have gotten away from that moose. But, it dismissed me an moved on to the other side of the road.

The extra adreniline did help me get on up the hill
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Old 11-05-12, 10:37 PM   #5
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Many decades ago I was riding in the Central Valley of CA with a couple of friends. Some sort of ag. equipment passed us. It had steel prongs hanging down about head height. The only problem was that one of them was on the left side of my head and another was on the right side.

I'm not sure what that machine was designed to harvest, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't cyclists, though it nearly reaped a few.
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Old 11-06-12, 08:24 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
I guess the driver had a spare somewhere.
Probably didn't help. If his wheel fell completely off his lug bolts would have been terminally buggered. He needed a tow.
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Old 11-06-12, 10:01 AM   #7
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I had an entire wheel bounce past me way back in my 20s. The wheel passed about a foot to my left. Then bounced thru a red light without hitting anything and came to a rest on the other side of the intersection. Of more concern was the 3 wheeled car that skidded past me as I was watching the wheel bounce thru the intersection.

I figured this was a once in a lifetime event. Apparently others have experienced this as well. Glad nobody was hurt.
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Old 11-06-12, 11:50 AM   #8
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Did a silly thing last week (In hindsight). School half term and all those mums out in their cars rushing around to get back home before their kids wreck the house. Not too bad on the local roads but I Had to go to the cafe for Cranky's Pie. Had a mum in a 4x4 pull straight across a junction where I had right of way causing me to brake and swerve. Few hundred yards further on and a Mum did a "U" turn in front of me from stationary at the kerb without signalling and nearly collecting me. 1/2 mile further on and another mum in the middle of the road coming towards me. I know she saw me but she pulled across the road too late for me to stop and she had me banging on her hood and swearing at her. She stopped then. Then finally on the MUP home and it does use a section of road for one bit. Just passing a parked car and the drivers door opened. That was it--I lost my rag and blasted the driver.

Reckoned it was time to get home as quick as possible before I met any more mums out driving a car without the brain engaged.
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Old 11-06-12, 12:40 PM   #9
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Not quite a good as you all's stories but I was riding down the cement part of the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail and noticed that there was a large square "mess of metal and fluids" on the pathway? I was heading towards America the Beautiful Park, saw a motorcycle cop on the trail, (odd?), asked him about it, he stated, that 1 hour earlier a "car", had missed the exit on to I-25-N and broke thru the barrier and fell "30 ft." to the trail below. It was quickly towed away and the mess left behind for clean up. I was thinking that IF I hadn't be "delayed" getting off for my errand, I'd have had a good chance of being "at that point", right about that timeframe!
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Old 11-06-12, 12:58 PM   #10
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This is from a pickup truck drivers perspective, but because there was a bike involved in it I offer it up. I wasn't 50 at the time but I am now so not sure if it counts.

I had a flat tire in my Ford Courier mini pickup (somewhat popular in the '70's) and changed the tire. The spare tire sat under the bed of the truck, you slid it under the truck and threaded a chain with a plate on it through the tire and stick the jack handle in a hole in the rear bumper and cranked the thing up till it's snug up against the bottom of the truck. There was mud and stuff stuck to the space where the tire went so I didn't get it cranked super tight up against the bed. While traveling down the road at about 50 mph the tire dropped, caught the front of the wheel on the ground and pole vaulted the rear of the truck up in the air, we sat rocking on this cow catcher thing called a brush bar (also popular in the '70's) that was stuck on the front bumper - only for an instant but it felt like an eternity - the truck fell back down on the rear wheels and bounced a few times. The tire at some point was free and sailed OVER the entire truck - we saw it catapulting down the road straight towards an intersection, an old dude on a bike was heading right for the same spot. It bounced completely over him, bounced a few times, rolled and circled around and fell on it's side not far from the front end of the truck. I don't think the old guy even knew what happened, he just stared straight ahead and slowly pedaled on past. We sat frozen for a while. Not entirely sure what had just happened. I picked up the tire and through it in the bed of the truck.

After returning home and changing my shorts we headed back to school
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Old 11-06-12, 07:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
I figured this was a once in a lifetime event. Apparently others have experienced this as well. Glad nobody was hurt.
I must be a cat with seven lives left. I've seen a "loose wheel / n-1 car" twice so far, but neither time from my bike.
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Old 11-06-12, 10:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
Riding up a, to me, very steep hill not far from home. I'm on my road bike and in my very lowest gears and suffering. A cyclist going downhill points into the brush on my side of the road as he flashes by. ?????? Not more than a minute later a large mother moose steped out of the brush, paused, gave me a look as if to say: "Who or what are you?". I was slow and couldn't have gotten away from that moose. But, it dismissed me an moved on to the other side of the road.

The extra adreniline did help me get on up the hill
Every winter we get moose "encounters" up here in the Spokane area. I was minding my business one day, in northern Idaho (Hayden) and a bunch of people shouted "MOOSE!". Went into the parking lot, took a bad cell-phone-picture and we went on as if nothing ever happened. Funny that the most immune animal in North America to natural enemies has so many encounters with we humans?
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Old 11-07-12, 07:50 AM   #13
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Probably didn't help. If his wheel fell completely off his lug bolts would have been terminally buggered. He needed a tow.
A decent shade tree mechanic with a few tools would be able to cannibalize bolts from the other wheels, enough to get carefully to a shop. Ask me how I know....

Great thread! When I tell my stories of wheels coming off, people stare at me in disbelief. Neither of them involve a bicycle, though.
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Old 11-07-12, 08:16 AM   #14
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Great thread! I would have several good stories if it were renamed to "Accidents from s**t that other idiots do."
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Old 11-08-12, 01:21 AM   #15
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Several years ago I was behind an 18 wheeler on I-20 when the right rear dual wheels came off his trailer, drifted right, missed a car as they bounced across the access road, missed two cars in a Dairy Queen parking lot, and then sailed through the wall of a machine shop. No one got hurt, and the truck kept going as if nothing had happened until I pulled up along side and got his attention.

I heard the folks in the machine shop were really surprised.
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Old 11-08-12, 07:41 AM   #16
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Several years ago I was behind an 18 wheeler on I-20 when the right rear dual wheels came off his trailer, drifted right, missed a car as they bounced across the access road, missed two cars in a Dairy Queen parking lot, and then sailed through the wall of a machine shop. No one got hurt, and the truck kept going as if nothing had happened until I pulled up along side and got his attention.

I heard the folks in the machine shop were really surprised.
I would think "surprised" would be the last word the folks in the machine shop would use.

Anyway, what is it about wheels coming off!!!???
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Old 11-08-12, 12:52 PM   #17
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I think wheels coming off is more common than you might suspect. I have been the car driver when one of my wheels broke and came off the car and went rolling down the street, meanwhile the car came to a a grinding halt in the asphalt. Fortunately I was only going a few miles an hour. I knew something was wrong, thought I'd had a flat but when I got out to inspect the vehicle, no flat. It didn't occur to me at the time that wheels might break and the break was covered by a hubcap. I didn't see any problem. So I went limping on very slowly the a short distance to get to my sister's house where I knew we could take care of the problem, whatever it was. I'm just glad the wheel didn't break when I was driving on the freeway a few minutes earlier. No bicycles were involved in this incident, however.
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Old 11-08-12, 01:01 PM   #18
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A coworker was killed when a wheel from a tractor trailer rig going in the opposite direction came through the windshield of his van.
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Old 11-08-12, 03:49 PM   #19
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I know of a situation where a wheel came off of a 5th wheel travel trailer, crossed the freeway median, and hit a small Japanese car head on. Totaled the car. No one hurt though, thank Goddess.
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