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  1. #1
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    The Ultimate Close Call

    Reading in another thread this memory came back to me from last summer.

    Riding down a two lane country road 7 miles from home an older gent coming back from the pain clinic passed out in his pickup truck. I heard him coming up from behind, he crossed into me from the side and I pushed off his rear quarter panel. The truck went into the ditch and bounced around mowing down a speed limit sign (55mph).

    That was the closest call ever for me without getting hit!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Glad you're not hurt. Hope the other guy wasn't hurt too badly.
    Please support diabetics like myself, a red rider, by supporting the American Diabetes Association.
    If you see a Tour de Cure event, consider participating or supporting a Red Rider or other participant.


    My nephew's and his two friends' blog about their riding the East Coast, Maine to the Keys:
    http://brobreak.wordpress.com/

  3. #3
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Holy crap! Did you need to change your shorts after that?

    Here's a story about my closest call ... so far anyway.

    I was riding down Angeles Crest Highway at about 25-30 MPH. I'm riding alone for a change.

    That morning, I had the pleasure of spending a beautiful Saturday morning, riding from Sun Valley to Mt. Wilson, chatting with friends and enjoying it all. Our health. The weather. The scenery. There is nowhere in the world I'd have rather been. Almost effortlessly, we ascended through the clouds and into the sunshine, not stopping until we were perched above the fleecy clouds below. Incredibly sweet morning.

    I got to thinking about how lucky we were. Lucky to be there. Lucky to be with friends. Lucky to be strong and healthy enough to do a 5000 foot climb ... for fun. And I got to thinking how much better it was to be there with friends. It would simply not be the same alone. Some things ... no ... a lot of things simply must be shared.

    Everyone else was going on for a 100 mile adventure, but I needed to get back earlier. That left me descending back to the bottom by myself.

    A Forest Service truck appeared behind me. There is little traffic, so I slow and move over to let him pass. The passenger waves.

    A bug flies into my sunglasses (unusual at that speed), and refuses to fly out. No way I'm going to try to flush him out going that fast, so I decide to slow down so I can take the sunglasses off. As I do, a potato-shaped rock about the size of a loaf of bread crashes onto the road directly in front of me and shattered into several pieces. I rolled right over the impact point and between all the broken pieces a fraction of a second after it hit. It must have fallen from the cut in the road, and struck something to catapult it that far away from the shoulder.

    Could I have avoided it? Not a chance. Yikes.

    I slowed to a stop, and took off my sunglasses. The fly buzzed away.

    I've come to believe in guardian angels. And some of them really have wings.

    Grazi, Angeli della strada.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  4. #4
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Some things they don't make a T-shirt for!

    Glad there was a happy ending (sortof) to both stories!

  5. #5
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    I wanna hear more close call stories ... I'll bet there are a lot of them out there.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  6. #6
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    Bikey Mikey, I was fine and kept riding after a dozen people driving by called 911 (I don't have a mobile phone). Didn't stick around to find out what happened to him once I checked on his health. Oddly enough the calm I felt took me back to my Navy days in the engine room when things would go nuts and our training kicked in and handled the emergency. It was weird.

  7. #7
    Senior Member missjean's Avatar
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    You both were very fortunate!
    The closest call I've had (knocking frantically on wood) riding was when a car pulled out of a side street in front of me - I slammed on my brakes and screamed at him, which caused him to slam on his brakes in surprise - I skidded to a stop sideways, putting my hand out to stop myself on the side of his car. I still remember the look on his face, wide eyed as I skidded towards him. He was very apologetic.

    TiHabanero's comment on being calm reminded me of something that happened when I was 15.
    I was babysitting these two kids, one was a boy about 7. The boy went and got a can of soda and started really shaking it. He was about to open it when I said no way and took it way from him.
    He *freaked* out, ran screaming down the hall way and smashed his hand right through the glass front door, shredding the palm of his hand.
    I very calmly took him into the bathroom, ran his hand under cold water, got a towel, wrapped his hand up, asked his sister to hold onto the towel tightly, went to the phone, told the woman who answered who I was and who I needed to talk to, but when the mother of the kids got on the phone, I lost it, blubbering away. To this day I am amazed that I was so calm in dealing with that screaming, bloody kid. But I do wish I could have held it together when I talked to the Mom -she must have been scared her to death about her kids.
    Last edited by missjean; 02-14-13 at 03:45 PM.
    "I bet German has a word for it. German has a word for everything."

  8. #8
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    Missjean, your story of screaming kids takes me back to the last student teaching assignment I had. I knew a fire drill was coming, but something went off in my head when the alarm rang and a real nice little boy started to cry (1st grade). My mouth started to move and say things that offended and shocked my brain. The buzzer simply triggered something in the subconscious to get large and take charge. Honestly, I was ashamed of myself.
    To this day, however, I startle at the sound of buzzers and loud bells.
    It was that day I knew I was not a teacher of young children. I finished out the assignment, graduated and went into business for myself.

  9. #9
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    I was right hooked on my bike a couple of years ago, but there is nothing really to tell, there. I didn't go down, and the driver was extremely apologetic. We both agreed we'd learned something!

    The real story, with me to this day, was back in 1965 when my younger brother and I went fishing in my dad's brand new 13 foot Boston Whaler. We weren't on a lake or a river or out to sea or anything like that, but were on an inlet on Long Island and were staying close to home. We were trolling, so the boat was always in gear and moving. As I remember, we favored the shallows, thinking any fish were probably under docks or in saw grass or other kinds of cover. That put us close to those obstructions.

    My brother was driving (I know, "piloting") initially, but he was a nervous type back then and was getting upset about being so close to shore and other things. So, I told him I'd drive, he could fish. The Whaler had bench seats, and wheel was on the right side. I stood up behind my brother as he stood to move out of the way. He was chattering about drifting towards a nearby dock when the next thing I knew I was looking up at my feet as I was landing in the water over the stern of the boat! I came up for air thinking about how he was going to be in trouble with my mom and dad when I told them he'd made me fall out of the boat. That thought vanished just that fast when I saw he'd ALSO fallen out of the boat, and that the thing was running at full speed in a tight right hand circle. He was on the opposite side of the circle from me. I didn't have much time to gather this in because the boat was right on top of me, and I remember swimming furiously backwards and ducking - and it missed me somehow. When I came up again, I saw that my brother had grabbed the gunwale, back by the stern. I screamed at him to "let go, get away....!!" You can imagine. In a split second he was gone, and I had enough time to think "it got him". Then he reappeared, screaming "it hit me, it hit me!". My thoughts were oh my god, he's torn up, he's going to die, and there wasn't anything I could do, because the boat was circling wildly between the two of us.

    Somehow, someway, we both got away from the spinning boat. I managed to get a hold of him and pull him up onto the nearby dock. When were both out of the water, I saw, on his right leg, from his hip to his ankle, six cuts - not deep, but bleeding - from where the prop had GRAZED him.

    I fainted. I did.

    When I came around, a sizable crowd had gathered. Someone hooked a rope on the boat and then someone else got another on to it, and when the boat was just so in it's circle, they heaved on the ropes and caused it to overturn, stopping it.

    That nightmare was over.

    My brother was fine, just superficial cuts on his leg. The boat was a little worse for wear, and my parents didn't even scold us.

    It's remembering times like that when you surprise yourself that you survived being a child!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  10. #10
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    I don't want to hear these stories.

    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  11. #11
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sarals View Post
    I came up for air thinking about how he was going to be in trouble with my mom and dad when I told them he'd made me fall out of the boat. That thought vanished just that fast when I saw he'd ALSO fallen out of the boat, and that the thing was running at full speed in a tight right hand circle.

    You know, somehow, the first time I read this, I missed the full speed part. Yikes.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  12. #12
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missjean View Post
    ...when I was 15...babysitting two kids
    Golly MissJean, you sure were babysitting some real brats! Really cool reaction on your part.

  13. #13
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    4 bad hits with car/trucks in 40+ years of riding.
    1977 hit by car making abrupt right turn into a driveway. Face into cement. Lost 2 front teeth, roadrash, busted bike.
    Driver got the ticket. Paid for bills and new bike.
    1978 hit dead center while on our tandem making a legal left turn after 4 way stop. 17-year old driver's first solo drive. He got the ticket, claims he did not see us after stopping and looking both ways.
    Damage over $2,300 to our tandem + hospital bill for wife + clothing.
    1990s hit by drunk driver from the rear at +/- 55mph while on my racing bike. Never fell down but westcoast mirror ripped off the pickup truck. Driver got ticket and 3 months suspension. Three months of seeing a chiropractor to straighten out my back.
    Early 2000, hit in back (again!) while on our tandem on rural frontage road by I-10 at +/- 55 mph. Break-away mirror hit my wife/stoker in the be back, busted the mirror. We never fell down. Driver stopped, had no insurance and restricted driver's license. Claimed he did not see us . . . while we were wearing ultra bright orange jerseys.
    Stoker/wife in hospital with big hematoma but otherwise OK. He had his driver's license revoked.
    We don't count close calls, just the hits.
    Still alive and welll and riding at ages 80 and 78.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  14. #14
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    You know, somehow, the first time I read this, I missed the full speed part. Yikes.
    Yes. It was like a wild animal. We haven't spoken of it in decades, but the last time we did my brother said he didn't remember pushing on the throttle. We think he meant to "bump" it a little, but somehow "bump" became "shove".
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  15. #15
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Jeese, Rudy, I thought your life in Belgium during the Nazi occupation was harsh (that is hyperbole, Rudy knows how I feel and respect what he and his family faced in the war,) and you still smile and keep riding with Kay! I still say you two are my real heroes, Pedal On, as you say each time.

    Bill
    +1
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  16. #16
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missjean View Post
    He *freaked* out, ran screaming down the hall way and smashed his hand right through the glass front door, shredding the palm of his hand. I very calmly took him into the bathroom, ran his hand under cold water, got a towel, wrapped his hand up, asked his sister to hold onto the towel tightly, went to the phone, told the woman who answered who I was and who I needed to talk to, but when the mother of the kids got on the phone, I lost it, blubbering away. To this day I am amazed that I was so calm in dealing with that screaming, bloody kid. But I do wish I could have held it together when I talked to the Mom -she must have been scared her to death about her kids.
    Oy. We had a family friend who lost a child to that kind of thing ... walking into a sliding glass door. That would scare the crap out of me.
    Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
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  17. #17
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Hey, we just roll with the punches!
    Just glad we are still in good enough shape to keep pedalin'!
    SMILE . . . and pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

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