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mlwschultz 08-05-04 06:41 AM

Very Sad & Disturbing - Bicyclist killed
 
http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/ne...805fatal.shtml

I drove through this area a few minutes after it happened and saw the body covered with blankets under the truck. The news showed the bike stuck under the right rear tire of the truck. On this morning's news they still haven't identified the deceased. This is a heavy tourist area & he had no ID on him, but you would think someone would have reported him missing by now. It sounds like the police still don't know exactly how the accident happened, but both bike & truck were going northbound & obviously were sharing a lane.

Route 1 in Saco is a 4 lane road with very heavy traffic & no bike lanes (most roads around here don't have them).

My husband road his 5200 to work yesterday. Fortunately I had spoken to him minutes before I saw this & he hadn't left work yet, but this is an area that we do ride in.

This has left me feeling very sad for this cyclist (more troubling because he was obviously experienced, but maybe not familiar with this area), and disturbed by the fact that it could so easily happen to any of us. My husband reports several incidences with drivers every time he's on his bike, either they don't see the bike (it's like they just look right through you), they see you & just go anyways and some just drive too close. Many drivers don't want to share the road, yet with no bike lane there's no place for the bikes to go but in the travel lane.

I don't ride my bike as much as he does (he's a much better rider than I am anyways) because I will only ride when there's less traffic around & won't ride my single bike on Route 1 (though we do ride our tandem here).

Everyone, please be careful.

djbowen1 08-05-04 07:02 AM

THe only positive aspect of it is that it reminds me not ever be comfortable on public streets assuming that the cars are actually seeing and watching out for me.

dfchatten 08-05-04 10:47 AM

Yes, stupid trucking jobs, but no trucks and just about everything halts.

My experience has always been pretty good when it comes to truckers. Sure, has there been some closer calls then I would like - Yes. But bad judgment can be assigned to.. dare I say-- the cyclist too.

We know as cyclists that sharing the road with something TON's larger then us can sometimes end up in tragedy. We hammer along anyway ....

Peace,
Dan

KevinmH9 08-05-04 10:53 AM

I may sound like an a**hole for saying but isn't Route 1 a interstate highway? And I was told that bikers are not allowed on interstate highways, that why when I come up to Rt 101 in NH I just turn right around. But for a big trucker not to see a biker on the side of the road is pretty unlikely, and then to go off and hit him, looks like further investigation may be needed.

supcom 08-05-04 11:44 AM

Route 1 in Saco, ME is not an interstate highway. It is a US highway.

KevinmH9 08-05-04 11:51 AM

Ah k, cause I did hear from someone that biking on a highway is illegal. Wiat ha I may sound stupid for asking but whats the difference between a interstate highway and a US highway?

mlwschultz 08-05-04 12:25 PM

Route 1 is Main Street in Saco. Bikes are not prohibited from riding on Route 1, in fact it's necessary to ride on Route 1/Main Street to head towards the neighboring towns. The tractor trailer truck was from a local food delivery service that delivers to all the local restaurants, so the driver was familiar with the area, not just a trucker passing through. The cyclist has been identified as a 51 year-old man from California that was visiting Old Orchard Beach. The police are still saying they don't know how the accident happened, but are not charging the driver (who passed a routine drug/alcohol blood test taken immediately following the accident). Because of the volume of traffic there speed was also not an issue.

My husband has had several calls at work today from people hoping it wasn't him. They knew he had ridden his bike to work yesterday, lives in Saco, he also rides the same model bike (5200) and is close in age.

SSP 08-05-04 03:27 PM

This sad case also illustrates the importance of carrying ID when riding. I photocopied my driver's license, health insurance card, emergency contact info, and organ donor card (macabre, eh?) on a single sheet of paper that I keep folded up and wrapped in plastic in my tool bag.

dfchatten 08-05-04 06:58 PM

SSP: Thanks for that tip. Simple and effective. I just hope somebody does not have to use it.

SSP 08-05-04 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dfchatten
SSP: Thanks for that tip. Simple and effective. I just hope somebody does not have to use it.

Thanks. One important thing I forgot to mention is Blood Type...if there's a medical emergency, I want the responders to know my blood type ASAP. Of course, I'll never need it because I'm such a highly skilled (and lucky) rider.... :D

supcom 08-05-04 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SSP
Thanks. One important thing I forgot to mention is Blood Type...if there's a medical emergency, I want the responders to know my blood type ASAP. Of course, I'll never need it because I'm such a highly skilled (and lucky) rider.... :D

I would hope that a hospital would not adminster whole blood based on a blood type written on a card they find with you. They have no way of knowing if it is correct and if you are given the wrong type, you can die. Generally though, I would expect that an ambulance would be giving you plasma only until you got to the hospital anyway. By that time they should be able to have typed your blood.

lovemyswift 08-05-04 07:54 PM

I just got back this weekend from the Moosa Tour in Maine. On Thursday, we left Quebec and back into Maine. We were on the route near Sunday River. We were headed to Kingfield. It was a great day and mostly downhill but there were lots of logging trucks. Most of them gave us plenty of room.

About 6 miles from Kingfield this one logging truck refused to give me any room. He didn't even cross the center line or slow down. I had a shoulder about 1 1/2 ft wide. It was all I could do to keep my bike in a straight line and to keep from going off the road or under his tires. I wondered how he calculated the distance to keep from hitting me.

I was so shaken, I got off the bike and cried for about 10 min. and I was afraid to ride into town. I knew I had to get on the bike an ride but I was so scared. I made it into the campground but feared riding the next day.

Apparently, this guy had done it to everyone on the road behind me.

Maine is a beautiful state to ride in but it will be a long time before I consider coming back.

I think all truck drivers, as a part of their training, should ride a bicycle on a busy road to understand the effects the big rigs have on bicyclists. Then maybe they'd have more empathy for us.

Kathi

dfchatten 08-05-04 08:31 PM

Yup, I know how you felt. We did a century around the Quabbin Reservoir in Central Mass this past June. It was great until we hit Rt 202, all uphill for 17 miles, w/a small shoulder, and we had the same challenges/scares. There were logging trucks going by us so close it scared the hell out of me. I'll cycle that route again but not up 202.

Chris L 08-05-04 09:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlwschultz
It sounds like the police still don't know exactly how the accident happened, but both bike & truck were going northbound & obviously were sharing a lane.

Were they? Or was the cyclist trying to hug the gutter or ride on a non-existent shoulder? I know from my experience of well over 120,000km which of the two scenarios has caused me the most problems in the past, and problems don't come from claiming the lane. I also know from dealing with log trucks on narrow winding roads in Tasmania that the only way to get the space you need on the road is to claim it yourself. I know that after reading this thread I'll be claiming that little bit more of the lane on my way home from work this evening

SSP 08-05-04 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris L
Were they? Or was the cyclist trying to hug the gutter or ride on a non-existent shoulder? I know from my experience of well over 120,000km which of the two scenarios has caused me the most problems in the past, and problems don't come from claiming the lane. I also know from dealing with log trucks on narrow winding roads in Tasmania that the only way to get the space you need on the road is to claim it yourself. I know that after reading this thread I'll be claiming that little bit more of the lane on my way home from work this evening

Amen to that. I ride with a "Take-a-Look" mirror. When I see someone approaching from behind, I move slightly towards the center of the lane when they're still about hundred meters behind me. This forces them to swing a little wider around me, and as they do I drift back towards the shoulder ensuring maximum separation between me and the car. Even if they don't give me a whole lot of room, I still have some lane to dive into.

IMO, this is a much safer technique than hugging the shoulder.

I'm also pretty assertive about telling drivers when NOT to pass. If I'm on a narrow or shoulderless road, and there is oncoming traffic, I move to the center of the lane and indicate with a backward facing palm that it is not safe to pass. When it's clear, I move towards the shoulder and wave them around. I find most drivers respect this...especially elderly drivers who are often unsure of how to safely pass a bicycle.

Pat 08-06-04 02:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MERTON
stupid trucking jobs. the driver probably was out of it from a lack of sleep or hyped up on some stimulant resulting in bad judgment or none at all.

I have had problems with local truckers - the guys who just do short hauls. They seem to think the own the roads after a bit. The problem is that many of these guys pass fast and close and don't know where their trailer is so they come over too soon.

I used to live in Michigan and a two lane road that I rode on to get out of town was a short cut for interstate truckers. I never had a problem with these guys. They would pass me close about 2.5' (it took some getting used to) but they always knew where their truck was and never came really close. They also passed at a reasonably moderate speed.

Juha 08-06-04 03:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlwschultz
The police are still saying they don't know how the accident happened, but are not charging the driver (who passed a routine drug/alcohol blood test taken immediately following the accident).

Umm... this is where I got lost. The police don't know what happened but are nevertheless ready to state it was definitely not driver's fault?

--J

mlwschultz 08-06-04 06:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Juha
Umm... this is where I got lost. The police don't know what happened but are nevertheless ready to state it was definitely not driver's fault?

--J

They're saying they don't know exactly how it happened, they're apparently ruling it accidental. But the papers are saying the cyclist was run over by the tractor trailer truck. In the photos I saw on the news the truck was so far to the right there wasn't room for the bike. What I haven't heard is who was there 1st. Was the truck there & the bike tried to go by on the right & didn't have room, or was the bike there 1st and the truck didn't give him enough room & ran over him. I think I would have ditched on the curb, even if I had to fall over sideways to the right, but hopefully I'll never have to be in that situation. Don't know if he had a mirror or not, the bike was crushed. This road has no shoulder, it's the travel lanes, then a curb & sidewalk.

The cyclist was visiting Old Orchard Beach alone, but called relatives every day after his ride. When he didn't call them Wednesday they got concerned & called the OOB police, who relayed their concern to the Saco police.

That's a good idea to carry your ID & emergency contact info with you. Also good if you're riding alone that someone knows when to expect you to return, and what route you were travelling.


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