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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 10-15-05, 03:11 PM   #1
psn
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So every Saturday morning, our team has a big group ride (and Sundays we do skills clinics). As those of you on the Right Coast might know, it's been raining like a b, but since I saw no e-mail canceling the ride, I assumed it was on (the ride did go on, but I missed it) and went on down (on my fixie, of course) to school. But before I even made it down there, I managed to get hit by/run into a car. Ah my first time. It happened pretty fast and thankfully didn't hurt as bad as I was expecting it to, but still, it sucked.

The collision was basically both of our faults, though I have to say the blame does sort of lay more with him...the guy was making a left turn off Mass Ave. (the main street) on to a side street, and I was going kind of fast (since I was a few minutes late) down the other side of Mass Ave. The visibility at the time was **** - foggy and raining. I probably wasn't paying as much attention as I should have been, and I think there was a car a bit in front of me as well, thus blocking both of our views, but to be honest, I can't remember. Anyway, for whatever reason, I had glanced down, and when I picked my eyes back up, I saw this car coming at me at a very bad (read: collision imminent) angle. In the split second before it happened, I didn't have time to panic, but I did have the following distinct thoughts: (1) I'm going to hit this car, (2) there's nothing I can do about it, and (3) I hope it doesn't hurt too much.

I tried to lightly use the front brake (wasn't doing much since it was so wet anyway) and get as much to the left as I could to avoid a collision, but it was way too late for that, and all I got instead was a *thwack*. I t-boned it into the back of guy's trunk. Oof.

The driver was really nice (for lack of a better word) about it - he immediately stopped, got out and checked to see if I was ok, etc. I was sort of dazed...the bike had slid down the street a bit, but I picked it back up and got it off the road in no time flat. I had to convince the guy (and myself) that I wasn't bleeding, didn't have any broken bones, and that my bike was functional, though it was sort of hard to check myself and the bike in the rain.

And although the rain probably in large part caused the crash, my rain gear ended up saving me from road rash, though I got a couple of strawberries on my right arm and ankle. After the impact, I apparently went airborne while my bike slid, and I landed pretty hard on my right hip (nice bruise) and the side of my head. The impact cracked the helmet, but it did it's job and saved me from getting what would've otherwise been a pretty nasty head injury. If you've ever doubted why you should wear a helmet, I can say it definitely saved my ass today. Go brain buckets! Time to order a new one.

All in all, I'm fine, though I do have a bit of a headache...nothing major, no concussion dizziness, etc. Bike seems to be ok - wheel isn't even out of true (or if it is, it's just barely). The carbon fork made it through just fine. Apparently my Steamroller is built like a brick ****house...or I just got lucky with a good collision angle. His car probably got more hurt than my bike.

What a day. Just thought I'd share.
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Old 10-15-05, 03:18 PM   #2
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lucky man.
Ive never gotten hit (yet) but I did get nudged once as I was going through an intersection. I was on the right side of the street going through an intersection when the guy on the left of me decided to turn right without a turn signal. Clipped the back of my rear wheel lifting the back of my bike off the ground about 6 inches and shifted the position of my bike. I landed it without falling and the guy actually honked his horn at me like it was my fault. ehh.. thats New york for ya. I guess.
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Old 10-15-05, 03:24 PM   #3
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Yeah I have a friend in Baltimore who occasionally commutes to work on his bike. One morning he was on his way in and the car he was riding behind decided to come to a screeching halt (for no immediately obvious reason). As you can imagine, he went *clunk* into the trunk/rear bumper. The driver then got out and started yelling at him for causing damage to his car while my friend is busy picking himself up and bleeding at the knees. I thought that was kind of funny in a "**** you" sort of way.


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Originally Posted by YellowFixedGear
lucky man.
Ive never gotten hit (yet) but I did get nudged once as I was going through an intersection. I was on the right side of the street going through an intersection when the guy on the left of me decided to turn right without a turn signal. Clipped the back of my rear wheel lifting the back of my bike off the ground about 6 inches and shifted the position of my bike. I landed it without falling and the guy actually honked his horn at me like it was my fault. ehh.. thats New york for ya. I guess.
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Old 10-15-05, 03:28 PM   #4
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lucky man, psn.

jeez i should wear a helmet
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Old 10-15-05, 03:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psn
Yeah I have a friend in Baltimore who occasionally commutes to work on his bike. One morning he was on his way in and the car he was riding behind decided to come to a screeching halt (for no immediately obvious reason). As you can imagine, he went *clunk* into the trunk/rear bumper. The driver then got out and started yelling at him for causing damage to his car while my friend is busy picking himself up and bleeding at the knees. I thought that was kind of funny in a "**** you" sort of way.
I had a guy do something pretty similar yesterday morning for a parallel parking space. I managed to swerve around him as he was backing up towards me though (into the oncoming lane, to the suprise of the lady driving up that way).

Close call, and FAR too common an occurance!
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Old 10-17-05, 09:35 AM   #6
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its not a question of "if you're going to fall..."
its a matter of when
we all fall down
it's the price we pay

and glad to hear the bike's okay.
priorities....
bruises heal. forks don't.

wear your helmets kiddies.
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Old 10-17-05, 09:37 AM   #7
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The first time is always the scariest. I've been hit by two cars, its not as shocking the secnd time Glad you're ok!
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Old 10-17-05, 09:47 AM   #8
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Having had three major accidents in the six months from last Nov - May this year, let's just say that an accident is going to happen, whether you want to or not. The more you're out there, the more exposure to factors beyond and out of your control. A sad fact but true.

As for helmets, and while this particular accident (the second one) didn't matter if I had a helmet or not, I'll post it again, from my accident in March:

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Old 10-17-05, 10:25 AM   #9
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Were you on the GT? Very lucky to have escaped major damage - to yourself and the bike.
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Old 10-17-05, 10:53 AM   #10
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Glad you're okay, hermano. For those involved in crash with a car, this is a useful link
http://www.respect.to/legal/cyclist_collis_info.html

And this is a useful pocket card to make to remind you.
http://www.respect.to/flyers/ARC_business_card.pdf
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Old 10-17-05, 11:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tink20seven
its not a question of "if you're going to fall..."
its a matter of when
and when that questions gest answered, the next question is "when will it happen again."

Not trying to steal the thread, but I had a wreck last week. down a congested 2 way street, I was riding the left side of the right lane, passing the cars, when the guy to my right decides to make his left inbetwen some slowing cars. Not that I'm tring to rationalize it, but I didn't see a turn signal, and I didn't think anyone was going to be able to fit between those gaps. I wasn't able to slow down and tried to turn with him, leaning on his car for the turn. I ended up (I think) getting my front tire slid under his front left wheel, forcing me down. Trip the emergency room, fractured left clavicle, and 22 stiches just above my left ebrow.

Anyway, that was Thursday. Now when I have to explain it to people who don't ride, it's like having to explain to them that I don't know how to ride a bike. There've been a few other collisions with cars, but this is the first one after years of riding that was my fault. I haven't ridden yet, and I kind of don't know what it'll be like when I build the bike back up (looks like just a bent fork, but the front wheel was broken in two places). I know I'll be riding again though.

I wonder what it'll be like when it happens again, and I'm not so lucky.

Last edited by TheKidd; 10-17-05 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:34 PM   #12
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Where on Mass Ave were you? I keep getting myself into some hairy situations down by Central where all day damn construction is. At one point, near MIT, you're pushed out into the oncoming lane. If someone in that lane doesnt know to merge right, you're kind ****ed. Freakin boston. Glad you're okay.
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Old 10-17-05, 12:54 PM   #13
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Glad your allrite!

Have the bike checked out by a shop (esp. the carbon fork)-particularly with a t-bone type situation.

Yeah for helmets! Check w/whoever made yours, Giro has a replacement program I'll be using (can allways use a spare).
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Old 10-17-05, 01:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcus72L
At one point, near MIT, you're pushed out into the oncoming lane. If someone in that lane doesnt know to merge right, you're kind ****ed. Freakin boston. Glad you're okay.
I've had the opposite experience: coming in from Boston and preparing for a left at Vassar to go to the track the other night. It wasn't until I was staring down the headlights of the oncoming car that I realized that the lane just shifted. Anyhow, I moved way left and went with it.

Congrats on your first wreck. They get easier each time.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:15 PM   #15
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marcus - I was just past the main intersection of Central Square...the guy was trying to make the left on to Pearl St., which is north of all of that construction, but I agree, it's kind of sketchy in between there and the Mass Ave. bridge.

monkey - I wasn't on my GT (it's sitting on my bike rack waiting for a new rear tubular), just mah Steamroller. I've looked the fork over very thoroughly, inside and out, and haven't seen any cracks. The outside of the steerer tube did get a bit of a scrape from the stem being pushed so hard, but that's all. And you said it well - I was very lucky...pretty much everything about the collision went the best way possible for me.
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Old 10-17-05, 02:30 PM   #16
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Mass Ave is deadly from Central Square all the way to the bridge. I've had two wrecks and many close calls on that stretch in just the last few months.
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Old 10-17-05, 03:06 PM   #17
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Does that have anything to do with the coincidental location of All Asia?
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Old 10-17-05, 04:39 PM   #18
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Let's have another round of "Go! Helmets! Go!"


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Old 10-17-05, 07:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camel
Yeah for helmets! Check w/whoever made yours, Giro has a replacement program I'll be using (can allways use a spare).
I tried this a couple years ago, when I hit the ground hard and fractured my cheekbone. Unfortunately, Giro's replacement program wasn't as cheap as buying a new helmet off the Internet. Maybe it's changed since then, though...
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Old 10-18-05, 12:24 AM   #20
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psn,
glad to hear you are okay. got hit yesterday morning in baltimore, completely nailed at a stoplight, flew up on the hood and then rolled off the side, the whole bit. looked way worse than it was. but that makes #5 for me and cars. got away this time with just some bent bars and a big ol lump on my calf where the front bumper made initial contact. previous hits had resulted in cracked ribs, ripped ear (ouch), and broken nose. we're all sometimes in such a terrible rush for what in the grand scheme of things are very trivial reasons, and we end up putting ourselves in really hairy (not trivial) situations that unfortunately end up taking LOTS of time and LOTS of money to fix. all i'm saying is just be safe, people in cars are never to be trusted!
btw, that info that was linked from that toronto advocacy org was really interesting, i am definitely going to search for a local one here in philly. lots of good advice in that link...
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Old 10-18-05, 10:30 AM   #21
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Glad you're mostly okay. Giro's program gives you a 20% or so discount off a replacement helmet.
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Old 10-18-05, 01:59 PM   #22
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Glad to hear you're okay, psn. I'll second stickyfoot's assessment of Mass Ave. It's kind of fun if you can get through it cleanly, but there are so many opportunities for disaster.

My first collision. Short version: Ran into a car that was trying to squeeze a left on the Anderson bridge from Allston to Cambridge. Same sort of deal as psn: definitely the driver's fault, but I probably should have been going slower and paying more attention on a dangerous stretch of road. No damage, but still...scary stuff.

Also, I love how the accident threads involve everyone venting about their own recent scrapes. It seems cathartic and comforting for everyone involved, including (hopefully) the original poster.
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Old 10-18-05, 02:09 PM   #23
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Relatively recent, even.

Rain is the worst. My first car collision was a right hook on a rainy night. Ironically, I was on my way to the bike store. When I got there, I was the 2nd or 3rd person they'd seen that night who'd been hit and as I worked on my wheel another came in.
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