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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 12-20-06, 10:51 PM   #1
seely
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Intersting fixie commute today..

So, I started out from my house and as I was heading down my street, I mused to myself, "When was the last time I checked my lockring? Hm. Seems ok" and pedaled on. When I got to the first light, upon taking off, I felt my cog slip 1/8th turn. So I decided rather than go back I'd stop in at "the bike shop of ill repute" on my way. They are known to be incompetent *******s.

So I get there and wheel my bike in, the sales guy sizes me up and doesn't really say anything. I introduced myself and told him I work at the shop down the road. He doesn't really say anything and goes in back and comes back out and just points for me to wheel my bike into the back room. About what I expected. Anyways, the head mechanic was another story.

He throws my bike in the stand and has my rear wheel off and a lockring wrench (albeit the wrong one) out before I could even say anything. He realized he didn't know what to do on a fixed gear and handed me the wheel and told me to fix it using whatever I needed. We actually had a nice conversation, and several others complimented me on my bike. Overall, a nice experience. It made me feel a little bad for having such an unfoundedly negative view of the shop.

As I made my way to work, around 3pm, I was passing a school I pass everyday on a fairly major road. I am about 20 yards from the entrance, and a red Grand Am goes flying past me and then slows and begins to turn in front of me. I start to skip to check my speed a bit preparing to swerve around behind her. The woman then sees me and rather than continuing so I could swerve around behind her, she stops dead in my path blocking the shoulder and the driveway to the school, and I'm already too close to swerve behind her since her car is on a diagonal.

So, I turned with her and with my bike parallel to her I scraped/bounced down the entire pass. side of her car, and then smashed her mirror off with my handlebar/hand. I heard my Mallet pedals scrape her doors a few times. I stayed upright (barely), looked back, and took off. I thought about stopping but I figured justice was more or less served, I was just a bit bruised, and I didn't want to get the police involved.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:18 PM   #2
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Dude, that's no good at all. Regardless of fault- Technically you left the scene of an accident in which you caused damage. Plus, you hit her, and she was in front of you. Your bad for assuming she would keep going and not leaving enough space to stop in time.

Sorry to be a bit of a *****, but if I were the driver (i don't drive) I'd be pretty pissed off.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:38 PM   #3
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So, you ride too fast for the conditions, scrape the hell out of someone's car, leave the scene of an accident? Hell, she handled the situation poorly, but if it were a car accident, you'd be 100% at fault - rear-enders almost always are.

Expect that woman - and her husband, if she has one - to be out for blood for all bicycle riders in the future. Congratulations.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:39 PM   #4
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Let me guess- brakeless?
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Old 12-20-06, 11:40 PM   #5
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sometimes a brother's just gotta not pull over.
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Old 12-20-06, 11:48 PM   #6
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if that was me road rage
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Old 12-20-06, 11:49 PM   #7
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sounds like the driver knew he was there the whole time and tried to speed around him. her realizing it's her bad and stopping in the middle of her dangerous maneuver doesn't make it the cyclist's fault. she took his line, end of story.

glad to hear you rode away without anything worse. your hand is gonna hurt like hell in the morning though.
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Old 12-21-06, 12:26 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dookski
she took his line, end of story.
Not really. It sounds to me like he was in the wrong. The driver didn't just take the lane but was making a right turn. Even if it was a bike lane it would be hard to convince anyone that she shouldn't have been there. The issue is that he wasn't able to stop in time, (probably because he was riding brakeless) attempting to skip around the driver instead of stopping behind the obstacle. Take responsibility for yourself, man. I don't need anyone else on the roads pissed at me for riding a bike.
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Old 12-21-06, 12:41 AM   #9
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I like what happened at the bike shop better.
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Old 12-21-06, 12:50 AM   #10
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she was too squirelly and stupid, but thats the standard for car drivers. sometimes you just have to suck it up and slow your roll. does it suck giving up momentum for someone who doesnt know how to use a 1/2 ton piece of crap? yes we all know. she showed lack of sense, you showed lack of prudence, precaution, and responsibility, and two people got their day ruined. cyclists should know better...
sorry if im an ass i had a piece of hip bone taken out and im off the bike for the holidays.
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Old 12-21-06, 03:22 AM   #11
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cool story. ever think about writing a book?

here's my bike story of the day. today i got up and decided to check out my bike after last night's ride. i went out in the street in front of my house and started trackstanding and popping wheelies. so the mail truck comes up and i figure he's gonna go to my mailbox and thus create some kind of awkward confrontation with me... but he passed my house.
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Old 12-21-06, 05:51 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schnee
So, you ride too fast for the conditions, scrape the hell out of someone's car, leave the scene of an accident? Hell, she handled the situation poorly, but if it were a car accident, you'd be 100% at fault - rear-enders almost always are.

Expect that woman - and her husband, if she has one - to be out for blood for all bicycle riders in the future. Congratulations.
Michigan is a no-fault state.
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Old 12-21-06, 06:43 AM   #13
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Michigan is a no-fault state.
Bikeforums is a your-fault state.
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Old 12-21-06, 06:44 AM   #14
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Michigan is a no-fault state.
Um...

This only means that, if you're involved in a crash, your insurance company is obligated to cover your damages regardless of who is at fault.

It has no bearing whatsoever on legal consequences for the person who caused the crash.
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Old 12-21-06, 06:58 AM   #15
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Bikeforums is a your-fault state.
yes, but thank god it doesn't affect your premiums
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Old 12-21-06, 07:04 AM   #16
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Um...

This only means that, if you're involved in a crash, your insurance company is obligated to cover your damages regardless of who is at fault.

It has no bearing whatsoever on legal consequences for the person who caused the crash.
That is true, but I think it de facto impacts how law enforcement (and everyone else) perceives *fault* around here in the first place. Example: My friend was riding his bike on the sidewalk (boo), on the wrong side of the street given the direction he was cycling, and a guy backing his car out of his driveway wound up blocking his path. My friend hit the car with his bike and flew a$$ over tea-kettle. Fortunately he was ok, just a bruised shoulder. And also fortunately the guy had been backing out of his driveway at about 5 mph. Anyway, they called the cops to make a report, just in case it turned out that my friend had more serious injuries than were immediately apparent.

Despite the fact that my friend 1)was breaking the law and riding on the sidewalk, 2)was going to the wrong direction, 3)wasn't wearing a helmet, and 4)hit the car, the cop still told the guy driving the car that it was his "fault." But he didn't give anybody a ticket.
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Old 12-21-06, 10:14 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by billypilgrim
does it suck giving up momentum for someone who doesnt know how to use a 1/2 ton piece of crap?
Compact cars weight about 1 + 1/2 tons (3000lb). Full sized cars are closer to 2 tons. Some SUVs (escalade, suburban) tip 4 tons.

Leaving the scene was a bad move, regardless of who's fault. Even though when one driver hits another from behind it is usually the rear-enders fault, that's not always the case. I had a driver try to quickly pull out (of a left hand turn lane) directly in front of me. This caused a nice cars-bouncing-off-each-other effect plus it was raining. Police reports and everything, the cops still blamed it on the other driver.

The right thing to do would be to own up - your defense being that she cut into your lane and the accident was unavoidable. At least this will cool some of the blood rage that you may have caused. Chances are you won't have to pay any fines or do any jail time and you'll have done the right thing and that will stay with you forever. You might even find out that she was actually in the wrong as a driver. We already know that you were in the wrong to scuttle away from the accident. Forgive me for preaching.

Last edited by 40x14; 12-21-06 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 12-21-06, 11:29 AM   #18
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So lemme get this straight... this guy get's right hooked and you people think it's his fault? *shakes head*

I do agree that you should have stopped. Yeah, it's a hassle but you did leave the scene of an accident. It would have been a much bigger hassle if the cops had found you. Chances are if you had stopped, the lady would have apologized and you could have gone on your way.
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Old 12-21-06, 11:35 AM   #19
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The right thing to do would be to own up - your defense being that she cut into your lane and the accident was unavoidable. At least this will cool some of the blood rage that you may have caused. Chances are you won't have to pay any fines or do any jail time and you'll have done the right thing and that will stay with you forever.
I disagree, nobody was hurt and the damage was to the vehicle who was at fault. (only the seely knows if this was clearly the case.) Turning yourself in at this point would be foolish if you ask me. It's not as if anyone was wronged by him leaving, there's no point in risking getting in trouble over it.
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Old 12-21-06, 12:13 PM   #20
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Basically, it was pretty clearly her fault. I was riding with traffic, just outside the white line on the shoulder when she overtook me less than 20 yards before she was going to turn. I was going 20mph + on a downhill grade, and the speed limit is 45mph. I don't see how that could be "too fast for conditions".

I checked my speed by skipping for a few yards, brought it down to probably about 10-15mph since I was anticipating her turn, and knew by the time she made the turn I'd be able to go around behind her. She definately saw me because when she passed me she gave me room. What posed the problem was when she a) pulled onto the shoulder to make her turn, and then b) upon seeing me stopped halfway through her turn. Had she just carried through, or looked before she turned, it wouldn't have been a problem. It was blocking a) the road b) the shoulder c) the driveway that posed an issue. At this point, I was feet from her car, if that, and rather than risk hitting her head on, I turned with her as I've learned from years of riding in traffic. I glanced off the side of her car, picked up some red paint on my pedals, and then my handlebar/hand took care of her mirror.

Normally, I would stay. I'm not the type to leave an accident. However, the police around here are EXTREMELY ignorant of cyclists (they have yelled at my coworkers for riding in the street and told them to ride on the sidewalk). I've had a lot of negative confrontations with local police in the area I work, because its a very, very well to do area and I pretty clearly don't fit in. I didn't want to get into a legal fight with a rich soccer-mom who's husband is probably an attorney. I don't have the time or money for such things, and little chance of coming out on top. Money buys "justice".
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Old 12-21-06, 12:33 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fixed_but_free
Michigan is a no-fault state.
Quebec is a no-fault province, but notably, hitting a "parked" car isn't considered to be a vehicle accident, and as such the pilot of moving vehicle is at fault. The quotes are because apparently "parked" means "stopped and obviously not going to move" (obviously with no way to truly determine the "obviously" part of this) because vehicle pilots who have rear-ended others stopped in the roads at places besides lights have received tickets and been liable for damages, as well as cyclists who've been doored despite witness accounts to corroborate that the driver didn't look and the cyclist was beside another moving vehicle at the time.

Your leaving the scene notwithstanding, you may have been considered at fault in Quebec given the same circumstances.
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Old 12-21-06, 01:37 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by kemmer
I disagree, nobody was hurt and the damage was to the vehicle who was at fault. (only the seely knows if this was clearly the case.) Turning yourself in at this point would be foolish if you ask me. It's not as if anyone was wronged by him leaving, there's no point in risking getting in trouble over it.
I'm not saying "turn yourself in". I don't think Seely was at fault. Contact the school administrators or post something on craigslist, make it easy for the driver to find you instead of laying low is what I advocate. Stand up or sneak away, those are the choices.

PS. It seems like the driver was in the wrong, by running away you give them an excuse to blame you for something they did.
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Old 12-21-06, 01:50 PM   #23
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Hmmm, probably I'd have done the same thing. Well, except that I have a brake so I prolly wouldn't have hit her in the first place...
Anyway, if she was clearly at fault, let her assess the damage by herself. I couldn't care less.
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Old 12-21-06, 01:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by 40x14
Compact cars weight about 1 + 1/2 tons (3000lb). Full sized cars are closer to 2 tons. Some SUVs (escalade, suburban) tip 4 tons.
crap. i was just guessing and didnt have time to look it up, but i had no idea a full sized car was THAT heavy. great, now i am even more terrified of the suv drivers around here.

maybe i will take this opportunity to clarify my position: the party at fault definitely was the driver, and she was being particularly stupid. but in my life, in a city filled with idiotic drivers on cell phones in gigantic death machines ( appearantly many over 4 tons ), if you are going to use your rights to the road, you have to be super assertive and aggressive. cyclists simply have to be tremendously smarter, faster, and calmer than drivers. the drivers cause the accidents, and the cyclists try to prevent them. its clearly in our best interests. so yeah, she was at fault, and she got what she deserved, but its too bad you couldnt avoid the whole situation.
hows your hand/bike?
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Old 12-21-06, 01:59 PM   #25
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Money buys "justice".
You should have showed her some "u-lock justice"...
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