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  1. #1
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    My disaster of a first tour.

    I recently did my first tour if you can call it that.
    I had been planning for this tour all year and had posted up on here about it quite a few times. We were going to be riding the length of the Oregon coast on highway 101 which is a very popular cycling touring route
    For my tour I purchased some nice equipment. I got a novara safari, ortlieb front and rear panniers, and a ortlieb handlebar bag. In addition to this I bought an REI back packing rent, new sleeping bag, and self inflating pad. Then the week before I left I was able to get a good deal on some new cycling shorts a jersey, and a helmet. I was finally set with all the gear I would need
    I had three others accompanying me on the tour. My friend Kyle from Oregon, my friend Blair who drove out from Michigan, and my girlfriend Amanda. All are avid cyclists but were also new to touring. They had all done similar purchases and had new gear as well.
    We decided to try and average 50-70 miles a day on our trip. For the first day we were gonna go a little shorter at 55 to see how we did and make sure we didnt get sore.
    The first day was going great. The weather was wonderful (sunny and 75) and there was very little wind. The traffic was a bit heavy because we started on a saturday but overall it wasnt bad.
    At the end of the first days ride (about 50 miles in) we were looking for our place to camp in rockaway beach. Kyle and I were pulling ahead a bit because we are more experienced and werent overly tired yet. We were coming down what I expected was the last serious downhill of the day and disaster struck.
    I do not remember the incident at all but my understanding from others is that when I was at the bottom of the downhill (probably going 30-35) an rv tried to pass me. He misjudged when merging back into his lane and clipped me with his awning. This sent me careening at a high rate of speed off of the road and into the ditch and some undergrowth. My the driver and another motorist instantly pulled off to check on me.
    When my girlfriend and friends arrived I was laying in the middle of the road bleeding with motorists and bystanders trying to help. An amublance had arrived and they were starting to prepare to take me to the hospital in Tillamook. I do not remember this at all.
    I was rushed to Tillamook hospital where I was inspected for head injuries and trauma from the accident. It was found that I had a massive concussion, multiple scrapes and bruises and a broken clavicle. They treated me for the next day and then sent me to Legacy Emmanual in Portland to finish my care.
    I believe I arrived in Portland 3 days later, im not sure. This is the first day that I have any memory of and it is splotchy. I was extremely sore in a hospital bed and didnt know what had happened to my bike trip. My friends were all there and explained to me again what had happened. I spent the rest of the week there getting well enough that I could go home and recover.
    Since the accident I have met with multiple health care providers, an attorney insurance adjusters and more. I am finally starting to feel a little normal again but I wont be pedalling for awhile. My bike is heavily damaged and I am in no shape to ride.

    I posted this on here not to scare people. I plan on touring again once I heal. I just wanted to let people know to be careful. The guy that hit me wasnt an aggressive ******* (from what people tell me). He was just someone who misjudged his merge. Because of this I was hurt badly. Be careful so this doesnt happen to you.
    Pay attention to who is around you and watch your speed. Also, for the love of god; Wear a helmet! Mine saved my life and is likely the only reason that I am able to put together these sentences and type today. Because of this accident I will never ever get on a bicycle without a helmet again. I truly believe I am alive today because of the one I was wearing. It cracked through on both sides and sustained a great deal of damage. Without it my skull would have done the same.

    Just wanted to share what has been a crazy experience for me. Be safe out there!

  2. #2
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    This isn't you is it?
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YUIoLr6jWr...0/IMG_0494.JPG

    A friend of mine was vacationing on the west coast. He's a cyclist, but wasn't able to bring a bike, so he was grabbing pictures of others on bikes whenever he could.
    Car-Free IT Geek
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    Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, 1980s Raleigh Record single-speed conversion, Bacchetta Agio

  3. #3
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    My first tour I got sideswiped by a car turning onto the highway on the very last stretch of the last day. No major injuries though. Good luck with your recovery. I've broken my clavical before and as far as broken bones go, it's not a bad one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RunningPirate's Avatar
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    Wow...and I thought you were going to regale us with tales of bad weather and equipment failures! Sorry that things went so bad. Glad you're OK (relatively speaking). More importantly, glad that you plan on getting on a bike again.
    There's nothing for you to see here...just move along, now...

  5. #5
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    It is a big problem with these campers. Many people have never driven on in their lives, the next thing you know they are on a windy and narrow road.

    Touring, especially places like the West coast is best done after September when most of the campers are parked.

    Glad to hear you are healing and that this event will not scare you off touring.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  6. #6
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    Wow, so sorry to hear that!
    I hope you recover quickly and get to be riding again soon. I'm used to reacting to drivers underestimating my speed in the city, but at 30 MPH it sounds like there's nothing you could have done.

  7. #7
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    danguskhan, You have the proper attitude, IMHO. Heal swiftly.

    Brad

  8. #8
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    I'm so sorry to read about your accident. I hope you have a very safe and uneventful recovery.

  9. #9
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    Nope, that's not me although the branding on the gear is pretty much the same.

    Thanks for the positive words everyone. It was a rough little adventure but I hope its only a minor setback for cycle adventures to come.

  10. #10
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    Ugh. California's Coastal Highway was very nerve wracking, with a lack of shoulder for pretty much all of it. Bad vehicular use causes what could be the best time of your life to be a mess. It's good to hear you're coming out of it healthy, but frustrating and gruesome.
    http://bygonebicyclist.com
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  11. #11
    have bike will tour catfish's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your bout with a RV i have had close calls with them. Quite a few (not all) people operating these don't realize how wide and long they are. With that said there are quite a few RV drivers experienced and safe drivers.


    I asked some R V'ers once if they needed a CDL or any training to drive these rigs. To my surprise the answer is NO! i am surprised some one can just take a crash course at the dealer' parking lot and be on their way with a 40 ft rig. i hold a class A CDL had to prove i could operate safely. Am required to take drug and alcohol tests randomly. When i questioned why they are not required to have any such license, i was told the government tried to pass it as a law. However the R V lobby was and is so huge they git it overturned.

  12. #12
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catfish View Post
    Sorry to hear about your bout with a RV i have had close calls with them. Quite a few (not all) people operating these don't realize how wide and long they are. With that said there are quite a few RV drivers experienced and safe drivers.


    I asked some R V'ers once if they needed a CDL or any training to drive these rigs. To my surprise the answer is NO! i am surprised some one can just take a crash course at the dealer' parking lot and be on their way with a 40 ft rig. i hold a class A CDL had to prove i could operate safely. Am required to take drug and alcohol tests randomly. When i questioned why they are not required to have any such license, i was told the government tried to pass it as a law. However the R V lobby was and is so huge they git it overturned.
    Registered as RV = no special anythings. You can get 30+ ft buses registered as an RV, as well.
    http://bygonebicyclist.com
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  13. #13
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    Arrrrggghhhhhhhhhhh V's suck

    I am a professional Truck driver and a part time tourer, and RV drivers and caravan drivers are the scourge of the road .....that people should be allowed to drive these things with no formal training is just plain wrong..most people don't drive their RV?caravan from one holiday to the next they have no appreciation of its size and impact on other road users...they normally drive only short distances and then expect all of a sudden one day to do 12 hours behind the wheel of an unfamiliar vehicle they are accidents looking for somewhere to happen ...my sympathy's to you.


    Any one towing or diving an RV should be trained and have to do a minimum driving hours per year.

  14. #14
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    here in Ireland you need as far as i know a bus license to drive one of those .
    agree with wicki they should be trained before taking one on the road .
    anyway glad your here to tell the story .
    btw did your friends continue on with the tour.

  15. #15
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaise_f View Post
    Ugh. California's Coastal Highway was very nerve wracking, with a lack of shoulder for pretty much all of it. Bad vehicular use causes what could be the best time of your life to be a mess. It's good to hear you're coming out of it healthy, but frustrating and gruesome.
    I'll agree those descents at Big Sur Scared the crap out of me.. One descent, I had a flat.. After that, I'll never be the same. I don't do fast descents.
    . Terrible news for our poster. Yes, bikes have risk as does any endeavor..Such events happen driving cars every day.. That does not keep most of us out of our cars..
    . I've been on five tours. "Knock on wood.. "I've been lucky..
    One guide that might help.. When going on tours, in advance purchase Cycling Adventure's touring maps.. They give you good advice and help to keep you away from busier roads.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  16. #16
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    The worst thing about RV traffic in the US is that a lot of the RVs are rentals driven by folks who may be driving an RV for the very first time. We talked to some people with a rented RV in Yellowstone and they said they had never driven anything larger than a car. It was painfully obvious that they were completely clueless. It seemed like that was the norm there.

    That said I still figure that I am as likely or more likely to be involved in a bike/car accident near home than when on tour. Over my 50+ years of riding I have had a few encounters with cars, only one of which resulted in serious injury. I have been hit by a drunk wandering onto the shoulder, clipped lightly by close passers, right hooked by a couple folks turning into gas stations or driveways, and gone over the roof of a red light runner. The red light runner saw me and then suddenly at the last second decided she could beat me and tried to go before I reached the intersection. It might have been OK and I could have swerved to go behind her except she then chickened out and slammed the brakes leaving me nowhere to go. I hit her at maybe 25 mph and got a nice ambulance ride followed by several months of pain when I tried to ride more than a few miles.

    So based on my experiences, while the rental RVs worry me a bit I don't consider touring, even in the national parks or the pacific coast, to be any more of a risk than the one I am already taking when riding at home.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    That is tough. Sorry to hear about your misfortunes. I ride a lot near a large lake with many vehicles pulling boat trailers, and I worry about the same thing happening. That's one reason why I use a mirror.

    Get well.

  18. #18
    More Energy than Sense aroundoz's Avatar
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    I am glad you are OK and that this didn't scare you away from bike touring. A lot of people would not get on a bike again after an incident like that.

    RVs scare me more than any other vehicle on the road especially motor homes. I have experienced so much more respect from professional truck drivers than RVers and would rather be passed by a BC logging truck than a grey nomad any day.

    Again, glad you are OK.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Wind shear, the Air pressure wave created by pushing it out of the way, sucks,
    literally, behind it..

    80+ year old cyclist, touring with his son was killed , this past fortnight, on 101,
    pulled in to the rear wheels of log trailer, by the wind shear created by the front.

    careful out there ..

  20. #20
    Fraser Valley Dave
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    Happy to hear you plan on touring again once you heal. Sure glad you were wearing a helmet. I know of others that have survived serious spills only because of wearing helmets. For those out there that don't think it will happen to you, it's a fine line between having a great day, and suddenly becoming involved in a bad situation by your, or most often, someone else's bad judgment. I traveled the West Coast in April (had great weather) so I wasn't bothered by heavy RV traffic.
    I'm also a commercial truck driver, and believe everyone should be required to have training and a specific license to operate large, heavy RVs.

  21. #21
    Senior Member simplygib's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    80+ year old cyclist, touring with his son was killed , this past fortnight, on 101,
    pulled in to the rear wheels of log trailer, by the wind shear created by the front.
    Yes, and the 81-year-old cyclist was in the same general area -maybe a little south of where danguskhan's accident occurred. Very sad. The section of 101 north of Garibaldi is very narrow with guardrails so there's nowhere to go if someone gets too close to you.

    http://bikeportland.org/2011/08/04/b...-collide-57314

    danguskhan - hoping for a quick recovery for you.
    Last edited by simplygib; 08-09-11 at 09:37 AM.

  22. #22
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    head injuries are bad. Hang in there and best wishes on your recovery.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wicki View Post
    I am a professional Truck driver and a part time tourer, and RV drivers and caravan drivers are the scourge of the road .....that people should be allowed to drive these things with no formal training is just plain wrong..most people don't drive their RV?caravan from one holiday to the next they have no appreciation of its size and impact on other road users...they normally drive only short distances and then expect all of a sudden one day to do 12 hours behind the wheel of an unfamiliar vehicle they are accidents looking for somewhere to happen ...my sympathy's to you.


    Any one towing or diving an RV should be trained and have to do a minimum driving hours per year.
    This is a bit too uninformed for my taste. RV drivers are hardly the scourge of the road. Now, speeding,tailgating professional truckers? Maybe? Seen my share of those. In this country Professional Tour Bus Drivers have been taking lumps lately. From taking wrong turns and shearing off half the bus under low overpasses, to doing 80mph plus and losing control, the crit is valid.

    The truth is, there are enough bad drivers in every category that pinning RVers to the wall is hardly the point. Many more touring cyclist have been injured or killed by car and truck drivers. There is no lack of training or experience to hang these crashes on. So, why does it follow that either was a factor in this crash?

    If we insist on riding on narrow shoulderless roads the messege is clear, We are rolling the dice.

    To the OP: Sorry to hear of your misadventure. Scary!!!! More so in the by the grace of God there go i sense. This could happen to any of us. Heal fast and get out there and ride!!
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  24. #24
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    So sorry to hear of your wreck. I agree with the truck driver. The RV drivers should all have a CDL. I drive professionally and was half way across Misery and back today. West side to Jeff City and back. I had multiple instances of having to avoid RV drivers' rigs. With my freight it is a pain to have extra hazards. My cargo can be difficult on a good day. I hope you recover swiftly. Please follow all your recovery instructions from Doctors and therapists.
    " If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand which feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countryman " Samuel Adams, 1772

  25. #25
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    Glad you survived and it's probably good you don't remember.Have a speedy recovery.

    Rv's scare me also,all I think about is the last one in the door and they forgot to raise the stairs!Most of those people have no idea where the right side of that vehicle is.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

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