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View Poll Results: Have you ever been clipped, hit, or knocked down by a close-passer?

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  • Yes, and it was related to me swerving/falling left due to a front tire blowout.

    1 0.52%
  • Yes, but it was not related to me swerving/falling left due to a front tire blowout.

    67 34.54%
  • No - I have never been even clipped by a close-passer.

    121 62.37%
  • Other

    5 2.58%
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  1. #1
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Have you ever been clipped, hit, or knocked down by a close-passer?

    Have you ever been clipped, hit, or knocked down by a close-passing motorist?

    If so, tell us about it (or each time if more than once).

    • Location (streets, directions of travel)
    • Type of location
    • Lane locations
    • Approximate speeds of motorist and you
    • Did you swerve left?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Nope. But have been hit from behind.

    I always was a curve buster!

  3. #3
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    I thought this would amuse you, Peter.

  4. #4
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Everyone who supports a minimum 3 foot passing law (motorists passing cyclist), and I dare say that represents the vast majority of cyclists, is in the boat of worrying way more about close passes than I do.

  5. #5
    Senior Member seafoamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Have you ever been clipped, hit, or knocked down by a close-passing motorist?
    you mean while I was riding a bicycle?

  6. #6
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seafoamer View Post
    you mean while I was riding a bicycle?
    Yes.

  7. #7
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    i ride mere inches from big trucks, buses, cars, trucks, etc. Never an issue. I think those of us that ride daily in traffic, and that have an extensive messenger background, are far less prone to being clipped, as we are highly situationally aware of everything around us.

    one of my most favorite traffic rushes was riding my narrow (18") flatbar fixie, with about 2" on each side, just enough for my shoulders to brush aloing the sides of both truck containers. I passed thru (in between them) doing about 40kms/h.
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  8. #8
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    How does that work, when you want the same amount of space between you and the car and additionally feel that you need an additional three feet of clearance to your right?

    Are these folks, that you claim are more worried than you are, worrying more than you are despite the fact that you feel that your mere presence on the road should make motorists slow down, and shift lanes?

    Are those folks worrying more than you are despite the fact that they aren't "weaving around like a lunatic on a bike" trying to gain the attention of cars that you fear are going to pass you too closely (less than three feet)?

    Are those folks worrying more than you are despite the fact that they aren't frantically making the "SLOW/STOP" sign to try and gain the attention of cars that you fear are going to pass you too closely (less than three feet)?

    It doesn't add up Serge.
    Quick question Pete... do you regularly now ride a bike in high speed traffic situations? (traffic moving at over 40MPH... just as a point of reference?)

  9. #9
    Devilmaycare Cycling Fool Allister's Avatar
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    What do you do with all this 'data' you collect, Serge? Are we going to see a comprehensive scientific paper on the attitudes of bikeforum members, with full statistical analysis, or do you just XXXXXXX over them?
    Last edited by Tom Stormcrowe; 08-24-07 at 05:28 PM.
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  10. #10
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    When I'm passing slower traffic, I'm much more comfortable with close passing distances than I am when someone from behind me comes blowing by inches away 30+ mph faster than me.

    Frankly, for decades it did not bother me at all, but since I started learning about acting and being treated differently, it has. So in a sense it's kind of self-induced, I know. But there it is.

  11. #11
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin View Post
    Yes, weekly.

    What bearing does that have on Serge's contradictory statements?
    Because I was sorta under the impression that you mostly rode off road... in which case you might not understand what it was like to feel the brush of a fast, close passing motorist.

    Just for the sake of full disclosure... I very rarely ride off road, and have not developed the skills to do so properly.

    I also have not examined the breadth of the statements made by HH... so I cannot conjecture on the bearing of his statements...

  12. #12
    SSP
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    On February 18th of this year, I was riding down a winding canyon road at 40 mph with a group of 10 other cyclists. There was no usable shoulder, and at that speed I was close to the speed limit, so I was "taking the lane".

    Unfortunately, a moron in a pickup towing a trailer decided he could pass me, despite a double yellow line and an upcoming blind left hand curve. He miscalculated how fast I was going, and how long/wide his trailer was, and I suppose he panicked a bit as we approached the blind left curve with him in the oncoming lane.

    As he swung back into my lane, the wider wheel well section of his trailer hit me, and put me on the ground at 40 mph. Thankfully, nothing was broken...except for the bike, and every article of clothing I was wearing. Between the ambulance ride, emergency room visit, follow-up care, and equipment losses, the guy made a $25,000 mistake. He also lied to the cops about his insurance coverage, so by now they've likely suspended his license and vehicle registration.

    So, despite HH's assertions that taking the lane confers some sort of "Cloak of Invincibility", I remain personally unconvinced. Not that I'll change my actions...just be more vigilant (I'd forgotten my Take a Look mirror that day...one of the few times in the last few years I've ridden without it).
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  13. #13
    pj7
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    Well, I just got my rear rim replaced due to this very thing, as well as a ferw other torn and/or broken parts.
    I was riding up a quiet residential street with no on street parking. It's a 25mph street and I was likely just a few mph below that. I was no less than 4 feet from the curb, which would put me a few inches to the left of where an autos right tire would track. I know I was about 4 feet because I was to the left of the stream of "garbage water" that the trash truck had left for me to smell just a few hours previous, and the dark stain from that "water" is ever present still. Anyhow, I was pedaling along at a good speed and the next thing I know I was falling to my left and saw the grill of a car behind me as they turned onto a side street. I fell, tumbled, rolled, bled, cussed, kicked, screamed, and finally pulled myself up off the ground - only to see a little red car speeding off in the distance down that side street. My first thought was to hop on my bike and chase them down... then I found that was not going to happen since my rear rim was now a work of abstract art.
    I used what water I had left to clean myself up. Then I knocked on someones door and told them what happened and asked if I could use their phone to call for some help.
    No police report or none of that stuff since it's quite pointless after what all had transpired.
    After thinking about it for a while it occured to me that a right turning motorist coming up from behind me and turned right and hit my rear tire. Kind of odd but what the hell...
    So.... there you have it.
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  14. #14
    JRA
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    I was once hit by a side view mirror of a SUV. It pissed me off at the time but I don't (and didn't then) think it was intentional. I think it was just your typical incompetent SUV driver.

    I've had several close calls but only once in my life do I think a motorist actually tried to hit me. Fortunately, I moved to the right at precisely the right time and the jackass missed.
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  15. #15
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    once was more or less centered in the lane on jhonson road heading west. Older man who had on horse blinders (medical sunglasses they give you when they dilate your eyes for various test. These things have warnigns on them about driving or operating heavy equipment. He was driving left of center all but straddling the center line. As he passed me he clipped me with his mirror on my left elbow. This knocked my arm off my handle bars (bmx bike) at this point his mirror hit my handle grip left side and lifted my rear tire off the ground cause my bike to swing left in to his car and that did about $1200+ in damage to his Lincoln town car. He started to drive off and would have done so had a guy on a motor cycle not pulled in front of him to force him to stop. He said and i quote "Im so sorry i did not even see you" ?I replied with something about well maybe if you were not waring these pieces of sh.. you'd be able to see. This was mid day so the sun was over head or behind not in front and blinding. No rain no fog no nothing to prevent him from seeing me other than his crap med sun glasses.

    He was charged with reckless driving.

  16. #16
    Senior Member John Wilke's Avatar
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    If you've been hit, you haven't been passed ... you've been HIT, PERIOD.

    Yes I've been run over, and how do you tell what caused it when the bike is crumpled, you don't remember anything due to head trauma, and the driver never stops?

    Are you assuming that anytime you're hit by a car that you're able to analyze exactly what happened when and why? DON'T KID YOURSELF.

    You cannot call being hit by a car: "Close Passing", because if he hit's you and keeps going ... I call that being RUN OVER or RUN DOWN, not 'passed'.

    Please Explain The Purpose Of This Poll because I sure can't see any.
    Last edited by John Wilke; 08-25-07 at 08:35 AM.

  17. #17
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    what's the purpose of this poll?

    the purpose is to purpetuate helemt heads' "nervous nellie, the the sky is falling" bicycling hysteria;

    where he tries to convince riders they should be in the center of the lane to slow down overtaking cars, on quiet, country roads with good sight lines, EVEN roads like this one.....


    helemt head appears to be a hysterical, fearful bicyclist intent on fearmongering his pet 'fear from the rear' exageration and obsession.
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  18. #18
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSP View Post
    On February 18th of this year, I was riding down a winding canyon road at 40 mph with a group of 10 other cyclists. There was no usable shoulder, and at that speed I was close to the speed limit, so I was "taking the lane".

    Unfortunately, a moron in a pickup towing a trailer decided he could pass me, despite a double yellow line and an upcoming blind left hand curve. He miscalculated how fast I was going, and how long/wide his trailer was, and I suppose he panicked a bit as we approached the blind left curve with him in the oncoming lane.

    As he swung back into my lane, the wider wheel well section of his trailer hit me, and put me on the ground at 40 mph. Thankfully, nothing was broken...except for the bike, and every article of clothing I was wearing. Between the ambulance ride, emergency room visit, follow-up care, and equipment losses, the guy made a $25,000 mistake. He also lied to the cops about his insurance coverage, so by now they've likely suspended his license and vehicle registration.

    So, despite HH's assertions that taking the lane confers some sort of "Cloak of Invincibility", I remain personally unconvinced. Not that I'll change my actions...just be more vigilant (I'd forgotten my Take a Look mirror that day...one of the few times in the last few years I've ridden without it).
    I've never claimed that taking the lane confers "some sort of 'Cloak of Invincibility'" or anything of the sort, and I really don't appreciate such blatant misrepresentation of what I've said. I've only said that I firmly believe that in many cases a cyclist's odds of avoiding collision are better further left than where most cyclists ride, further right. That doesn't mean that morons won't do what they did to you in this case.

    You've alluded to this before, but this is the first detailed account I've encountered. I'm really glad it didn't turn out worse for you.

    The only way I can think of to avoid something like this is what you already mentioned: maintaining good rearward situational awareness, for which a mirror is indispensable. It's very likely that with a mirror you could have seen the moron approaching from behind, known how long he was there, and detected his apparent frustration and lack of clarity about what to do. Many motorists are literally dumbfounded when they encounter a cyclist up ahead in the road, and the cyclist giving them a few pointers in real time can be very helpful. One of the most important advantages of maintaining good rearward situational awareness is it gives you the opportunity to convey that you have it (the good rearward situational awareness) to the driver behind you. That is, you can convey: "I know you're there, but I know what I'm doing, and I'm riding HERE anyway, please be patient". It's surprising how easy it is to convey all that with some combination of lane positioning adjustment, and perhaps a look back and/or a hand motion. And in the unlikely event that he ignores all that and tries a bonehead move anyway, at least with a mirror you have some advance notice and have a better chance of taking safe evasive action.

    Treat your mirror like an Amex card.

    Anyway, again, I'm glad you're okay.
    Last edited by Helmet Head; 08-25-07 at 09:41 AM.

  19. #19
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Wilke View Post
    If you've been hit, you haven't been passed ... you've been HIT, PERIOD.

    Yes I've been run over, and how do you tell what caused it when the bike is crumpled, you don't remember anything due to head trauma, and the driver never stops?

    Are you assuming that anytime you're hit by a car that you're able to analyze exactly what happened when and why? DON'T KID YOURSELF.

    You cannot call being hit by a car: "Close Passing", because if he hit's you and keeps going ... I call that being RUN OVER or RUN DOWN, not 'passed'.

    Please Explain The Purpose Of This Poll because I sure can't see any.
    I see your point about the apparent contradiction in referring to someone who clips you as a "close-passer", since he hit you. But, then, he did at least attempt to pass you (very) closely... so doesn't that still make him a "close-passer"?

    Semantics aside, the point of this poll is to get a feel for how common it is for at least the group of cyclists who respond to this poll to have been clipped by someone attempting to pass them too closely.

    The genesis of all this stems from the fact that the cycling practices I use and advocate include attempting to achieve good/safe passing distances by faster traffic coming from behind, and I've been accused of being a hysterical, fear mongering nervous Nellie for doing that.

    But I have to say that the percentage of those responding so far that have been hit or clipped during a close pass attempt is much higher than I anticipated.

    And I appreciate the stories. Keep 'em coming. I think they're helpful.

  20. #20
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    Never, but I don't ride over in the gutter either, so it is unlikely that I'll be hit.
    Not too much to say here

  21. #21
    Banned. Helmet Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
    Never, but I don't ride over in the gutter either, so it is unlikely that I'll be hit.
    Can you expand on this a bit? I'm pretty sure I know what you mean, but I don't want to make any assumptions.

    The uninitiated might not understand and may ask: doesn't riding in the gutter put you further from the passing motorists, thus making it less likely for you to be clipped? Why do you attribute never being clipped to not riding in the gutter?

  22. #22
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    Can you expand on this a bit? I'm pretty sure I know what you mean, but I don't want to make any assumptions.

    The uninitiated might not understand and may ask: doesn't riding in the gutter put you further from the passing motorists, thus making it less likely for you to be clipped? Why do you attribute never being clipped to not riding in the gutter?
    Id say that its do to being further out in the road allowing escape room. Riding centerish in the lane driver comes up behind begins pass but does not give enough room rider moves to their right increasing the distance between them during the pass.

    Same thing ive said dozens of times about a more centered lane position. It does not help to make a driver pass you more safely but gives you a route to escape . I ride foot or so from center of lane this prevents a car trying a pass on my right (seen that happen once). So riding some what right of center in the lane in various places seems to be the best way for me.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    I was riding up a major suburban arterial, fairly fast (20 + mph) when a group of Yahoos came up beside me in a pickup truck. They were teenagers (as was I) and passenger yahoo stuck his arm out and grabbed my helmet. This situation continued for about a block, and then whooping it up passenger yahoo let go and they sped off.

    I didn't report the assault (I was young and foolish, I would definitely report it now), nor did I cuss out said yahoos. I was pretty much just concentrating on not dying. Fortunately my 'skitching' experience did not result in a crash.

    Gah! It's amazing what you can get through with a little luck.

    I'm not sure if this qualifies, but they were definitely too close

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Helmet Head View Post
    I see your point about the apparent contradiction in referring to someone who clips you as a "close-passer", since he hit you. But, then, he did at least attempt to pass you (very) closely... so doesn't that still make him a "close-passer"?

    Semantics aside, the point of this poll is to get a feel for how common it is for at least the group of cyclists who respond to this poll to have been clipped by someone attempting to pass them too closely.

    The genesis of all this stems from the fact that the cycling practices I use and advocate include attempting to achieve good/safe passing distances by faster traffic coming from behind, and I've been accused of being a hysterical, fear mongering nervous Nellie for doing that.

    But I have to say that the percentage of those responding so far that have been hit or clipped during a close pass attempt is much higher than I anticipated.

    And I appreciate the stories. Keep 'em coming. I think they're helpful.

    If someone drives up behind a cyclist, fails to notice them, and hits them (a la nova's reply), that cannot really be labeled a failed pass, right? That is an instance of a driver failing to notice a cyclist in the first place. Does this poll only address close passes? What about the rest of hit-from-behind incidents?

    Robert

  25. #25
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    I was brushed by a car a couple of years ago in St. John's, Newfoundland. I was riding about 35 km/h on Elizabeth Avenue between New Cove and Torbay Roads (a four lane street with strip malls along it) about 3 feet from the curb and a car driver was so afraid of going anywhere near the centre lane of the road that she thought she would rather clip me with her mirror instead. Fortunately she was driving a Saturn else she would have had a big dent where I punched her rear quarter panel.
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