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  1. #1
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    For those who try to follow the rules of the road ~ How often do you goof up?

    Made a goof up today myself when taking a left turn from the middle turning lane and although I made sure to yield to oncoming traffic I failed to notice someone pulling out into the traffic stream a lot closer then I was looking further down the road at oncoming traffic and turned right in front of him as he was turning onto the road so he technically at that point was oncoming traffic and I was failing to yield on a left turn. Dumb move on my part but by no means a deliberate choice to just flaunt the rules and fail to yield to other traffic like I was above the rules like some cyclists behaving badly choose to do. He hit his brakes rather then hit me and gave me a glare and a short burst on his horn and I gave him an apologetic look which he seemed to accept as I finished my turn.

    Been a while since I have pulled a brain fart move like that, especially on a bike since I tend to be more aware and alert on a bike. Just wondering how often the rest of you guys who like me try to ride responsibly VC style have the occasional brain fart as well.

  2. #2
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turbo1889 View Post
    Made a goof up today myself when taking a left turn...
    Been a while since I have pulled a brain fart move like that, especially on a bike since I tend to be more aware and alert on a bike. Just wondering how often the rest of you guys who like me try to ride responsibly VC style have the occasional brain fart as well.
    No doubt it happens to us all, regardless of cycling "style," however you may be one of the rare breed of vehicular cyclists who admits to such mental lapses.

    Among some of the more ardent VC advocates, by definition "brain farts" do not occur if/when cycling vehicularly, and that means that any negative results of a cyclist brain fart/mistake happened when not cycling vehicularly.

    It is through this logical sleight of hand that fantastic safety records are fabricated for "vehicular cyclists" since any accident/collision resulting from a brain fart/mistake by a cyclist did not/does not happen to a vehicular cyclist.

  3. #3
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    It happens to car drivers, too. The results can be worse, but the cause is the same.
    Ed Miller
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  4. #4
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
    It happens to car drivers, too. The results can be worse, but the cause is the same.
    In some cases, yes, I would agree with that. However, not all collisions, and I would even estimate the minority are caused by unintentional "goof ups". A lot of collisions, especially the really bad ones I have seen are the result of people making willful choices to knowingly do stupid things which puts other people at risk for small gains in their own selfish convenience. For example when someone chooses to pass an 18-wheel rig that is already driving a little over the speed limit on a corner over a double yellow line and ends up causing a head on collision at an estimated 80-mph that does not fall into the "Oops" category in my opinion. Responsible drivers whether of bicycle vehicles or automobile vehicles don't do crazy dangerous stuff like that, but occasionally we do have "brain farts" and "Oops" moments.

    I was just wondering how common they are among other responsible bicycle vehicle drivers. Trying to gauge how I personally compare with other responsible bicycle vehicle drivers as far as frequency and severity of "brain fart" and "Oops" incidents.

    I do know that the majority of "brain fart" and "Oops" incidents I've had while driving both bicycle vehicles and automobile vehicles have been of the failure to yield variety on things other then signed or signaled intersections and while riding a bike I would say I probably average less then one such incident a year (not trying to brag or anything, I wish it were none at all) but don't do quite that well with an automobile vehicle. Just wondering how that compares to some of you other guys who try to play by the rules riding VC in traffic on a fairly regular basis. Obviously, for those doing better then I am a few good pointers would be nice.
    Last edited by turbo1889; 08-10-13 at 10:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Resident smartass. Fargo Wolf's Avatar
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    Very rarely for me. The last major goof up I made, was back in 05 on my way to class. I blew a stop sign (thankfully in a quiet residential area), having been distracted by filming on the street I was riding on.

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    I ran into a parked car once when I was a kid because I was looking at some nice scenery. I can't think of any as an adult though, unless you count the stop signs I go through every day (after slowing and checking for cross-traffic, of course).

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    It's pretty rare -- there's so little that I allow to distract me any more. That does kind of make me miss points of interest, but I have this overriding desire to not get hit by the damned fools I share the town with...and I have to eyeball the kids quite a bit, as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    I ran into a parked car once when I was a kid because I was looking at some nice scenery. I can't think of any as an adult though, unless you count the stop signs I go through every day (after slowing and checking for cross-traffic, of course).
    It used to be recognized that cyclists on the return from the Los Angeles Double Centuries, riding south along the beach highway, incurred numerous small accidents caused by looking at the pretty girls in swimsuits so close to the road.

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    I wiped out a motor scooter as a kid that way. Young ladies going to a soccer game.

    As for the bike, I felt like a dumb ass about 6 months ago crossing a 4 lane divided highway. Usually little traffic, but there was a bit this day. Two cars heading east in the far lane. I started forward knowing that by the time I reached the center of the road, they'd be through the intersection. Neither had signaled, but at the very last, one got in the left turn lane and one in the right turn lane. Still would have worked fine had they proceeded, but although they had the row, both decided to stop and let me go. Which was of course never my intention and I just felt embarrassed and awkward as I passed in front of them. I should not have entered the intersection until they were through it.

  10. #10
    Junior Member ShooFlyPie's Avatar
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    Yesterday I was following a large white truck and didn't see the light was red. I went through a red light in a pretty crowded intersection. I did something a biker I refer to as "ones who give us all bad names".

  11. #11
    Senior Member Blue Belly's Avatar
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    I was riding through South Central on my way back up to Pasadena a few years back. I was in an intersection & made a bad turn(stupid mistake). Now I'm as white as white can be but, I was wearing our Black club kit. As I'm making my stupid turn & trying to avoid getting killed, I hear this lady scream out if her car..."git yer black ass out of the road!!!!". Which has to be my favorite cycling memory. Hopefully learned not to ride like an idiot.

  12. #12
    Casual Student of C&V J.Oxley's Avatar
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    Not too long ago I started through the intersection immediately after the cross-traffic's light went red. "Oh crap leading left turn arrow you look like a real idiot right about now because you are NOT supposed to be here yet," my brain said to me as the lead car slowed to let me finish my bonehead maneuver. I hung my head and waved an apology. He didn't give me the finger, but I'm sure it crossed his mind. I think we all do it sometimes, and it's good to be aware when we do. Remembering my screwups is a great way to stay civilized when the next guy does something stupid and I have to decide how to react.
    Last edited by J.Oxley; 10-13-13 at 08:35 PM. Reason: typo

  13. #13
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Forester View Post
    It used to be recognized that cyclists on the return from the Los Angeles Double Centuries, riding south along the beach highway, incurred numerous small accidents caused by looking at the pretty girls in swimsuits so close to the road.
    This should probably continue to be "recognized," as human nature in that particular arena has not changed much at all.

  14. #14
    pro in someone's theory prooftheory's Avatar
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    Jeez, you guys are all great drivers. I would have said I goof about once every 50 miles. You guys never forget to signal when turning right into a driveway or anything like that?

  15. #15
    Transportation Cyclist turbo1889's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    Jeez, you guys are all great drivers. I would have said I goof about once every 50 miles. You guys never forget to signal when turning right into a driveway or anything like that?
    To specifically answer your question about "failure to signal intentions to turn". I personally (can't speak for the others on this thread) am nearly religiously fanatic about very clearly signaling my intentions to turn, stop, lane change, and/or merge IN or OUT of the main traffic stream (switch between "take the lane" VC riding and edge riding) on a bicycle since I strongly believe it significantly reduces the odds of me being hit and reduces tensions with at least those motorists who have some respect for cyclists and just want to know what your going to do.

    I will admit that I fail to signal prior to "emergency avoidance/escape" maneuvers but I think I'm fairly justified in that since those aren't pre-planned maneuvers.

    I also understand that a lot of other cyclists do not signal when on rough surfaces because they don't have the practice and skill levels to maintain adequate control with only one hand on the handlebars using the other to signal and I don't disagree that there are times where I would like to have some kind of good turn signals on my bike that were single finger press activated while still keeping both hands firmly on the bars but at least currently only one of my bikes has that capability and its only experimental at this stage on that one with a custom system I rigged up and I'm not yet convinced its adequate especially in daylight and as obvious and as easily noticed as hand signals especially a left turn/merge signal of the outstretched left arm. So even in some pretty rough surfaces I still take one hand off the bars to signal, but then I've gotten pretty good at it and I understand not everyone has the practice with it that I do and of all turns at least in right side of the road driving nations a right hand turn for a cyclists is the least dangerous to do without signaling first.

    We all goof up sooner or later, question is how often what kind and how severe of consequences those goof ups can have for others and ourselves. And how we can do better in the future.

    As far as driving a car or truck, not a bike, most other people would complain that I'm too cautious and too slow but when I'm driving a cage myself I'd rather be hit myself then hit someone else. Quite a different mentality then when on a bike where it is all about not getting hit and I'd rather hit a car then be hit by one which is why at least on slow speed limit roads I'm more likely to speed on a bike then car. Something I will admit to doing way too often on a bike, especially those 15-mph speed limit zones, I break those way too often on a bike and I know sooner or later I'm going to get busted and get a ticket for it. That really isn't a "goof up" though that's a knowing choice I admit to making. Unless there is a clear reason that going slower is necessary for safety I tend to go as fast as I can on a bike which on roads with low enough speed limits can be breaking the speed limit.
    Last edited by turbo1889; 12-11-13 at 11:32 PM.

  16. #16
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prooftheory View Post
    Jeez, you guys are all great drivers. I would have said I goof about once every 50 miles. You guys never forget to signal when turning right into a driveway or anything like that?
    Perhaps we are not "great drivers," but more likely we put more into driving than the average motorist... although I don't know about all cyclists, I do know from conversations here that a number of cyclists such as myself, noisebeam and turbo are down right fanatic about things like signaling, driving at or below the speed limit and otherwise paying attention to what we are doing behind the wheel.

    I especially take note of pedestrians and cyclists and ensure that my driving gives them the most leeway possible. (I generally tell peds to go ahead and cross and remind them that they do in fact have ROW in CA).

    As for other motorists around me... I tend to be courteous behind the wheel rather than aggressive... I seek to share the road rather than hog it.

  17. #17
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    I embarassed myself a little a few weekends ago when I caught myself using my turn signals up in the woods on logging roads. Nobody else anywhere around. Oh well, it's a good habit.

    But I can't bring myself to trust others' turn signals. I see them, but I'm not willing to pull out in front of them until they actually start turning. Maybe I've left my own signal on a few times too many.

    I ran a stop light in Salem (in my car) once, and was only spared because an on-coming driver was actually paying attention and let me by.
    Ed Miller
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  18. #18
    24-Speed Machine Chris516's Avatar
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    Well, I never signal because of balance issues related to sticking my arm out, while maintaining speed. So, I guess I am a perennial goof.

    In the 'once in a while' theme of this thread, I haven't pulled a 'bonehead' maneuver in a couple weeks. But that is only because, my sunglasses are being replaced and I haven't been riding in daylight as a result.

    The last 'bonehead' move I pulled, that I clearly remember, was over the summer. When I was coming down a small hill to a 4-way traffic light. The traffic light was red for my direction. I lightly hit the brakes on the hill, just enough to slow me down. But, Once I got near the traffic light, I should have hit the brakes much harder. Because I allowed myself to skid into the outside lane of the cross-traffic and almost got T-boned.

  19. #19
    winter wipeout kitty wipekitty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Oxley View Post
    Not too long ago I started through the intersection immediately after the cross-traffic's light went red. "Oh crap leading left turn arrow you look like a real idiot right about now because you are NOT supposed to be here yet," my brain said to me as the lead car slowed to let me finish my bonehead maneuver.
    I did exactly the same thing a few months ago. In my defense, I was new in town, and it was my first time riding through this particular intersection - the street was small enough that there was no good reason for there to be a special arrow. Still. I felt like a total jerk.

    Most of my bonehead moves - which happen maybe a couple times a year - involve left turns or merging. The same is true in a car, actually, but with much greater frequency; this is a big reason why I try to avoid driving cars.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enigmaT120 View Post
    I embarassed myself a little a few weekends ago when I caught myself using my turn signals up in the woods on logging roads. Nobody else anywhere around.
    I drive a city vehicle for my part-time job. My partner still gives me crap for the time I stuck my arm out and almost whacked him in the face to signal a right turn.

    For the OP question, I make boneheaded moves at about the same rate as I did in a car, minor ones once every 1-2 months, major boneheaded mistakes maybe once a year. That's why I wear hi-viz, at least if I'm being a complete idiot I'll give other people every chance to see me and avoid the whole hot mess.
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

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