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Note to self: NEVER ride without a light

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Note to self: NEVER ride without a light

Old 09-27-16, 08:59 PM
  #1  
drlogik 
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Note to self: NEVER ride without a light

I was out on my daily lunch ride and on the way back to my house. Get to a residential 4-way intersection with a traffic light. Light turns yellow just as I get to the intersection. Well, the same thing happened for the gray minivan coming the other way wanting to turn left. Light was glinting off the windshield some so I couldn't see the driver well. Obviously they couldn't see me well either.

Near miss, screeching brakes, my heart stopped beating while my lips were screaming NO!!!!

I ALWAYS ride with an active red blinking light in the back and a bright strobing white light in the front....except yesterday. Quite frankly I can't really recall why I left without it. I'm not sure it would have made a difference but my guess is it would have.

Note to self: NEVER, EVER ride without both lights.
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Old 09-27-16, 09:00 PM
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never, ever
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Old 09-27-16, 09:19 PM
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Oh boy... I could really get on a roll over the complete logik (sic) fail of the o.p. since it is obvious that they survived a trip without the protection of either a front or rear light. To say nothing of the tens of thousands of other cyclists that do the same thing, daily.
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Old 09-27-16, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Oh boy... I could really get on a roll over the complete logik (sic) fail of the o.p. since it is obvious that they survived a trip without the protection of either a front or rear light. To say nothing of the tens of thousands of other cyclists that do the same thing, daily.
I make it a point to NEVER talk anyone out of safety equipment they believe they need. OTOH- I don't pretend that cycling is dangerous (more than the risks we all face daily), and don't suggest that we need more than some common sense, reasonable precautions, (ie. brakes that work, lights at night, etc.) and street sense to stay safe.

Among my basic rules for survival, I ride as if I were invisible, and, in the event that I'm seen, such that they couldn't get me even if they tried.

This forum disproportionately reports incidents, which are are only news because they're the exception rather than the rule. Most incidents are of the class of dog bites man. Some times we do get man bites dog. But the vast majority of the time on bikes is like dog doesn't bite man, namely nothing untoward happens.
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Old 09-27-16, 09:36 PM
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Possibly if the glare prevented the driver from seeing the cyclist it would have prevented the driver from seeing the cyclist's light.

Seems to me, if the cyclist chose to enter the intersection before ascertaining the intention of the van driver, the cyclist created the high-risk situation. Right or wrong legally means nothing, as no law will protect a cyclist against an impact. if the OP didn't know what the van planned to do, the OP should have waited, perhaps?

I don't think the issue was the lack of a blinking light ... i think the OP rode into a dangerous situation.

We all make choices every time a car gets close. Sometimes we decide to try to save a few seconds or a little momentum and assume it is safe to go. Sometimes we regret that later.

Always good when no one collides.
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Old 09-27-16, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Possibly if the glare prevented the driver from seeing the cyclist it would have prevented the driver from seeing the cyclist's light.

Seems to me, if the cyclist chose to enter the intersection before ascertaining the intention of the van driver, the cyclist created the high-risk situation. Right or wrong legally means nothing, as no law will protect a cyclist against an impact. if the OP didn't know what the van planned to do, the OP should have waited, perhaps?

I don't think the issue was the lack of a blinking light ... i think the OP rode into a dangerous situation.

We all make choices every time a car gets close. Sometimes we decide to try to save a few seconds or a little momentum and assume it is safe to go. Sometimes we regret that later.

Always good when no one collides.
So you let the motorist off the hook when they cannot see and go anyway. Typical.
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Old 09-28-16, 01:24 AM
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Every practical thing we do to be more visible may help. So I choose to do so.

Last week I avoided colliding with another cyclist on a slippery gravel slope because I could see his helmet light through the foliage as he rounded a bend. Even in daylight I could see glints of the helmet light through the foliage. I was in the left side of the slope because it was less slippery and I was on a bike with skinny tires. Gave me enough warning to move over a bit so he wouldn't be squeezed against a drop off into a ditch.

Usually I turn off my lights when approaching that trail so I won't annoy oncoming cyclists. A few folks on the local MUP aim their blasters straight ahead and it's blinding at night. But I'm reconsidering and may resume using the lower powered helmet light on the blind curves. I'll just aim the light downward a bit.

Drivers have told me my lights make it easier to see me.

Good enough for me to keep using 'em day and night.
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Old 09-28-16, 06:15 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by CB HI View Post
So you let the motorist off the hook when they cannot see and go anyway. Typical.
So, you look to start a fight whenever possible. Typical.

What I actually said is ...
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Right or wrong legally means nothing, as no law will protect a cyclist against an impact.
It is Not a matter of “letting someone off” or not ... it is a matter of getting hit or not. (By the way, none of us knows if the driver could see or not ... maybe the driver simply didn’t expect the cyclist to try to race through the intersection after the light turned yellow.)

The rider only controls the rider. If the rider puts him/herself into a dangerous situation ... it is the rider who bears the risk and pays the price.

As I said, who is at fault is irrelevant, ... at least to me. All I care about is survival. You might be all interested in who you can blame. I care about not getting hit.

I count on others to make choices which are bad for me—because they are not making choices for me. I make choices for me ... and if I choose a course of action which puts me at risk, that was my choice, however bad a choice the other party made.

This was not a situation where a rider was stationary and the driver nearly hit him—it is a case where a rider, assuming the driver couldn’t see, decided to run a yellow light and hope the driver didn’t hit him.

Me, I might have waited ... or at least, taken responsibility for my bad choice. I would still have sought legal redress if the driver did anything wrong ... but my point is, if you as a cyclist do not ride defensively you court disaster, so don’t complain when near-disasters occur.

Blaming people after the fact is asinine ... because you are pointing fingers while lying sprawled on the pavement.

I simply suggest that in the future the OP and any other cyclist Not put him/herself into a risky situation ... hope that doesn’t offend you.
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Old 09-28-16, 06:20 AM
  #9  
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Light, or no light, while on a bicycle it is always a good idea to yield to the larger vehicle, even in cases where you clearly have the legal right of way. Law won't save you from impact death.
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Old 09-28-16, 06:27 AM
  #10  
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I have to ask this question, is there any topic the members here can discuss without attacking each other? Not just on this topic, it seems like on any topic.
When it comes to safety, more is better than less, whether it is your mental faculties working sharp or having a helmet, lights and other equipment.
In this case, I don't see the OP using lights (or not) as a factor because the sunlight glare would have nullified the lights anyway. If he feels better using lights, let him do so with all of our support.
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Old 09-28-16, 06:29 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
I simply suggest that in the future the OP and any other cyclist Not put him/herself into a risky situation ...
This ^^^

Always assume the person in the car doesn't see you or doesn't 'recognize' you on your bike. Defensive riding (driving).

I had a strobing Planet Bike front light, it's daylight, and this driver still gave me a major brake test. I was doing nearly 30 mph.... my rear tire was lifting off - if this person had continued their path, I would have hit them:

WARNING! This video includes profane words. All. Of. Them.

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Old 09-28-16, 06:39 AM
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Why the attacks? Why the placement of blame? Why the ridicule?

NYMXer is correct. This forum has more "Richards" than any other place I've visited.

For the record, I'm just as much to blame as the driver. Me for being a little complacent and the driver for turning into traffic without a clear site. It happens. Get over it. I used to commute to work so I know the rules of the road game.

And, no, I didn't try to "beat the light". I was buzzing along at ~21 MPH and the light went yellow right as I entered the intersection. I had already committed, there wasn't time to brake, only swerve.

To those on this forum that attack or label anyone for expressing their opinion, GET A FRIGGIN' LIFE.

I'm sorry I posted my thought here. BIG mistake.

Last edited by drlogik; 09-28-16 at 07:36 AM.
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Old 09-28-16, 07:07 AM
  #13  
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Well for what it's worth I thought you (@drlogik) posted a valuable perspective. It's easy to say that I'd be prepared for the guy turning left, but nobody is perfect every time, and circumstances can conspire against us. Stuff happens. I don't often run daytime lights myself, but I take note that the one time you left yours off this happened. Coincidence maybe, but I doubt it.
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Old 09-28-16, 07:15 AM
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I rode without bicycle lights for years, without a single incident, since bicycle lights of the past that were easily available and affordable, in my area, were basically worthless.


With today's bicycle lights, that is a different story, and if for some unfortunate event that all my bicycle lights should fail, I have plenty of highly reflective material on my bicycle to help motorists in seeing me at a safe distance until I am able to safely fix my bicycle lights.
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Old 09-28-16, 07:18 AM
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The drama is strong in this thread.
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Old 09-28-16, 07:21 AM
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I think what's its possible to disagree (politely!) with in Maeloch's post is this: "the cyclist created the high-risk situation". It suggests a discussion of responsibility rather than defensive tactics. Given the rest of the post, I think it's just (IMHO) carelessly worded.

The minivan driver is in control of several tons of motorized steel and presumably decided to proceed despite not being able to see whether there was oncoming traffic with right of way. I'd say that the driver "created" the situation, but it's one that a defensive rider should try to anticipate.

As a matter of self-preservation I think drlogik has the analysis right. Good to reflect on possible complacency rather than just thinking "dumb driver" and riding on...
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Old 09-28-16, 07:23 AM
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As far as it goes, I apologize to anyone I have pissed off here ... only because that was not my intention.

I am a person of strong opinion and I am not shy about stating what I think. I am no stranger to controversy, but I don't particularly enjoy it as a rule.

I am glad that in both incidents mentioned here no one got hit.

I am not sure a front flasher would have mattered in this case ... but not sure it would not have.

For me the scary feeling is one which seemed to be a factor in both incidents: when you are traveling so fast that you can barely swerve safely but then cannot brake hard or you can brake hard but then cannot change direction much. Once a rider is committed ... and then sees that a motor vehicle has chosen an intersecting course ... it's not a happy feeling.

Very glad that all the collisions in both situations happened here, on the internet, and not on the road.

I also want to echo wphamilton: (again based on personal experience) it is easy to say "Always ride defensively," but as I said, we all make choices every time a car gets close ... I know I have not always chosen safety, and I have not always chosen wisely ....

Same can be said about my posting.
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Old 09-28-16, 07:29 AM
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Maelochs,

Thank you. Good points. Matter closed. No hard feelings.
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Old 09-28-16, 08:47 AM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
I had a strobing Planet Bike front light, it's daylight, and this driver still gave me a major brake test. I was doing nearly 30 mph.... my rear tire was lifting off - if this person had continued their path, I would have hit them:
Was a left turn even legal there?
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Old 09-28-16, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Was a left turn even legal there?
Yes, the driver was turning into a gas station driveway. There is a marked left turn lane for the driver; however, they started their turn super early - I expect they were trying to beat me. Serious pucker-up moment.
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Old 09-28-16, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
Yes, the driver was turning into a gas station driveway. There is a marked left turn lane for the driver; however, they started their turn super early - I expect they were trying to beat me. Serious pucker-up moment.
Ah gotcha, there appear to be lines through the lane that threw me off there.
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Old 09-28-16, 09:12 AM
  #22  
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The oncoming vehicles pulling into my lane to pass someone and missing me by inches (happened twice in one month) stopped entirely when I started running a bright daytime front strobe. No instances in 2+ years now, after it happening AT LEAST once a month before that.
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Old 09-28-16, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
Ah gotcha, there appear to be lines through the lane that threw me off there.
Funny enough, biking this road daily for 10 years, I'd never thought about it... but you're right - the road markings make a left turn into this driveway illegal.

location on Google Maps

Untitled.jpg

Untitled2.jpg

But that hasn't stopped one person and the local PD has never taken any interest.
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Old 09-28-16, 09:25 AM
  #24  
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Maybe just stop and wait for the green light?
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Old 09-28-16, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Hypno Toad View Post
But that hasn't stopped one person and the local PD has never taken any interest.
Nah, it won't. I'd be lying if I said there weren't a few places by me where no turn orders were routinely ignored, including by myself, outside of rush hour traffic.

Although looking at the road again, I'd actually adjust my statement to not so much say turning is illegal, rather the illegal action being driving down the lane using it as a left turn lane.
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