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What are the closest calls you've had that could've been deadly?

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What are the closest calls you've had that could've been deadly?

Old 11-30-19, 04:52 AM
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alpharalpha
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What are the closest calls you've had that could've been deadly?

Cycling can be far more dangerous than a lot of people may think; there are so many random things that can happen to us that are outside the sphere of motorists and pedestrians.

(Edit: I meant things that motorists and pedestrians don't experience.)

Last edited by alpharalpha; 12-01-19 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 11-30-19, 05:19 AM
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I can't think of any of my close calls that didn't involve a motor vehicle.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:13 AM
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In nearly every case where I believed death was a serious possibly, it was my own doing.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:36 AM
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Every close pass (especially on blind hills), ignored crosswalk/bike crossing, distracted ego riding/"driving" 1+ tons of irresponsible, 4-wheeled death machine(s)... i.e., every day on a bicycle in Atlanta....
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Old 11-30-19, 09:41 AM
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Heading down a country road with a blind curve and then about a 200-yard area before I would turn left onto an intersecting road. Heard a car on the curve behind me. Loud pipes, hammering. I decided to get over to the left side of the road to get out of his way.

He came around the corner and decided he needed the pass me on the left. Wound up just about clipping me while moving 60 or 70 miles an hour. Looked like a teen or early 20's guy in a Camero with his girlfriend in the car. Scared me pretty bad.
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Old 11-30-19, 11:46 AM
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Six months ago, maybe 5 in the morning. At a stop sign ready to turn left and head up the hill on a street called Gladstone. Not busy at that hour. I waited for a car to pass from my left, coming down the hill. When he was safely past me, I pushed off and started to clip in my left foot. Easing out onto Gladstone, when, out of nowhere, there is just the subtlest movement in my left-side peripheral vision. I immediately slam on my brakes and turn to my left, just as a guy on an old ten-speed with no lights and no reflectors and no reflective clothing and no helmet screams past me probably doing 30 mph. I wanted to scream at him, but I was too scared. That's my closest call not involving a vehicle. I wish the cops would stop these guys and write them up.
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Old 11-30-19, 03:28 PM
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Heading onto a narrow bridge with no place to bail once on the bridge I noticed 3 semi-trucks coming up fast behind me. the third truck back had its trailer wheels over the fog line. I bailed onto the soft shoulder at just over 50 kph and my 19mm (700C) tires dug in and the bike really fishtailed to the point I thought I was going to end up in the river. I got stopped just before going over the embankment. Had I not bailed I'm positive I would have been run over by that third semi.

Cheers
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Old 11-30-19, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by alpharalpha View Post
Cycling can be far more dangerous than a lot of people may think; there are so many random things that can happen to us that are outside the sphere of motorists and pedestrians.
So, you're looking for incidences that didn't involve motorists or pedestrians?

Then, for me, the close calls that didn't involve those involved dogs chasing me (and a squirrel that ran across the road, right in front of my bike, as I was going downhill). Once, when I decided to move into the other lane (because shouting at the dog wasn't working), there were, occasionally, drivers going by; I was worried that I might get hit by a car, while trying to avoid the dog which might collide into my bike, bite me, etc.

I didn't like having to do that, being suddenly unpredictable for drivers, cycling in the opposite lane, but it worked: the dog didn't want to go out into the road where there were cars passing by, in order to chase me on the other side.

Strangely, the most dangerous and serious incident I've had was while walking, last year, not cycling. I stopped when the German Shepherd circled around me, stopped in front of me, came up to me, sniffed by hand, then bit my wrist. It was silent the entire time, not growling or barking at me at all. So, I didn't expect to suddenly be bitten like that.

I feel lucky that my hand and arm didn't permanently lose sensation; but it was scary for several weeks, not knowing whether or not I had rabies or whether I was permanently disabled.

Last edited by anon06; 11-30-19 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-30-19, 06:49 PM
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I think we have all had close calls that we were not even aware of, such as the vehicle driver who swerved at the last moment before impact and you had no idea they did not see you.

There have been many times where a car or truck has passed me within what seemed like a few inches of space between us and nowhere else for me to go but straight ahead; thought I was done for a few times.

Closest for me with injury was the time a car came up from behind and turned right in front of me into a driveway. I rolled over the hood and ended up with a minor separated shoulder. Had the car turned sooner I would have most likely been run over.

Then there was the time when I told my wife how much I spent on my bike . . .

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Old 12-01-19, 03:32 AM
  #10  
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Pizza delivery vehicle.

I was crossing a major 4 lane road from a minor road. I had a green light. Pizza delivery vehicle ran the red... was in the far most lane away from me, and the view of the approach of the vehicle was blocked from me by the other vehicles in adjacent lanes... all waiting at the red light.

As I crossed... pizza vehicle passed at speed, right in front of me. I hit the brakes, yelled, and swerved right all at the same time. I just cleared the rear fender. I was very shook up. This could have been a full speed side hit. Missed by inches.

Pizza delivery vehicle probably had no idea I was there, I had no idea it was coming. Our views were blocked.

Last edited by genec; 12-01-19 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 12-01-19, 03:48 AM
  #11  
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Had a really weird close call a long time ago. Was on my usual commute, was about to cross some RR tracks... no gates were down or anything like that... so no trains approaching. But I heard a siren... and it was coming from a strange direction... down the tracks.

So I stopped, just before the tracks.

This car came barrelling down the tracks at a high speed. Bouncing and bumping all over the place. And racing hard. If I had crossed the tracks, I would have been hit.

About a half block behind the "flying car..." a police car, in full chase mode... lights, sirens... running equally hard, and as awkward... after the first vehicle.

It was that siren that saved me... I never would have stopped for the first car... "the getaway car," if I had not heard the siren... "in a weird place."

There were buildings right up to the road, as this was a commercial area... so I didn't see anything... until they passed... but the siren. That got my attention.
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Old 12-01-19, 05:26 AM
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This was so stupid on my part that I'm a little embarrassed to post this, but maybe it will prevent someone from making the same mistake. I drink a lot of LaCroix flavored bubble water (can you see where this is going?) and put a cold 12 oz can in my front bottle holder before heading out on a short summer ride. I'd done this several times before without incident but never on this particular route which includes a long decent where I can get going close to 40 MPH. I hit a bump at top speed and heard something strange and realized a few seconds later that the still unopened can had ejected. Luckily it hadn't gotten under my rear wheel, but it could have been ugly and was totally avoidable.

Last edited by audiomagnate; 12-01-19 at 07:20 AM.
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Old 12-01-19, 08:31 AM
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I swear I passed through a pick-up truck once.

I can't find my original post about this but the short version is that I was in a narrow curbside bike lane with a steady stream of two-way traffic on my left and a large dump truck coming up from behind in my take-a-look mirror. I hear a large engine roar to my right and look at the residental cross-street but my view is temporarily blocked by a privacy fence.

Suddenly, a large 4x4 pickup explodes into reality from the right at a tremendous rate of speed...too fast to stop before colliding with the dump truck coming up behind me.

Funny how my first thought was NOT that I was going to be the meat in a violent two-vehicle sandwich.

A millisecond later I reflexively squeezed the brakes, locked up my wheels, skidded and involuntarilly closed my eyes as the big 4x4 on my right began to cross in front of my bike.

Sudden silence as everything stopped with me on the far end of the intersection...untouched! Whipping my head around to the left I see the pick-up truck sticking out into traffic, and the dump truck stopped right before it.

I know I must have just slid by in front of the pick-up truck, but based on my memory's visual immagry and its own internal telemetric computations, my brain swears I passed through the pick-up truck.

That is the only real close call I had in 27+ years of serious bike commuting...and it was enough.
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Old 12-01-19, 09:51 AM
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What are the closest calls you've had that could've been deadly?

Nothing too close. A few attempted pullouts as I was traveling past an intersection or driveway maybe.

Originally Posted by alpharalpha View Post
Cycling can be far more dangerous than a lot of people may think
My experience is cycling is far safer than most people think.
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Old 12-02-19, 01:54 AM
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What are the closest calls you've had that could've been deadly?

1st
bicycle related -- Paceline riding mid 20's-mph when I overlapped on right rear since rider in front of me checked up a bit and moved right. Contact, right cross-up of bars, down on left side holding onto bars as I slide to center of the 55mph dual lane road stopping on the white line facing 2 lanes of vehicles coming at me. MY THOUGHTS as I went down were --- I'm gonna be run-over, wife will be a widow, sure hope nobody behind me goes down. MY THOUGHTS at moment I stopped sliding thankfully facing the oncoming traffic -- GET THE HELL to the side of the road!!! Good friend who was behind me said he couldn't believe how fast I got up after the slide stopped. Not one vehicle slowed down passing us.

2nd not bicycle related -- 10yo out on lake in a row boat enjoying the quiet and beauty when a buzz-buzz-buzz-buzz noise goes past my right ear. Also heard a noise like a gun being shot. Always wondered if that noise was a bullet and not talking about the '67 Stang ???

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Old 12-02-19, 01:33 PM
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It was my own doing.
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Old 12-03-19, 09:26 AM
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Riding the Porcupine Rim Trail in Moab years ago, I clipped my handlebar while maneuvering between two trees which launched me over an embankment to a landing spot 10 feet below. Just beyond the landing was a 200' drop to the Colorado River.
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Old 12-08-19, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I swear I passed through a pick-up truck once.

I can't find my original post about this but the short version is that I was in a narrow curbside bike lane with a steady stream of two-way traffic on my left and a large dump truck coming up from behind in my take-a-look mirror. I hear a large engine roar to my right and look at the residental cross-street but my view is temporarily blocked by a privacy fence.

Suddenly, a large 4x4 pickup explodes into reality from the right at a tremendous rate of speed...too fast to stop before colliding with the dump truck coming up behind me.

Funny how my first thought was NOT that I was going to be the meat in a violent two-vehicle sandwich.

A millisecond later I reflexively squeezed the brakes, locked up my wheels, skidded and involuntarilly closed my eyes as the big 4x4 on my right began to cross in front of my bike.

Sudden silence as everything stopped with me on the far end of the intersection...untouched! Whipping my head around to the left I see the pick-up truck sticking out into traffic, and the dump truck stopped right before it.

I know I must have just slid by in front of the pick-up truck, but based on my memory's visual immagry and its own internal telemetric computations, my brain swears I passed through the pick-up truck.

That is the only real close call I had in 27+ years of serious bike commuting...and it was enough.
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Old 12-09-19, 12:03 AM
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Accelerating from a dead stop at a 4 way stop crossing the road when an idiot cyclist in a really nice kit blows the stop between several cars at about 25 MPH. Closest call I've had to getting injured while riding in traffic.
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Old 12-11-19, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
I swear I passed through a pick-up truck once.


I can't find my original post about this but the short version is that I was in a narrow curbside bike lane with a steady stream of two-way traffic on my left and a large dump truck coming up from behind in my take-a-look mirror. I hear a large engine roar to my right and look at the residental cross-street but my view is temporarily blocked by a privacy fence.


Suddenly, a large 4x4 pickup explodes into reality from the right at a tremendous rate of speed...too fast to stop before colliding with the dump truck coming up behind me.


Funny how my first thought was NOT that I was going to be the meat in a violent two-vehicle sandwich.


A millisecond later I reflexively squeezed the brakes, locked up my wheels, skidded and involuntarilly closed my eyes as the big 4x4 on my right began to cross in front of my bike.


Sudden silence as everything stopped with me on the far end of the intersection...untouched! Whipping my head around to the left I see the pick-up truck sticking out into traffic, and the dump truck stopped right before it.


I know I must have just slid by in front of the pick-up truck, but based on my memory's visual immagry and its own internal telemetric computations, my brain swears I passed through the pick-up truck.


That is the only real close call I had in 27+ years of serious bike commuting...and it was enough.

Your close call story reminded me of one I had forgotten; wasn't me but I was involved; difference was I was uphill so had sorta birds eye view of that passing thru effect you mentioned; was showing my gf how to ride a mtn bike at night and wasn't paying attention to location as we were in quiet residential area of Boulder where I told her to ride downhill to get familiar with braking was just couple blocks downhill to Broadway which is a busy road; Also I had confused her by telling her not to hit her front brakes harder than rear as could flip over; she couldn't remember brakes and decided she'd be better to just go thru so she ended up going right across the road probably at least 20mph. She passed in front of an oncoming car like a second before; she didn't see how close the car was. Car never reacted; I say she crossed 4 lanes in 1 second; actually I just looked it up and 4 lanes being 40ft at 20mph does equal 1 second so can understand your feeling of going thru the vehicle, because if it takes 1 second to go thru all 4 lanes and the close call was one car so 1/4 second would feel like no time passing. Here's a street view, you can see how steep it is https://www.google.com/maps/@40.0207...7i16384!8i8192 We went back to walking around town; which was nicer anyways
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Old 12-11-19, 11:45 AM
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Ive been hit by cars 6 times. 3 of those were hit and runs.

The worst was when I had been riding slower, waiting for the light in my direction to turn green. There was another bike already stopped at the intersection.

The light changed, the bike started across, I was ~15 feet behind him. A jeep ran the light, coming from my right, attempting to split between us. Unsuccessfully....he destroyed the front end of my bicycle, and kept going. I rolled (yay for 15 years of martial arts training) and came out of it with little more than mild road rash across my back (I had been riding shirtless). My bike was totalled. The paramedics insisted I go to the hospital and get checked out, so that was my first ambulance ride ever.

My wife was pretty freaked out when she came to pick me up because she saw my bike sitting by the bike rack out front.

If I had been 2-3 feet further up, or really timed the light...I would probably be dead. The cops never did catch the hit and run vehicle driver.
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Old 12-11-19, 11:49 AM
  #22  
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One time, while commuting, I heard a couple cars in the distance approaching me from behind and it sounded like they were racing. There was fairly heavy traffic at the time and the first "racing" car changed from the outside lane to the middle lane fairly close behind me...the issue was the driver racing in the car following did not see me until his "buddy" changed lanes. I then heard a 4-wheel lockup skid behind me as the driver behind suddenly realized why his buddy had changed lanes. Needless to say, nothing will make you jump on the pedals harder that a car 4-wheel skidding up behind you.
Another time, I almost killed a stupid cyclist. It was night, I was sitting at a red light on the outside lane with a big 4-wheel drive pickup sitting next to me on the inside. The light changed to green and I barely started to accelerate, and the truck driver beside me honked his horn so I stopped; and a stupid cyclist flew by, through the red...in the crosswalk...no lights. Took me a few moments to recover...
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Old 12-11-19, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by alpharalpha View Post
...so 1/4 second would feel like no time passing.
I read somewhere that it takes about a quarter second for the eyes to capture an event and send it to the brain, the brain to process it, decide what to do, send impulses to the appropriate muscles, and the muscles to execute those commands. However, there are neurological shortcuts based on past encounters...and this is why certain static optical illusions appear to have movement at first glance.

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Old 12-13-19, 12:31 PM
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Fell twice in traffic with cars pretty close in back of me. Both times, the cars swerved and saved my butt.
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Old 12-13-19, 12:46 PM
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My best friend's dad told us when we were 12 that if we ever saw the side of a right turning truck in front of up, we would very soon be dead. 45 years later, I saw that truck side. I knew instantly "this is it". The only reason I am writing this now is that the truck straightened out and I rode past it on the right edge of the road.

That truck driver never saw me. The woman in the passenger seat did and yelled. (I was on "remote" and never heard her even though my ear was maybe 7 feet from her mouth.) That day she was my angel.

That fall, two Portland cyclists got that same view, Both died, a college coed and an experienced bike mechanic.

Ben
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