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T-boned a car

Old 12-12-10, 01:20 AM
  #1  
Iowegian
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T-boned a car

I had an unfortunate experience the other day and thought I'd share the results so that everyone here is MORE CAREFUL! There I was...just riding along...digging how cool riding a bike can be when I saw a pickup truck merging onto the road I was on from the left. Then he was merging into the lane next to me (it's a 4 lane street with bike paths on both sides). Then I had that sinking feeling when I realized he wasn't merging but actually crossing the street (at an angle) and then whamo! Obviously, he never saw me. I saw him but I just wasn't careful enough. I had him in my peripheral field of vision but didn't take the time to actually watch his trajectory to see where he was headed or if he saw me. I don't think I could have made eye contact as it was nightime (I have good lights but they only point forward and backwards - I am getting a helmet mounted light ASAP!). So, be aware that this stuff happens and it happens when you least expect it. So BE CAREFUL out there!

Since this is C+V, here's the photos. The fork and front wheel, including the hub are toast. I also snapped off a pedal and have a slight stress fracture in one foot but overall, I'm fine but sore and feel very lucky. It's scary hitting a car, let me tell you.



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Old 12-12-10, 01:30 AM
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Did the guy get ticketed and provide insurance info? Sounds like he failed to yield the right of way...Sorry 'bought your bike man and I hope you don't have many aches and pains.
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Old 12-12-10, 01:32 AM
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I am pretty sure your fork is bent.

Most important thing here is that you are not.
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Old 12-12-10, 01:47 AM
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Ouch. I hope stuff like this isn't inevitable.


On an unrelated note, that is one steep rear drop out.
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Old 12-12-10, 02:31 AM
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Wow, man. Glad you're more-or-less okay and sorry about the Miyata. I try to stay pretty alert but I'm still waiting for the day something like this happens to me. Maybe hearing about that truck will push the day back a year or two.
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Old 12-12-10, 05:22 AM
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Ouch. I hope stuff like this isn't inevitable.
Stuff, like this, is highly inevitable! Take a look at any Risk Chart or explanation, and you will see the same prediction. The longer you do something, and/or the more you do it, the greater the risk. It is that simple. Here is a slightly better explanation.

But ride anyway. Most of us have children and we managed to survive that, didn't we?
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Old 12-12-10, 06:49 AM
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what we all dread. Glad you're OK.
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Old 12-12-10, 06:52 AM
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Glad to hear you are mostly OK.

But, that bike stuff should buff right out.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:10 AM
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Wow man, sorry that happened but glad you're OK overall. I hope your foot heals quickly.

What a cool bike though! It looks from the photos like the frame may have escaped the dreaded TT/DT crunch. So hopefully with a replacement fork you'll be able to get it back on the road (after you heal of course).

Anyway thanks for posting this; it is good to be reminded that it's a war out there!
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Old 12-12-10, 08:20 AM
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Sorry to hear about the accident. But glad you are okay. The bike parts are replaceable, but be glad you have all your own still attached. I've had some close calls, and that's all I hope to ever have.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:23 AM
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Good to hear you are not seriously hurt.
Hope you heal up quickly.

Wish I had a fork long enough for you.

Jake
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Old 12-12-10, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Glad to hear you are mostly OK.

But, that bike stuff should buff right out.
Yeah, and with some retensioning, that wheel will be nice and true.
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Old 12-12-10, 08:46 AM
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like the others I am very happy to hear you escaped serious injury. too bad about the bike but now you have an excuse to buy another. of course we know this will be repaired regarless wether it is repaired.

on the bike or in the car I always assume the worse of other drivers and even cyclist especially the "only riding the bike because I don't have a car crowd"
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Old 12-12-10, 09:15 AM
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Ouch, glad you're ok, hopefully you at least dented the truck.

Whats sad is if this were a court case, based on what he said in his post, he would be pegged at fault, all the truck driver would have to say is "didnt see him", the cyclist mentioned he saw the truck, them weasel lawyers would twist your words around, litigate, what a world.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:38 AM
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Even when a driver does see you, it does not ameliorate your risk by much.

I know from motorcycling that a driver can look RIGHT AT YOU and still not "see" you, because they are looking for cars. A two-wheeled conveyance simply does not register in their brain.

- and it is about 1000x worse today, with drivers distracted by cellphones, texting, and GPS screens.

So - ALWAYS assume they DON'T see you, and NEVER ride your hoods in traffic: It trebles the time it takes for you to react.


PS- I don't mean to sound preachy. I am just glad you are here to tell the tale and I recognize that many accidents are unavoidable by the cyclist.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:52 AM
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Glad you weren't hurt badly, sorry about the bike. I think the advice I've read here that assume you are invisible has saved me a couple of times already. Shouldn't have to be that way, but as pointed out, drivers can look right at you or a motorcycle, and sometimes even another car, and not see them.
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Old 12-12-10, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
So - ALWAYS assume they DON'T see you, and NEVER ride your hoods in traffic: It trebles the time it takes for you to react.
How so? I like being taller in traffic, and usually I'm up top for low speed maneuvers. The aero levers I typically ride with work rather well from the hoods.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:00 AM
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glad to hear you're alive. bikes come and go, bodies not so much.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by tugrul View Post
How so? I like being taller in traffic, and usually I'm up top for low speed maneuvers. The aero levers I typically ride with work rather well from the hoods.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:23 AM
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That's not changing your reaction time, but possibly the braking time if you have weak hands. I can cram it all the way from the hoods, just squeeze hard and fast.

I also file off the "lawer lips" from my forks and use panniers that contain materials "the state of CA has deemed may cause cancer" and participate in cycling events that are "inherently dangerous".


Hope you got his info and insurance and he was ticketed for not yielding the right of way.
Don't immediately apologize for riding in the road, just keep your mouth shut and let the facts speak for themselves.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by tugrul View Post
How so? I like being taller in traffic, and usually I'm up top for low speed maneuvers. The aero levers I typically ride with work rather well from the hoods.
You only think they do. They do make you think they work pretty well for ordinary planned "service" stops because of their higher mechanical advantage. But when you need to throw on the binders for an emergency stop, you just can't squeeze 'em hard enough from on top. It's also harder to resist the pitch-over effect when you're perched up on the tops of the hoods.

Ride on the drops when there is cross traffic.

On another point, the OP says he thinks the driver didn't see him because his lights point only to the front and rear. No excuse: a driver looking both ways for cross traffic before he enters an intersection will still see the forward-facing headlights of an approaching cyclist. (Now if the cyclist has only reflectors facing forward, then no, the driver cannot possibly see the cyclist. But the OP says he had "good lights".)

I think a helmet-mounted light is a good idea, though. I deliberately turn my head to look at vehicles (motorized and not) approaching intersections and in so doing the helmet light gives them a little light flick right at their eyes. I also use two headlights mounted as far apart on the handlebars as I can, in the hope that two lights at least for an instant says "Car!...something that can kill me!" in the brain stem of the motorist. It's also nice to have an instant backup in case one dies just before a T-boning motorist looks down the street at you.

I know, I know, some will still look right at you and not "see" you, but most fortunately do see us. We'd all be dead otherwise.

Last edited by conspiratemus1; 12-12-10 at 10:53 AM.
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Old 12-12-10, 10:52 AM
  #22  
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Glad to hear you're relatively OK and thanks for the reminder of how fast things can happen. Heal fast and I hope you get paid for your repairs and bills!
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Old 12-12-10, 11:35 AM
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Glad you're OK. Night riding on the road is dangerous at best, but it sounds like this was just an inattentive driver, so hopefully it was all his fault and the law will see it that way. Make sure you stick it to them. Maybe teach the guy a lesson and keep him from killing someone else. I'm sure plenty of us here are willing to back up a pretty good value on the bike.
Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I am pretty sure your fork is bent.
Nah, I think it's just the angle. We'll be able to tell better once he gets that wheel trued up.
Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
Don't immediately apologize for riding in the road, just keep your mouth shut and let the facts speak for themselves.
Well if the other driver was at fault, it shouldn't matter if he was riding in the road or not. If he was too far into the road or for some other reason was somewhat at fault, then that's what should rightfully be found. Apology for riding in the road shouldn't matter as long as laws were being followed.
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Old 12-12-10, 12:31 PM
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I know you have some funny laws down there about being obliged to ride in bikelanes so I don't want to wade into this too deeply. But from the OP's description of the crash he would have been hit no matter how far to the right he was since the motorist drove across his path to fully cross the arterial road to get to the exiting street on the far side. I thought "don't immediately apologize for riding in the road" was intended ironically la "Excuse me for living!" but I realize it could be used as a defence for hitting a cyclist who was riding where he "shouldn't" be? Geez....

Anyway, glad you're mostly OK, Iowegian, and thanks for sharing your story since we can learn from it. The wide arterial road with cross traffic controlled only by stop signs is very dangerous since motorists try to scoot across as soon as they think there is a break, taking risks with other motorists too when they misjudge the closing times. At least when the intersections are T's only, the motorist coming in from the left doesn't carry on straight across your track but has to turn so he ends up going parallel to you.

But in your crash I'll bet that the driver saw you and realized exactly what you were. Dollars to doughnuts he just assumed that you would have time to adjust your speed to let him take the right of way away from you while he was crossing the four lanes on a collision course with you. (He's got brakes, let him use 'em, 'cuz I sure as hell ain't waitin' for him, he probably said to himself.)

Mods, I'm going to argue that this thread is still really appropriate for the C&V forum because C&V bikes make the best commuting rigs.
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Old 12-12-10, 12:39 PM
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Iowegian,

Also glad you are ok, and hope the pickup driver accepted his/her responsibility for the accident, and you can still get out there and enjoy some more night time riding.

Living in Florida, I have a hard time imagining a fellow Miyata owner in Colorado would be cycling that bike with the kind of temperatures and snow/slush you're likely to get at this time of year.

Forks do look pranged, but from this distance the frame and NDS crank arm seem ok. From the looks, yours is also a 61.5 cm frame?

Looks like you already were using reflective stripe tires.

I would add to your helmet mounted light idea and suggest you wear some kind of DOT approved reflective vest or jacket!!! (think motorcycle apparel suppliers and look for on-base or mil-spec). The large patch of orange or lemon-lime with wide phosphorescent stripes makes a rider easier to pick out in a cursory scan of the dark surroundings. For cold weather, they can add another layer of insulation from the elements. Day glo/ reflective gloves, pants, bar tape, shoes, scarves and balaclavas could add more visibility yet.

If you need even more you can buy various colors of reflective tape for your helmet, bottles, basket, panniers, and if truly desperate, the forks, frame, and non-braking surfaces on the rims.

You can never be too safe - or in your weather, too warm.
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