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Unexpected A-DOOR-ation...

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Unexpected A-DOOR-ation...

Old 05-19-19, 07:55 PM
  #1  
BobbyG
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Unexpected A-DOOR-ation...

A close call on the ride home from Sunday brunch with a friend. Something similar happened a few years ago. I guess since the advent of cell phones, people will sit in their cars and talk, text or peruse the internet before getting out. So just because you didn't see a car pull over and park, doesn't mean a door won't open.

I don't remember if there was a car behind me, but there's a good chance I just drifted right.

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Old 05-20-19, 07:28 AM
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Good thing you didn’t get hit or anything. Being married to a NON cyclist I am extra careful, because she may be the one who mows me down someday. She does sit in her car in the drive doing who knows what on the phone for 20 minutes before coming into the house. Along with being a white line driver and no less than 15 over speed limit. Regardless of drivers, I am actually more comfortable on a bike than behind the wheel.
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Old 05-20-19, 07:37 AM
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BITD, parked cars could be safely presumed to be unoccupied, because 99.9% of them were. But these days, it's the opposite, you pretty much have to presume every parked car is occupied until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise. People just LOVE sittin' in parked cars these days, for no apparent reason.
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Old 05-20-19, 11:18 AM
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@Lemond1985, me too. I always assume they're occupied, even when you can't see a driver. A few years ago a cyclist was doored when the driver leaned over to the passenger side to get something, then kicked his door open before sitting up. It didn't go well for the cyclist; major head trauma. Always assume.
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Old 05-21-19, 01:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@Lemond1985, me too. I always assume they're occupied, even when you can't see a driver. A few years ago a cyclist was doored when the driver leaned over to the passenger side to get something, then kicked his door open before sitting up. It didn't go well for the cyclist; major head trauma. Always assume.
A similar thing happened to a work colleague of mine a few years ago. The driver "explosively" opened the door (with a kick) leaving much less time for reaction than the usual opening speed, where you maybe have a second to see the door opening and adjust.

She had 11 broken bones, a punctured lung (from a broken rib) and needed 5 or 6 steel pins to join the bones. It was a close run thing to her dying on the road, and she was off work for 6 months. Unfortunately, but understandably, she gave up cycling after this.
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Old 05-21-19, 09:47 AM
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the rider in the video was not riding with caution. sporadically parallel-parked cars, lots of room in the lane. why would this rider be riding anywhere near the door zones ? any collision would be completely on the cyclist, even though the law places the legal responsibility on the vehicle occupant. avoiding the door zone is, IMO, a most obviously avoidable hazard. no reason at all to be involved in a collision.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:54 PM
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The vid is an excellent illustration for why riding in the door zone should be avoided and why riding left and knowing what's going on behind you pays.

Expecting people to do the right thing is not a good plan -- if even 0.1% screw up for whatever reason (including physical disability), the math catches up with you if you stay out long enough.
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Old 05-21-19, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by adablduya View Post
...the rider in the video was not riding with caution.
...and I admitted as much.

Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
The vid is an excellent illustration for why riding in the door zone should be avoided and why riding left and knowing what's going on behind you pays..
That is why I posted it.
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Old 05-21-19, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
BITD, parked cars could be safely presumed to be unoccupied, because 99.9% of them were. But these days, it's the opposite, you pretty much have to presume every parked car is occupied until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise. People just LOVE sittin' in parked cars these days, for no apparent reason.
The two car doors I hit were both the only cars in the vicinity, hadn't moved since I came on scene and were BITD. 1969 and 1982. Very similar to the OP's footage except lighting.

The OP was VERY lucky. The driver saw him and pulled the door shut. My experience - that's rare. I consider the line of "as far right as practible" (Oregon law) to be outside the max swing of the door.

Ben
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Old 05-21-19, 07:14 PM
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Treat every door as if it was loaded.
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Old 05-22-19, 06:44 AM
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Thanks for posting your video. I avoid the dooring zone, but still occasionally find myself riding a bit too close. It's always helpful to reflect on things like this.
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Old 05-22-19, 06:57 AM
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That gives me chills. I haven't been "doored" since riding home from school in 7th grade. Ever since then, I pay very close attention to parked cars, especially in these days where, as has been said, people seem to enjoy sitting forever in their parked cars, staring at their phones.
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Old 05-22-19, 07:49 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
A close call on the ride home from Sunday brunch with a friend. Something similar happened a few years ago.

I guess since the advent of cell phones, people will sit in their cars and talk, text or peruse the internet before getting out. So just because you didn't see a car pull over and park, doesn't mean a door won't open.

I don't remember if there was a car behind me, but there's a good chance I just drifted right.

https://youtu.be/jqaZNMwuMrs
Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
BITD, parked cars could be safely presumed to be unoccupied, because 99.9% of them were.

But these days, it's the opposite, you pretty much have to presume every parked car is occupied until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise. People just LOVE sittin' in parked cars these days, for no apparent reason.
Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@Lemond1985, me too. I always assume they're occupied, even when you can't see a driver.

A few years ago a cyclist was doored when the driver leaned over to the passenger side to get something, then kicked his door open before sitting up. It didn't go well for the cyclist; major head trauma. Always assume
Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
The vid is an excellent illustration for why riding in the door zone should be avoided and why riding left and knowing what's going on behind you pays.

Expecting people to do the right thing is not a good plan -- if even 0.1% screw up for whatever reason (including physical disability), the math catches up with you if you stay out long enough.
Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
Treat every door as if it was loaded.
So often on these threads about calamities or near misses, I post about my mindset that I believe gives me that extra edge.
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
In all fairness, I don't think there's anyone who's been riding for a long time, who hasn't at some time (or many times) ridden in that zone where the only thing separating us from disaster is favorable alignment of the stars. (Note the "us" rather than "him")

We all take chances and make mistakes, but fortunately life is"organized" with plenty of forgiveness. In my experience the difference between disaster and "whew, that was close" is millimeters and microseconds, and not anything we can take credit for.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I try to keep safe with certain aphorisms in my head that come to mind to alert me when I encounter a situation where unseen dangers may lurk, such as “Like a weapon, assume every stopped car is loaded, with an occupant ready to exit from either side.” or“Don’t ride over an area (such as puddles or leaves) when you can’t see the road surface

…I was hit from behind by a “distracted” (? inebriated) hit and run driver on an otherwise seemingly safe and peaceful route. By good fortune, I’m alive and relatively unimpaired.

Over the past few months I have come to realize that my safety aphorisms (link), collected over the years by personal or vicarious experience, are my way of actively aligning the stars in my favor, to anticipate those unseen and otherwise unanticipated dangers.

FWIW, for my own information at least, my other aphorisms beside those above [include]:


  • ...
  • ...
  • ...
  • Jim’s Law of the Road: “No matter how well-paved and lightly traveled the Road, a vehicle is likely to pass on the left as you encounter an obstacle on the right.”…my argument to wear a rearview mirror.
Those are all I remember for now, and they all pop-up in my mind as I encounter the situation.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-22-19 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FlMTNdude View Post
She does sit in her car in the drive doing who knows what on the phone for 20 minutes before coming into the house.
May want to look into that. Not saying anything is going on, but it is somewhat suspicious behavior that warrants further investigation.
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Old 05-22-19, 08:39 AM
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It rather surprises me from a standpoint that, if I am parked alongside a roadway I always look into my mirror and over my shoulder to see if a car is oncoming before opening a door into said roadway. Perhaps just being on a bike the driver missed seeing you?

I always ride out away from parked cars, into the roadway some. Well, I should say I DID do so. I haven't ridden on the open road outside of a neighborhood area in more than two years now, other that very short stints in the city. I am lucky enough to have some great cart paths and parks nearby that offer much safer places to ride than out on the road. Many of my cycling friends opted to change over to MTB riding after an incident occurred within the group a couple of years back. I wasn't there for that accident/incident but quit road riding due to a one two punch on a (personal) ride with one of the offending parties being a police officer. He was following a car, presumably looking at his computer to know who he was about to pull. That car about hit me and then he about hit me.

People behind the wheel are far too distracted doing things other than riding. Between that and my age related caution I just don't have the "cajones" for it any more.
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Old 05-22-19, 09:00 AM
  #16  
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Some guys make a living doing this stuff...


I ride the waterfront through SF once in a while and with all the distracted tourist, Jay Walker's, metal grates, delivery Van's. You need to be on your A game. I could see how you may let your guard down in a less traveled area.
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Old 05-22-19, 09:15 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
...and I admitted as much.



That is why I posted it.
Being too hard on yourself IMHO. You were not reckless, and reacted long before you got near the opening car door. It wasn't a close call.
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Old 05-22-19, 10:13 AM
  #18  
Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by adablduya View Post
the rider in the video was not riding with caution. sporadically parallel-parked cars, lots of room in the lane. why would this rider be riding anywhere near the door zones ?
Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
...and I admitted as much.

That is why I posted it.
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Being too hard on yourself IMHO. You were not reckless, and reacted long before you got near the opening car door. It wasn't a close call.
+1 @wphamilton. Particularly in the urban environment you are squeezed in between a rock and a hard place.

I posted to the Metro Boston thread in the Regional Discussion Forum:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Just this morning (3/8/19) on the 6-7 AM segment of the Jeff Kuhner talk show on WRKO, he discussed proposals by mayor Marty Walsh to decrease the speed limit in Boston to 20 mph, and increase the number of bus and bike lanes.

He was vehemently against it, as were many of the callers, with snide comments about cyclists.

I called in as Jim from Boston…and introduced myself as his Number One Fan among Boston Cyclists. I made two points: bicycles are entitled to be on the road, and the more cyclists, the fewer other cars, and the more parking spaces available.

Jeff was pretty gracious, but I (accidentally) got cut off. Afterwards, he made some reasonable remarks…


I sent a rebuttal text to the station, FWIW:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Before I got cut off I was going to make my third point that cyclists are ultimately responsible for their own safety, and I agree with your subsequent comments about cycle-auto collisions.

In the “cycling community” there are two schools of thought about riding in traffic: As Far Right as Possible: close to the curb; or Take the Lane to be out there and visible to cars. Bike lanes encourage the former behavior, likely more tolerated by motorists.

Bike lanes are not that wide, but then the cyclist is in the “door zone” in danger of opening doors from parked cars.
As noted earlier in this thread I am readily aware of riding near stopped cars, but I have had car doors unexpectedly open next to me.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I frequently post this basic rule for me, Consider every stopped car like a weapon, loaded, with an occupant ready to exit, on either side." For example I think about that when filtering between cars stopped at a traffic light.

When I have had doors opened directly before me, I have found a scream causes the person to immediately retract back into the car like a turtle into its shell.

For a real vicarious thrill of dooring, see this video (link).
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Old 05-22-19, 11:17 AM
  #19  
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@Jim_from_Boston, but was she wearing a helmet???
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Old 05-22-19, 12:41 PM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
For a real vicarious thrill of dooring, see this video (link).
Originally Posted by Korina View Post
@Jim_from_Boston, but was she wearing a helmet???
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Always with this, "The cyclist wasn't wearing a helmet."
Frankly my dear…

Not to be a Captain Bringdown, @Korina , but to be fair, recently I took another subscriber to task for a seemingly flippant reply to a serious situation:
Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Standing in my front yard this morning I saw an uncomfortably close call...

Had the truck been two seconds earlier there is no doubt in my mind this would have been a crash. The cyclist doesn't wear a helmet
Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
And thank goodness it didn't end worse or that you had to witness anything like that.
Originally Posted by goldensprocket View Post
Did he at least wave to you?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Originally Posted by goldensprocket View Post
Look, the fact that you can't communicate on the forums like a normal person is no excuse for you not understanding a long-standing BF joke. Please pay attention in the future.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…If I LIKE a post because it is witty, I assume the writer knows I got the joke. e.g.
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1. I didn't see anyone during this 25 mile MUP ride that started pre-dawn. I did, however, see a giant porcupine. He wasn't on a leash and didn't wave.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Now that’s funny .
Nonetheless, since you are concerned to ask about wearing a helmet in that video, I don’t know.

Here is the original thread from 2014, Doored by passenger exiting a cab?.” I couldn’t find mention of a helmet, but she was taken to task for her actions in several of the replies.
Originally Posted by achoo View Post
The more I look at this, the more I think the cyclist was an idiot...

Cyclist tries to squeeze between stopped cab and curb and is surprised when a passenger gets out of the stopped cab.

She not only put herself in a blind spot where the passenger opening the door simply could not see her, she put herself in that blind spot where there was no expectation whatsoever that she'd be there. It's not like she was in the blind spot of a car while both were flowing in moving traffic.

Had she been trolling for a dooring she couldn't have done it any better.

On edit - and the more I think about it, the dodgier she seems. Geez, the first words out of her mouth were to ask for his personal information, as if the dooring was no surprise.

I seriously doubt if I were surprised by a dooring I'd pop up off the pavement like an overly-caffeinated Weeble, instantly demanding identifying information to the point of knowing and very, very quickly stating the person opening the door committed a traffic violation
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
OMG, you sent me to look at the video again...

Any sympathy I might have had for the cyclist is gone, and I can understand how the people involved could feel that cyclists have become arrogant and out of control. (by the way, the cyclists opening words didn't help).

Regadless of any specipic laws, people have to use some common sense. A cab stops at a hotel. Common sense says someone is going to open the door to enter or exit. Parked at a curb a passenger wouldn't expect a cyclist on sliding past on the cub side.

This accident could also have been prevented by the cab driver by stopping closer to the curb preventing the cyclist from doing a dumb thing.

But in the final analysis, cyclists can't and shouldn't count on others doing everything possible to protect them from their own stupidity.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
As an avid, year-round, decades-long cycling tourist and commuter, when driving I have to think hard to remember to look out for cylists on both sides, and we have bike lanes in our neighborhood. I'm better when a passenger, especially in a cab.

I guess your mindset changes when you enter the "cage."

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-22-19 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 05-22-19, 02:23 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by curbtender View Post
bushman!
haha, that guy got me one day even tho I had seen him get other ppl. I was so surprised I gave him a good tip!
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Old 05-22-19, 02:24 PM
  #22  
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& w/ ppl blacking out their windows & cars from the plant coming w dark rear windows we can no longer see thru to the driver's seat
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Old 05-22-19, 06:17 PM
  #23  
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@Jim_from_Boston, I probably shouldn't have used that emoji, but every. blasted. time. they mention whether the cyclist was wearing a helmet, never mind that a foam hat won't save you from a 2-3 ton deadly weapon.
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Old 05-23-19, 04:29 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
A close call on the ride home from Sunday brunch with a friend. Something similar happened a few years ago. I guess since the advent of cell phones, people will sit in their cars and talk, text or peruse the internet before getting out. So just because you didn't see a car pull over and park, doesn't mean a door won't open.

I don't remember if there was a car behind me, but there's a good chance I just drifted right.

https://youtu.be/jqaZNMwuMrs
I would not ride within the swing radius of a door on that road.
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Old 05-23-19, 06:10 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
That gives me chills. I haven't been "doored" since riding home from school in 7th grade. Ever since then, I pay very close attention to parked cars, especially in these days where, as has been said, people seem to enjoy sitting forever in their parked cars, staring at their phones.
I've read somewhere that the sound of a car door opening is to a cyclist what the sound of gun being cocked to deer. Been a while (luckily) that I've seen a car door up close for me as well, I also keep away from (recently) parked cars, even if it means riding mid-lane.
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