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groovestew vs. a Saab 900

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groovestew vs. a Saab 900

Old 09-20-11, 03:14 PM
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groovestew
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groovestew vs. a Saab 900

Dear BF Commuters,

Unfortunately, I have become part of the list of bicycle commuters involved in a collision with a vehicle. This happened Friday morning on my way to work, and in fact, I was only a few blocks from my destination. A driver turned left into my path, and I had no time to react, hitting the car in the front passenger side fender. I'm guessing I was going at least 30 km/h (19 mph) because I alway go full tilt on that road to make the next four lights on greens. I don't remember specific details of the next few seconds after the impact, other than seeing sky (I never lost conciousness, however). I must have landed on my front, as I have a decent gash in my chin that required stiches and some lacerations on my chest. I have a big bruise on my left shoulder, presumably from where I left a groovestew-shaped dent in the windsheild.

The most significant injury is that my left wrist is crushed (the surgeon likened it to putting an egg on a table and smashing it with your fist - my wrist being the egg); I'm guessing it got caught between the handlebars and the car. My wrist has been put back together with the help of a metal plate, but it'll be at least six weeks before I can put any significant strain on it. No bicycle commutes until November; we'll see how I feel then.

The bike (my Raleigh drop-bar mountain bike) is toast - the frame is bent and the front fork is pretty mangled. My helmet is unscratched, but I'm still glad I was wearing it.

The outcome could have been a lot worse - no head or spinal injuries (that I'm aware of), and I'm still alive! I'm at home now after 4 days in the hospital (most of that time was waiting for surgery) and should be able to go back to work this week.

Next steps will include looking for compensation for any uncovered bills and, of course, my bike.
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Old 09-20-11, 03:17 PM
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My brother-in-law took this photo...he got a kick out of the "presenting concern":

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Old 09-20-11, 03:19 PM
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Yikes!! glad to hear you're relatively OK and feeling well enough about things to post here, hope you have a speedy recovery.

I think Steely Dan was riding a drop bar Raleigh mountain bike when he got hit by a bus this summer - those must be dangerous!
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Old 09-20-11, 03:21 PM
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Those are pretty calm vitals on that form!
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Old 09-20-11, 03:22 PM
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If it's any consolation, in about 5 years there won't be any Saabs left on the road. Keep riding and you win!

Unfortunately this small number of drivers are likely to move to more massive SUVish vehicles.
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Old 09-20-11, 03:24 PM
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Glad to hear you're okay!

Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Those are pretty calm vitals on that form!
I saw that too.
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Old 09-20-11, 03:42 PM
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Wow, glad you're as well as you are. Get better.
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Old 09-20-11, 03:48 PM
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Yikes dude, sorry to hear about this. Thank God you're alive.
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Old 09-20-11, 04:25 PM
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Man,
That sucks, but I'm glad to hear that you've lived through it with relatively minor injuries.
That very scenario is the one that I am perpetually paranoid of - it has to be one of the worst events a commuter can experience.

Heal well, and best of luck to you.
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Old 09-20-11, 05:13 PM
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Holy crap!

I'm one of probably hundreds of people wishing you a speedy and complete recovery, Groovestew.
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Old 09-20-11, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
I think Steely Dan was riding a drop bar Raleigh mountain bike when he got hit by a bus this summer - those must be dangerous!
IIRC, it was a Raleigh M80 with bullhorns.
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Old 09-20-11, 05:57 PM
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Glad to read you're on the mend and appreciative of having survived! When reading your description of the accident I winced a couple of times. Had an occasion to do a 'hood surf' once myself years ago in Chicago. In my case I just had a few scrapes though my bike was mangled. Everything happened so fast I was across his hood and on the ground almost before realizing I'd been hit. All my bills were taken care of as well as a bicycle repalcement.

Again, glad you're ok and able to share your story in good humor.
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Old 09-20-11, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by groovestew View Post
The most significant injury is that my left wrist is crushed (the surgeon likened it to putting an egg on a table and smashing it with your fist - my wrist being the egg); I'm guessing it got caught between the handlebars and the car. My wrist has been put back together with the help of a metal plate, but it'll be at least six weeks before I can put any significant strain on it. No bicycle commutes until November; we'll see how I feel then.
Perhaps an interim recumbent bike - one which would put little or no strain on your wrist?
Or...................relax and take a bike break.
Remember...if you are taking opioid pain pills, increase your fluid and fiber intake!
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Old 09-20-11, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
If it's any consolation, in about 5 years there won't be any Saabs left on the road.
Not if I have anything to do with it! My car is a Saab 900. I drive it almost never, and at this rate, my 2 year old will be driving it to prom.

Glad you're alright, all things considered.
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Old 09-20-11, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone.

Here's a few more details of the collision and shots of the bike damage. The diagram below helps to better explain the circumstances of the collision. I'm represented by the "t" in the right lane. There was a line of cars in the left lane, and the light at the intersection ahead had just turned green, and cars were starting to move. However, the driver in the car labeled "Car 2" didn't move, but instead waved for Car 1 to make a left, which did and drove right into my path.



And some pix of the bike. The wheelbase is a bit shorter than it used to be!



The fork has a funny twist - and no, it's not just the handlebars that are turned on the steerer tube.



Closeup of the frame damage:



Another picture of the twisted fork, and there's also a subtle oval shape to the front wheel.

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Old 09-20-11, 08:32 PM
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I am glad you are ok even though you sustained injuries.

Its going to be 10-20 years before there will be virtually no Saab 900's on the road. There are still plenty around and plenty of people that like them and other people who just want to drive a car and it fits the bill.
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Old 09-20-11, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Perhaps an interim recumbent bike - one which would put little or no strain on your wrist?
I thought of that, and a friend suggested a Dutch (upright) bike, but I think I'll just take a break. The home care nurses that came to change the arm dressing don't even want me on a stationary bike, lest I get light-headed and fall off and use my bad wrist to break my fall! I think that's being a little over-cautious, but I see their point as it applies to real bikes.

Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Remember...if you are taking opioid pain pills, increase your fluid and fiber intake!
Yeah I got some good narcotics prescribed, but I'm taking as few as necessary. I was also prescribed some powerful laxatives, just in case!
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Old 09-20-11, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
Those are pretty calm vitals on that form!
Shortly after surgery, a nurse took my vitals and told me my pulse was 82. I said, "that sounds high." She said, "No, that's pretty normal", then looked at my chart and said, "oh! but it's high for you!". That's what thousands of miles of cycling a year will do... my resting heart rate is somewhere in the 50's.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:01 PM
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Yikes! VERY glad to read you are on the mend. What the driver of Car #2 did is why I am very distrustful of other drivers who wave me on (if on bike or in a car) until I can see the other lane, traffic, whatever has STOPPED (or there isn't any). In some places (I believe NJ, maybe not AB), the driver of Car #2 can be cited/held at fault for the accident.

Heal quickly, or at least completely.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by groovestew View Post
Thanks for the well-wishes, everyone.
However, the driver in the car labeled "Car 2" didn't move, but instead waved for Car 1 to make a left, which did and drove right into my path.
It seems like bad things seem to happen when drivers yield their right of way. Sounds similar to the school bus incident mentioned in A&S last week. While driving my car I've seen people without a full picture of traffic try waving others into dangerous situations. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do to see something like that coming.

My daily commute is such a relaxing part of my day, I'd really hate to be forced to stop doing it for several months. I hope you heal up fast.
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Old 09-20-11, 09:12 PM
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Ouch! That looks bad (the bike) and painful (the accident). How will the driver's insurance company deal with it? I mean how will they reimburse you, because it can't be compared to any stock bike. It's not really a mountain bike, a road bike, nor a cyclocross bike.
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Old 09-20-11, 11:15 PM
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But wait... was it a REAL SAAB 900, pre-1993(?) with the longitudinal 4-banger, or one of the later GM pieces of work they call a SAAB 900, which was also sold as the Vectra or Saturn SW in various other places?
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Old 09-21-11, 03:26 AM
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God, i am sorry to hear it , how about you now? you must install car light blus for your bike haha
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Old 09-21-11, 04:39 AM
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when your parents told you to leave a mark, i don't think they wanted you to leave it on someone's windshield

seriously, glad you're ok... all things considered.

you were going straight and seem to have had the right-of-way in a travel-lane when vehicle-1 turned in front of you. IIUC, that means it's their fault in any of the 50 states. if you were driving a truck they would have been creamed, and still their fault for not assessing that a travel lane was clear before turning across it.

were tickets issued? do you have your own insurance taking care of you?

what's the lesson to be learned...? when you see a gap like that, be ready for a car to go through it (but sometimes the gap opens just when you get there). anything else you'd do different, next time?
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Old 09-21-11, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by groovestew View Post
However, the driver in the car labeled "Car 2" didn't move, but instead waved for Car 1 to make a left, which did and drove right into my path.
That sort of wreck happens all the time. The driver of car 2 is trying to be courteous but is actually creating a dangerous situation. Still, it's the responsibility of the driver of car 1 to make sure they can cross the lanes safely.

Here's to a speedy recovery!
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