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I hit a kid today.

Old 11-12-15, 05:30 PM
  #1  
Gerryattrick
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I hit a kid today.

I went for a ride this afternoon, and on the way back, just 50 yards from my house, I turned into my street. There were a bunch of women and their children standing on the corner having a chat on their way home after the end of school. I saw them and was riding quite carefully, but, as I turned into the street, a young boy about six years old, with his back to the road, suddenly turned around and ran across it very quickly. He ran into my bike, hitting his head on the handlebars and fell back into the road, crying his eyes out. I had no time to swerve, and just avoided falling off. Looking back I don't think there was anything else I could have done to avoid it except get off the bike and walk around the corner.

I was expecting some grief off his mother about how it was my fault, but thankfully she was very apologetic, telling her son off for running out into the road. She couldn't have been nicer about it. I helped her comfort the boy, and actually got him smiling about how brave he was after such a bump.

What further pleasantly surprised me was the other mothers telling their kids that that was the sort of thing that happened if they didn't look carefully before crossing the road.

So, luckily, no serious damage caused, but I must admit I was very upset when I got home about what could have happened.
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Old 11-12-15, 05:36 PM
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I did something similar 40 years ago. I was bicycling through a quiet residential street in the general LAX area when I small child ran out in front of me and hit my front wheel. I got the worst of it, with two skinned elbows and two skinned knees, but fortunately I did a bit of a roll as I fell, which minimized the damage. The child was more shaken than injured. One of his neighbors came out, and I asked him for cleanup and gauze supplies, incorrectly assuming it was his kid.
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Old 11-12-15, 05:39 PM
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Fortunate kid earned a life lesson that did not cost him more dearly. I can only imagine how shook up you were.

Glad kid, bike and you have a good story to tell. Well, good in the sense all three came away no worse for the wear with some experience under the belt.

Was he texting? Just had to ask.
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Old 11-12-15, 05:52 PM
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I'm glad it turned out well, and the youngster was not seriously hurt.

I can empathize with the kid. When I was about that age, I ran out in the road from between a couple of parked cars and ran into the side of a car. Even at that age, I really felt sorry for the poor guy, one of our neighbors. He probably felt like you did, even though neither of you did anything wrong. The bad thing was that my mom made me come in for the evening instead of letting me finish our "one catch all" game.

The upside of you experience is that the boy learned a lesson he will never forget.
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Old 11-12-15, 06:22 PM
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Glad both you and the boy are okay. Six year olds are pretty flexible and probably the worse outcome is the kid gets scared. However 50+ year old riders that fall don't bounce back as easily.
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Old 11-12-15, 06:25 PM
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I ride a lot of mile in Urban Assault mode. Streets, dirt trails, MUPs and such. I usually ride with several other people. As soon as we see a kid anywhere within our track we yell " KIDS!" as loud as possible. We make sure they here us. 99 percent of the time they all stare at us with that kid stare. Even so I had one jump out of a wagon once while cruising thru a park and somehow he ended up under my bike. Nothing touched him as I steered around him while skidding to a stop. He ended up crouched down between my front wheel and Crank. Thank God I was on my 29er and there was room. Still caught it in Spanish. Good thing I didn't understand a word. I thought I did pretty good considering the way it happened. Disc brakes rock.
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Old 11-12-15, 07:09 PM
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Kids are why I cycle barely faster than a fast walking pace on some neighborhood streets and the local MUP near the parking lots. And practice emergency braking - a lot.

Back in August-September, when I'd just resumed cycling after a long hiatus, I video recorded most of my rides. I was curious to see how I was riding. Was I wobbling too much? Riding unsafely? Frankly, it was hard to tell from videos. The absence of normal peripheral vision makes everything looks too fast, too near, too sudden, and, with my handlebar mounted camera, wobble and vibration were exaggerated.

But what I did observe was that kids just don't look where they're walking or running. Little kids are easily distracted by everything and look everywhere but out for themselves. So I slow to a walking pace on the MUP nearest the parking lots - once you get a few hundred yards away from the parking lots there are fewer families with toddlers toddling around. But I noticed other neighborhood kids were similarly oblivious to all vehicle traffic. And I saw more adults than kids with their noses buried in their smart phone screens. Our downtown area has a vibrant nightlife and pedestrians demand far more attention than cars.

Kids tend to learn everything the hard way. I just don't want one of those lessons to be from my bike.

One of my neighbors had a similar accident while riding his bike. Kid darted out in his path to chase a ball. Older kids were telling him to wait, look out, etc., but it didn't help. My neighbor was hurt a lot worse. He was just getting over a stroke. Now he's in a wheelchair again, although that wasn't due to the accident. But at that age, with his health problems, it didn't help anything.
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Old 11-12-15, 07:17 PM
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Hope your bike was ok
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Old 11-12-15, 07:40 PM
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It is good you were a bike and not a car. Perhaps the child learned a lesson that might save him from a car collision.

Our 'hood is filled with kids. They ride their skateboards and scooters up and down the sidewalk right at my garage driveway/ I always check twice. I shudder when I see folks driving at higher speeds. As far as the bicycling - very, very careful in the area and on the MUPS. One thing to consider is that a "passing" or an "on your left" will often cause a child to look over their left shoulder to see what is happening and then turn left, right into your path. Again, I can't believe the speed at which some bicyclists pass them.
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Old 11-12-15, 09:35 PM
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So, you got T-boned by a six year old kid. How weirdly sad is that?

Seriously...small kids scare me the most coming up on them on the MUPs I ride daily. Even at a walking pace. Without any warning, darty little creatures they can be if they're not fully aware of my presence.
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Old 11-12-15, 10:21 PM
  #11  
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It's good that the mother was cool. I live about a block from a park where they have soccer practice after school most days and games on weekends. I really don't like riding through there. Kids have tunnel vision and it's hard to see around all the SUVs parked along the street and jockeying for parking.

I guess when I was growing up in the 50s and early 60s we were more free-range and if you didn't develop some street smarts you didn't last long.

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Old 11-13-15, 12:38 AM
  #12  
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Glad to hear that it all worked out. I'm particularly attentive to steering clear of young children, particularly if they're riding a bike. To many close calls in the past.
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Old 11-13-15, 06:27 AM
  #13  
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I am glad the mothers did not blame you, but instead used it as a legitimate teaching point. Kids definitely are unpredictable.
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Old 11-13-15, 06:30 AM
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Good outcome. And good to hear that those modern mothers exhibited common sense. We hear all the time that young people today are excessively protective of their kids but those mothers sounded like our mothers.
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Old 11-13-15, 06:32 AM
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Some kids have to learn by doing. At least he learned by running out into a bike, and not a car. And maybe some of his friends will learn from seeing it, too.
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Old 11-13-15, 08:12 AM
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As said, the best part is that the child wasn't badly hurt, and that you didn't go down. After all you went through this year, this is probably absolutely the last thing you, or the child for that fact, needed. I to, hope that he will have learned from the incident. The mum's reaction is kind of surprising in this day and time, so many parents feel that their little angel can do no wrong, and that all else should cease to happen while they run wild. Glad that she, and the other parents were supportive of your circumstance, "Gerry".

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Old 11-13-15, 09:14 AM
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About 60 years ago I was one of those kids. Got run down in a mall parking lot. Mom didn't blame anyone, just took me to the drugstore to get help stopping the blood running down my face. Ended up having plastic surgery on my lip a number of years later since the docs judged I was too young at the time. Most vivid memory was watching some B&W TV show with some comedy dancers/singers after the surgery and laughing so hard I thought I'd have to have it redone.
It may partly explain my forever after safety consciousness and alertness for uncontrolled moving objects.....kids, adults, cars, animals, bikers, etc.
Glad things worked out as they did for you.
Be Safe Out There.....

Jim
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Old 11-13-15, 12:19 PM
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OP you and the boy were fortunate,,could have been way worse ya knows

Seen a similar scenario happen out ahead of me,,I was on my Harley doing 25 in a 30. Small car ahead doing the same speed. A small group of large mom's,,or was it a large group of small mom's,,, ..

All were yakin' away and eating things, Ignoring the two kids... One darted out, got yanked back because mom had a harness and a leash on the tot.

The car never saw a thing,, was on a cell phone...

Kids,, always assume they will try to get hit by you as you pass....
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Old 11-13-15, 12:24 PM
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It is often hard as citizens of the interweb to realize that there are as many reasonable people in the world as there are unreasonable. I would be relieved that the mother didn't turn into a shrieking harpie, but not too surprised. Also, good to hear there was no major injury to you or the kid - the carelessness of kids can put significant downward pressure on population growth.
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Old 11-13-15, 03:22 PM
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What's an "MUP?"
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Old 11-13-15, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Viking55803 View Post
What's an "MUP?"
Multi Use Path .. pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers,,etc

Most often paved and commonly 6 to 12 foot wide...

http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/
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Old 11-13-15, 11:33 PM
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Nice to read such story where the parent understood the situation and responded appropriately. Many years ago I T-boned a kid on my bike. I was on a neighborhood street, saw the kid on his bike well in advance, riding in the same direction I was riding. So I slowed way down and pulled to the center of the street, and just as I was about to pass him, it was surreal: the kid immediately turned sharply left directly in front of me at the last possible instant before I'd passed him, without even a glace to his left. Fortunately I was prepared and stopped just as immediately, though not without some contact on the kid's bike. No one even got knocked over, but a guy near by working in his yard yelled at me as if I was a criminal intent on running down children on my bike. My reply was if I was driving a car he'd be calling an ambulance; that kid (8-9 year old) didn't have a helmet on.

Last edited by Gonemad; 11-14-15 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 11-13-15, 11:43 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by C Law View Post
Hope your bike was ok
+1 (good to keep a sense of humor). When I was a kid... I rode my bicycle into a car. I wasn't looking where I was going, didn't see any danger. I dented the mans car and still feel bad about that.
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Old 11-14-15, 12:12 AM
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Ah yes, the old sudden turn and dart across the road trick. Happened to me once except it was an adult that I hit and I was flying. When got up from the road I looked back and the guy was lying unconscious on the road 20ft back. My bike was between us. It really scared me. I thought the guy was dead. For a long time after that incident I never road without a bell.
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Old 11-14-15, 06:03 AM
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Sounds like everyone handled it well and turned it into a "teachable moment." Perfect.
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