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After an accident

Old 02-25-16, 05:01 PM
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After an accident

I am a 69 year old cyclist in San Jose Ca. On April 30 2015 I was involved in a bicycle accident. I am usually very careful in busy aterial streets but paid the price for a few seconds of daydreaming. I live in west San Jose, vta the local transportation systems lists all three roads out of my neighborhood dangerous. Saratoga ave, Stevens Creek blvd. and Kiely blvd. are high speed arterials with no bike lanes. I left my favorite bicycle shop,late in the afternoon about 4pm. Next thing I remember is waking up in Santa Clara Valley Medical center on a gurney.Asked the nurse how I got there she said you were involved in a bicycle accident. I don't remember a thing I was knocked unconscious. Ended up staying overnight undergoing a bunch of tests. Sore as hell all over with a few cracked ribs but otherwise ok.
Went to a bicycle attorney and found out what happened. I was doored by a guy who suddenly opened his drivers side door without looking. Getting back to riding but a lot more cautious in traffic. My wife wants me to stop riding but I enjoy it too much. More than one person has told me I am an old fool for urban cycling but I won't stop riding out of fear.
My main complaint about cycling in the Santa Clara County is bicycle lanes are hit or miss. You can ride on bicycle lanes away from cars in some areas then they abruptly end dumping the bicyclist on high speed aterials with cars whizzing buy at high speeds way too close. I'm sure other urban cyclists around the country face the same problem.
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Old 02-25-16, 06:16 PM
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I hope you get well soon. Oh, it has been a year, so hopefully you're fully recovered.

Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
My main complaint about cycling in the Santa Clara County is bicycle lanes are hit or miss. You can ride on bicycle lanes away from cars in some areas then they abruptly end dumping the bicyclist on high speed aterials with cars whizzing buy at high speeds way too close. I'm sure other urban cyclists around the country face the same problem.
That is pretty common everywhere. Many cities are working on it.

I hit a few places where the bike path will be going along a road, then suddenly the white line marking the path directs into the curb, one goes through an intersection with no path, then it picks up on the other side, like the engineers somehow expect a person to magically hop or teleport from one side of the intersection to the other side. Or, I have a busy overpass, bike lane on both sides, but it just ends for the overpass.

One thing to do is look up bike routes and maps in your city. They may have suggestions that you hadn't considered.

I have a place where I would ordinarily do a hop of a bout 2 or 3 blocks down a very busy 3x1 lane road. I've found that I can just make my turn a few blocks early which takes me down a very battered secondary road, but I miss that main arterial. Anyway, keep your eyes open for alternatives.

As far as safety of riding. I am now at an age where I believe the risk of inactivity is much higher than the risk of riding my bicycle.
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Old 02-25-16, 09:17 PM
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I don't know about bicycle lanes, but I do not ride on roads without shoulders. I'll use the sidewalk if one exists or take an alternate route.
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Old 02-25-16, 09:26 PM
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It may not be helpful depending on your particular area, but I too live in an urban'ish area, Nassau County, NY and have learned to cope reasonably well by searching out roads that have shoulders, less traffic, etc.. I really don't care, even when bike commuting to Brooklyn, if I go a bit out of my way to avoid congested streets that are dangerous for cycling.

As well, learn to ride a safe distance to the left of parked cars. Take the lane if needed but assume that every parked car has a door about to open.
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Old 02-25-16, 09:46 PM
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I'm sorry that you were injured, and hope you have made a full recovery, SR46. I don't blame you for not giving up riding, I wouldn't either.

Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
Getting back to riding but a lot more cautious in traffic.
Be careful with that "a lot more cautious" thing, it could cause you to allow yourself to be in a more dangerous situation.

My experience is it's safer to be more assertive... Force drivers to take you into account, and never ride in the door zone. I assume you're already wise enough to don the high vis gear and blinking lights. Don't be afraid to take your place in traffic when necessary, it's much safer.

Last edited by AlmostTrick; 02-25-16 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 02-25-16, 10:37 PM
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I hope you're recovering and are able to resolve this satisfactorily. One way to motivate better public education is to get insurance companies involved. If they decide liability payouts are too expensive they'll add bicycle awareness to their occasional safety oriented TV ads.

Ditto the advice to avoid the door zone. Vehicles behind us can wait a moment or pull over to pass. The only time I was doored was in Washington DC by a limo with suicide doors, which I scraped with my pedal as the door bumped shut. The passenger jumped out and fussed at me in some language I didn't recognize. Presumably an ambassador or diplomat. I was an enlisted guy in the Navy and figured this was a no-win situation against a guy with diplomatic immunity, so I just waved him off and kept going.

My city, Fort Worth, has bike lanes around downtown but some are in door zones, so I'll use the car lane when appropriate. Fortunately most of downtown has signs explaining that bicycles may take the entire lane in most places. So far, so good. Fort Worth has done well in making the city more bike friendly.

And ditto the advice to be as visible as possible. I know the steady light vs blinky debate will rage on, but until it's made illegal I will use flashers whenever and wherever I believe it will protect me without endangering anyone else. I always use blinkies around downtown and any high traffic area, day and night. The only exception is in group bicycle rides. When I'm away from traffic I turn 'em to low steady.

My helmet mounted to-be-seen lights range from 25 to 300 lumens, tops, not nearly bright enough to blind anyone even at night. Car headlights range from 700-1500 lumens, some aftermarket lights up to 3,000. Yet we cope. I'm not going to worry about my dinky blinkies blinding anyone. If I add the brighter B&M Ixon lights I'm planning to buy next I'll keep them on steady, aimed carefully at the road, since they're already designed to comply with Germany's strict regulations.

After watching other cyclists around downtown, especially at night, I realized many frame-mounted lights couldn't be seen at times in traffic, as vehicles blocked the view. But their heads were visible. Seems logical to mount lights where they can always be seen. That's where my lightweight, compact lights go now. And there's another red blinky on the rear rack.

And I'm adding more reflective doodads as I find them. A nearby dollar store was carrying some nifty spring-loaded reflector bands for wrapping around arms or ankles, and I keep them wrapped around my bike frame where I can reach them and snap 'em around my ankles and forearms as it gets dark.

I don't necessarily look good in red, but most of my riding jerseys and t-shirts are bright stinkin' red. Years ago I wore green, which probably didn't pop out as readily. I don't want to wear tight bike-racer looking duds, but did get a windbreaker with hi-vis yellow sleeves. I suppose bicycling clothes evolved this way for a good reason.
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Old 02-26-16, 07:22 AM
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Stick with it. Accidents happen in all sorts of circumstances. Dropping the bike won't change that.
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Old 02-26-16, 07:26 AM
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Maybe time to get a new bike, a different bike that lets you go off road, a gravel bike. Explain to Wife that it will be for the trails instead of the roads. But still get two wheelsets.

Then the two of you visit all 58 counties of California on that new bike stored in the back of the SUV. A combination of biking, hiking, and visiting. Something like Huell Howser.
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Old 02-26-16, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick

Be careful with that "a lot more cautious" thing, it could cause you to allow yourself to be in a more dangerous situation.

My experience is it's safer to be more assertive... Force drivers to take you into account, and never ride in the door zone. I assume you're already wise enough to don the high vis gear and blinking lights. Don't be afraid to take your place in traffic when necessary, it's much safer.
Spot on. It is better to be honked or yelled at because you were seen than to be sideswiped, right hooked, left crossed (been there, done that once), or doored (been there, done that once) because you were not seen. I could have avoided both of my contacts with motor vehicles by riding closer to the center of the traffic lane.
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Old 02-26-16, 01:16 PM
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After an accident

Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
I am a 69 year old cyclist in San Jose Ca. On April 30 2015 I was involved in a bicycle accident.…

Getting back to riding but ...More than one person has told me I am an old fool for urban cycling but I won't stop riding out of fear.
Dittoes to all the above good wishes, like this one.

Originally Posted by CliffordK
I hope you get well soon. Oh, it has been a year, so hopefully you're fully recovered….

As far as safety of riding. I am now at an age where I believe the risk of inactivity is much higher than the risk of riding my bicycle.
Well said, @ClifordK. Occasionally I have to defend my cycle commuting lifestyle, and I’ll add that proposition to my argument

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
…So today ..the roads were literally caked with salt, with scant, easily seen ice at the sides of no consequence to my studded tires. As I was getting off the bike, my most hostile “nemesis” as describe above, walked furiously past me muttering something about “ice.” I couldn’t quite hear her remarks, but they were not pleasant.

Now, this is otherwise a pleasant lady with whom I’ve had many cheerful conversations, and I don’t look forward to seeing her in the halls; she’s not a direct co-worker. I see no use in arguing with her, with reasons as above.…Furthermore, since I was already involved in a serious bike accident on a warm night in June, with three months off work, this lady certainly sees justification in her attitude….

Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
.…Getting back to riding but a lot more cautious in traffic..

Originally Posted by Steve B.
…As well, learn to ride a safe distance to the left of parked cars. Take the lane if needed but assume that every parked car has a door about to open.

Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
I'm sorry that you were injured, and hope you have made a full recovery, SR46. I don't blame you for not giving up riding, I wouldn't either…

I assume you're already wise enough to don the high vis gear and blinking lights. Don't be afraid to take your place in traffic when necessary, it's much safer.
I have a few aphorisms in my head for various circumstances as mentioned above.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
"Like a weapon, assume every stopped car is loaded with an occupant ready to exit (on either side).”

” Make yourself as visible as possible, and assume nobody sees you.”

(From: The Sayings of Chairman Jim)
Finally about the aftermath of my accident:

LEGAL

Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
…Went to a bicycle attorney and found out what happened. I was doored by a guy who suddenly opened his drivers side door without looking.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Thanks for your story. As distressing as it is, others can learn from it.

… as advocated on a sticky on the Advocacy & Safety Forum, “****If You've Been Hit By A Motor Vehicle: ALL MEMBERS READ****”

Now that my serious accident is settled and well behind me (totalled the classic Bridgestone RB-1 and off work for three months) I can relate that having a lawyer was instrumental in obtaining a reasonable insurance settlement, eventually about two and a half years later.

Of course there was the lawyer’s fee (at least it went a lawyer who was a family friend), and the insurance company recouped a hefty share for reimbursement of some medical expenses. Our lawyer explained to me through some peculiarity of the Mass. Law, if I had tripped on the sidewalk, rather than hit by a liable driver, the insurance company would not have had a claim.
FAMILIAL

Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
...My wife wants me to stop riding but I enjoy it too much.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
… On a couple of occasions, including yesterday at 8° F, my wife (a former cyclist herself) has chided me, "You just want to ride today so you can write about it on Bike Forums.”... My wife is usually kidding when she says that.

We were formerly long distance tourists, so she’s aware of the hazards. In particular though, she carefully attended to me when I was hit by a car from behind, and in the hospital for six weeks, off work for three months, and off the bike for five months.


Many people are surprised, some admiring, that I ride again, and my wife is OK with that. Of course, then she has total use of the single family car, since I cycle commute to work.
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Old 02-26-16, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Well said, @ClifordK. Occasionally I have to defend my cycle commuting lifestyle, and I’ll add that proposition to my argument
Number of people in the USA that die of Heart Disease: 610,000 Coronary Heart Disease: 370,000
Number of people in the USA that die of a bicycle accidents each year: 720

Fatality Facts
Heart Disease Facts & Statistics | cdc.gov
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Old 03-01-16, 03:05 PM
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Glad you are still on the green side of the grass.
Hope you heal completely and sooner, not later.

I had a near death crash on my bike while commuting, back in 2007
Speeding jerk in the black 911 turned left in front of me.

4 hours at Stanford hospital ER. ($10,500 + $1500 ambulance ride)
While waiting for my wife to arrive I composed my response to what I was sure would be her argument that I must stop riding.

I told her in no particular order that things must change...
no more sharp chef's knife in the kitchen
no more high fructose corn syrup soft drinks
no more driving the car - must take the bus
no more french fries
no more fried chicken

You get the idea.

I still ride my bike.

be well,
Jeff
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Old 03-01-16, 05:31 PM
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You need to delete your post or edit it, as it contains things that could be used against you in a court case.

GH
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Old 03-01-16, 07:13 PM
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^^^, +1, the late Tom Stormcrowe had a sticky post about not putting in any accident details, especially if there was going to be a court case. Because a litigator will pick up each and every post you have made about any accident, and they will happily use it against you. Don't think that a screen name will shield you, or that a law firm won't bother with looking for your internet activity, in depth.

Sorry about your accident, I hope that you recover completely and that you are able to return to cycling. Just don't jeopardize any possible litigation with something as small as a forum post.

Bill
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Old 03-01-16, 07:22 PM
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Sorry to hear about your accident. That's one of the main reasons I moved out of Atlanta and retired in a semi-rural area of Florida.
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Old 03-01-16, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame
^^^, +1, the late Tom Stormcrowe had a sticky post about not putting in any accident details, especially if there was going to be a court case. Because a litigator will pick up each and every post you have made about any accident, and they will happily use it against you. Don't think that a screen name will shield you, or that a law firm won't bother with looking for your internet activity, in depth.

Sorry about your accident, I hope that you recover completely and that you are able to return to cycling. Just don't jeopardize any possible litigation with something as small as a forum post.

Bill
As noted above, with the link:
LEGAL

Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
…Went to a bicycle attorney and found out what happened. I was doored by a guy who suddenly opened his drivers side door without looking.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
Thanks for your story. As distressing as it is, others can learn from it.

… as advocated on a sticky on the Advocacy & Safety Forum, “****If You've Been Hit By A Motor Vehicle: ALL MEMBERS READ****”
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Old 03-01-16, 10:23 PM
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I never liked driving on Stevens Creek Blvd in a car. I' m not sure I'd do it on a bike! Glad you're healed.
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Old 03-01-16, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by sleazyrider46
I..... I'm sure other urban cyclists around the country face the same problem.
I am not sure we face the same problems. But we all face a certain amount of risk.

For the most part... when practiced with caution... sport cycling is relatively safe. But cycling will always be a blood sport. There will always be crashes and injuries. The risks from routine injuries does increase with age.

Cycling on dangerous roads for "fun" isn't clever. You can have a lot more fun cycling... when you're not recovering from injuries. Maybe you should consider your wife's concerns and transport your bike to safer riding areas.

I am glad your OK.... how's the bike?
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Old 03-27-16, 08:22 PM
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I've been cycling for over 30 years with no big problems until recently. I left my house for a Sunday morning ride and work up in an ambulance. I came across this thread because I was looking for a bicycle attorney to consult with.

I'm younger than the OP but I've decided that for my wife's peace of mind I'm going to stop road riding, and ride bicycle trails only. Well that's the plan for now anyway.

I've been a road rider for over 30 years in and around the big city. I always tried to be safe. I picked roads, routes and times where there was minimal traffic. I always wore visible clothing. I didn't do stupid things like run through stop signs and traffic lights. That helps up to a point.
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Old 03-29-16, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Maybe time to get a new bike, a different bike that lets you go off road, a gravel bike. Explain to Wife that it will be for the trails instead of the roads. But still get two wheelsets.

Then the two of you visit all 58 counties of California on that new bike stored in the back of the SUV. A combination of biking, hiking, and visiting. Something like Huell Howser.
Not having a wife, nor a mate, to support -- will make getting another bike more affordable.
Living single -- may end up being more in peace.
My bikes are my family.
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Old 03-29-16, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bjtesch
I've been cycling for over 30 years with no big problems until recently. I left my house for a Sunday morning ride and work up in an ambulance. I came across this thread because I was looking for a bicycle attorney to consult with.

I'm younger than the OP but I've decided that for my wife's peace of mind I'm going to stop road riding, and ride bicycle trails only. Well that's the plan for now anyway.

I've been a road rider for over 30 years in and around the big city. I always tried to be safe. I picked roads, routes and times where there was minimal traffic. I always wore visible clothing. I didn't do stupid things like run through stop signs and traffic lights. That helps up to a point.
I hate it, everytime I hear of those like you who are veterans within their hobby.
Later-in-life --- ending that hobby enjoyed so much, just to make another one happy.
In this case, it be your wife; allowing the female to overpower his mindset; as his other enjoyment (hobby) is disposed.
This be one of the reasons why I remain a single person with My Bikes. Never will get married.

Last edited by molten; 03-29-16 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 03-29-16, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ColaJacket
You need to delete your post or edit it, as it contains things that could be used against you in a court case.

GH
Is someone jealous of your bike?
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Old 03-29-16, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Maybe time to get a new bike, a different bike that lets you go off road, a gravel bike. Explain to Wife that it will be for the trails instead of the roads. But still get two wheelsets.

Then the two of you visit all 58 counties of California on that new bike stored in the back of the SUV. A combination of biking, hiking, and visiting. Something like Huell Howser.
Add: when 'wife' be along, the male mate is much less likely to get cut-off, sideswiped, etc. by a car. Because the 'wife' (female) being a lure to (mindset of) the male car-drivers. I say this in a way of non-tactic. Only meaning it that human males behave this way.
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Old 03-29-16, 12:06 PM
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Hi sleaze, I'm glad you are all right (relatively). I'd move if I was you, cause you are not going to back down (good) and ribs take a long time to heal, sometimes a couple years. You don't want to go down on already-broken ribs.
Those roads sound like hell, man. Do yourself a favor.
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Old 03-29-16, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by molten
I hate it, everytime I hear of those like you who are veterans within their hobby.
Later-in-life --- ending that hobby enjoyed so much, just to make another one happy.
In this case, it be your wife; allowing the female to overpower his mindset; as his other enjoyment (hobby) is disposed.
This be one of the reasons why I remain a single person with My Bikes. Never will get married.

+1
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