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Strange interaction with motor vehicle

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Strange interaction with motor vehicle

Old 07-27-06, 07:50 PM
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NE One
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Strange interaction with motor vehicle

Perhaps we could have a compilation of the most bizaare interactions 50+ cyclists have had with motor vehicles.

Here's one from my most recent 25-mile summer evening ride:

I was going up a slight uphill at about 15 mph approaching a T-intersection on the left. As cyclists are supposed to do, I stuck my left arm out, then moved to the center of the road to take the left turn. As I always do, I glanced back over my left shoulder and saw a car approaching from behind. No big deal, they always slow down and stay back, right??? A couple of seconds passed and I was just about to make my turn, when for some reason I decided to glance back again (my left arm is still stuck out) and, to my amazement, saw the car bearing down on me (in the oncoming lane) to PASS ME ON MY LEFT !!!). Keep in mind I'm still moving at a good clip. If I hadn't glanced back one more time, the car would have broadsided me and probably killed me. Or, if I'd stuck the inside knee out to assist the turn, it probably would have been too late. No horn, no yelling, nothing. I don't think the driver saw my signal (it was still very light at 6:30 p.m.); I don't even think the driver saw any of me until the last instant; it was moving at a very normal speed for the 2-lane road.

The lesson relearned once again: assume nothing about motor vehicle drivers when cycling.

Or maybe people are just ticked off at cyclists in general after the latest news from the professional cycling world.
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Old 07-27-06, 08:28 PM
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That's scary.........I'm thankful you checked and rechecked. We had almost exactly the same thing happen to us ....but there were 8 of us in a single line and the vehicle could have wiped all of us out. Fortunately the car finally slowed down.........
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Old 07-27-06, 09:02 PM
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...and likewise, on a club ride a couple of years ago with over a dozen of us, all signaling our left turn. No one hurt but he nearly got the woman in front of me before he stopped.
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Old 07-28-06, 04:31 AM
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There was a rider from my area killed a few years ago in what sounds like a similar situation.

Good thing you looked back...I'm glad you're okay.
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Old 07-28-06, 04:38 AM
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I was riding along the main st of a small town one evening about 7:00PM. Still very light out. Since all the stores are closed most of the parking spaces along the street are empty. I was riding along a series of probably 30 empty spaces when a young girl decides to pull into the space one ahead of the one I was riding through. I barely missed her back bumper. As I passed her car I noticed the old cell phone was stuck to her head. When I yelled to watch were she was going, she still completely ignored me.
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Old 07-28-06, 08:59 AM
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If the road is fast and/or traffic is heavy and there is no dedicated left turn lane, I prefer to stop on the shoulder and wait for a break in traffic, or even make a two-part turn, if necessary. In fast traffic, I am extremely uncomfortable with Helmet Head's (Advocacy and Safety forum) concept of negotiating a gap for oneself, as a 15mph bicyclist in 50mph motor traffic.

I have been right-hooked from across the centerline of a two-lane road, and this week I was left-hooked by a motorist turning illegally from a through lane. I was turning onto a narrow two-lane road from the single left-turn lane, and he essentially cut me off.
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Old 07-28-06, 09:02 AM
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I stopped at a 4-way stop as a car from the left proceded through. A car on the right was still approaching but not at the stop sign yet. I started through the intersection. The car on the right hesitated briefly 10 yards before stop sign and then accelerated right into intersection (it slowed to maybe 10mph before proceding) directly at me. I leaped backwards off of my bike (very athletic move, I might add) and landed on my feet. The bike fell into the middle of the intersection. The large Mercedes screached to a stop with my bike just under her front bumper and me standing, looking directly into the driver's side window. She never opened her window and never lowered her cell phone. With her free hand she tried to wave me off like she would brush away a bug.
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Old 07-28-06, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by dbg
I stopped at a 4-way stop as a car from the left proceded through. A car on the right was still approaching but not at the stop sign yet. I started through the intersection. The car on the right hesitated briefly 10 yards before stop sign and then accelerated right into intersection (it slowed to maybe 10mph before proceding) directly at me. I leaped backwards off of my bike (very athletic move, I might add) and landed on my feet. The bike fell into the middle of the intersection. The large Mercedes screached to a stop with my bike just under her front bumper and me standing, looking directly into the driver's side window. She never opened her window and never lowered her cell phone. With her free hand she tried to wave me off like she would brush away a bug.

Wow........I hate to say it but I might have instinctively overreacted and planted a bike shoe through the driver's side window.......
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Old 07-28-06, 10:33 AM
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"Trust no car"
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Old 07-28-06, 10:42 AM
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Today's ride was without incident, but yesterday's ride saw me nearly "buy the farm".

I was clipping along pretty good at about 35mph/56kph going down a long gentle grade. A dumptruck pulling a trailer pulls out of a driveway on my right. He is attempting a left turn into the oncomming lane, crossing my lane. I start on the brakes, and instinctively scan to the right for a possible escape route. That is when I see a dog chasing the trailer. I'm as far to the right as I can get without risking the gravel shoulder when the trailer is still half in my lane. That's when the dog sees me and decides to abandon the dumptruck and focus on me. This is all happening, of course, much faster than it takes to tell the story. By now my speed is down to (guessing) 20mph/32kph, the trailer is no longer my main concern as it is just beginning to clear my lane but the dog is standing his ground. Having no pavement to my right, I make a quick swerve to the left...faking the mangy cur out of his jockstrap and clearing him by an arms length.

So...that was yesterday, I've probably forgotten half of my close call stories and could still write a book.
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Old 07-28-06, 11:47 AM
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I was riding down a nice road in the bike lane and all of sudden the bike lane ends. In fact the entire 2 lanes disapear as it seems they are resurfacing the road and have removed all of the blacktop. So I find the best path I can in the right lane since the shoulder is completely destroyed and I am riding about 12mph. Now a pickup comes behind me and starts honking his horn, remember this is a 2 lane road and I am only taking one lane so he can easily pass me on the left. He follows me for a mile honking his horn until I get to the corner and turn? What did he expect me to do, stop, pick up the bike and walk off the road into the grass? Why didn't he just pass me on the left? A mystery never explained.
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Old 07-28-06, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dogbait
"Trust no car"
What He Said !!!!
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Old 07-28-06, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe
Wow........I hate to say it but I might have instinctively overreacted and planted a bike shoe through the driver's side window.......
Her door would have probably been kicked in. That would have gotten her to stop.

In the past two days I've had three cars yield to me. When I first started riding my trike on the road, people would pull out in front of me causing me to brake sharply, they'd do left turns in front of me. I suspect that they figured I was moving slowly. I wasn't(18 mph). But this is a small town. I'm starting to find people getting used to me. They are treating me as a vehicle, and with my trike still giving me a lot of room when they pass. But part of that probably comes from me taking more of the lane. But I'm still being careful cause I just don't trust 'em.
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Old 07-29-06, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by stonecrd
What did he expect me to do, stop, pick up the bike and walk off the road into the grass? Why didn't he just pass me on the left?
He expected you to stop, pick up your bike, and move off the road.

Some motorists simply refuse to alter their path or their speed in any manner for a cyclist.

I've ridden through construction zones where flag men are waving me through and had motorists start honking and literally yelling at me to get "that thing" off the road. It is, unfortunately, part of cycling.

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Old 07-29-06, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by NE One
I don't even think the driver saw any of me until the last instant;
So, you think the driver moved into the left lane to overtake you as a collision avoidance maneuver?

Just curious.

My bet is that he/she simply can't conceive of actually slowing down for a cyclist.

I, too, am glad you exercised additional caution and that you're ok.

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Old 07-29-06, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by NE One
I decided to glance back again (my left arm is still stuck out) and, to my amazement, saw the car bearing down on me (in the oncoming lane) to PASS ME ON MY LEFT !!!).
I had this happen about a week ago at 6:30 Pm. The young girl in the passenger looked shock, but the lady driving just did not care.


The most interesting incident with a car for me was when riding with no sweat pants on. I came up to a intersection with a train directly to my right. On my left is a lady driving a van that sees my white prosthetics and drops her jaw. She forgot about braking and almost drove into the train gawking at my legs. I was able to ride around the van laughing hysterically at the driver.
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Old 07-30-06, 02:11 PM
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My son, a confirmed 28 yr old biker, has very strong views on this subject. His novel approach to help solve the problem is to issue paint guns to some well-qualified people(of which he is one!). Offending motorists are splattered with paint and then the police can easily identify them and take away their driver's license. I must admit it is an attractive idea. I also find that since I have started riding a bicycle again that I am very conscious of bikes on the roads and I'm much safer as a result.
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Old 07-30-06, 03:09 PM
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My wife & I have discussed the painball gun option more than once: there are two in our house just ready to be holstered.
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Old 07-30-06, 06:27 PM
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Beleive me, here in Ohio the paint gun thing is a good way to get shot with a REAL gun. Almost all of these bozo's carry guns now, and most of them are looking for a reason to use 'em. The gun culture here is crazy.
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Old 07-31-06, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Carusoswi
So, you think the driver moved into the left lane to overtake you as a collision avoidance maneuver?
You know, I honestly don't know. My best guess, given no horn, speeding, etc. is that the driver was either on a cell phone, or perhaps simply an inept driver who doesn't understand hand signals. The reality is that there are a lot of clueless drivers out there who cause accidents every day. I would have thought that a driver angry at being slowed down would have gunned the engine, leaned on the horn, and blown past me on the RIGHT, so that they wouldn't be killed by a car entering from the left. I do know that when making left hand turns, I will make every effort to always check back twice in the future.
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Old 07-31-06, 07:31 AM
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What gets me are drivers passing us cyclists INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC! If we were a car they'd just wait (wouldn't they?), but more than once on a two lane road motorists have passed our club paceline, crossing the double yellow centerline even on blind curves (and even when we were hugging the edge of the pavement) and forcing oncoming cars onto the shoulder.

Sometimes I think that if drivers are going to be so stupid anyway, we should just plant ourselves in the middle of the lane and/or ride two abreast instead of "staying as far to the right as practicable" (per our state traffic code).

One club I ride with does ride two abreast on four lane roads (traffic is light by that time of day).
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Old 07-31-06, 07:57 AM
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I have been riding since 1973 (not counting as a kid), and the single most important rule I have learned is to be as visible as you can be.

I wear a day glo lime yellow jersey, purchased from "love 2 pedal" on ebay, the color is called hi-vis. My wife tells me I can be seen for half a mile with her 55 year old eyes, wearing sun glasses. I get a tremendous amount of respect from motorist. Their driving habits respond to that color instinctively.

I quit riding at night. Too many close calls. No light, flashing or otherwise, seemed to make a difference.

Getting angry, kicking doors, giving people the finger, screaming profanities...etc., just makes things worse. We live in a society where fist fights have turned into knifeings which have turned into shootings.

I am a high school teacher and I know some 18 year olds that have extremely short fuses. I can easily imagine them purposely running over a cyclist who has just given them the finger. They react first, then think, then face the consequences with a shrug. There are hundreds of motorist like that out there.
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Old 07-31-06, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by NE One
Perhaps we could have a compilation of the most bizaare interactions 50+ cyclists have had with motor vehicles.

Here's one from my most recent 25-mile summer evening ride:

I was going up a slight uphill at about 15 mph approaching a T-intersection on the left. As cyclists are supposed to do, I stuck my left arm out, then moved to the center of the road to take the left turn. As I always do, I glanced back over my left shoulder and saw a car approaching from behind. No big deal, they always slow down and stay back, right??? A couple of seconds passed and I was just about to make my turn, when for some reason I decided to glance back again (my left arm is still stuck out) and, to my amazement, saw the car bearing down on me (in the oncoming lane) to PASS ME ON MY LEFT !!!). Keep in mind I'm still moving at a good clip. If I hadn't glanced back one more time, the car would have broadsided me and probably killed me. Or, if I'd stuck the inside knee out to assist the turn, it probably would have been too late. No horn, no yelling, nothing. I don't think the driver saw my signal (it was still very light at 6:30 p.m.); I don't even think the driver saw any of me until the last instant; it was moving at a very normal speed for the 2-lane road.

The lesson relearned once again: assume nothing about motor vehicle drivers when cycling.

Or maybe people are just ticked off at cyclists in general after the latest news from the professional cycling world.

The driver saw you... had to see you to determine to pass you in the oncoming lane... they foolishly chose to pass you anyway.
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