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Thank goodness for millimeters

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Thank goodness for millimeters

Old 12-28-14, 02:30 PM
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jppe
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Thank goodness for millimeters

That is just about how close I was to getting hit by a car yesterday.

We were doing a group ride early Saturday morning. There were about 35-40 of us in the group. 20 miles into the ride about 2/3 of the riders pulled off to the right shoulder for a nature back along a grove of trees and the rest of us continued to soft pedal on up the road. I was about 2/3 of the way back into the large group when folks pulled over but I didn't stop. There was a few hundred yards between me and the others ahead so it took me a little while to latch back on to them. About a mile up the road we were still in two groups. I had just latched on to the very back of the front group and we were riding two abreast on a very rural NC 2 lane road with hardly any traffic. The riders on the right line were close to the right edge of the road and the other line was immediately to their left, so probably near the middle of the lane. I was on the very back of the line of riders to the left or in the middle of the lane.

A car came up on from behind us pretty fast, much faster than normal. I could tell by the sound of the car he was moving along at a crisp pace. I suspect he had passed the group that was trailing behind us and was speeding up. Next thing I see is the car whizzing by me.........but mostly in the lane we were riding in and right beside my left hand.......In fact he almost sideswipes the rider directly in front of me. We were all totally shocked. The guy in front of me can't believe he didn't run over me with the angle he came around him.

The group coming up behind us saw the whole thing and thought we were going to be toast. They said the older gentleman was really driving recklessly and came up on us way, way too fast.....braked and swerved at the very last minute but kept moving forward very fast.

Folks ask me about issues with cars on my rides and I always tell them on my typical ride there is always one car that does something they shouldn't. I guess that would have to be that older gentleman on yesterday's ride. Other times yesterday vehicles and drivers were more than courteous........they were pulling over to give us more room, stopping to let the whole group make a turn, etc.

I don't know if the older fella had good driving skills or I was just plain lucky. Either way I'm very thankful he didn't take me and any otherw down.
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Old 12-28-14, 02:42 PM
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Yikes. Those close brushes give jitters that take a while to wear off. Glad you werent swiped.
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Old 12-28-14, 02:48 PM
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One of my buds has been run over twice. The first time, some broken bones & two fatalities in the group he was riding with. Second time, serious concussion, some lasting neural damage, and the other person he was riding with was injured even worse. Be careful out there...
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Old 12-28-14, 03:07 PM
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I'm glad you're OK.

I had a fast car, doing about 50, brush me two years ago. I was riding 50 feet behind a friend. I was on, or close to, the right hand line. No other cars were on the road. At the time, the brush seemed to precise to be a random driving error, but I'll never really know what the driver was thinking.
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Old 12-28-14, 03:46 PM
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No, the older fellow did not have good driving skills!
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Old 12-28-14, 03:55 PM
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There's a lot of old farts out there (male and female both) who think since the law says bikes may share the lane with cars, that means the car doesn't have to make room for the bike, and they refuse to cross the center line. My first recumbent was almost taken out that way on its maiden voyage; the little old lady put her left tire as close to the center line as she could, and presumed I'd leave the road if I needed more room. I did.
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Old 12-28-14, 04:04 PM
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Good no one was injured.

These days, as I travel around I seldom go over a day without seeing that type of driver. Latest was in the middle of a snow storm I was driving in the right lane of a divided four lane highway. I had a semi length in front and behind me. A car passed me, started going back to the right lane when about half way around me and then made a right turn at the next off ramp. If I had not braked I would have hit her at the B Post.

In the mall, I had more than one person look me in the eye and step in front of me so close we tangled feet. These all looked to be under 30.

My point is that driving, walking or riding there are a lot of aggressive, self-focused people who are totally oblivious to damage or injury. Some days I think it is impossible to walk, ride or drive too defensively.
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Old 12-28-14, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
There's a lot of old farts out there (male and female both) who think since the law says bikes may share the lane with cars, that means the car doesn't have to make room for the bike, and they refuse to cross the center line. My first recumbent was almost taken out that way on its maiden voyage; the little old lady put her left tire as close to the center line as she could, and presumed I'd leave the road if I needed more room. I did.

Interesting point. I had two incidents in one evening like this. One was the transit bus and the other was a school bus. Even though it was a white dashed line neither would cross the center line.

Guess the Brown Eyeball Principle is not obsolete, eh?
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Old 12-28-14, 05:13 PM
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In our 40+ years of riding tandems in many places we do not count the 'close ones' but only the real hits.
And yes, had 3 of those; we lived to ride another day and all 3 drivers were ticketed.
One had his license suspended for 90 days and the other had his restricted driver's license revoked. Ages of drivers ranged from 18 to 70+.
If we kept track of the close calls, we would no longer be pedaling!
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Old 12-28-14, 06:09 PM
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Good to hear you escaped unharmed jppe!

I haven't had a close call in a long time . . . yikes, that means I've over-due for one.

Speaking of millimeters reminded me of riding through Paris traffic, on the way to the City Hall to get our first "control" stamp for Paris-Brest-Paris in '91. Our joke was that Parisian drivers would give us 4 mm when passing our bikes with their cars! Thankfully no injuries there either.

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Old 12-28-14, 06:27 PM
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Unless it's a closed course, it doesn't sound like a good idea to ride as a 'group'.
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Old 12-28-14, 06:48 PM
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The best thing I can take from this is that you are here to post the report for us, Joe. And, to quote the late George Carlin, "that wasn't a near miss, that was a near hit."

The irony of this thread is us raking that "Old" gentleman over the coals.

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Old 12-28-14, 08:03 PM
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It is so sad to have to deal with incompetent or nasty drivers--one cannot differentiate them because the scare is the same and these drivers come in all sizes shape or whatever.

I have notice that I can have many rides with absolutely no problems and then several rides in succession with close calls--the same with flats! (must be that law of numbers)

But we still ride--stay safe, alert and most of all enjoy!
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Old 12-28-14, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
The irony of this thread is us raking that "Old" gentleman over the coals.
Hey! I resemble that remark!
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Old 12-28-14, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
Some days I think it is impossible to walk, ride or drive too defensively.
Aye that's the truth. Fortunately, defensive skills do tend to become so ingrained that they don't take any of the joy out of whatever our means of transportation is.
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Old 12-29-14, 10:44 AM
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It has been my observation the human race, that's you and me and everyone else, does not pay attention to consequences. We like to think it is them but it is really all of us.
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Old 12-29-14, 10:56 AM
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In my '70s racing days out of Boston, the saying was, "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." But that was Boston. Most drivers knew where the right edge of their car was. Those same close calls make me a lot more nervous on the west coast because I suspect a lot of those drivers have no clue. (The old and narrow roads in Boston mean that if you do not know where your mirrors are, you replace them frequently.)

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Old 12-29-14, 04:33 PM
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Whoa. Glad you're OK!

The title had me thinking along the lines of "that's what she said ..."
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Old 12-29-14, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by berner View Post
It has been my observation the human race, that's you and me and everyone else, does not pay attention to consequences. We like to think it is them but it is really all of us.
Interesting factoid: People who study crime prevention will tell you that increasing penalties does little to deter crime. Increasing enforcement does.

You would think both would figure into the calculus, but ...
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Old 01-04-15, 12:14 AM
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JPPE, we Canadians are happy to acknowledge that the metric system saved the day! More seriously, glad that you or anyone in your group wasn't injured.

I almost don't want to read posts like this - in some ways I'd just as soon bury my head in the sand. This morning I ran across a Velo News article about several incidents where cyclists were hit and some killed during this Christmas holiday period. As Zonatandem said, if we counted the near misses we wouldn't be riding. While I think we all realize the potential for injury, and I speak for myself in this, yet despite the acknowledgement of risk, we (I) still assume (hope?) that it won't happen to us (me).

In the mean time, I will continue to ride in bliss and enjoy every ride!
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Old 01-04-15, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by NVanHiker View Post
Unless it's a closed course, it doesn't sound like a good idea to ride as a 'group'.
Oddly it's often safer to ride in a decent sized group on those country roads than solo. Many a solo rider has been taken out because an inattentive driver didn't see them.
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