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Metro Boston: Good ride today?

Old 10-11-17, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
This past weekend I didn't ride all that much. Saturday I took the 520 out through Lincoln then on over to Depot Park to get on the MM for a few minutes to Lexington center where I got off and rode on over to Wilsons Farm to fill the panniers. 27 mile casual outing. More shopping Sunday between the 520 and trailer laiden Montare. By the time I was ready to get on a road bike for a Sunday spin it poured and I just wasn't feeling in the mood. Instead I got in my AM 30 mile route Monday morning and although it wasn't poring it was raining steady. It was the good rain, warm enough to be comfortable riding in without rain gear and all the dragging down it entails. Today I was at it again; riding down Monument st onto River st getting ready to turn right onto 225 in Carlisle. My back tube popped in a dramatic fashion. Pop then the dreaded slow release of the most precious 110 psi of compressed air. Pitch black with nothing but my trusty L&M Seca 2500 headlight perched atop my helmet on the parking lot of that small brown building at the intersection I replaced the tube, flipped the bike over and began repackaged my seat pack when again pop followed by hissing air. After a $60 minivan cab ride home from Carlisle to Waltham I found the culprit. A 1/2" gash in the shoulder of my 3 month old GP4000 all weather tire. Sucked!
Ugh, that's a sucky experience for sure. Do you have AAA by any chance? You get 2 calls a year and they will drive you within a 10-mile radius (that part is a bit limiting but hey) https://northeast.aaa.com/membership...-coverage.html It's one of the top reasons we pay for the membership (well, we do kill a battery once every couple of years) because my wife sometimes rides by herself and doesn't know how to change her tire. And to be honest, I'm not going to insist that she learns - I had to change her tube due to a snapped valve and boy, did I have a lot of trouble putting the tire back on. Required a lot of force.

I biked to daycare/work 3 days last week and 1 this week. This lasting warmth has been fantastic! However, I felt guilty that I haven't been on a long ride and seeing how Wednesday mornings I don't have to do the daycare run I woke up early and put in 33 miles through 225/Monument St/Concord/Hanscom. There were quite a few runners and cyclists on the Minuteman around 6 - in complete darkness, mind it! There was a lot of picturesque mist floating above the Arlington Meadow. Traffic on the streets was rather heavy but well behaved - up until about 7:30ish, then maybe as a function of roads I was on or time, it started getting even heavier and more aggressive, peaking around 8. Almost got run off the road by someone with a giant Student Driver sticker... figures. I keep telling myself that riding during rush hour is playing Russian Roulette but then I keep doing it. Well, to compensate, I went fast on the bits with cars and slow on the bits that had no cars. On the way back I opted to take the Minuteman instead of Mass Ave and that was a good decision since there's a lot of construction going on in Lexington.

One interesting thing I noticed earlier and confirmed today - where you ride affects how safely drivers pass you. Whenever there's a car behind, I have an instinctive urge to move as far right to keep away from it and to let the person pass. I'm guessing the drivers have the same urge to stay in lane and NOT cross the double-yellow line. This effectively brings them closer in passing than I would like. So I started riding further off the side, maybe in the last 1/4th of the lane. This forced drivers to cross the double-yellow line and once they were over it, they pretty much had no reason to stay close, giving me a very wide berth. Of course, this works better or less-traveled roads with good visibility and few oncoming cars.

Last edited by autonomy; 10-11-17 at 07:39 AM.
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Old 10-11-17, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
Do you have AAA by any chance? You get 2 calls a year and they will drive you within a 10-mile radius (that part is a bit limiting but hey)
Well worth the expense, IMHO. The 10 mile radius is not a hard limit. They just charge so much per mile after that. Even with that surcharge and a tip for the driver it is still cheaper than a cab ride. Most of the smaller trucks have a bike rack on the back for just such calls.

I've used them twice in the 3+ years or so I've been commuting to/from Woburn, once when my FW came apart and once while riding home in the rain at night when the RD broke and crunched into the rear spokes and made me crash. Both times were in the same place a few miles from work and maybe 14 miles from home.

Originally Posted by autonomy
One interesting thing I noticed earlier and confirmed today - where you ride affects how safely drivers pass you.
A friend who is a fellow musician and ex-bike racer gave me some good advice a long time ago. Ride in such a way that drivers must take you into account. That doesn't mean taking a lane or forcing them to the other side of the street. Rather, it means making sure they can't not see you and can't take you for granted. The thing is, if you are too far to the right they may take no notice because you merge into the "stuff" on the side of the road. Were you to ask them "What color was the bike you passed a quarter of a mile back?" they might just reply "What bike?" But if they must accommodate your presence then at least they know you are there.

I always figure no one want to hit me, but I have a responsibility to make that possible. That means being seen. It means not tempting them to do something stupid or dangerous. The trick is to do it in a way that doesn't seem discourteous and that doesn't inconvenience them unnecessarily. That takes some judgment.

In some situations like that, for example passing a parked car, I'll hold up my left hand in a gesture of recognition, perhaps holding up a finger for Wait a minute, please. I may slightly exaggerate my pedaling effort to give the appearance of trying to get out of the way quickly. Then as soon as possible I'll pull over and wave thanks or give them a thumbs-up in appreciation. It often earns a wave or toot-toot in response from the driver who apparently appreciated the recognition.

Only once have I ever had a driver get annoyed at that. An idiot insisted on passing me anyway when I made it impossible. He didn't threaten me but he pulled over into the oncoming lane despite another car coming right at him, forced that other car over into the shoulder. Then he gave me the finger as he roared by. Now, I was doing maybe 18mph passing a landscaping truck/trailer that fully blocked the ultra-wide shoulder. I was going to be past it in less than two seconds. If he was doing twice my speed (I think he was doing much more) he'd still take a second to pass me, so the most it wold cost him was one second. Considering the possible cost to me and to his driving record, insurance bill, and conscience for the rst of his life that's not a good trade-off for a rational being to make, but I figure he wasn't a rational being. I reckon he's in jail by now anyway. At least I hope so.

In the meantime I find most drivers to be very courteous, given the opportunity.
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Old 10-11-17, 02:56 PM
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[QUOTE=autonomy;19922148]Ugh, that's a sucky experience for sure. Do you have AAA by any chance? You get 2 calls a year and they will drive you within a 10-mile radius (that part is a bit limiting but hey) https://northeast.aaa.com/membership...-coverage.html It's one of the top reasons we pay for the membership (well, we do kill a battery once every couple of years) because my wife sometimes rides by herself and doesn't know how to change her tire. And to be honest, I'm not going to insist that she learns - I had to change her tube due to a snapped valve and boy, did I have a lot of trouble putting the tire back on. Required a lot of force.

I don't but perhaps I should consider it. I checked the tire for sharp objects but in the process I completely missed the gash. It was probably lost among a fold as I worked the tire through my hands. That's been added to the list of things to look for as another lesson learned. I had a boot in my bag and had I found the gash I probably could have limped on back home.

I rolled out the same time for the same route today with a newly mounted GP 4 season tire. Good ride. Surprisingly the dill scent is still strong at the farm on Baker Bridge rd.
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Old 10-12-17, 06:54 AM
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This is actually yesterday morning, during a georgeous sunrise. The sun is at my back.

("The res" is only 250 meters from the Minuteman at Starbucks/Trader Joes.)



-mr. bill
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Old 10-12-17, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Well worth the expense, IMHO. The 10 mile radius is not a hard limit. They just charge so much per mile after that. Even with that surcharge and a tip for the driver it is still cheaper than a cab ride. Most of the smaller trucks have a bike rack on the back for just such calls.

I've used them twice in the 3+ years or so I've been commuting to/from Woburn, once when my FW came apart and once while riding home in the rain at night when the RD broke and crunched into the rear spokes and made me crash. Both times were in the same place a few miles from work and maybe 14 miles from home.



A friend who is a fellow musician and ex-bike racer gave me some good advice a long time ago. Ride in such a way that drivers must take you into account. That doesn't mean taking a lane or forcing them to the other side of the street. Rather, it means making sure they can't not see you and can't take you for granted. The thing is, if you are too far to the right they may take no notice because you merge into the "stuff" on the side of the road. Were you to ask them "What color was the bike you passed a quarter of a mile back?" they might just reply "What bike?" But if they must accommodate your presence then at least they know you are there.

I always figure no one want to hit me, but I have a responsibility to make that possible. That means being seen. It means not tempting them to do something stupid or dangerous. The trick is to do it in a way that doesn't seem discourteous and that doesn't inconvenience them unnecessarily. That takes some judgment.

In some situations like that, for example passing a parked car, I'll hold up my left hand in a gesture of recognition, perhaps holding up a finger for Wait a minute, please. I may slightly exaggerate my pedaling effort to give the appearance of trying to get out of the way quickly. Then as soon as possible I'll pull over and wave thanks or give them a thumbs-up in appreciation. It often earns a wave or toot-toot in response from the driver who apparently appreciated the recognition.

Only once have I ever had a driver get annoyed at that. An idiot insisted on passing me anyway when I made it impossible. He didn't threaten me but he pulled over into the oncoming lane despite another car coming right at him, forced that other car over into the shoulder. Then he gave me the finger as he roared by. Now, I was doing maybe 18mph passing a landscaping truck/trailer that fully blocked the ultra-wide shoulder. I was going to be past it in less than two seconds. If he was doing twice my speed (I think he was doing much more) he'd still take a second to pass me, so the most it wold cost him was one second. Considering the possible cost to me and to his driving record, insurance bill, and conscience for the rst of his life that's not a good trade-off for a rational being to make, but I figure he wasn't a rational being. I reckon he's in jail by now anyway. At least I hope so.

In the meantime I find most drivers to be very courteous, given the opportunity.
That's good advice. Whenever I drive, I constantly have to question the risk/reward ratios some drivers opt for. You can NEVER go faster than the cars in front of you or that red light up the road or the traffic jam on the one-lane road you're turning onto. I always wonder what people are thinking, then I realize they're NOT thinking... so I have to think for them.

Originally Posted by Ghazmh
I don't but perhaps I should consider it. I checked the tire for sharp objects but in the process I completely missed the gash. It was probably lost among a fold as I worked the tire through my hands. That's been added to the list of things to look for as another lesson learned. I had a boot in my bag and had I found the gash I probably could have limped on back home.

I rolled out the same time for the same route today with a newly mounted GP 4 season tire. Good ride. Surprisingly the dill scent is still strong at the farm on Baker Bridge rd.
I have no personal experience with the GP4000S, but when I researched new tires I remember seeing a number of reports about soft sidewalls which made me stay away. Maybe something to keep in mind.
https://www.google.com/search?safe=a...4000s+sidewall
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Old 10-12-17, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
I rolled out the same time for the same route today with a newly mounted GP 4 season tire. Good ride. Surprisingly the dill scent is still strong at the farm on Baker Bridge rd.
Just learned something new today - booting a blown tire: Fold your dollar bill twice when using it as a boot - Bike Forums

Look at that, the picture is of a Conti!
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Old 10-12-17, 06:47 PM
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Took the Ebisu out this evening, the air cool and clear, temperatures falling through the 50s into the 40s, long pants, long sleeves, and full gloves, a down-payment on the cold and dark rides to come.








rod

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Old 10-13-17, 06:25 AM
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Wow it was cold this morning! Summer clothes Monday, full winter clothes today with the exception of winter mtb shoes. I slipped my insulated shoe covers over my road shoes. Not another rider in sight (I have been seeing at least one each morning).
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Old 10-13-17, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
Wow it was cold this morning! Summer clothes Monday, full winter clothes today with the exception of winter mtb shoes. I slipped my insulated shoe covers over my road shoes. Not another rider in sight (I have been seeing at least one each morning).
For sure, I bailed today and drove - didn't want to freeze my kid. Fall is trying to break into the building but summer's not letting up - going to be mid/high-70s this weekend and low 70s at the tail end of next week!
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Old 10-13-17, 05:23 PM
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yep, it was cold this morning. The NWS did issue a frost warning yesterday for the wee hours of this morning.

Nice ride to/from work however, if you discount the drivers. They seemed to be more intense than normal yesterday and today.
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Old 10-13-17, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Nice ride to/from work however, if you discount the drivers. They seemed to be more intense than normal yesterday and today.
You just have to believe, ride in the precise spot on the road, and hold your arm at the precisely the right angle, and all the intense drivers will just go away.

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Old 10-14-17, 12:21 PM
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I've been miserably sitting at home nursing a bad cold (thanks, daycare) and missing some of the first beautiful cool crisp riding days of the season. Until further notice, I hate all of you.
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Old 10-14-17, 02:19 PM
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Rode my new Cavalo Gara for the first long ride, but stuck to various loops near the house, just in case. Frame is a bit big, so ordered a shorter stem, only to find that it was just enough smaller that I needed about 1mm more spacer, which took another two days, which is why this was the first road test.

It's pretty nice. Stock seat is not comfortable, but i am going to give it time and see if I adapt. I've never owned a bike with disk brakes, but they worked like a charm, rain and all.
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Old 10-14-17, 05:38 PM
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Metro-Boston, Cape Cod Division

Originally Posted by mr_bill
You just have to believe, ride in the precise spot on the road, and hold your arm at the precisely the right angle, and all the intense drivers will just go away.
Ah. I've been forgetting about the arm angle. Thanks for the reminder.

Today a bunch of us C&V'ers (that's old-bike enthusiasts to you) rode the CCRT, Dennis to Wellfleet, over to the Atlantic, back to Dennis. My Fipbit (that's Fitbit for most of you) reported it as 46.17 miles, which is about right because the full length of the CCRT is 22 miles. The first half was lovely. When we arrived at the far end where we expected to eat lunch the rain started. It rained on the run over to the ocean and most of the way back, finally stopping when we got to the bike rotary in Harwich. Still, it was very nice day. The CCRT was nearly empty of course, which is alway a pleasant change.

At the start. L to R: Carol (noglider's wife), noglider (Tom), spiker (who answers to Spiker), myself, otg (Dave), Top506 (Mark):


Two Peugeots, my PFN10 and Top's PX10:



At the Atlantic:


Besides there being no lifeguard, there is always the danger of sharks, seals, and jellyfish:
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Old 10-15-17, 02:21 PM
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Learned a valuable lesson yesterday morning, by far my closest call in recent memory. I was heading west on 117 in Weston shortly after 6:00 AM. Pitch black except for my lights and those of passing cars. A car passed me and just after it passed me an oncoming car began turning left. My lights were probably drowned out by the car passing me because the oncoming car turned into where I was once the passing car passed me. I don't know if they ever saw me but I think they missed my back wheel by 12". It happened so fast and riding in the dark took enough focus that I didn't have an opportunity to share my thoughts or hand gestures with the driver. I'll add that scenario as something else to be cognizant of in the dark. For the rest of the ride it remained an agrivating start to a nice morning 40 mile ride, it wasn't until later that I felt fearful of what nearly happened. This afternoon I covered the same route again.
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Old 10-15-17, 05:49 PM
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Yikes! Near misses are sobering. I expect we've all had a few. Of course, sometimes the drivers have had a few, and not with sobering effect...
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Old 10-16-17, 11:20 AM
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So, out and about yesterday for a couple of errands plus a side trip to Castle Island. Sadly, no pictures though. But I must go back to one stretch ASAP.

There's an art installation on the S. Bay Harbor Trail (more accurately, the tiny fragment of it that has been built since 2008) under I93 between Traveler St. and Herald St. An almost dizzying array of colored stripes on the ground curving and meandering back and forth across the path, for me evoking the most joyous ride of HUNDREDS of people on bicycles zigging and zagging.

I can find NO news about this art, maybe someone here knows something about it.

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Old 10-16-17, 12:03 PM
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Back at it again this morning for my 30 mile loop which quickly turned into a 20 mile loop. No good reason other than I was reaaaalllll slow for some reason and not all that motivated. When chasing numbers sometimes it begins to feel like chasing numbers. Yesterday I pulled the SPD-SL pedals off the Roubaix and mounted the Xt SPD pedals I borrowed from the Smoothie. in the cold, dark, and sometimes uncomfortable and wet I want to direct my foot in the general direction of the pedal instead of the carefully coordinated move of gingerly clipping into an SPD-SL pedal (in an elegant, controlled and on the first pedal stroke) with its plasticy slippery one sidedness. Plus my winter shoes are SPD. I also replaced the worn Ultegra cassette and chain with a new 105 chain and cassette. I've not gone from Ultegra (6800) to 105 (5800)yet but for wear and tear items like those its worth a shot to save a few bucks. I have full 105 on my Smoothie and IMHO its indistinguishable from Ultegra.

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Old 10-16-17, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
Back at it again this morning...
First, be careful out there. There are enough drivers not looking of for you that you have to do ti yourself! But then, you already knew that, I'm sure.

Today's ride to/from work was quite nice. Bit of November in this evening's air though. Kind of a chilly ride home. Lighter than typical traffic.

About wearing out various levels of gear and upgrading/downgrading to 105 or Ultimegra or Exeunt or whatever silly names Shomina comes up with next, be aware that some of us still ride ancient and honourable steel bikes with 6/7/8-speed chains that last almost forever. Okay, so I've worn out chainrings and chains and freewheels, and am about to rebuild my UO-8's wheels because the brakes have worn away so much of the rims. But that's what happens when you commute through rain and gloom of night (though no snow or sleet). It's all part of the fun!
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Old 10-16-17, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
First, be careful out there. There are enough drivers not looking of for you that you have to do ti yourself! But then, you already knew that, I'm sure.

Today's ride to/from work was quite nice. Bit of November in this evening's air though. Kind of a chilly ride home. Lighter than typical traffic.

About wearing out various levels of gear and upgrading/downgrading to 105 or Ultimegra or Exeunt or whatever silly names Shomina comes up with next, be aware that some of us still ride ancient and honourable steel bikes with 6/7/8-speed chains that last almost forever. Okay, so I've worn out chainrings and chains and freewheels, and am about to rebuild my UO-8's wheels because the brakes have worn away so much of the rims. But that's what happens when you commute through rain and gloom of night (though no snow or sleet). It's all part of the fun!
They know what they're doing, ensuring they have a market for these "premium" repair parts. I've heard stories about 7/8 speed chains lasting many miles while I'd be thrilled if the Ultegra chains, cassettes and bottom brackets I've gone through lasted more than 1500 miles.
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Old 10-16-17, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghazmh
They know what they're doing, ensuring they have a market for these "premium" repair parts. I've heard stories about 7/8 speed chains lasting many miles while I'd be thrilled if the Ultegra chains, cassettes and bottom brackets I've gone through lasted more than 1500 miles.
Wow, how? I'm 3K+ miles on my 105 drivetrain and counting... No real complaints so far. Just replaced the chain mid-summer because I finally got around to measuring it - yes, it was very worn.

Yesterday I went on what was supposed to be a short ride to get my kid to nap in the bike seat. She refused and we made it all the way to Bedford Depot where she had a lot of fun playing in the train car which has been open all summer long for the first time in like 5 years. It took me a while to get her back on the bike so on the way back I went pretty fast - fighting the dropping temps and the oncoming darkness, seeing how I didn't have any lights with me. Kind of funny, I overtook a fully-kitted couple on MTBs who complimented my pace and wondered if I had an E-bike. Sometimes I wish I did, I think my bike fully loaded with the kid is around 80-90lbs. The Minuteman is starting to look very fall-like, I need to get out on some of those picturesque New England backroads.

I was pretty beat this morning and the forecast called for chilly weather so I opted for a car commute - too bad, it wasn't actually THAT chilly and there were a lot of cyclists out with kids, so I felt bad. Does that mean I'm addicted to biking? Definitely not riding tomorrow morning. In fact, it's getting dark so early these days, I don't feel comfortable riding on the road. I am going to set up the trainer and find some time to try out Zwift. Still going to commute by bike for as long as I can.

By the way, looks like Arlington installed a number of these signs, one on the bike path by Magnolia/Thorndike fields, one on Park Ave... where else?

IMG_20171006_1743281_rewind.jpg
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Old 10-17-17, 08:22 AM
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From this morning.. Yes, of course I had my turn signal on! Some people do not make smart decisions.

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Old 10-17-17, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy
From this morning
often accidental deaths in the outdoors are the result of not just 1 mistake but several which compound each other. don't know how many that lucky person made, but next time they might not be so lucky. good dash-cam BTW!
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Old 10-17-17, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller
Newcomb Hollow Beach?
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Old 10-17-17, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6
often accidental deaths in the outdoors are the result of not just 1 mistake but several which compound each other. don't know how many that lucky person made, but next time they might not be so lucky. good dash-cam BTW!
Yeah, I kept thinking about that encounter all morning. I was actually taking that turn a little slower than usual. Could have turned out differently. I ride in that same direction all the time and riding across like that is pretty much the most dangerous thing to do there (either cross way earlier where you can make sure there isn't any traffic or go to the crosswalk). And no way I could've seen him around the corner and in the shade, so yet another point to make about lights and high-vis clothing. As a fellow cyclist I just have to shake my head...

By the way, in the 3 or so years of having a dashcam this is only my second video of a cyclist (first was a guy gunning through a red and almost getting hit). I have waaaay more examples of bad driving.
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