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Collision with another rider - how to handle it?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Collision with another rider - how to handle it?

Old 01-06-06, 09:16 PM
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mark754
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Collision with another rider - how to handle it?

I was riding the 2-lane bike path in Marina Del Rey (in LA) and was coming up on another rider. Being cautious as usual, I allow a good 7 or 8 feet between us. I was actually in the opposite lane, to allow more space. There were no other riders in the immediate area and the path was clear and straight. Just as I'm overtaking him, the dufus veers quickly and sharply to the left and plows into me. Both of us wipe out.

I'm scraped up on my elbows and knees and could have some scars because of this. My bike is a new carbon fiber Giant OCR C2 which I paid $1,600 for. Visible damage includes a bent bar and a scraped up pedal. However, I'm wondering if the frame strength could have been compromised because of the crash. That would really suck if the bike was screwed up.

The dufus said he lost control because he was carrying something. All he was carrying was a sweatshirt. I got his contact information, but when asked to see his ID for verification, he said he didn't have one on him (I should have insisted that he open his seat wedge - I mean who rides without carrying a wallet or at least an ID?). He then says how he's unemployed, though he lives in Santa Monica (which is expensive) and had a fairly decent bike (a comfort-type bike). I wouldn't be surprised if the info he gave me is bogus.

Anyway, just wondering how you guys would handle this. Just see it as a learning experience? Ask him for reimbursement of parts costs and injuries? Small claims court? I'll probably take the bike to the shop (it's ready for a tune-up anyway) and have them inspect it closely for damage.
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Old 01-06-06, 09:23 PM
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On Yo Left!

You never know.....the guy could have been spaced out....
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Old 01-06-06, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
On Yo Left!

You never know.....the guy ahead could have been spaced out....
+1 Did you announce?
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Old 01-06-06, 09:29 PM
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....I should have insisted that he open his seat wedge - I mean who rides without carrying a wallet or at least an ID"?
Are you a cop? Unless you're bigger, you can't insist on much. Did you call out that you were passing?
It's unlikely that unless the other rider was grossly negligent and you had good witnesses that you could get a judgement, much less collect one. The best you could hope for is him or his insurance company pay your damages.
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Old 01-06-06, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by The Fixer
On Yo Left!

You never know.....the guy could have been spaced out....
Its pretty simeple. You should have said on your left. If the frame didn't contact ground (meaning get scrapped or whatever) - its not damaged. Pay for it yourself.
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Old 01-06-06, 10:53 PM
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There's always small claims court, but more importantly....

What would you have done if the other person was walking, was a child? - insist that they get you a new carbon bike? Your going to have to eat the damage or get better insurance next time.
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Old 01-06-06, 10:55 PM
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I didn't call out 'on your left' in this case, because there was so much room and I was in the left (oncoming) lane. I usually call it when the situation warrants it, but this guy looked like he was in control until he spazzed out. Do you guys call out everytime? In any case, it wouldn't have mattered, since he says he lost control and was going to crash anyway - I just happened to be in his way. Yes, he was grossly negligent. Who would expect someone to suddenly shoot off into the oncoming lane for no reason.

Any, the frame doesn't seem to be damaged. This really was a fluke accident. Yeah, maybe the guy was strung out.
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Old 01-06-06, 10:58 PM
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Well I would take off my shoes, grab my bike AND HIS then run my your life. Sell his bike then pay for the damage on ur bike with the money.

Its all good
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Old 01-06-06, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by mark754
...Do you guys call out everytime?...
Yes.

On the positive side you didn't get hurt too bad, right?

Your incident is just part of the risk we cyclists take - risking life and equipment everytime. All the best.
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Old 01-06-06, 11:27 PM
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Yes, I'm just scraped up, but no serious injuries.

Maybe I'll get one of those little warning bells to alert other riders, instead of shouting out every time (or is that considered gay?). Where I ride, it's often crowded and I'd be calling out every couple of minutes. Besides, I can see some clueless rider interpreting "on your left" to mean that they should move to the left. Not good With a bell, they'd tend to continue riding straight on their current path.
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Old 01-06-06, 11:31 PM
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Quite a few apartments are rent controlled in Santa Monica. It wouldn't surprise me if the guy had little or no assets. You're probably wasting your time pursuing this but you never know.

You'll heal but I'd have the bike looked at by your LBS, hopefully there is no damage.

Good luck.
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Old 01-06-06, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mark754
Besides, I can see some clueless rider interpreting "on your left" to mean that they should move to the left. Not good
I ran into a rollerblader who did this one time. The worst part was he faked me by moving right, then he reconsidered, moved left, and our fate was sealed. Fortuntely, no one was hurt and my bike only had cosmetic damage.

I have learned to slow way down unless it's a hardcore biker or jogger, they are the only people that actually follow a straight line.
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Old 01-07-06, 03:48 AM
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did you call out to him? he might not have known.
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Old 01-07-06, 06:59 AM
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A lot of people have this idea that bike paths are "safe" places so they can do whatever they want. That simply isn't true.
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Old 01-07-06, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mark754
I was riding the 2-lane bike path in Marina Del Rey (in LA) and was coming up on another rider. Being cautious as usual, I allow a good 7 or 8 feet between us. I was actually in the opposite lane, to allow more space. There were no other riders in the immediate area and the path was clear and straight. Just as I'm overtaking him, the dufus veers quickly and sharply to the left and plows into me. Both of us wipe out.

I'm scraped up on my elbows and knees and could have some scars because of this. My bike is a new carbon fiber Giant OCR C2 which I paid $1,600 for. Visible damage includes a bent bar and a scraped up pedal. However, I'm wondering if the frame strength could have been compromised because of the crash. That would really suck if the bike was screwed up.

The dufus said he lost control because he was carrying something. All he was carrying was a sweatshirt. I got his contact information, but when asked to see his ID for verification, he said he didn't have one on him (I should have insisted that he open his seat wedge - I mean who rides without carrying a wallet or at least an ID?). He then says how he's unemployed, though he lives in Santa Monica (which is expensive) and had a fairly decent bike (a comfort-type bike). I wouldn't be surprised if the info he gave me is bogus.

Anyway, just wondering how you guys would handle this. Just see it as a learning experience? Ask him for reimbursement of parts costs and injuries? Small claims court? I'll probably take the bike to the shop (it's ready for a tune-up anyway) and have them inspect it closely for damage.
dufus<<<<i resent that ! i haven't been in LA for a loong time ,so it couldn't have beenme
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Old 01-07-06, 07:54 AM
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Ya know even yelling on your left and you guys know many will,move to there left. I have got every high school track team on the bikepath that i ride and they are across both lanes or back and forth across both lanes. Last week i came upon 4 running in both so i came up slow and yelled on your left and they did nothing. Again on your left and the girl turned around and said we dont have to move. How the hell do i get around you,you know you are on a BIKEPATH where bike are? The boy says our coach says we have as much right up here as you do. I'm now going to e-mail every fricken high school around here and tell them i dont give a rats a$$ if they run up there but stay in one fricken lane and we all can be happy. This has been getting worst for the last 2-3 years. They have kinda taking over the bikepath.
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Old 01-07-06, 07:59 AM
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Yet another example of why I try to avoid any sort of MUP or bike path...too many goofy things can happen. I know its unavoidable for many of us, who have to at least at some point ride a portion on a path.

What to learn from this?

Well, if you HAVE to take that route, it is ALWAYS a good thing thing to announce ahead of time, slowing down while doing so, despite gobs of room.

I slow too because sometimes even if you say 'On your left' someone hears that and MOVES to the left. DUH...but it happens.
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Old 01-07-06, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by shokhead
Again on your left and the girl turned around and said we dont have to move.
Yeah, don't that suck!

I suspect that you'll have better luck by being less confrontational. That means slowing down to their speed and asking them to let you by. I know that it spoils your ride, it isn't as much fun, it isn't macho and you shouldn't even have to do that. But it sounds to me like that's the reality that you are going to have to deal with. Embrace your destiny.
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Old 01-07-06, 09:02 AM
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I already do that. I slow down to there pace so they will hear me.
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Old 01-07-06, 09:04 AM
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If indeed his contact info is false what can you do? You'll be out of luck.

I say call him and be as nice as possible. If you get all mean he won't want to help you out, and I don't see how you'd have much of a case in court. I mean, he could argue that it was your fault for not calling out. He could also say you hit him in the back and it would turn into a your word against his sort of thing.

Take it as a learning experience- you always have to expect dumb things on the bike path.
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Old 01-07-06, 09:05 AM
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I've found that a better call is saying "behind you" or "coming through" or something like that. Nobody understands "on your left."
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Old 01-07-06, 09:14 AM
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Accidents happen, I doubt you can legally do anything other then small claims court. If you have costly damage, call you homeowners insurance guy and see if you can file a claim.

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Old 01-07-06, 10:21 AM
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"I've found that a better call is saying "behind you" or "coming through" or something like that. Nobody understands "on your left.""

I generally stay off the multi-use paths now, finding the street safer, but, I agee with DXchulo on this one. A bell, which is sort of "effete", also works well as a warning on a path if used early enough. you can then wait and see what they are going to do. The bottom line is that if you are passing, you have the responsability to look out, it is the same if you are driving a car, a boat or flying a plane.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by shokhead
Again on your left and the girl turned around and said we dont have to move. How the hell do i get around you,you know you are on a BIKEPATH where bike are? The boy says our coach says we have as much right up here as you do.
Next time ride on a beater and if they don't get out of your way, bowl 'em over. Something that's really heavy and has big tires to run over them with -- a Surly Pugsly or something.

I'm just kidding around, by the way.
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Old 01-07-06, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DXchulo
I've found that a better call is saying "behind you" or "coming through" or something like that. Nobody understands "on your left."
My call is "Passing on your left!"

Seems to work for me. 'Course, the only time I really have to announce is on a MUP that has lots of experienced cyclists, so they "get it".
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