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I crashed - was it my fault?

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I crashed - was it my fault?

Old 07-06-10, 07:34 PM
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BrooKona
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I crashed - was it my fault?

Was riding up the Manhattan Greenway yesterday near Chelsea Piers. Because of the heat I was going slow, about 15 mph. I saw a typical touristy biker in front of me, usually I would yell out "on your left". However, I don't know whether it was the heat or not too many other riders around me, I decided to pass him on the left w/o saying anything. Next thing I know, he makes a sharp left turn and crashes right into me. We were both OK, some road rash & scratches on me, but my brakes got damaged and my handle bars were twisted. His brake cables came loose.

SO my question is do I need to yell "on your left" all the time, isn't it the responsibility of the rider in front to signal? If we were both seriously hurt, would it have been my fault for not alerting him. BTW I'm yelling on your left no matter waht from now on.

I just got a brand new bike two weeks ago too. Thank God there was no damage or scratches to the frame and bar.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:38 PM
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Sounds like his fault for not signaling. Dumb of him not to at least glance back to make sure it was clear.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:41 PM
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The greenway can be really annoying in the summer because of the crowds and careless riders who use it. The other rider should have looked before turning, besides there is no guarantee yelling "on your left" would have prompted the right response since some people get spooked and move toward their left. I usually just slow down and pass with a lot of room to anticipate the actions of the careless. I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago and the other rider had the nerve to blame me for not anticipating what he was going to do, so I asked him "at what point are you responsible for anything?". Moral of the story is to plan for the actions of the careless.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:49 PM
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Some blame to go around here. I try to make a judgment call based on how sketchy they look on whether to call out. If not, I often will at least try to make some noise. As noted, shame on him for not at least looking before turning.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:52 PM
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His fault for veering left without warning and without checking. The large, organized charity rides will train you that you "must" always say on your left, but experience shows the phrase is overused and does not typically result in more safety. You are just as likely to startle someone by saying it than to startle them by not saying it. You might have prevented him from veering into you but it's far from certain. That being said, sounds like you weren't riding in an area very well suited for cyling training.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:53 PM
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i never call it out because it usually just results in them looking left and then moving to their left. I blame the rider in front of you for not having a shred of common sense to look over his shoulder before making a sharp turn.
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Old 07-06-10, 07:55 PM
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I blame myself.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:00 PM
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First mistake is riding on the Westside Greenway. It's horrible for serious riding unless early morning or late nights. I've found that saying, "on your left" usually confuses civilians and tourists to the point where it's just dangerous or flat out waste of time.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:03 PM
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He screwed up by not signaling, but ultimately it is up to you to pass safely. Hard to say who is at blame, especially since I don't know the path.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
I blame myself.
I blame pcad too.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:20 PM
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I blame the tourist - anyone local to Manhattan knows that these same tourists can't even walk with out jamming up the sidewalks as they top and stare at every 2nd tall building they see
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Old 07-06-10, 08:22 PM
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Certainly there's blame to go around to both of you. You could have called out, you could also have realized that it is unsafe to pass in an intersection for exactly this reason (I am assuming that he was turning sharp left onto another path). He should realize that he's not driving a car and needs to check for approaching traffic from the rear before turning.
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Old 07-06-10, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
I blame myself.
Schleppin like a tourist no less....the shame!
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Old 07-06-10, 08:52 PM
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I would have let him know you were there. This probably would have been called a "no fault." Half of the guys out riding or running are wearing headphones anyway, but I always try to let them know I am there. Even if they are wearing plugs.

I'd try to keep in the habit of announcing though. Sometimes when I'm riding I sway a little when I reach around for my bottles out of my jersey. I'd had to run into someone I didn't know was there.
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Old 07-06-10, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by BrooKona
isn't it the responsibility of the rider in front to signal? If we were both seriously hurt, would it have been my fault for not alerting him.
Hi BK

Sorry to hear of your accident. I too live in an urban environment with very little roads for cycling "safely" here in Singapore. Most cyclists here ride in the early morning or at night when it is a lot cooler (typically 100 degree F daytime temperatures) and when the roads are less crowded with motorized vehicles. There is a Chinese saying that describes all cyclist and motor bikers quite graphically, and it roughly translates into "human flesh wrapped around metal" (or CF in the case of cyclists with CF frames).

With this as a guiding picture, I have learnt that it doesn't matter who is in the right or wrong, if you are described in the saying above, it is you that will bleed in an accident and no amount of being "right" will take away the pain and suffering experienced. Some of us will agree that even if we do not shed a drop of blood but should our prized steed is damaged, the pain is even worse. I do not know what the "greenway" is about but I'm sure it must be a popular stretch of roadway used by "Sunday riders" and the like. So the best thing for us to do when riding there in these situations is to ride as if everyone else around is a newbie on the road, exercising sufficient patience to allow for sudden changes in direction of the rider in front and keeping to a speed that is pertinent to that area. As posted earlier "First mistake is riding on the Westside Greenway. It's horrible for serious riding" that stretch was not a good place to ride even if you where doing 15 mph. Here in Singapore we have such a "Greenway" along the East Coast Parkway and if I were to ride at 15 mph or about 25 kmph I would surely get into an accident no matter how careful I may be, because other users may not be as careful. So ride defensively, exercise lots of patience and stay safe to ride another day.

Sorry if this sound like preaching; it is not intended as such, but I've seen too many unnecessary accidents that could have been avoided if the above principles were practiced. God bless everyone and keep you safe.

Regards
Anthony.
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Old 07-06-10, 09:23 PM
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Totally his fault.
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Old 07-06-10, 09:24 PM
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It's your fault. You're the one doing the passing. You could see that he was a wobbler before you passed him, yet you didn't leave enough clearance in case he did something stupid, which he did. Was there a fork in the trail or a driveway for him to turn into? He probably wasn't turning off the trail and into the bushes. You should look for potential turning places when passing riders in case they decide to take them.
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Old 07-06-10, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by BrooKona
SO my question is do I need to yell "on your left" all the time, isn't it the responsibility of the rider in front to signal?
Both. I bet next time this circumstance occurs, you say 'On your left.'
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Old 07-06-10, 09:36 PM
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When passing yell out in your best Brooklyn accent,

"Make way,I'm commin tru youz stupid"
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Old 07-06-10, 09:42 PM
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80-20 his fault...he should've signaled but you too should have yelled something
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Old 07-06-10, 09:42 PM
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It's BF's fault! You were too busy trying to come up with something to write on the forum and got distracted!
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Old 07-06-10, 09:42 PM
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Assumptions; look at the word, its your responsibility if you make one..........after 40 years of stick and rudder.......you don't!
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Old 07-06-10, 10:05 PM
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^ what?

Anyway, i think if you value your bike/safety enough you'd call out something just to make damn sure that no one else will crash into you. Can't rely on anyone these days.
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Old 07-06-10, 10:07 PM
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^ forest/trees
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Old 07-06-10, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by patentcad
I blame myself.

Dont blame yourself pcad....... let us do it for you.
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