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

Almost bit it today

Old 04-06-14, 02:39 PM
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RoboCheme
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Almost bit it today

I was riding solo on a two lane road with about a two-foot bike lane on either side. It was a really nice day so there were lots of cyclists and motorcyclists out there.

I was in the bike lane going up a slight grade and I look up and there's a motorcyclist going the opposite direction way over on my side of the center line. He came within about 3' of me going easily 50 mph. Scared the ***** out of me.

He either didn't see me or didn't care since he was hell bent on catching up with his buddy.

I was thinking about how I could have prevented this and all I could think of was to use my blinking headlight. I usually ride with it on all of the time regardless of conditions, but this one time I stopped for a snack and turned it off. I didn't turn it on again since it was a nice sunny day and I thought that I didn't need it. Wrong decision! It'll be on all of the time from now on.

I ride in Northern California and the drivers have always been very courteous and almost overly cautious. This is the second time, however, when a motorcyclist has almost taken me out.

Be safe out there, folks!
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Old 04-06-14, 03:40 PM
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Sorry to hear, but glad you're OK.

Just out of curiosity, was this in Moraga?
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Old 04-06-14, 04:27 PM
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What makes you think he didn't see you? He might have just been a fool.
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Old 04-06-14, 04:59 PM
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norcal hates cyclists
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Old 04-06-14, 05:07 PM
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he was in the wrong for sure. you should report it before he kills someone. strobes all the time, especially when it's sunny.
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Old 04-06-14, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by rodentcloister View Post
Sorry to hear, but glad you're OK.

Just out of curiosity, was this in Moraga?
South of Moraga on Redwood Rd.
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Old 04-06-14, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
he was in the wrong for sure. you should report it before he kills someone. strobes all the time, especially when it's sunny.
How do you report someone who whizzes by you in 0.5 seconds?
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Old 04-06-14, 08:37 PM
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Methinks part of why the motorhead didn't see you was your extremely far right positioning. I grew up (well, got older) riding that road and most of it calls for riding in the right tire track. (Redwood Rd. doesn't have bike lanes; a fog line does not delineate a bike lane.)
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Old 04-07-14, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
How do you report someone who whizzes by you in 0.5 seconds?
you call the police station closest to the area it happened. you don't call 911. you say this is not an emergency but you are calling to report a traffic incident, you don't have to wait for permission, you don't have to wait for the answerer to evaluate your information, you don't have to have an argument with the answerer, you just speak what you know. the call will be recorded. you don't have to insist they do anything. if the answerer has questions answer them to the best of your ability. at some point they will say OK thank you. that's when you hang up.

you tell what you know. no more, no less. jot down the facts as you know them before you call.

as civilians we don't have to connect the dots. the rider may have been involved in other incidents (before or after yours) and law enforcement will connect the dots. but them can't if no one ever says anything.
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Old 04-07-14, 05:16 AM
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Not sure a light would have helped in that situation. Sounds more like the guy was just an *******.
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Old 04-07-14, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
I was in the bike lane going up a slight grade and I look up and there's a motorcyclist going the opposite direction way over on my side of the center line. He came within about 3' of me going easily 50 mph. Scared the ***** out of me.
Been there!

Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
Not sure a light would have helped in that situation. Sounds more like the guy was just an *******.
I agree with this.
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Old 04-07-14, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
Been there!



I agree with this.
I would have soiled myself very badly there.
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Old 04-07-14, 12:27 PM
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This thread comes under the "why I (increasingly) prefer mountain biking" heading.....
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Old 04-07-14, 12:27 PM
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I was out in Vegas one time riding along blue diamond road (near red rock canyon) and some motorcyclists went screaming by at 100+ IN THE *** BIKE LANE!

There were 5 or 6 of them, I was too freaked out to count. One of them passed within inches of me, the rest were further out.

Freaked. Out.
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Old 04-07-14, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by RoboCheme View Post
I was riding solo on a two lane road with about a two-foot bike lane on either side. It was a really nice day so there were lots of cyclists and motorcyclists out there.

I was in the bike lane going up a slight grade and I look up and there's a motorcyclist going the opposite direction way over on my side of the center line. He came within about 3' of me going easily 50 mph. Scared the ***** out of me.

He either didn't see me or didn't care since he was hell bent on catching up with his buddy.

I was thinking about how I could have prevented this and all I could think of was to use my blinking headlight. I usually ride with it on all of the time regardless of conditions, but this one time I stopped for a snack and turned it off. I didn't turn it on again since it was a nice sunny day and I thought that I didn't need it. Wrong decision! It'll be on all of the time from now on.

I ride in Northern California and the drivers have always been very courteous and almost overly cautious. This is the second time, however, when a motorcyclist has almost taken me out.

Be safe out there, folks!
I'm never without my 1200 Lumen flashing headlight. On narrow back roads, drivers like to use both lanes, especially on curves.
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Old 04-07-14, 12:34 PM
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The motorcyclist was a bit of a dick, but by your own description you were in the bike lane, and he missed you by 3 feet. He was entirely in a seperate lane. You wouldn't have thought twice of a car passing you within 3 feet heading the same direction as you, with the car in the same position as the motorcyclist.

I've had cars passing another car while I'm riding the opposite direction in the bike lane, where we pass 3 abreast (the 2 cars and me).
Bit unsettling, and I wouldn't do it as a driver because you can't count on the bicyclist not to screwup, but it's not that big of deal.
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Old 04-07-14, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
Been there!
Been there. Also have been in several situations where someone purposely passed where the oncoming lane was not clear forcing a car onto the shoulder.

Some people are unfathomably stupid. About 10 years ago, an idiot driver doing one of these insane passes collided head on with a box truck and I almost got taken out by the front wheels and axle of the truck. In that particular incident, the car driver was killed. The box truck driver was injured.
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Old 04-07-14, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Some people are unfathomably stupid.
I've come to the conclusion that this sums up life pretty well.
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Old 04-07-14, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
Been there!
[ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZRfdq3SMbY[video]

I agree with this.
Oooo, scary. Better stay home from now on. I've been both the cyclist and the passing vehicle. Not a single **** was given.
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Old 04-07-14, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Jiggle View Post
Oooo, scary. Better stay home from now on. I've been both the cyclist and the passing vehicle. Not a single **** was given.
Congratulations...aren't you also the guy that said to not ride on roads without bike lanes a couple of weeks ago? Yeah. You were.
http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycli...l#post16591580

Now you're trying to act all tough. That's cute.
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Old 04-07-14, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SpeshulEd View Post
Been there!
I agree with this.
To be honest, I'm not sure how the driver is supposed to see the cyclist. That road is probably 55 mph speed limit, when the truck starts his pass he's at least 1/3 mi away, you'd need a massive blinkie to be visible against background clutter. Realistically, the only thing he could have done is crowded the guy with the trailer and bought an extra foot or two.

That road fits pretty thoroughly into to my definition of no go. 55+ mph and no shoulder is a bad combination.
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Old 04-07-14, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
To be honest, I'm not sure how the driver is supposed to see the cyclist. That road is probably 55 mph speed limit, when the truck starts his pass he's at least 1/3 mi away, you'd need a massive blinkie to be visible against background clutter. Realistically, the only thing he could have done is crowded the guy with the trailer and bought an extra foot or two.

That road fits pretty thoroughly into to my definition of no go. 55+ mph and no shoulder is a bad combination.
Sight lines are excellent, weather is excellent. Nothing on the side of the road to make the rider harder to identify.

Anyone who drives like that is either a jerk or has his head up his ass. My money's on the former -- some drivers just think they can intimidate or ignore cyclists. Anyone who can't see the cyclist head on with clear road has no chance of seeing one going the same direction in the traffic lane, especially with vehicles in front blocking the view. Anyone who is that incapable is going to be hitting things, animals, and people on a regular basis.

55+mph (most people drive 65+ on roads like this in our neck of the woods) with no shoulder isn't ideal. But sometimes that's the best you can get.
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Old 04-07-14, 03:45 PM
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Actually, it's a 40mph road that leads to Lake Pleasant and the backway to crown king. The only people on the road are either going trail riding through the desert or to the lake. It's a pretty low traffic road.

Edit to add: Maybe I should post the rest of the video to show how little traffic was on the road. Not many people are going to the lake in late February, even in Phoenix. It'd probably also be entertaining to see just how close the guy was to the stop sign at the end of the road. Another 1/4 mile and he had to stop to turn left or right onto the main road.
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Old 04-07-14, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
Sight lines are excellent, weather is excellent. Nothing on the side of the road to make the rider harder to identify.

Anyone who drives like that is either a jerk or has his head up his ass. My money's on the former -- some drivers just think they can intimidate or ignore cyclists. Anyone who can't see the cyclist head on with clear road has no chance of seeing one going the same direction in the traffic lane, especially with vehicles in front blocking the view. Anyone who is that incapable is going to be hitting things, animals, and people on a regular basis.

55+mph (most people drive 65+ on roads like this in our neck of the woods) with no shoulder isn't ideal. But sometimes that's the best you can get.
Someone doing a passing maneuver is likely looking for large objects in the middle of the road moving much faster than a cyclist. There's plenty of background clutter, the cactus and scrub, all of which are about cyclist sized. The truck is passing on a downhill, so the scrub would have been the background for the cyclist, not a horizon line.

I'd like to hope that I could spot a cyclist in that situation, but I can't be 100% sure. To some extent that's not even the direction I'd be most concerned about safety. I probably would've bailed off the road in that situation. The real danger is someone approaching from behind at 65+.
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Old 04-07-14, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
I'd like to hope that I could spot a cyclist in that situation, but I can't be 100% sure. To some extent that's not even the direction I'd be most concerned about safety. I probably would've bailed off the road in that situation. The real danger is someone approaching from behind at 65+.
500+ (real) lumen front flasher and they'll see you. They may not react any differently but they'll see you. The rider did have the option to bail onto the gravel but I can understand the reluctance to do that at high speed. I don't like riding on roads like that with narrow shoulders. With a more normal sized shoulder you have more of a buffer from traffic.
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