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11 bicyclists crash into car

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11 bicyclists crash into car

Old 09-30-07, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
Yeah, well.. another factor in this case is that the on-street parking was NOT supposed to be there. When there is on street parking they generally put up signs to keep people from parking so close to large driveways (businesses, apartments, etc) as to obstruct the view. (homeowners are on their own)

In this case, cars were parked closer than safe on BOTH sides of the driveway. (And probably ALL were parked illegally, considering it was a bike lane...)
Right. And cars parked illegally in the bike lane should have caused alarms to go off in the heads of the cyclists, compelling them to slow down and figure out what was going on.

If you can't see far enough ahead to verify that it is safe to proceed at the speed you are going, including accounting for midblock intersections with blind alleys and driveways, then you are going too fast.
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Old 10-01-07, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
Yeah, well.. another factor in this case is that the on-street parking was NOT supposed to be there. When there is on street parking they generally put up signs to keep people from parking so close to large driveways (businesses, apartments, etc) as to obstruct the view. (homeowners are on their own)

In this case, cars were parked closer than safe on BOTH sides of the driveway. (And probably ALL were parked illegally, considering it was a bike lane...)
To me that seems pretty much irrelevant considering we have to deal with the situation as it actually is, not how it's supposed to be.

R.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:09 AM
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It really seems to me that the car in question DID in fact gun it's engine and attempt to dart across the street... in that case, how do you dodge it??? For that matter, what if the cyclists had been 10 feet closer at the start of the maneuver (Putting them directly in front of the intersection at the time of the accident)

How would that change your assessment????

Regardless, the cyclists (ALL OF THEM) had the right of way, and the driver did something stupid. All the arm chair analysis in the world won't change that.

MAYBE if they were going slower they could have stopped in time.

MAYBE if they were farther left they could have dodged.

MAYBE if they were single file all the way to the right, they would have gone BEHIND the vehicle.

MAYBE if they were all on the sidewalk they could have plainly seen the car and stopped with plenty of time.

MAYBE if those cars weren't all parked illegally none of this would have happened

MAYBE if they were going slower they'd have gotten broadsided by the next car to come out of that driveway.

MAYBE if they were going slower somebody would have rear ended the whole group 'to teach them a lesson' for going too slow in the driving lane.

MAYBE ...

How long should this go on?
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Old 10-01-07, 02:53 AM
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Maybe if God's hand reached down and scooped them up...
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Old 10-01-07, 06:05 AM
  #230  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Right. And cars parked illegally in the bike lane should have caused alarms to go off in the heads of the cyclists, compelling them to slow down and figure out what was going on.

If you can't see far enough ahead to verify that it is safe to proceed at the speed you are going, including accounting for midblock intersections with blind alleys and driveways, then you are going too fast.
Wow, Helmet Head! I actually totally agree with everything you say in that post. I don't think that's ever happened before.

Quite possibly, under the conditions that normally exist on that road, group riding is not excessively dangerous. But, under the conditions that existed on that day, perhaps it was.

I feel sympathy for the cyclists that were injured. It's clear that the motorist was a fault for pulling out as he did. But the cyclists assumed a certain risk by riding in the manner in which they were riding.

In any case, that was a very unfortunate incident.
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Old 10-01-07, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertHurst
To me that seems pretty much irrelevant considering we have to deal with the situation as it actually is, not how it's supposed to be.

R.
Exactly.
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Old 10-01-07, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by JRA
Wow, Helmet Head! I actually totally agree with everything you say in that post. I don't think that's ever happened before.

Quite possibly, under the conditions that normally exist on that road, group riding is not excessively dangerous. But, under the conditions that existed on that day, perhaps it was.

I feel sympathy for the cyclists that were injured. It's clear that the motorist was a fault for pulling out as he did. But the cyclists assumed a certain risk by riding in the manner in which they were riding.

In any case, that was a very unfortunate incident.
Indeed. One problem with hard/fast group training rides, which I love to do, is that there is something frenzied and lemmingesque about it. No one is the driver/leader because no one could stay at the front that long. So the leader/driver/front is constantly rotating. And when you're on a route that you're accustomed to riding without incident, it's really easy to be in an oblivious-to-traffic mindset.
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Old 10-01-07, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
It really seems to me that the car in question DID in fact gun it's engine and attempt to dart across the street... in that case, how do you dodge it??? For that matter, what if the cyclists had been 10 feet closer at the start of the maneuver (Putting them directly in front of the intersection at the time of the accident)

How would that change your assessment????
None. If someone can cause me to crash by cutting out in front of me from a blind spot, then I'm going too fast from a position too far right, considering the existence of the blind spot, period.

Given their speed I suppose what you surmise about "10 feet closer" is possible, but it's probably much more likely that he would have seen them and stopped sooner.

Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
Regardless, the cyclists (ALL OF THEM) had the right of way, and the driver did something stupid. All the arm chair analysis in the world won't change that.
No dispute on that. But what arm chair analysis might accomplish is encourage all of us to remember to go well beyond merely staying within the bounds of what our right of way allows. That's what's being defensive is all about.


Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
MAYBE if they were going slower they could have stopped in time.

MAYBE if they were farther left they could have dodged.

MAYBE if they were single file all the way to the right, they would have gone BEHIND the vehicle.

MAYBE if they were all on the sidewalk they could have plainly seen the car and stopped with plenty of time.

MAYBE if those cars weren't all parked illegally none of this would have happened

MAYBE if they were going slower they'd have gotten broadsided by the next car to come out of that driveway.

MAYBE if they were going slower somebody would have rear ended the whole group 'to teach them a lesson' for going too slow in the driving lane.

MAYBE ...

How long should this go on?
This should go on as long as the discussion remains useful/productive about getting folks to remember to be defensive when riding in traffic. Robert's latest succinct post accomplishes this quite eloquently, I think.
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Old 10-01-07, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807
It really seems to me that the car in question DID in fact gun it's engine and attempt to dart across the street... in that case, how do you dodge it??? For that matter, what if the cyclists had been 10 feet closer at the start of the maneuver (Putting them directly in front of the intersection at the time of the accident)

How would that change your assessment????

Regardless, the cyclists (ALL OF THEM) had the right of way, and the driver did something stupid. All the arm chair analysis in the world won't change that.

MAYBE if they were going slower they could have stopped in time.

MAYBE if they were farther left they could have dodged.

MAYBE if they were single file all the way to the right, they would have gone BEHIND the vehicle.

MAYBE if they were all on the sidewalk they could have plainly seen the car and stopped with plenty of time.

MAYBE if those cars weren't all parked illegally none of this would have happened

MAYBE if they were going slower they'd have gotten broadsided by the next car to come out of that driveway.

MAYBE if they were going slower somebody would have rear ended the whole group 'to teach them a lesson' for going too slow in the driving lane.

MAYBE ...

How long should this go on?
It's not like this was an alien abduction or some bizarre freak occurrence. A car pulled out of a driveway in front of other road users. There's nothing more garden-variety than that.

Bottom line is there were some road users, drivers and cyclists included, who were not proceeding with the required level of awareness for the situation at hand, and they got served. Cyclists can console themselves that it was the other guy's fault as they get hauled off to the hospital.

Robert
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Old 10-01-07, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by RobertHurst
It's not like this was an alien abduction or some bizarre freak occurrence. A car pulled out of a driveway in front of other road users. There's nothing more garden-variety than that.

Bottom line is there were some road users, drivers and cyclists included, who were not proceeding with the required level of awareness for the situation at hand, and they got served. Cyclists can console themselves that it was the other guy's fault as they get hauled off to the hospital.

Robert
This is Robert Hurst at his best. Bravo!

P.S.
I read my favorite passage from your book -- the one about "from now on it was always be your fault..." -- at the class I taught recently. The part about flailing like a trout made some of the other LCIs uncomfortable, but in the end they said it was good.
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Old 10-02-07, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This is Robert Hurst at his best. Bravo!

P.S.
I read my favorite passage from your book -- the one about "from now on it was always be your fault..." -- at the class I taught recently. The part about flailing like a trout made some of the other LCIs uncomfortable, but in the end they said it was good.
Room full of LCIs. Now there's a party ready to happen. Hide your daughters!

I'm afraid a stamp of approval from the 'certified' instructors does not really fill me with glee. But you knew that. It is less than comforting -- one of those things that makes you go hmmm, what am I doing wrong here -- on the other hand, maybe the message is actually getting through? ... Weird ... Next you'll be telling me how the LCIs have finally figured out how those approved ideas on personal responsibility are incompatible with Forester's program. What happens then? Stock market crash? Worldwide cataclysmic disasters?

That would make three miracles in one single night. (1) Message gets through. (2) Frockies capture wildcard after 13-inning standoff with the Friars in tiebreaker. (Sorry about that, San Diego fans. Somebody had to win. He did touch the plate, you just couldn't see it on those two camera angles.) (3) Stanley the dog, who we thought was gone forever, simply trotted back to the house and laid down, exhausted. Oct. 1 -- one for the books.

Robert
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Old 10-02-07, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by RobertHurst
Room full of LCIs. Now there's a party ready to happen. Hide your daughters!

I'm afraid a stamp of approval from the 'certified' instructors does not really fill me with glee. But you knew that. It is less than comforting -- one of those things that makes you go hmmm, what am I doing wrong here -- on the other hand, maybe the message is actually getting through? ... Weird ... Next you'll be telling me how the LCIs have finally figured out how those approved ideas on personal responsibility are incompatible with Forester's program. What happens then? Stock market crash? Worldwide cataclysmic disasters?

That would make three miracles in one single night. (1) Message gets through. (2) Frockies capture wildcard after 13-inning standoff with the Friars in tiebreaker. (Sorry about that, San Diego fans. Somebody had to win. He did touch the plate, you just couldn't see it on those two camera angles.) (3) Stanley the dog, who we thought was gone forever, simply trotted back to the house and laid down, exhausted. Oct. 1 -- one for the books.

Robert
Glad to hear Stanley made it home (does he Like-To-Bike? ). How long was he gone?

It sounds like you're generalizing about all LCIs. Are the insults really necessary? Have you actually met very many LCIs in person? Any? This particular class (taught over 3 Saturdays) had 8 students and 4 LCIs (1 main, 3 sharing the teaching to gain experience teaching, including yours truly).

In the LCI instructor manual there is a section on types of bike crashes, fault and percentages (you know the drill), then a section on "preparation" with a subheading of "Anticipation". There it says, and I quote:
"There is no need to be a pessimist, absolutely certain that something dreadful is going to happen every time you throw your leg over the bike. But, you do need to be constantly aware of the traffic situation and road conditions, and notice possible crash situations."
"Be constantly aware" is coming very close to meaning "be vigilant". I think the "no need to be a pessimist" advice is interesting to contrast with the arguably "dark" or pessimistic undertone in your book, perhaps exemplified by the last sentence in your book where you advise the reader to "Ride with fear and joy" (my emphasis), or the back cover where your perspective is described as, "Cyclists today are left to navigate, like rats in a sewer, ... yet ... can thrive in this hostile environment". Thriving like rats in a sewer in a hostile environment? That's pretty dark and pessimistic, man. I think the instructor has to read the students to know which way to go. Those who are already petrified probably could use the more standard EC/LCI emphasis on building confidence; the cocky ones are the ones who need to be Hurstified, if you don't mind.

In the student manual under "Bicycle Crash Avoidance", for prevention of left cross, in addition to "be visible, predictable, and assertive" it says: "Be alert -- assess the situation and be prepared to take evasive action." Similar advice for paying attention is given for preventing other types of crashes.

There is clearly not as much emphasis on paying attention in the standard curriculum as in your book, but it's not fair to say it's not there at all (as you claimed before, and implied in your book). Nor is responsibility taught the way you present it (hoard it; don't push off any to the driver), but LCIs are only required to teach certain fundamentals (the "need to know" stuff) and are free to present the material any way they wish. My presentation of "attitude and responsibility" was heavily influenced by your writing (which I credited to you - even holding up your book and reading from it), and I chose to talk about "personal responsibility" vs. "legal responsibility". My favorite example to illustrate the difference is to talk about entering an intersection on green: it's not your legal responsibility to check for red-light runners, but it is your personal responsibility to do so.

The personal responsibility concepts integrate with Forester's program quite naturally. I knew they would, but I can now assert this with certainty because I've done it.

Last edited by Helmet Head; 10-05-07 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:04 PM
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I am still amazed that no one is getting passed the multiple rider issue.

Take riders out and replace them with cars. When a car rearends the car in front of it the the car doing the rear ending is responsible for the damage. Cyclist 2-11 have no claim for the accident here. THEY were responsible for not leaving enough distance in front of them to brake. The vehicular law here is pretty standard.

Every car past the first one in the line would be responsible for damage to the car in front of it. Only the first car in the line wouldn't have a claim against his driving.
This seems pretty cut and dry to me. Cyclist 1 has a claim against the car that pulled out and the riders behind that hit him. Cyclist 2-11 don't. Their only claim is against cyclists that ran into them from behind.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:31 PM
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Is it known if the cyclists were single file or not? Possible double paceline?
What if cyclists behind lead one(s) didn't run into lead cyclists but instead avoided them and hit the car?
Al
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Old 10-05-07, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
Is it known if the cyclists were single file or not? Possible double paceline?
What if cyclists behind lead one(s) didn't run into lead cyclists but instead avoided them and hit the car?
Al
Facts, schmacts. Don't you know, cyclists riding in groups are always at fault for anything and everything.
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Old 10-05-07, 02:52 PM
  #241  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If this street really has a bike lane, then it's likely the cyclists were drawn to ride in it or near it - too far to the right - especially given their speed and the absence of other fast traffic. The driver may have looked left and really didn't see them due to the obstructing parked cars if the cyclists were riding too far to their right, which almost all cyclists do.
Wait what? At least around here (Midwst - Wisconsin and I'm certain Minnesota too) its not legal to park in bike lanes! HELLO!
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Old 10-05-07, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
Given your reliance upon your assumptions rather than facts in this very thread, that is an incredibly ironic post.
What's the problem with relying on assumptions as long as it is clear that that is what's going on? Consider:
If a = 1 and b = 2 , then a + b = 3.
Is it really necessary to point out that the a + b = 3 conclusion relies on the assumptions that a = 1 and b = 2, and is only valid if those assumptions are true?
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Old 10-05-07, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by hypercube33
Wait what? At least around here (Midwst - Wisconsin and I'm certain Minnesota too) its not legal to park in bike lanes! HELLO!
In most if not all states it's legal to park in bike lanes unless explicit no parking signs are posted. As it turns out, in many places it is standard policy to always post no parking signs when there are bike lanes.

Anyway, in this case there was parking in the bike lane due to some contruction project some where.
It was never clear to me whether that parking was illegal, or was made temporarly legal, perhaps by the temporary covering of the no parking signs.
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Old 10-05-07, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete Fagerlin
The problem in this case was that the facts were available and you either chose to ignore them, were so inept at using the internet that you couldn't find them, or you were too lazy to gather the facts before spouting your assumptions (based upon your pet theories of course).

Facts, schmacts.

Right?
If the point I'm making is to address similar situations in general, not necessarily this specific situation, what do the actual facts in this specific situation matter, beyond defining the type of situation in general?
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Old 10-06-07, 12:44 AM
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maybe they should re-consider their training route.
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Old 10-07-07, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rando
maybe they should re-consider their training route.
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Old 10-07-07, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
In most if not all states it's legal to park in bike lanes unless explicit no parking signs are posted. As it turns out, in many places it is standard policy to always post no parking signs when there are bike lanes.

Anyway, in this case there was parking in the bike lane due to some contruction project some where.
It was never clear to me whether that parking was illegal, or was made temporarly legal, perhaps by the temporary covering of the no parking signs.
BINGO!
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Old 10-07-07, 07:08 PM
  #248  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Because inadvertent drift almost always kills, and peloton crashes rarely do, I'd say the risk of death or very serious injury while riding in road margins, shoulders and bike lanes in light traffic is higher than drafting in pelotons.
Consequences is one thing - but a proper risk assesment takes into account the likelihood of something happening as well. What I really want to know is, consequences aside, how likely a peloton crash is compared to this inadvertant drift. I've experienced neither - I've never ridden in a peloton, and I rarely ride roads of the exact type that inadvertant drift happens on.
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Old 10-07-07, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Oh yeah! I forgot. Okay, so there was one. There may have been a few more that I knew about but forgot.
Yeah. Probably a few.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
The main point stands: the frequency of death or serious injury in car-bike collisions (including inadvertent drift) is much higher than in peloton crashes.
You're not riding hard enough.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
By the way, when I talk about inadvertent drift crashes, I'm talking mostly about the rural highway ones where the driver is going around 60 and the cyclist is going 15-20. That's why they're usually fatal.
"Motorists primarily give their attention to that part of the highway where there is risk to themselves: they are not nearly so good at noticing anything outside their path. This zone of maximum surveillance is often very narrow, especially at higher speeds - it does not extend to much more than the moving traffic lane that the driver is following ... For you to be safest as a cyclist, you should ride within this zone of maximum surveillance, not outside of it." --John Franklin, Cyclecraft, p. 58
My pet theory, which rests on the above notions from John Franklin, is that inadvertent drift occurs when the motorist is tempted to attend to a distraction, and the zone of maximum surveillance is clear for a significant distance in front of him. He subconsciously estimates about how long he can afford to attend to the distraction before rechecking the zone of maximum surveillance and looks away. During that time he drifts a little. He never notices the cyclist up ahead in the shoulder or bike lane because the cyclist was never in the motorist's zone of maximum surveillance where he is not "nearly so good at noticing anything".
[/QUOTE]

Well, that's a relief.

Here I was, all set to take up Serge's 'default centreish' position on all roads so that no-one ever inadvertantly drifts into me, when it turns out that all along these things only happen under a very particular set of conditions. Conditions, it turns out, I never actually experience in my day to day riding. Good thing I didn't try any of that garbage on the urban arterials I do frequent.

Last edited by Allister; 10-07-07 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 10-07-07, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
why has this thread degenerated into another HH diatribe on inadverdant drift**********

What the....**********
Yeah - I guess I'm the guilty one there. Sorry 'bout that.

It's just such an oddball thing to be paranoid about that accepting the consideralby higher, I would've thought, risks involved in peloton riding struck me as somewhat odd.
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