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Any close calls recently?

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Any close calls recently?

Old 01-05-19, 10:28 PM
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FloridaDave
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Any close calls recently?

Just riding yesterday, taking a shortcut through a large 55+ neighborhood. As I exited the neighborhood I turned onto a 2 lane road, headed east. Imagine my surprise when a car is coming westbound right at me in the eastbound lane. Large curb on the side of the road and I don't bunnyhop anymore, so I slowed down, unclipped, and got as close as I could to the curb. The VERY elderly driver missed me by maybe a foot or so. I shouted at him and waved my arm, but he didn't hear me, probably didn't fully see me either. And you wonder why Florida is called God's Waiting Room???
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Old 01-06-19, 02:03 AM
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Not every ride, but too often. I've recorded several on video but the cops won't do anything unless there's a crime, and even then they'll often say they can't do anything if they didn't witness it themselves.

I was hit while riding my bike last May. She was turning left against traffic while looking at her phone. Clobbered me in the intersection (I had the green light), broke my shoulder and injured my neck. Took months to recover. She stopped and was sorry, but not sorry enough to pay attention to the road instead of her phone. Unfortunately I wasn't running my video camera that day and the police report only quoted her as admitting she was "distracted" but not specific admission of being on the phone.

In my immediate neighborhood it's not just distracted drivers. They just don't give a damn. They'll look straight at you and cut in front of you, right hook, or -- my favorite trick -- swerve from the oncoming lane into your lane so they can swoop into the bike lane to park while facing the wrong direction. Then they'll lean on their horn until whoever they're picking up comes out. All day and night. Too damned lazy to drive another 50 yards, turn around and park safely, or just call the person they're picking up.

But that's the downside of living in an area with mostly apartments. Lots of transients -- folks who work but don't plan to stay anywhere for long. They never set roots or develop a sense of community so they don't care how they drive or behave.

Get only a mile away and the tone changes completely. It's an older middle class neighborhood, and while the demographic has changed a bit the overall vibe remains the same -- mostly cordial. That's the difference a stable residential neighborhood makes. I actually enjoy riding that area. I'll often start my warm up in that residential area, and cool down after a hard workout ride like Friday and Saturday. I can cruise around at 10-12 mph and not worry about being clobbered.
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Old 01-06-19, 02:15 AM
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Local cyclists are a bigger threat to me than vehicular traffic.

Week ago, a motorized bike riding on the wrong side of the road in my bike lane with a light coming around a curve in the road with a super bright light. I had lights too but he came head on with me and blinded me. I slowed way down, moved close to the curb till I realized what it was then called him and A hole when he rolled by.

2 times, yes, 2 separate times, 2 difference cyclists almost T-boned me as I was proceeding in turn at a 4 way stop as they blew the stop signs flying down a 4% grade. I called them a holes too because they are!

I stop at signs and obey the laws like vehicular traffic does on these crowded but wide roads. So it sucks when fellow cyclists go flying between cars stopped at the signs and almost hit you after you make your stop like you should. Too many lousy riders on the road. Yeah, if he hits me at 25 MPH, we're both getting hurt. Doesn't take a car to send you off in an ambulance.

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Old 01-07-19, 09:56 AM
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glad you are OK! but, you left the 55+ neighborhood only to be almost struck by an elderly person? is that irony?
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Old 01-10-19, 12:54 PM
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I almost got on my rollers yesterday. Does that count?
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Old 01-10-19, 09:22 PM
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What a coincidence (or karma?) that I started this thread on close calls, and last night crashed my bike into a wrought-iron fence. I like to ride at night, have a great headlight and taillight, try to stay on bike paths, wear something reflective, and of course carry a cell phone. That same 55+ neighborhood I mentioned above, it has a sidewalk/bike path entering it, with a narrow gate opening (no actual gate). I've ridden through it a hundred times, but this time, in a lapse of caution/attention/whatever, I hit the side of the opening with my flat handlebar and bar end, probably at about 12 mph. I don't remember much beyond that, other than the sound of hitting it, the repetitive cursing, checking myself to make sure there was no major damage, and riding the remaining 2 miles home. By midnight trying to breathe was excruciating, and this afternoon I saw my doctor and got some x-rays. Possible cracked ribs, road rash on my knee, a bad wrist sprain, and a finger that I think I put back in place after dislocation. A lot of bruising on my hands, from of all things, the brake levers. Probably the worst of all was hitting my shoulder hard on something. The same shoulder that I had rotator cuff surgery on 9 months ago. My doc said it'll take 6 weeks for the swelling to fully go away so we can assess whether I was lucky, or undid the surgery in one regrettable accident.

Good news is my doc told me to just stay off the bike a week, and said "Hey, look at the good news. You're 64 years old and still riding a bike". My family is definitely NOT cool with my night riding and a sometimes gonzo riding style. Implied is the one thing that no older rider wants to hear -- act your age!!!
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Old 01-10-19, 09:41 PM
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Last week, a bus almost took me out while I was well to the left of my cycle lane (we drive on the left here). The problem with cycle lanes in my area is they are just marked with a line of white paint on the road. I could see the bus approaching in my mirror and it was drifting into the cycle lane. I stopped and pulled my bike into the gutter as the bus passed a good 80% into the cycle lane.

A lot of adults illegally cycle on pedestrian footpaths here to avoid the hazard of riding on the road and parents of kids over 12 (max age to ride on footpath) are reluctant to allow them to cycle to school.

I phoned the bus company and complained but just got the usual brush off.

Other than that, I fall off on a regular basis due to my poor balance and skill and limp home grazed and bruised.
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Old 01-10-19, 09:47 PM
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Local gravel roads here you have to watch out for fresh cow pies and the rattlesnakes trying to warm up on the gravel. Beware of cattle guards that have lousy maintenance you could end up with a tacoed wheel and a face plant. Feral hogs and loose cattle can be obstacles but the people here drive ok and don’t have have any rage against someone on a bike. Basically no thru traffic. I hope you recover well Florida Dave and act you’re age at 64 keep riding bikes.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
glad you are OK! but, you left the 55+ neighborhood only to be almost struck by an elderly person? is that irony?
OMG I was banging my head wondering what a 55+ neighborhood was. Was it a place with more than 55 houses?! I'm only 53 mind you.
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Old 01-11-19, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BikingTech View Post
OMG I was banging my head wondering what a 55+ neighborhood was. Was it a place with more than 55 houses?! I'm only 53 mind you.
maybe they don't allow children? maybe it's like a retirement condo complex? my mother in law is in a "continuing care retire community" right now it's mostly elderly ppl high 80s-90s etc. but they are marketing it to 50+ yr olds. there are aspects of her complex that I like, such as the indoor pool & hot tub!
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Old 01-11-19, 06:15 AM
  #11  
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I was riding through the back streets here in Ventura, California on a marked "bike path" and a Police car cut into the bike lane just in front of me nearly taking me out. I was able to avoid collision and as I went around the drivers window(it was rolled down) I saw he was on his lap top! He apologized after I let him have it verbally and told him to stay off the computer when driving. At 64 years old I call it as I see it! He heard me ..... I hope!
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Old 01-11-19, 09:49 AM
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So, riding along the MUP I catch up to this guy walking his French bulldog. He's got the dog on one of those extendable leashes. City ordinance says dogs on six feet or shorter leashes, but the guy's got the leash at maximum, ~20'. The dog is well off to the path to the left, sniffing something. As required by city ordinance, I give an audible indication I'm about to overtake; I ring my bell. Since the guy's got earbuds in, all ringing the bell does is alert the dog. The dog makes a torpedo run towards me behind his owner. Braking, I leave the path to the right onto the grass; the dog launches into my front wheel, knocking me down. Dog owner feels tug on leash, returns to real world, reels in leash, looks at me and my bike on the ground, shrugs and says, "Sorry."

Last edited by tcs; 01-11-19 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 01-11-19, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BikingTech View Post
OMG I was banging my head wondering what a 55+ neighborhood was. Was it a place with more than 55 houses?! I'm only 53 mind you.
You have to be 55 or older to live there, and it's funny because the marketing of these neighborhoods shows 50-somethings playing tennis and golf, dancing, living the healthy, grand life. The reality is the average age is closer to 70-75 and most of the residents are just frisky enough to play bingo. I ride there because it's a huge neighborhood with little car traffic, other than the occasional ambulance making the rounds looking for business!!
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Old 01-12-19, 09:11 AM
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I live in a mountainous area. As I crested a 2 mile hill and start an equally long decent I notice an open tractor trailer size coal truck loaded to the gills pull out just behind me. No problem it's a 8-9 % grade and any truck over 20,0000lbs. is posted for max speed of 20MPH, so I take the lane and am already going just under 40MPH. Now the decent is single lane, the other side two lanes, straight most of the way. Imagine my suprise as this guy takes the other side passing lane to pass me. Problem is we are going about the same speed and he's over taking me at about a half mile an hour. Well there a right turn coming up at the base (hence the posed speed limit). and we are running out of room. He starts getting back in the lane squezing me over. Of course I immediatly go to the right but not the shoulder as it's full of debris and has those damn rumble "wake up" strips. Am now on the white line, he's a foot from me. I start to brake hard, but so does he as the turn is just about upon us. I just get behind him as he swings in and I see the back of the truck whip into the shoulder and almost hits the guard rail......I was almost the fly to his fly swatter.........of coures this was about a 1/2 second of time.
I use to trust truckers as professionals but they are getting worst and worse and I now have this road off my decent list forever. This guy nearly killed both of us as he almost lost control. I tried to catch him at a light a mile further but no luck even with the boatload of adrelin and a world record (for me) sprint......
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Old 01-12-19, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Ald1 View Post
I used to trust truckers as professionals.....
If you are in the USA, there's a shortage of truckers and salaries are up, so there's a greater than historical average of new folks behind big rig steering wheels.
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Old 01-14-19, 09:13 PM
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An unfortunate update to my story above about hitting a fence post while attempting to go through a narrow gate opening much too fast...

The x-rays say 2 broken ribs. The treatment is to do nothing but let them heal. But because one break is in the front and one is on the side/back, I cannot find a comfortable position to do anything. Don't know how I'm going to start riding again anytime soon. The doc says broken ribs are good for about 2 months of pain, but oddly enough he gave me no restrictions other than to not do something stupid. Considering how I injured myself, I probably needed to be told that!!

Waiting to see if the accident re-injured a surgically repaired shoulder, time will tell.

So in the near term, I'll be missing the clear skies, cool temps, and nice breezes of winter in Florida, doing mind-numbing riding on a stationary recumbent bike in the gym instead.
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Old 01-15-19, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by FloridaDave View Post
An unfortunate update to my story above about hitting a fence post while attempting to go through a narrow gate opening much too fast...

The x-rays say 2 broken ribs. The treatment is to do nothing but let them heal. But because one break is in the front and one is on the side/back, I cannot find a comfortable position to do anything. Don't know how I'm going to start riding again anytime soon. The doc says broken ribs are good for about 2 months of pain, but oddly enough he gave me no restrictions other than to not do something stupid. Considering how I injured myself, I probably needed to be told that!!

Waiting to see if the accident re-injured a surgically repaired shoulder, time will tell.

So in the near term, I'll be missing the clear skies, cool temps, and nice breezes of winter in Florida, doing mind-numbing riding on a stationary recumbent bike in the gym instead.
Sorry to hear that! I had a pretty serious accident back in April of last year and had to go 12 weeks without getting near my bike, it was no fun as I ride a lot. Time passed and my broken bones healed and my first ride was heaven, even given the 100+ degree heat in SO Cal at the time(couldn't wait!)
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Old 01-16-19, 11:52 AM
  #18  
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Any close calls recently?
Yeah, I almost tripped getting off the trainer. I'm now wearing a helmet for all indoor rides!

...Or maybe I need a rest week from intervals.
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Old 01-16-19, 04:32 PM
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Late on the yellow , so turned red too soon ,a small town so I got through it OK..
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Old 01-17-19, 07:37 AM
  #20  
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Any close calls recently?

This past Tuesday I was riding on a dark two lane, but lightly traveled suburban road, as the car commuters were starting to come out. In my winter dress swaddling my head and neck, my head mobility and peripheral vision is restricted though I use a rearview eyeglass mounted mirror.

I came to a four-way intersection for a left turn, and though the coast was clear, instead of taking the far left of my lane and turning, I decided to cross the lane since it was clear, stop at a median, look for oncoming cars, and then proceed (perpendicular to the road) through my turn.

Well I didn’t notice the edge of the brick curb (not a light-colored concrete one), even with my headlight, because there was little contrast between the curb edge and the blacktop road surface, and down I went into the middle of the oncoming lane.

I couldn’t get up quickly because my left foot was still engaged on the clipless pedal and as I was lying on my side on the ground, I couldn’t get enough leverage to disengage.Of course by now a car was coming up in my direction. Fortunately the driver stopped, got out and relieved me of my bike. I quicly went to the side of the road and re-claimed myself, and rode on to work.

Eventually the left knee grew more sore and I stayed overnight at work to rest it. Today (Thursday) it’s notably better. In decades of cycling, I have had a couple of accidents,hitting obscure obstacles when I abandon my standard riding practices in an attempt to be more safe.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-17-19 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 01-17-19, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
down I went into the middle of the oncoming lane. I couldn’t get up quickly because my left foot was still engaged on the clipless pedal and as I was lying on my side on the ground, I couldn’t get enough leverage to disengage.Of course by now a car was coming up in my direction
Duuuuude!
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Old 01-17-19, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Duuuuude!
Hey @rummrunn6,

Thanks for that reply. The situation was not as scary as might be imaqined, and after falling events preceded at a reasonable pace. The road was low volume and low speed.

I was concerned about my left knee though it is improving. 2019 is a re=building year for me after a disastrous 2018, so I don't want it jeopardized.
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Old 01-17-19, 08:31 PM
  #23  
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It is Yellow Unicorn on Blue Background season. Thousands of local runners hitting the streets, ramping up for the Boston Marathon.

What’s amazing is that there has been a sea change. A few years ago, even though often training in the dark or dawn, runners ran in whatev in the road. (The Boston Marathon is run on the roads.)

But whatev is no longer true. The sneaks and jerseys are high vis, they blink, they illuminate, hell, some of them would dazzle the most dazzling bike commuter with their mass quantities of lumens.

One guy, running the wrong way in a bike lane on Mass Ave, (technically, running the right way) screamed at an oncoming pickup that had drifted into the bike lane. BIKE LANE! BIKE LANE!

A moment of amusement. Neither really belonged there.

People on bikes rarely have close calls.

People in cars have close calls.

But unless they are faced off with a dump truck or train, people in cars have no skin in the game.

-mr. bill
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Old 01-18-19, 07:12 PM
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I was riding on a 4 lane road with a 4 foot bike lane on each side in a residential area going about 15 mph. As I approached a school a small bus was preparing to exit a driveway turning the right. There were no obstructions and I was wearing a hot yellow wind breaker but the bus didn't stop and continued out the driveway into my path requiring me to make a hard left to avoid hitting the bus. If I hadn't swerved I would have hit the buses front wheel. As it was I only missed the front bumper by less than a foot. The driver fortunately saw me going by and stopped as she might have run me over. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?
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Old 02-03-19, 11:22 AM
  #25  
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There's one old lady down the street who drives a big Cadillac...She can barely see over the steering wheel, hugs the curb if another car is coming toward her, pulls over to the wrong side of the road to access her mailbox. (Rule of thumb: if you can't walk out to your mailbox, you probably shouldn't be driving a car.)

Whenever I see that Caddy coming toward me, I prepare to hop up and over the curb.

I'm lucky to have a much younger and assertive wife. She'll make me stop driving when it's time.
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