Close Call Today

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by letitherobe, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. letitherobe

    letitherobe New Member

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    Today after riding my bike, I was driving down one of our main streets with my bicycle on the back of my truck. It is a four-lane urban thoroughfare with sidewalks and curbs and many curb cuts to businesses, etc. Not a good place to ride a bicycle. Anyway, I saw a cyclist ahead on a mountain bike -- on the sidewalk, no helmet. I was doing about 25-30 mph and as I got almost alongside him (he still on the sidewalk), without looking back or signaling, he suddenly darts down a cut and into the lane directly in front of me. Keep in mind that traffic is heavy and my truck with trailer mirrors is very wide. I stood on the brakes and eased left as fast and as far as I could and avoided hitting him, but it was close.

    Scared the crap out of me. Had he stayed on the sidewalk, there would have been no problem with the 3-foot rule (or a six foot rule for that matter). Had he been riding on the road, I would have been able to give plenty of room. It would have just taken a bit of time for an opening. But I have to say, as a driver, I'm not expecting a bicycle to dart from the sidewalk into traffic on a busy narrow four-lane for no apparent reason and with no advance warning to cars at all and without even glancing back to perhaps signal intentions. I sure as heck don't do it as a cyclist.
     
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  2. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    glad you didn't hit the cyclist, but there are cyclists, and some here, who think the motorist should have been paying more attention, it's about the radical thinking process a lot of cyclists have. I've seen cyclists do so many crazy things over the last 40 years it would take a book to write it all and then I would miss a good 50% due to lack of memory about all the them! And I'm not talking about the street riff raff either I'm talking about guys with nice bikes and wearing kits! The riff raff riders is a whole different issue, these are usually guys who had their driver's licenses suspended due to drunk driving arrests or skipped their child support payments, those guys are already drunk or don't care so I keep a mindful eye on them as I drive by, but I shouldn't have go to that extreme with cyclists...but I do because I have too. Pro looking cyclists running stop signs and red lights right into oncoming traffic and then have the nerve to either flip off the honking upset driver or yell the colored metaphor attached to the finger, or they swerve without warning to cut across lanes of traffic with the same response when honked at by several lanes of traffic. I can go on and on about the behavior of a lot of cyclists but I'll probably get the finger here by those who think motorists are in their way, heck I probably will get the finger anyways. Until cyclists start thinking that they don't own the road they have to share it with cars and obey all laws and signal intentions so motorists aren't caught by surprise then don't expect motorists to respect us.
     
  3. Totalarmordestine

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    Good reaction on your part saved his bacon. Luckily you didn't have any vehicle on your left that you might have potentially hit avoiding this idiot.

    Just curious, did the biker even stop or notice what he had caused? Or did he simply keep biking, oblivious to his actions?
     
  4. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    That is why cyclist are not suppose to ride on sidewalks.My approach while cycling and driving are the same, always think worst case scenario. When I see pedestrian, cyclist,kids, I automatically go into caution mode, I let them go first and I never make assumptions. I think for all of us its good to see things from both points of views. It will make anyone a safer cyclist knowing what stupid ones do.
     
  5. tarverten

    tarverten New Member

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    This is the kind of thing that - if an accident had occurred due to a slightly slower reaction - the driver would be thoroughly demonized on this forum. Without reliable witnesses, the exact circumstance just before the accident would be almost impossible to determine, so there would be outrage at YOUR carelessness and possibly be labeled as "yet another half-wit bike-hater" if you had hit him.
     
  6. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I actually see a lot of that whiz from sidewalk to road when its convenient in my town. People need to understand how dangerous that behavior is.
     
  7. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear New Member

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    I'm pretty sure most all of us that have been driving for more than a few years have had close calls with peds or cyclists doing weird or unexpected things. Last night I was driving and saw a guy salmoning on a bike with no lights wearing a black hoody with the hood over his head while riding no hands and manipulating a small illuminated device which I took to be texting. He was on the other side of the road going the same direction I was and I figured there as a close call, or worse, in the making..
     
  8. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay New Member

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    Sometimes I encounter joggers behaving this way: suddenly turning left to cross the bike path right in front of my bike when I was about to pass. It seemed as if they suddenly realized they had passed an area that they were supposed to have turned to earlier, or maybe they changed mind where they wanted to go and just went for it without thinking about surroundings. Wonder if this was the case with the cyclist in the OP
     
  9. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    I think the Russian motorists have the best idea - dashcams. Catch all that lunacy on video. While you should always do your best to avoid hitting the numbskull, it's not reasonable to avoid hitting them whilst putting yourself or others in danger. You also have evidence to show that you were "in the right" (not that it matters in the grand scheme of things) when it comes to getting money to fix your car and getting those bits of brains scooped out of the air inlets near the base of the windshield.

    Brain detail:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOBvGGaDnKQ

    It's the same deal as small critters on country roads. You want to avoid them but it's not worth ending up in a tree or having a head-on with another vehicle.
     
  10. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature New Member

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    The people who don't think they have close calls are either lying or aren't paying enough attention to notice what they're causing.

    Prime example; the old bat who used to pull out onto the 55mph highway on the edge of town without even slowing noticeably for the stop sign because she never goes more than 20mph anyway. Of course, traffic made no difference in her behavior. Several people went into the ditch or into oncoming traffic before she finally got stopped enough times that her family took the keys away. She swore there was nobody else on the road.
     
  11. CoolCat

    CoolCat New Member

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    Bicyclists on sidewalks are definitely a problem. A coworker of mine was driving his truck and got hit by bicycle! He was pulling out of a business and stopped at the end of the driveway to wait for an opening in traffic, and a bike was coming down the sidewalk. He was worried the cyclist was going to dart in front of his truck into heavy traffic since the truck was blocking the sidewalk, but the kid didn't even steer away and just rode straight into the door of the truck. Thankfully when the cops showed up it was obvious that it was the kid's fault, and he got in trouble for not being in school.
     
  12. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    I hate to profile, well not really, but that sounds like what I would call a guy on a cheap department store bike and not what I think of as a true cyclist.
     
  13. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I noticed the cheaper the bike, the more likely hood of riding against traffic instead of with it as well.
     
  14. CoolCat

    CoolCat New Member

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    Does that matter? From the perspective of drivers, who generally aren't cyclists, there's no difference between a cyclist on a $1000 custom bike and a punk kid on a Walmart bike. If one of them behaves erratically or dangerously it reflects equally on everyone. The driver who sees it isn't generally going to specify the level of rider or origin of bike when they relate the story to their friends later, going "I hate bicycles!"
     
  15. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    The difference is, going in the 20's mph is alot more noticeable,unlikely, dangerous than going 10+ on a wallmart one.
     
  16. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Riding 25 to 30 mph on a sidewalk is a no-no. I highly doubt the average Joe could be travelling that fast on a MTB, on the sidewalk unless it was a good downhill.

    Cyclists shouldn't be on the sidewalk at all. The only time I will use one is to avoid road hazards an the sidewalk is clear.
     
  17. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Yes, they are going slow, against traffic and all over the road whereas most true cyclist are traveling with traffic, holding their line and traveling at a much higher rate of speed and not on the sidewalk. How each is perceived by others I do not know but it is consistent for humans to always hate or mistrust what they do not understand.
    BTW: Where are you buying those custom bikes for $1000.00? My non custom frame alone was $2000.00 and then add on all the components.
     
  18. ZXD22

    ZXD22 Member

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    That is a major reason why it is illegal to bike on sidewalks, you'll never know when the cyclist would cut onto the road and possible hit a car by accident. He should have been paying attention to the ammount of traffic and such around him. Good think you saved a life today though!
     
  19. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    That and the fact that pedestrians never allow for traffic faster than they are. Most are distracted with phone, headphones and or other pedestrians. Pedestrians and cyclists mix much worse than cyclists and cars.
     
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