close calls

Discussion in 'Commuting and Road Safety' started by M2cycler, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. M2cycler

    M2cycler New Member

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    today i had one of those experiences that just makes you shudder and grimace.

    going home today on an hill, i stayed towards the left of the road(au) as i was going relatively slowly.

    i was obstructed by a car parked (legally) in my way. I couldn't just ride around it as my spider sense told me cars were coming up with high closure speed and the road was very narrow. when i looked back i saw a bunch of three vehicles then a break in the traffic. i decided to just slow down and trackstand as i waited for gap to arrive.

    my trackstand didn't go to well. I fell on my right side just as the last car was passing me. i can't imagine how close the wheel came to crushing my head. arrrgghh.

    off the topic my pedal keeps slipping, especially when i stand. this is really unnerving stomping 40km/h up an incline and having the pedal slip. my crotch has had intimate contact with the top tube one too many times. anyone recomend a pedal system that is secure. i currently use looks and my cleats are a little worn.

    also, how laughable is it to wear mountain bike shoes with spd on a road bike. my thinking is the cleat is protected when i walk over the rocky dirt section on my commute. i am thinking of switching to those.

    thanks for listening, please add ur hairy experiences.
     
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  2. less'go

    less'go New Member

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    Close call for me too. Haven't been biking long, yesterday I decided to go from my place in the burbs to the center of Paris for the annual no cars in town day... course that only applied to about 1/10 of the actual city streets, so on the way there I was riding in the bus/bike lane, maybe a meter from the curb (as per the road regs for bikes here). When I would hear a bus (or cab) coming, I'd move over and hug the curb, and kind of brace myself while the vehicle passed.

    'Cept there was this one bus I didn't see or hear, and suddenly I just kind of felt this sort of sucking sensation that began around my left shoulder, then moved over my face, and then I realized that a bus was about 15-20 cm from me and my bike, and there was this awful feeling of suction, like the bike was being pulled into the bus.

    Well, I'm here to write about it, so I can only say that I think doing lots of core exercises (I use a Swiss ball) helped me keep the bike balanced and upright without over or undercompensating for the pull.

    I will now ride smack dab in the middle of that bus lane, not one more vehicle will surprise me like that. Irresponsible bus driver: Minimum clearance distance for passing a bike is 1 meter, btw.

    Yeeeeesh. Biker girl wants respect.

    S.:mad:
     
  3. booyah

    booyah New Member

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    Not laughable at all, IMHO, but rather very sensible. I use a set of EggBeater S pedals for my city riding. They're far easier to get out of in a hurry when riding in traffic, and the protected cleat is great for wandering around.
     
  4. Chris_L

    Chris_L New Member

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    This is what I also do in narrow lanes - simply to make it clear to the drivers following that there is not sufficient room to pass unless they change the lane. Of course, some will try anyway, but by riding well into the lane, I have at least allowed myself the space to back off if necessary. This is something I would not have by riding in the gutter. Generally, you only get as much space as you give yourself.
     
  5. M2cycler

    M2cycler New Member

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    I had another one.
    A bloody huge 18 wheeler went by me in my lane at around 60km/h. i was going about 30km/h on a three lane wide arterial road with no shoulder. this was a standout from the usual vans 4wds and mid size trucks that like to get reeealy close. i was literally 10 cm from being flattened. next time i might take up the whole lane. if they want to get by, they really will have to flatten me. i'm not sure that that's so safe either because the real maniacs blare their horns and expect you to dive into a ditch. Then when you don't, it comes down to a game of chicken.

    rant and vent over.
     
  6. glennjd

    glennjd New Member

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    Hey, that's what I use. There have been several times I've had to clip out fast and put my foot down and having the extra support on my ankle and traction on the road was/is critical. I worry less about fashion and more about function.
     
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