Getting hit by a car, is it a matter of time?



Dryden39

New Member
Jan 4, 2004
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Originally posted by Guest
I can't see how bikepaths can be dangerous?

Unless we are speaking of some other form of bikepath.

The bikepaths I speak of, are paths which are completely set aside from roads and used for the sole purpose of either pedestrians walking or cyclists cycling. And the odd rollerblader too.

How anyone could manage to die on one of these paths I'm not sure?

I also agree that normal roads with proper bike lanes are a great and viable alternative as well.
 

Dryden39

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Jan 4, 2004
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Originally posted by Dryden39
The bike paths I frequent are just as dangerous as the roads. I'm sorry to say, but people are stupid. Pedestrians strolling along 3 abreast, taking up the whole bike path. Rollerbladers who just stop, spin, take a sharp turn to the left , or right. If you're moving along at a good clip, you're screwed. The other day, there was a family of 5, 1 person pushing another in a wheelchair.......a f!*^$!*ing wheelchair!!! I'm at a loss, but I still prefer the bike paths to the orads here in Quebec.

Gary B
 

tmadonna

New Member
Mar 8, 2004
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i've been riding for about 15 years now, from commuting to school, commuting to work or just out for a ride. About 3 weeks ago i had my first real close call, a lady decided she could make the turn before i got to the intersection, she was wrong, i locked them up at 25 mph and missed a collision by 2 feet. Last week, an elderly gentleman pulled out of a parking lot into my path, i guess he too was thinking he could make the turn before i got there, this time he braked, i braked and he bumped me at about 5 mph, no damage done. Up until 3 weeks ago i have never really had a close call.
 

SanShou

New Member
Mar 2, 2004
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I have only been truly hit once. I was going down a large hill on my street bike many years ago with my speed being somewhere between 35-45 mph. A car clearly saw me but decided I could not be going as fast as I did. Needless to say I had little time to react and could not avoid the collision. Since my other hobby was/is the martial arts, I was able to clear the car (one of my friends from school who was at a stop light told me I went about six feet in the air) and dive rolled on the other side. The only damage I suffered was a wounded knee (my roll went a little side ways) that still aches these days but hasn't otherwise slowed me down. I was real lucky after seeing the caved in bike and not wearing a helmet at the time.

However I did not bike again for years and I am still nervous on heavily trafficed streets. I use that paranoia to my advantage as I never assume cars see me or are going to stop for me. So far that has saved me from several minor incidents. However I no longer let the accident stop me from enjoying a good long ride (well at least until my sore knee acts up :D ).
 

Randybaker99

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Nov 13, 2003
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Originally posted by Dryden39
The bike paths I frequent are just as dangerous as the roads. I'm sorry to say, but people are stupid. Pedestrians strolling along 3 abreast, taking up the whole bike path. Rollerbladers who just stop, spin, take a sharp turn to the left , or right. If you're moving along at a good clip, you're screwed. The other day, there was a family of 5, 1 person pushing another in a wheelchair.......a f!*^$!*ing wheelchair!!! I'm at a loss, but I still prefer the bike paths to the orads here in Quebec.

Gary B

Too true. I would even say a bike path is *more* hazardous than most roads - people on paths are even more random in their movements and actions than they are in their cars!

I have given up on so-called bike paths for any kind of fitness biking. In fact, in most places they are now labelled "multi-use recreational paths" or some such. I am not really upset about this, just resigned. Bikes have such an incredible mechanical advantage compared to any other non-motorized transportation, so they are basically incompatible with everything else on a path. When is the last time you saw a runner or a rollerblader travelling at 25 MPH - or even 15 MPH! I do ride on the paths with my kids, but we average about 8 MPH, which is pretty safe but not exactly a good workout.

On the plus side, at least there is some place for these people to walk, 'blade, etc. (even stroll in a wheelchair!) so that they are not sitting in front of the TV!

Are the roads in your part of Quebec that treacherous? I used to live in Ottawa and successfully rode in that part of Quebec all the time. It's a big province though, so maybe your part has hazards I am not aware of...
 

patrickshanahan

New Member
Apr 2, 2004
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I think that a great aid to road safety for cyclists
is to have rear view mirrror fitted to the bike.
When I am cycling in heavy traffic past parked cars
you need to position your self as far out in the road
as possible to avoid being doored.
But you dont want to get in the way of traffic coming
up behind so a mirror lets you know how much space
you have availiable to safely use for your bike on
busy streets.
It is also good for overtaking parked vehicles, skips, without having to keep looking back all the time, which isnt safe as if
you are looking back you arnt aware of whats going on in front
of you.
I would not be without a mirror now, I think they are absolutely
vital to have on a cycle in busy city traffic.
Pat, Nothampton, England.
 

psycl1st

New Member
Jul 29, 2004
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S. Morman said:
About a year ago I was involved in an accident and I'm still recovering. I was headed north and the driver was headed south. It was a perfectly bright sunny day so the visiblity was great (from my perspective). There was a three way intersection that I was crossing over (it was to my right) and the driver decided to turn onto that road. I guess she didn't see me in my bright yellow jersey. I hit the car doing 20mph, performed the three most perfect flips in the air with the bike (according to the witness) and landed in the middle of the road without the bike. One of my shoes was still clipped into the bike and the other I was still wearing.

Fortunately for me I was wearing my helmet (I never leave home without it), but unfortunately I took out her passenger-sdie mirror with my right knee. Here is the amazing part, I didn't break any bones, and all the damage was tissue damage. I took out all the tissue o the inside of my right knee down to the muscle without damaging any of the muscle. Talk about lucky (I guess). I have 5 skin graphs (sp?) on my right leg, so there are some pretty interesting battle wounds now.

The driver doesn't own the car (it's her daughters), she doesn't own a house (she is living with her daughter), and there is minimal coverage on the car with NO property damage. Go figure.

Needless to say, my 2001 Bianchi Eros with its steel frame was crushed. The front tire overlaps the downtube. It this is is shorter now my an inch.

I took me a year to figure out if I wanted to ride bikes again. At the time of the accident my daughter was only 6-weeks old and the only thought going through my head during my ambulance ride was...what if my daughter had to grow up without her father. I've been on the road a couple times this year on my mountain bike and I feel confident, yet much more cautious, on the road. I can't let something like this own my life and I enjoy cycling too much to just give it up. One thing is for sure and that is that I will probably ride slower because of the accident.
I have had three memorable (amnesia made me forget the others!) accidents in my 25 yrs of cycling.

Most memorable was whilst pacing a motor bike at 30mph (50kmh) my bike stopped - I didn't, fractured clavicle and a spot of unconciousness which was probably just as well because the workmen that collected me from the road were amazed at how high I could fly.

Most painful was a father opening the door to let his daughter out on to the pavement as I was going past - corners of doors are so hard!! especially when they hit your ribs.

Funniest was when an elderly man drove in to the back of me , albeit slowly, whilst at a junction. His excuse whilst looking at my crumpled rear wheel was that 'my wife (a passenger) was watching where I was going'. At least he paid for a pair of wheels and gave me a lift home.

Ride aggressively - most car drivers don't want to collide with cyclists, take a positive stance in the road and make yourself as visible as possible. Avoid being afraid of cars - even if you are, give yourself space to move into if they get a bit too close. Always, always, always, wear a helmet. Even if you are on the last uphill section of a stage in the tour de france.
 

dcarn75

New Member
Apr 26, 2005
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Just started commuting to work in London and it is a joy, but I got hit by a car the other day. Car coming out of a side road and did not see me! My leason was I have to drive for the other. I had a horrible feeling when I approached the junction and boom! My take is you must be defensive if in doubt stop.





Guest said:
Hi.

For people who frequently ride on road.. is it only a matter of time before you get hit?

I'm always thinking about it when I'm on the road, and just pray it never happens to me.. had a close call the other day.

Who here frequently rides on the road and has never been hit, and who has been hit.

Share your stories please.
 

shopcountryside

New Member
Nov 26, 2003
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psycl1st said:
I have had three memorable (amnesia made me forget the others!) accidents in my 25 yrs of cycling.

Ride aggressively - most car drivers don't want to collide with cyclists, take a positive stance in the road and make yourself as visible as possible. Avoid being afraid of cars - even if you are, give yourself space to move into if they get a bit too close. Always, always, always, wear a helmet. Even if you are on the last uphill section of a stage in the tour de france.


1 1/2 years later, still can't sleep on my right shoulder (was dislocated), still can't hear worth a **** in my right ear(busted ear drum), still have some sucky short term memory (6 hematoma's, skull fracture, a nice bump from the stitch up). No matter what I did, that grain truck was going to take me out and they did. I had no where to go and they knew that too. (no shoulder and a rock covered ditch) Never found out who did it but I can say I'm not fearless anymore. If I hear a diesel powering up behind me, my memory of pain kicks in and I get off the road and let them pass before they get to me but they can't make me stop riding! That's 3 days in the trauma unit I am glad I don't remember but I'd risk it again before I'd give up riding!!! :)
 

Borg

New Member
Jan 27, 2004
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1) I think that you really have to watch out for the WMBs (not WMDs) on the bike paths -- the "Weekend Mountain Bikers" -- who ride two/three abreast, with an unnerving lack of bike control, at slow speeds and with no idea of riding straight or keeping their head up to watch for oncoming bikers.

2) Packs on Sat/Sun morning rides usually contain a few heroes who like to use up half of your path lane aswell. This is highly unnerving when combined speeds approach 70kph.

3) Heroes who like to overtake on blind corners..the amount of times I have nearly been taken out this way...arrgh!

4) Some riders just seem to forget which side of the path to ride on. If I am pumped they always cop an earful!

5) Sorry to generalise (offend) any other forum members but Asian drivers are the absolute pits! They have been responsible for too much grief in my 20 years of cycling.

6) Roundabouts are a true hazard. Drivers forget that you want to get through aswell and cut in close on the exit lane (if going straight ahead)...almost been cleaned up too many times this way aswell.

7) Yep...drivers who have had a couple after work on Friday arvos are a definite risk.

But on the whole, I would rather take my chances on the road for any real training. Bike paths are the worst when dealing with inexperienced riders, general maniacs, roller-bladers, WMBs (refer above), pedestrians, slippery areas of Morton Bay Fig residue (for all you Aussies), gardeners etc etc.
 

ricketyclik

New Member
Mar 23, 2004
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Chester1 said:
Regarding bike paths, I used to live in Canberra, Australia. A lot of nice bike paths, but they twist and turn and don't really go anywhere worthwhile..to commute you really had to get on the road. Mainly for the weekend rider. I live in Sydney now, and while bike paths are appearing, they are a still a little rare. At least some of them go in a straight line!

I still live in Canberra and commute to work by bike path. Almost the whole way, after the 1st couple of kms. 25km. In the first half, I cross one road. I then have to cross a lot, which I find safe, because I can see cars easily, even if they can't see me.

I could take the road and save 7km or so, but is it worth the risk?

I've been hit by a car who didn't see me. Guess where. On the first couple of kms, ie, on the road. I myself have missed seeing cyclists who have right of way several times while I'm driving. I think it's because you're looking for cars, so bikes get filtered. Bad news I know, but there it is.
 

alex_mac

New Member
Oct 2, 2003
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byron27 said:
been hit 4 or 5 times, even by a bus and a 4 wheel drive (SUV)!. Have been lucky enough to never break anything. I always remember what my grandfather told me, "everyone else on the road is an idiot", and while being a little pessimistic, it has saved my skin many times. These times i have been hit have been totally unavoidable. people driving way too fast out of blind drive ways, turning without indicating, etc. Just remember to do as much damage to the car when you are on the bonnet and roll when you land. And make them feel as guilty as hell. They say "sorry", say "yeah, that doesnt count for much when im dead", and such and so on and hopefully you will guilt them enough into giving you the money for repairs, etc. If this doesnt work then then get their details, and give their car door a kick the next time you come across it in the street.

thats exactly what I did to the car that hit me ( the bonnet bit )

I wonder if I did more damage $$$ wise to him compared to write off of bike?
 

Livos

New Member
Apr 21, 2005
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Spoke said:
<snip>
Police decided not to charge the driver on the grounds it was difficult to prove who was to blame! Good old Police!
Unbelievable and impossible in case the biker was a policeman or politician... probably relatively common though...

Spoke said:
I've ridden on mainland Europe and in the UK. European drivers have much more respect for cyclists. My advice don't ride on busy UK roads.
You probably mean certain parts of main Europe and believe me, they did not learn willingly.
In Nederlands or Germany you typically find respectful drivers where they've experienced uncomfortable consequences when failing to behave themselfs which includes the loss of mirrors or lights etc. Also drivers are likely to face a group of bikers within a seconds should they decide to get physical on a biker - just because there are many.

In other parts of Europe I'd rather not count on respectful drivers.

Spoke said:
Today I'm glad to be alive and I'd rather put my energy into cycling instead of trying to screw the driver who nearly killed.
The older I get - biking more seriously approximately 20 years now - the more I tend to invest my enery similarly. I do still enjoy having a blast but I try to comunicate my intentions to drivers by clear, confident and competent biking, which seemed to have worked so far as I have not had any contact with cars.

Nevertheless: there is unfortunately never any protection against complete negligence and stupidity! Therefore: never assume something is not going to happen or too stupid to do! Dont try.

Cheers, Livos
 

JCP Innovations

New Member
May 15, 2011
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I live in San Jose and the roads here are terrible!! There is glass, and debris on the road everywhere. I think when they cut the budget to try to climb out of the monster debt that we are in, street cleaning was one of the first things to go. After all who cares about the minorities right? Two thumbs down! (Sorry about the rant, it is just frustrating) That being said, there are a few things that you can do minimize your chances of having an accident.

1.) check the weather - There is an application available that will show you what days of the week are safer to ride by looking at weather conditions and providing a rating for the next five days. It is called Cycle Weather and it is available for iphone and Android phones.

2.) Wear the bright clothing that everyone here has mentioned - Amazon and REI should be your economical options.

3.) Blinking red and solid white - Even if you are riding in the daytime, having a blinking red on the back and a solid/blinking white light on the front is a must have.

4.) Dork it up- If you live in an area where there is debris on the shoulder/bike lane buy a mirror, it might save your life!
 

e_space23

New Member
Dec 10, 2003
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I have been commuting by bicycle for 40 years. I have been hit by cars twice. One of those was hit and run. Thirty-three of the 40 years was is Denver, Colorado. I commuted through the winters in Denver. As long as the streets were dry, clear of ice and snow, I rode. During the winter the roads, though dry, would be covered with sand and gravel that the city snow removal crews would lay on the streets for traction for motorists. When the streets were dry the sand and gravel would present a hazard for cyclists. I stopped using a road bike for commuting years ago. I have been using a mountain bike for commuting. I find the mountain bike better for communting for several other reasons besides just the ability to better handle the sand and gravel. It is easier to hop curbs and get away from the occasional motorist that tries to intentionally to run me off the road. I can't count how many times I have been harassed while riding. When the road is blocked, nothing gets in my way. I can ride through the land scaping if I need to. There are horse trails in large open-space parks around reservoirs and along creeks near my home. I can ride these trails to and from work. I still ride my road bike frequently. I ride with groups for protection and it is a lot of fun to ride with other people. I learn new routes. I am more challenged and get to associate with people have been professional racers. Always wear a helmet and gloves and stay alert. You never know what another human is going to do whether they are a motorist, cyclist, pedestrian, or child. If they can get in your way, they probably will.
 

castiron

New Member
May 19, 2011
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Been on a path in Dallas where fast roadies mix with walkers. It seems very dangerous and I would be real surprised if there has not been any serious injuries on it. White Rock Lake bike and hike path. Beautiful area and nice path.
 

scartissue22

New Member
Mar 23, 2011
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In New Zealand there are a lot of road users who don't like cyclist's. I was out on a longer ride a few days ago in the country somewhere when a white van came by me at 100km/h+, he was about half a foot away from my handlebars. Almost took me off. I was as far as I could go off the road and he still decides hes going to give me a hard time.
I believe that it is a matter of time before I am taken out, but there is nothing you can do about it, people these days are pricks.