Is it a matter of when, not if, will you get hit commuting?

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Eggyolkeo, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Eggyolkeo

    Eggyolkeo New Member

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    Riding from Bondi to Brookvale last night, nearly got hit twice. And they weren't just "that was close", they were car brakes locking up and all of that. Very scary ride.

    In motorcycle circles, they always say it's not a matter of if, but when will you have an accident. I always shook my head at these comments, having ridden sensibly for 6 years with no accident. Then I had two.

    Am I riding too fast around the city streets, or is there just no escaping the taxis, vans, idiots who aren't looking? I have a plethora of lights, and wear a longsleeve fluro jersey......I'm contemplating a helmet light/flasher after last night.
     
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  2. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    I've been riding round Sydney for the last 26yrs and would have logged well over 200,000kms in that time. Only one accident involving a car with me sailing over the bonnet and being unhurt. I ride very defensively as for the last 16 yrs I have also been riding a tandem with someone on the back and we have never had any sort of accident. Until 11 days ago.
    We were hit by a moron driving car puling out from stationary traffic as we were riding along Norton St heading towards Parramatta Rd. We were only doing 10kms/hr and the car pulled out from the outside lane onto the wrong side of the road when we were only 1m away. Car hit the tandems front wheel and we went down. Marian's ok with only a graze on her left knee. I wasn't quiet so lucky as I have torn part of my rotator cuff in my left shoulder and I need surgery to repair torn right thumb ligaments. The shoulder should be better in a few more weeks but the thumb? I'm right handed and not being able to grip is annoying to say the least.

    So while cyclists tend to cause their own or have most of their accidents all by themselves, I think it is inevitable if you spend enough time cycling in traffic you will end up having some kind of altercation. Just ride as defensively as you can. Take the lane and act like you take up the same amount of room as a car and be predictable.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  3. Eggyolkeo

    Eggyolkeo New Member

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    What we really need is a good set of air horns!
     
  4. timmyo

    timmyo New Member

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    I have had numerous near misses with cars and I have only been commuting this year. Most of my near misses have occurred in the CBD of Adelaide. There seem to be a lot of concrete barriers for roadworks that narrow the lanes so much that cars just push you out of their way into the barrier. I also have had problems with drivers using bike lanes to sneak around stopped traffic. I also have to say that the buses here are terrible!!! and there are so many of them. There is no feeling worse than getting squeezed between a moving bus in one lane and a departing bus that you are overtaking. I have been lucky not to have any major collisions with cars where I have got injured but I gave a passenger one hll of a scare when they turned lft in front of me without indicating. I slammed on the brakes and hit their window. I think the passenger was probably more shocked than I was!!
     
  5. geoffs

    geoffs New Member

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    I have an AirZound and a really loud yell. At night we have a 30w HID on the front and a Basta Superflash on the back.
    The horn is great when you have time to use it. Cars drivers can hear it.
    however yelling on your way down to great the road is a bit late.
    Using a helmet mirror is the best thing that I find to use as I can keep track of approaching cars and get an idea of what they are going to do eg., are they being patient and waiting to go around or are they going to treat overtaking as a personal challenge to see how close they can get to you.

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  6. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    I've been knocked off my bike 3 times in four years. It has always been a situation where one has less than 3 seconds warning - twice, I didn't even have time to brake. Air horns would have been useless in all 3 situations. If you've time for the horn, you've probably time for effective braking or evasive action, so a horn would only be a distraction from more appropriate activity.
    Visibility, visibility, visibility, and appropriate placement on the road, are all you can do. If you're leaving cars room beside you to force you off the road, then you weren't riding in the proper place to start with. On a multilane road, or riding through a dangerously narrow section, you need to keep cars out of your lane by riding in the middle of it, or even slightly to the right of the midline. Bugger road rules or politeness - it's your life. You're much more visible if you are not hugging the gutter or parked cars. Don't forget about car doors. Be careful about exercising your right to overtake stationary vehicles on the inside, as oncoming vehicles turning across your path will not see you. Remember that, for your purposes, all pedestrians are idiots.
     
  7. cruisin

    cruisin New Member

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    I got rear ended about 5 years ago by an 83 year old lady.
    Fortunately for all she handed her licence in.
     
  8. Eggyolkeo

    Eggyolkeo New Member

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    Art - excellent post. I'm new-ish to the game, and have really only been in the first third of the lane. Will reconsider in certain situations.

    I'd love air horns, but have enough crap hanging off my bike already with bottles, pumps, tubes, lights etc etc that it's getting ridiculous!
     
  9. timmyo

    timmyo New Member

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    Obviously someone hasn't ridden a bike in Adelaide!! Even if you take the lane people will still try to squeeze you out- it's terrible. And buses are just careless. i have had buses overtake me on the right and begin to change lanes to the left while still passing. I have ended up on a footpath at 35ks because a bus has forced me off the road.
     
  10. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    No, I ride in Sydney - worst, rudest, most congested and most aggressive traffic in Australia. If you hold your position in the lane, the buses are much less likely to do that. Report any bus driver transgression to their employer and demand satisfaction - you'll often find that their employer is just waiting for a bit more evidence to justify sacking them. I managed to get a particular psychotic truck driver removed from one company's vehicles for exactly that reason.
     
  11. nerdag

    nerdag New Member

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    ^^^ + 9.999999 x10^ad infinitum

    I ride in western sydney (where on road bike lanes don't exist, and off road cycle paths seldom go anywhere useful and are occupied by pedestrians anyway), and if you don't occupy the middle of the lane, you've got no hope of surviving the roads.

    I was hit the other week by a bastard of a truck driver in broad daylight at 3pm trying to overtake me (in the left lane of a three lane road), while I was riding in the middle of the lane. The worst part is that not a single person stopped to render assistance.

    As for the OP - I agree with geoffs - spend enough time on the roads and it is a matter of if, not when. Just like driving, most people experience a collision of some sort at some time in their drivign lives.

    n
     
  12. Eggyolkeo

    Eggyolkeo New Member

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    Ha, don't talk to me about people not rendering assistance! I fell over (amusingly) at 0km/hr trying to get used to my new cleats. About 30 people at the bus stop 10m from me, all were looking in my direction and not one person came forward. Took me about 10secs to release, so not like I just got up right away.

    I obviously wasn't hurt, but even just a hand to get up would have been nice.
     
  13. artemidorus

    artemidorus New Member

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    The only really bad crash I've had, 15 years ago, which didn't involve another vehicle, left me with a dislocated AC joint and my foot jammed between my fork and the front wheel, so I couldn't get up. A good 5 or so pedestrians, and hundreds of cars, went past while I lay on the road. Eventually some nursing students, who had been driving the other way and had taken a while to turn around, helped me up, took my bike to a nearby shop and took me to hospital.
     
  14. j.r.hawkins

    j.r.hawkins New Member

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    +1 for Art's comments.

    I haven't been hit yet, but had a few close calls at night. Since going to reflecty gloves and vest and much brighter fore-and-aft flashies I've had no more close calls, with a couple of exceptions involving being tailgated very closely by buses.

    The second tailgating incident occurred in the morning peak hour, and I made sure I got the bus's details, including rego number, time, date, travel direction and nearest cross-street. While remaining throughly polite, I was deliberately controversial with management, asking pointed questions about what driver culture and mindset they were encouraging, and focussing on the risks to them of doing nothing.

    I got a very polite initial apology and response advising that the driver was to be counselled, but was ignored in my follow-up requests for information about what had actually happened.
    However, I've had no further "incidents" with government buses in the several months since. In fact they seemed for quite a few weeks to be giving cyclists more room than usual, so I can only assume something was actually done.

    A good result.
     
  15. timmyo

    timmyo New Member

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    In relation to comments about buses, I find it very ironic that here in Adelaide, there are a lot of buses carrying advertising that says "Share the road" with a picture of two cyclists peacefully sharing the road with buses and cars. It is ironic because I was nearly hit by a bus with that advertising tonight. HAHA
     
  16. leestevens

    leestevens New Member

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    Yes the busses in Adelaide for some reason are particularly bad. I have had a number of close calls before. One passed me, no sooner had the back corner of the bus gone past me the indicator came on and she (the driver) pulled over. I gave her an earfull, usual response of "didn't see you mate". :rolleyes:
     
  17. Aushiker

    Aushiker New Member

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    If you are in the centre of the lane, I am unclear as to how they can try and squeeze you out. At least here in WA if you take the centre of the lane the only option for the cars etc is to either wait or rear-end you, unless of course it is two lanes and no one is in the outside lane then I guess they can pass and and try and push you off the road.

    Regards
    Andrew
     
  18. jamesc

    jamesc New Member

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    I have had some near misses but luckily I have not been hit and my commute to work involves very few roads and the ones that do generally have clearly marked bike lanes.

    On roads where there are no bike lanes I ensure I ride at least a metre from the kerb which makes be more visible and stops cars squeezing past me; for non dual carriage way roads they have to wait or make a deliberate move to the other side of the road to get past me. I think this is safer for me.

    James
     
  19. timmyo

    timmyo New Member

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    In Adelaide, almost all the major roads in the city are two or three lanes so if you do take the lane, drivers tend to change lanes thnking ther's a gap there. It i kind of strange here because Adeaide doesn't ave any city bypasses so a lot of traffic passes throuh the cbd itself. I hail from Melbourne where in the city you are lucky if you can move in a car at all!
     
  20. j.r.hawkins

    j.r.hawkins New Member

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    On my commute route here in Sydney the lane I use is the T3 transit lane. Very little traffic in it except for buses.

    Without that, I admit I'd probably a be a lot more intimidated. On the couple of weekends I've ridden on congested 3-lanes I felt a lot less safe, especially around teh intersection of Warringah and Pittwater Roads where it was downright dangerous. You know when you can detect that "vibe" and drivers are impatient/crazy and doing stupid and risky things? At these times, both as a driver and cyclist I pull back and give plenty of room or find another route.
     
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