What has a motorist done to help you?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Lt J.A. Moss, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Lt J.A. Moss

    Lt J.A. Moss New Member

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    It is the rare cyclist that does not have a horror story of something a motorist has done to make you mad or scare the hell out of you.
    On the other side of the coin how many here have experienced kindness, help or otherwise had a positive experience with motorists?

    I was cycling recently on a part of the base I am stationed at that is a rough dirt road. I could see in the distance a truck coming and just knew I was getting ready to get 'dusted' but good. I knew this might happen and just tried to prepare for it.
    As the truck got closer, it started to slow a bit and I noticed it was an army truck belonging to the host nation of whose country I am in. Hmmm, guess these guys are going to talk to me, I thought.
    They continued to slow down. As they approached, both driver and passenger waved in a very friendly manner. They drove by slowly and when well clear of me they sped back up. I realized they tried very hard to make as little dust as possible (no mean feat here!) while passing me.
    A small thing to be sure but made me feel very good. There was no witnesses where we were and they could have had a good laugh with a "eat my dust" attitude if they so chose.

    Any one else with a story of overt kindness from the motoring public???
     
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  2. Beastt

    Beastt New Member

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    Well, I'll start with the obvious. All but two of them haven't run me over which is greatly appreciated. :)

    On a kinder, gentler note; we have a local mountain with a narrow, two-lane highway that swims around the terrain's contour on a steady rise toward the summit. It makes for a great ride but there is zero shoulder and you often find yourself trying to use the width of the white line on the side as a bike lane. Sometimes when coming around corners there is barely enough room for traffic going both ways and a bike. This often exceeds the confidence level of people not used to driving winding mountain roads and if they end up behind me, they sometimes have to slow significantly until oncoming traffic has passed before they can go past me on my bike. (I look like a snail in slow-motion instant replay when I climb.)

    Not once have I had a horn honked, a fist waved or a comment shouted as people slowed to wait for a safer moment to pass. I do all I can to stay out of their way but it's not always possible to give them the space they feel necessary so I end up slowing them down. When I'm in a car, I'm less than terribly understanding about things that make me slow down or wait so I'm very appreciative of the patient attitude I've encountered so far. It's almost as if they're too busy wondering what would possess someone to ride a long mountain road on a bicycle to worry about being angry. I'm seriously beginning to think that it's some sort of silent respect paid to anyone who would actually undertake such a task. (This is redneck territory. If you can't get there in your pickup while tossing beer bottles out the window, most people prefer not to go.)

    Anyway, it's nice to be able to report that I've been treated quite decently and I always try to smile and give a friendly wave as people pass. It seems to help close the gap.

    :)
     
  3. sea

    sea New Member

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    I was hit by a small truck which then took off. Three drivers stopped and took care of me until medic 1 arrived. Two of them got the license of the truck & all three gave their names to the police as witnesses. Unbeknownst to me, a fourth was following the truck and reporting its position to the police.

    Every day I get passed too close, cut off or get other bad driver behavior while on my bike. At the same time a far larger number of drivers treat me with courtesy. The bad drivers make the news and are the ones that sometimes make biking miserable but the good drivers make it possible.
     
  4. djmtoronto

    djmtoronto New Member

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    A few years ago I was riding a recreational tour in cold, wet, miserable weather. I was off the front and riding by myself up a fairly steep hill. Behind me I hear a car approaching and honking its horn. I figure he's blasting at me because he wants more room on the road . . . He pulls up beside me, rolls down his window and hands me a piece of paper, saying, "I noticed you dropped your map a ways back down the road."

    djmto
     
  5. systecsol

    systecsol New Member

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    Was cycling Death Valley, CA a few years ago and after climbing up to a tourist view point, we discovered that our support team hadn't arrived. Apparently we must have looked like "death" with our white faces (dried salt) for every tourist that stopped gave us cold soda, beer, sandwiches, and water. We met people from England, Germany and all over the US.

    This is not an isolated example for me, in the forty years I have been a cyclist I have had more postive experience than negative.
     
  6. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    Last summer, I was taking a break while on my favorite loop. Was sitting in the grass, with my head on my knees, just enjoying the breeze and thinking about nothing, when I heard a faint voice. Figured it was someone asking for directions, but when I looked up, it was an extremely attractive young lady in a car, asking if I needed any help.

    Darn - why didn't this sort of thing happen when I was single?
     
  7. Julian Radowsky

    Julian Radowsky New Member

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    About 18 years ago, on a training ride both my tires got slashed on broken glass on an inside bend of a steep downhill (glass was on blind inner curve of bend, not visible on entry to the bend).

    Slammed into the rock side wall of the pass at about 70 kph, impact split my hard shell helmet down the middle and naturally rendered my unconscious.

    My training partner, who was behind me by about 60 meters, stopped and flagged down the first motorist, who bundled me into the back of his station wagon and rushed me off to the emergency ward of the nearest hospital.

    According to the doctors on duty, an ambulance would not have been able to reach me on time, the possibility was high that I would have died of shock on the side of the road.

    I have never met the driver, and he did not leave his name, he just delivered me to the hospital and then left.

    For the record, the list of injuries sustained were:
    Fractured skull
    Burst eardrum
    Fractured zygomatic arch
    Broken collarbone
    Broken shoulder blade
    Collapsed lung
     
  8. Sprinter_989

    Sprinter_989 New Member

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    I was riding along and I heard a truck coming up behind me, one of those big quarry trucks, the ones that cause a hurricane when they fly past. He comes up behind me gives me a friendly toot of the horn, goes past but he does not speed up. I was able to sit on the back of him going about 45-50 kmph for about 10 k's :)
     
  9. sunman

    sunman New Member

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    I was head-down (mistake) hammering (with a tailwind 30 mph+) on the PCH, LA CA. A church van on a beach trip, full to the brim with "at risk" youth, let's just call them gangstas, stopped in the right lane to wait for a parking spot to open up. Luckily I looked up just in time to avoid them by swerving hard to the left, but I went End-o, separating my shoulder. The boys immediately got me (and my bike!) out of the road, they formed a circle around me and started a vigorous group prayer. After convincing them that I was saved they helpingly packed me up and drove me home. SM
    This is why I ride...
     
  10. pineapple

    pineapple New Member

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    Today:

    My rear tire punctured on a steep but short climb. Not realizing what was causing the vibrations, I decided to finish the climb and then check it out. I got to the top and in despair discovered the puncture. I wheeled it to the nearby petrol station and checked out my options. No pump / tube / repair kit (my bad, I know). No one at home with a car. 7 miles home. I'm soaked to the bones and shivering from the hail shower 2 miles back. What the hell do I do.

    I look up across the forecourt and there is a big red double decker, so I knock on the window and ask the driver, any chance of a lift to Beaconsfield? Nope, he says. He's off duty. ARGH.

    Then he says, What, you got a busted bike? Yep. Well, you look pretty cold... OK tell you what, I'll give you a lift to the High Wycombe rail station. You can get the train home from there.

    what a genius and saviour. I wouldn't even have thought of such a good idea!
     
  11. Mike Erickson

    Mike Erickson New Member

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    A couple of years back, I was riding on my new (to me) Rolf Vector Pros and hit a small patch of sand that had blown on to the road. I heard a twang, then wheel scrape. I got off and found that I'd popped a spoke rendering the bike useless. Fortunately, I was only about a half mile from a small country store (Alston, GA) but about 20 miles from home. I walked to the store and tried to get my wife on the phone. She was out. Being new to the area, I really didn't know who else to call. While wondering what to do, a kind old gentleman drove up, appraised my situation, then asked if he could take me home. All this after being at the store less than 10 minutes. He wouldn't let me pay him or anything. Fortunately, my cycling experiences over the last 30 years are mostly positive, otherwise, I guess I wouldn't ride.
     
  12. madmax107

    madmax107 New Member

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    Darn - why didn't this sort of thing happen when I was single? [/B][/QUOTE]

    I know exactly the feeling. It happens to me all the time now that I'm married.
     
  13. dwj444

    dwj444 New Member

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    I've never had nearly the trouble that some cyclists seem to have had with motorists running them off the road, etc. etc. I've lived and ridden regularly in Chicago, St. Louis, and Washington DC and never had a serious problem.

    About a year ago, on a training ride, I flatted on my spare tube. I was stuck. I called my girlfriend on my cell to beg a ride from her. I was some thirty miles from home when I called; it took her a bit to get to me. While I waited I had two cars stop, each to ask if I was alright. One driver even asked if I wanted to use his cell phone to call someone to come get me.

    I try to remember this incident, and others like it, whenever I listen to someone's horror story about bad drivers. We all see them, and we're scared of them. It bears keeping in mind though, not everyone behind the wheel is a jerk.
     
  14. tasmart

    tasmart New Member

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    Years ago I was bicycle touring in South-Central Missouri and I decided to ride up to the top of Mt Tam Sauk, the highest point in Mo. Well the ride up was tough, but almost as soon as I started down the skies opend and it poured and poured. Riding down a steep 5 mile grade on a fully loaded touring bike in the rain was getting scary to say the least. A guy in a pick-up stopped got out and offed me a ride down "cause I know them brakes aint worth a **** in the rain",. Thanks to him.

    Terry
     
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