Bike and Cycling Forum > Industry & Events > Activism / Safety > Nearly Punched My Card Today


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Old 12-21-2012, 01:30 AM   #1
kneedrachen
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Nearly Punched My Card Today

First let me start off by saying this is a motorcycle story, not a bicycle story.

"But this is a bicycle forum!" I hear you say in your head.

I included this because I think there is a LOT of similarities between my experience in this thread and cycling.

I commute most every day by bike, regardless of weather (unless lightning). I had to get my last gift for Christmas today after work, and as luck would have it, it is also the ONLY gift I have had to get in a store versus online.

Normally I'd take the bike, but due to some time constraints and the route I would have to take, I thought the motorcycle was a better choice. Now let me clarify as well, I am required by regulation to wear a bright yellow hi-viz vest with a specified amount of reflective material on it visible from the front, sides and back. I also have a 1" reflective band around my helmet and reflective knuckles on my gloves and heel gussets on my boots. On top of this, my motorcycle is a BRIGHT orange and has a sidecar on it; kinda hard to miss.

Background story, my buddy Neil was nearly killed a few years back when an old guy decided he didn't want to wait for traffic and drove in the suicide lane and then pulled a "left cross" right in front of Neil. He has had more surgeries than I can bother to count and is 100% disabled now.

Anyway, so I made my purchase an am coming home on a road, one lane each way with a suicide lane. There is NO one behind me at this point and I'm moving at 40 mph in a 40 zone. Up ahead at a light (I have the green as does the opposing direction, it is a "T" instersection with the cross street to my right) I see a car in the suicide lane, no signal, but moving. Right away something doesn't seem right and as usual I'm covering my front brake. I ease up on the throttle and start to drag my rear brakes (rear of motorcycle and sidecar wheel), all of a sudden this old man (notice above story similarities) turns left in front of me. I was so close, I had NO escape route. I squeezed the front brake right up until lock-up and the same with the rear; I could actually SEE my reflection in his front passenger window. I started thinking "Okay, I can try to jump to prevent breaking my femurs/pelvis, maybe I can roll to the side, nah, there's oncoming traffic."

I do NOT know how we didn't make contact, I think between him turning and me stopping I had maybe a good 7 inches between my front tire and the side of his car.

I got home parked the motorcycle and called my father, at one time a year round motorcyclist (in NYC and NJ). He said he hung up his helmet and sold his motorcycle after a close call one day. I don't remember the story when it happened, as we used to ride all of the time, I just remember him bringing the motorcycle somewhere and I never saw it again.

Lookling back, I had several factors stacked against me.

1. Rush Hour-people are stressed and tired from work and just want to get home as fast as possible.

2. The holiday season- I call it the silly season, because, honestly, people do things they normally wouldn't do between Thanksgiving and Christmas

3 Major shopping area- where I live, there isn't a lot of shopping, so I think people get a bit nutty around here to get their purchases done and over with


Be careful out there.



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Old 12-21-2012, 03:22 AM   #2
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Dude, you should stop riding. I'll send a truck to pick up the Ural.

Years of mountain biking have allowed me to hone my threshold braking skills on anything with two wheels. I know I'm using all the front brake when the back wheel starts to hop a bit. On my motorcycle.



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Old 12-21-2012, 03:33 AM   #3
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Wow another close call this week to one of ours. Glad you live to spread your cheer another day.

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Old 12-21-2012, 03:37 AM   #4
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Wow. Glad you're okay, Knee. Another great example of situational awareness and skill averting a tragedy. Our community, among many others, wouldn't be the same without you. Scary.

It's good to know you'll live to see the world end tomorrow

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Old 12-21-2012, 11:29 AM   #5
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Hack, $9300 and its yours.

Omni, me? Spread cheer? More like spreading a social syphillis.

Leafy- I think that cyclists and motorcyclists tend to have better situational awareness of the road conditions due to being a bit more vulnerable.

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Old 12-21-2012, 12:20 PM   #6
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Will you take a check?

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Old 12-21-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Is it one of these deals where I have to send you 1500 first and then you'll send me 3.9 million after you escape tanzania's regime since you were a prince?

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:35 PM   #8
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Glad you survived to ride another day. I've had similar situations over the years and it does shake you a little, but, at least for me, the enjoyment of the ride outweighs the risks associated with the sport.

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Old 12-21-2012, 01:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kneedrachen View Post
Is it one of these deals where I have to send you 1500 first and then you'll send me 3.9 million after you escape tanzania's regime since you were a prince?
I'll send my shipping agent to pick it up. Please wire the difference back to me.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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Glad you're still in one piece bro! That was too close indeed!



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