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Discussion in 'Road Bikes' started by chh55, Dec 2, 2009.
What's the worst crash you've ever had? How could it have been avoided?
When I was about 12, I walked into our local bike shop and touched the handlebars of a bike I liked. It fell over and took down an entire row of similar bikes parked side by side. Must have been thirty bikes all laying in one long pile. I ran quickly from the store. They're still looking for me.
I was hit by a car. There's a thread about it some where.
I'm happy as I have not been hurt or had my bike damaged in over a week now. I was on a bad spell there for a while.
Had a banana seat bike as a kid with short apes on it and took it down the BMX track one day went over the first jump lost control of it and went over the handle bars slid face first in the sharp gravel wasn't wearing a shirt and only had on cut off jean shorts cut my knee up pretty bad and scraped up my chest but that was a good 20 plus years ago and haven't had a mishap on a bike since but got up walked with a limp um the hill and got on the bike rode home which wasn't far away.
I've been right-hooked two different times. Both times I ended up on the pavement. The second one potato-chipped my front wheel, and left me with an interesting 54-tooth chainring mark on my leg for several months.
Both could have been avoided, by the drivers of the cars paying a bit more attention. In both cases I was braking by the time I was hit, but was unable to avoid the accident that way.
Wrong, Engyo. Both times you entered an intersection with the assumption the car on your left was going straight. Never assume. Ever. Wait till it's clear behind you before passing through. That this is not fundamental, common bike sense astounds me. Glad you are okay, but you asked for it. And twice, too. Wow. No wonder people push for helmets. We should push for full body armor.
Don't think I'm upset here, but do you come to a complete stop every time a car passes you on your left if you are near an intersection? That is exactly what I would have had to do in both cases per your comments. Since in both cases I was going somewhere around 15mph when the cars passed me, that would not have been an easy task.
I don't think that commuting to work on city streets is practical under this safety protocol, unless I am not understanding your comments. I basically would not be able to pass an intersection unless there were no cars to my left (in the RH lane) - which situation would not have obtained unless I had waited 2 hours or so after my quitting time to leave work.
Just curious how you would have handled or do handle such a situation.
I would have taken the lane as my own or been watching behind me much earlier to see how the scenerio was setting up. And yes, I would have waited at any intersection for it to clear on my left IF I did not choose to take the lane and act like traffic. My way works. I've never been touched or had a close call. You already admit to the same error twice. This is not good sense.
We just hashed over this subject when discussing helmet use. I say use your head to avoid trouble. That will work 99.99% of the time. Nothing is guaranteed in life so a guy can still get hurt out there once in a Blue Moon. But to go online and admit to such rookie error still surprises me. I really thought eveyone knew how to approach intersections. Sorry Guy, that's how I see it. Doesn't make a bad person, just a poor and unsafe rider.
Hi again, London -
Two questions: Do you commute? And if so, what sort of environment (downtown, suburb, town, country, etc.) and traffic levels do you commute in?
Engyo, I like your sense of humor: UNSAFE in your signature. I giggled.
No, I do not commute. I do ride through two nasty towns up my way (Beverly and Salem, MA) that have lights every 100 yards and very heavy traffic. I normally stop at all crossings if cars are moving on my left. I used to take the lane, but got spooked doing that a few times.
If you find watching to the rear and stopping when it looks too dicy annoying, maybe you should not be bike commuting. What you are saying to me is you're in too much of a rush getting to work to ride safely. At least you admit it. A person might have to acknowledge his particular commute is not suited to bike travel if optimum speed is a goal. Life is filled with disappointments.
I'm a doctor who deals with smashed limbs all the time. No amount of "I was in the right", means a damn thing after you are hit. Drivers should be more carefull but they are not. This is a fact of modern life. You can fight it and get smashed, or you can go slower and with extordinary care. I choose care and do NOT have the scars to prove it.
I've never had a crash that I would consider really bad. Heck, as a teenager, I rode my BMX bike with my hand in a cast.
The worst sounding crash was when I was racing BMX and came off in the rhythm section. I hit the ground so hard, several people later told me that they thought I broke my hip. The only damage was a golf ball sized bump on my shin that turned a pretty rainbow of colors.
Now, the one that never happened still makes me cringe. As kids, we set up a small jump in our cul-de-sac. We would pedal down a driveway and hit it at speed. One of us go the brilliant idea of putting the jump in a driveway so that we would land in the garage. I can quite clearly recall riding down my neighbor's driveway, pedaling across the street and launching off the jump. I narrowly missed cracking my skull on the edge of the garage door...
I've mellowed a bit since then.
Hack, I watch the young guys doing stunts on bike that I could not have dreamed of 40 years ago. Then there are the motorcycle jumpers who leave the machine in mid-air and at high speed 60 feet up. Rarely do they bite it bad. Evel Kinevel (spelling?) would not be let into the same arena as modern stunt bikers. He was a missile. The new guys are acrobats. I never fail to marvel at good BMXers or moto jumpers.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cfSq1jVmuU"]You're old, dude[/ame].
Yikes! That is something.
Hi again, London -
Maybe I haven't been as clear as I should have been. I currently do not commute, as Houston is not notably cycle-friendly over the distances and area I would need to travel today. I also don't presume to judge others without a very clear and complete understanding of their individual situations, but I realize that is my choice and others choose differently.
These accidents happened 9 and 11 years ago, respectively. One was in downtown Houston, and the other was close to the UofH campus. I have had no accidents in the years since, and no other ones between those. Both of the accidents were in broad daylight and I was running my lights and hi-vis clothing. Both of them were returning home from work - I never had a problem on the way in. I use mirrors, I watch my six, and I did everything right except (according to you), coming to a dead stop because there was a car overtaking me. I have always followed all traffic signals, understanding and believing that while cycling in the road I am a vehicle just like the automobiles. I was following Texas law which requires cyclists to ride as far to the right-hand edge of the road as is practicable (the specific language in the statute). This leads to being overtaken on a regular basis. Due to the volume of traffic at the times of both these accidents, taking the lane did not seem practical and it was not a safety measure that was being widely promoted at that time.
I would like to get some comments from others regarding London's theory that one should come to complete stop when being overtaken by a car during an approach to an intersection or a driveway (unless one takes the lane) in order to prevent a right-hook. How many others ride in this manner?
That's just silly.
2 best crashes.
1. Night riding on a favourite xc trail with some buddies. Late October w/ some snow on the ground. One section of the trail crests a steep hill then turns gently to the left with drops on both sides. Going a little too fast for my lights and cut the corner too sharp. Unclip mid fall. I superman-ed off the edge and into the woods. Buddy behind me crests the hill to see my bike somersaulting down the trail, sans me. walked away with a couple of cuts and such.
2. hit by a car making a no signal right hand turn from left hand lane. there was a bus stopped in the right hand lane. potatoe chipped my front wheel, which the driver paid to replace. pretty cool of him. police were sitting across the intersection and saw the whole thing. asked if i wanted to press charges, but we figured the driver had been shaken up enough. plus I left a great scar down the side of his new car. Front fender to rear passenger.
edit: I take a little pride in my ability to crash well. is that strange?
Engyo/London....I am trying to get the jist of what you two are debating. Are you talking about what a cyclist should do when they are hugging the right side of a lane, being overtaken by a vehicle in their respective lane (clearly on the left side of the cyclist since he is hugging that right lane line) while approaching an intersection? Is this an intersection with a traffic light or a stop sign? If it is a traffic light, is the light green?
If I am approaching a traffic light that is green, I do not stop and most of the time I try not to slow down either, but maintain a steady speed (this shows the best way possible what your intent will be, to continue through the intersection). All the while, I am keeping my "head on a swivel" to cover that 45 and 90 degrees on both sides. Not only do I have to worry about that guy overtaking me, but I do have to worry about vehicles coming out of upcoming intersection. I have had encounters where the driver doesn't care that I am there and they think they can make the turn before I come through the intersection (I think this might be what you are referring too when you say “right hooked”), but I have found that these types of drivers are predictable. Typically they will have a last second acceleration to overtake you as fast as possible. That is a good indicator they are about to do something rash. The fact is that on a bike, you are another vehicle on the road. If you are referring to stopping or even slowing down at green lit intersections because you are being overtaken by a car, you are putting yourself in more danger if you are maintaining any part of a lane. My bike, and I'm sure yours as well; do not have brake lights, or turn signals. The driver over taking you may take your slowing down and/or stopping as a sign you are turning at the intersection. Keep in mind, like a lot of vehicles, a lot of cyclists don’t use their (hand) signals and therefore a lot of “assumptions” are made by drivers. This can become dangerous when you decide to continue through the intersection and the driver is not expecting it. Plus if there is another vehicle coming up behind you that is preparing to make the turn, therefore also hugging the right lane line, they may rear-end you not understanding why you would be slowing down or stopping at a green light. And it is a lot easier to observe things at your 45's and 90's then it is to see the guy about to smash you 180 degrees behind you.
I took a jump off of a curb when I was a kid and Broke my arm. First and last broken bone. I don't remember how old I was but it was bad.