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  1. #1
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    Saved this morning by that sixth sense

    My commute begins on a two lane road and then I take a left into the parking lot of a local college. This morning I was just about to make the left turn when I could hear a car approaching behind me. I stuck out my left hand and I thought that I heard the car slow down. I was just about to turn when something just did not seem right. I hesitated for a brief second and then I literally felt the car in back of me blow around me to the left. Had I not hesitated, the car could have nailed me. I don't know if this sixth sense of impending danger is something that we develop after years of riding or if it is just luck. But, whatever it is, I am thankful for it today.

    BTW: This is the third or fourth time (in 12 years of riding) that I have signaled to turn left and a driver behind me has taken my pointing left not as a signal to wait for me to turn, but as a signal to go around my left and cut me off. Am I missing something? Or, are these people incredibly reckless?
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  2. #2
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    You were extremely fortunate. There are a lot of very dangerous fools on the road. To appease the gods, take a good stiff drink and bow in the direction of the country of origin of your frame.
    This wheel's on fire/rollin' down the road

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy M-S View Post
    You were extremely fortunate. There are a lot of very dangerous fools on the road. To appease the gods, take a good stiff drink and bow in the direction of the country of origin of your frame.
    All three of my bike frames were made in the US. So, instead of a bow, I probably should get down on my knees and kiss the ground.

    BTW: This happened within sight of a small cemetery for nuns from the order that taught me in elementary school. I don't think that any of my teachers are buried there (most of the graves in the cemetery are from the 19th and early 20th century), but maybe the nuns were looking out for me notwithstanding the fact that I no longer go to church.
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  4. #4
    Call me a Fred
    Reputation: MikeBiker's Avatar
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    I've occasionally had those feelings that something is not right and usually something wasn't right. I'm sure that it was because the sound or light or smell or touch was different than what my brain expected.

    I always look over my shoulder when turning to make sure that no one has decided to pick that moment to pass me.
    Mike

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You may starch my jumper
    Hang it upside your wall
    You know by that, baby
    I need my ashes hauled.

    Sleepy John Estes

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  5. #5
    Cheese is my copilot
    Reputation: wooglin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeBiker View Post
    I've occasionally had those feelings that something is not right and usually something wasn't right. I'm sure that it was because the sound or light or smell or touch was different than what my brain expected.

    I always look over my shoulder when turning to make sure that no one has decided to pick that moment to pass me.
    I always look over my shoulder and try to make eye contact while signalling as I take the lane before turning. But I'm glad you're ok Mark. I don't think its luck though, I think its subconciously recognizing what the car is going to do before it does it. Saved my butt many times.
    Life is better in the big ring.

    http://theclemencyblog.blogspot.com/

  6. #6
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    I had the same sort of premonition when a car came alongside me during my afternoon commute one day. I had a feeling the driver would do something stupid and she did. She right-hooked me but I was halfway expecting it and was able to turn right alongside her into the parking lot. She finally realized what she had done as I stared her down in the parking lot.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    I was just about to turn when something just did not seem right. I hesitated for a brief second and then I literally felt the car in back of me blow around me to the left.
    So, what exactly happened? Did you try to make a left turn from the extreme right position (i.e. from the bicycle lane)? Or did you take the full lane before making the turn, so the car had to enter the lane of opposing traffic to pass you?

  8. #8
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    I had a UPS truck driver blow past me in a 10mph pedestrian zone in front of a cancer treatment center the other day with, literally, cancer patients feebly walking across the road. I meet my wife there and ride home with her frequently - she works there.

    He was so focused on getting around us cyclists that he almost killed a couple pedestrians.

  9. #9
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    I see this as a combination of things:

    1) your signal was not clear enough to the driver. You may think that pointing left sends a clear enough signal, but not every driver will think it as clear. Maybe he's thinking that you're waving him by.. some cyclists do actually wave drivers to do exactly this.

    2) the driver was a little careless. He could have slowed down, but he was careless.

    When I ride solo, I usually wear an orange hi-viz vest, and when I turn (especially that dreaded left turn), I not only point my hand left, I raise my whole left arm up and flag the left arm. Sometimes when you just point and flicker only your hand, drivers do not see it because your hand is so small to them. So moving your left arm tend to catch their attention much better. And I always make eye contact before any move, yep eye contact is the only way to know for sure they see you. I know may guys (especially the kit wearing pro wannabes) cringe upon wearing orange vest and flagging the whole arm thing... but I don't care. My life is in my hand. I now know 3 cool looking cyclists who have been hit, 2 killed, 1 got a broken face. I have seen soooo many riders who almost got killed because they were not seen. And seriously, if you're a cyclist riding on the road with cars,.. you should take it to be YOUR job to make sure the drivers see you. Don't give me all this law stuff, it's YOUR job to be seen, because't it's your life.

    I'm glad you're ok. that could have been catastrophic.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreyT View Post
    So, what exactly happened? Did you try to make a left turn from the extreme right position (i.e. from the bicycle lane)? Or did you take the full lane before making the turn, so the car had to enter the lane of opposing traffic to pass you?
    There was no bicycle lane on this road. It is a two lane road/street with one lane in each direction and no shoulder. Before the car approached me I had moved from the right side of the lane to the left side of the lane. The car went into the opposing lane to pass me.
    I try to be perfectly civil, until someone really pisses me off.

  11. #11
    Big is relative
    Reputation: bigbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkS View Post
    There was no bicycle lane on this road. It is a two lane road/street with one lane in each direction and no shoulder. Before the car approached me I had moved from the right side of the lane to the left side of the lane. The car went into the opposing lane to pass me.
    My homebound commute was on a two lane road with little to no shoulder. The worst thing for me were the county busses passing me too closely. The engine is in the rear of the bus so you don't hear it until it's actually passing. A bus almost got me one afternoon when I was slowing to turn left on to my road. I signalled with my left arm, was wearing bright colors, had all kinds of reflective and hi-viz stuff on my bike, it was broad daylight, and I even looked back and saw the bus a hundred feet back just rolling after dropping off a passenger. The driver was determined to pass me before I turned and when he squeezed past, his exhaust was pure black smoke. I reported the driver to the county.
    Retired sailor

  12. #12
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    Hi, you might want to consider getting a mirror. I use a helmet mount mirror and have gotten so used to it I can't ride without. I consider it the single most important piece of safety equipment on my bike.

    Later, Axlenut

  13. #13
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    Many people mistake luck for their sixth sense. I have learned to trust my hunches, feeling, and senses. As a side note, I trust my dog's senses too.
    "There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." --A. Einstein

  14. #14
    off the back
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    You don't look behind you to make sure it's clear before turning?
    Eff the King's Guard. Eff the city. Eff the King.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I know may guys (especially the kit wearing pro wannabes) cringe upon wearing orange vest and flagging the whole arm thing... but I don't care. My life is in my hand. I now know 3 cool looking cyclists who have been hit, 2 killed, 1 got a broken face. I have seen soooo many riders who almost got killed because they were not seen. And seriously, if you're a cyclist riding on the road with cars,.. you should take it to be YOUR job to make sure the drivers see you.
    I get razzed for the bright yellow hi viz stuff I wear but I don't care, I am the one enjoying the ride and like to be seen. I don't like having broken body parts....

  16. #16
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    Ride defensively - never give them a chance to hit you. This is YOUR life we're talking about here. I would never......I mean NEVER trust an idiot with my life. Ride like you're invisible - because in most cases, you are. Ride in a way that you can clearly see approaching vehicles so that you can avoid them. I never expect them to avoid me, because I am invisible. How can they avoid me if they can't see me? Be safe out there.

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