Back to Back Century Rides, Back to Back Near Death Experiences
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  1. #1
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    Cool Back to Back Century Rides, Back to Back Near Death Experiences

    100 miles yesterday, 105 today. On yesterday's ride, some clown at an intersection I was cruising through decided to take off without looking right, in the direction from which I was coming. I powered up a bit and my rear tire just missed getting whacked by his bumper.

    Continued on, shaking my head.

    Today, a similar episode. I tearing down a hill, and some moron decides to back out from the autobody repair shop, right out into oncoming traffic and into my path. I was able to swerve just enough to avoid him backing over me.

    Continued on, shaking my head.

    What the hell is it with drivers, anyway? It's a clear autumn day, on both counts, and people act like they're driving through a freaking fog.

    Perhaps I should pick up one of those Road ID things.

    At least that way they can more easily contact mom and pops in the event I'm looking somewhere else when the next jagoff comes barreling my way.

  2. #2
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    Never ride without one. Or some form of ID.

  3. #3
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    Sometimes it's easy to NOT see a cyclist when your driving/backing up a car. That why it's ultimately your responsibility to anticipate the majority of those situations. Granted not all can be avoided as humans are far from perfect. After riding in a large city for years, I've come to the conclusion that the majority of incidents are caused by cyclist not following the rules of the road or motorist assuming cyclist don't have to follow the rules of the road by watching us constantly blowing through stop signs, etc...

  4. #4
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    also maybe ride slower in busy intersections

  5. #5
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    I wear a Road ID.
    Yesterday I had a guy speed past me so he could cut me off and turn into a strip mall driveway. This happens to all of us.
    I was about 49 miles into my ride and got a bit peeved.
    I pulled into the next driveway and rode up to the guy as he was walking into Dunkin Donuts. No kidding.
    Rather than start yelling and swearing I calmly told him that I have a wife and two children, that my bike and I weigh less than 200 lbs and he's driving a 3,000 lb car. I said that maybe next time he could slow down and just pull in behind me. The guy simply said, "I apologize." I said have a nice day and went on my way. Hopefully he pays attention next time he comes up on a cyclist.

  6. #6
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    Must ride defensively, even more so than motorcyclists have to.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridingred View Post
    I wear a Road ID.
    Yesterday I had a guy speed past me so he could cut me off and turn into a strip mall driveway. This happens to all of us.
    I was about 49 miles into my ride and got a bit peeved.
    I pulled into the next driveway and rode up to the guy as he was walking into Dunkin Donuts. No kidding.
    Rather than start yelling and swearing I calmly told him that I have a wife and two children, that my bike and I weigh less than 200 lbs and he's driving a 3,000 lb car. I said that maybe next time he could slow down and just pull in behind me. The guy simply said, "I apologize." I said have a nice day and went on my way. Hopefully he pays attention next time he comes up on a cyclist.


    Kill 'em with kindness. This is the best way to handle such a situation. (though many would say you're better off just ignoring them, but I disagree) Your words might make him think twice before driving recklessly next time.

  8. #8
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    Idk if I just don't remember insane driving I saw six months ago... I've began driving my car more again, and I'm seeing absolutely insanely worse driving much more often. Maybe it only seems like it, but I get road raged against my CAR - not my bicycle - up to several times driving just a 10 mile stretch on the highway. Like, is there some bad weed or new drug going around?

  9. #9
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    One thing to get across to motorists is that cyclists aren't angry people; it's normal to have an extreme reaction when you feel your life has been threatened. It's the flight or fight response.

    This should be distinguished from a-hole fatigue, in which the patience of a cyclist gets worn out by continually having to put up with motorists that drive without due care and caution. The resulting outbursts are understandable, but not defensible, and therefore require an attitude adjustment on the part of the annoyed cyclist: Bad drivers come with the territory, so we should expect and accommodate so they don't ruin our ride.

    But Road ID is a great thing just in case the drivers ruin our ride to the point we cannot pick ourselves up off the ground.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wood Devil View Post
    100 miles yesterday, 105 today. On yesterday's ride, some clown at an intersection I was cruising through decided to take off without looking right, in the direction from which I was coming. I powered up a bit and my rear tire just missed getting whacked by his bumper.

    Continued on, shaking my head.

    Today, a similar episode. I tearing down a hill, and some moron decides to back out from the autobody repair shop, right out into oncoming traffic and into my path. I was able to swerve just enough to avoid him backing over me.

    Continued on, shaking my head.

    What the hell is it with drivers, anyway? It's a clear autumn day, on both counts, and people act like they're driving through a freaking fog.

    Perhaps I should pick up one of those Road ID things.

    At least that way they can more easily contact mom and pops in the event I'm looking somewhere else when the next jagoff comes barreling my way.
    205miles of riding with "only" 2 near incidents seems like good riding too me. Being alert and riding defensively hopefully keeps them as near incidents.
    Sometimes I ride my bike to nowhere, to see nothing, just so I can ride my bike.

  11. #11
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    One man's near death experience is another's fortunate non-event, I guess! Inadvertence or not seeing me is just part of being out on the road, IMO. Intentional conduct toward me (which happens very, very infrequently) is another. But if they are doing the best they can and just didn't see me, well, that's life (on a bike or in a car!).

    Some people seem more touchy about this. A new guy joined me and a couple friends for a ride a few weeks back. When we stopped for a break, he was so fired up about this and "did you see that" and "I can't believe people..." Honestly, I hadn't noticed anything too objectionable or unusual, but it was like he was looking for things to be ticked about and was keeping score! We haven't called him to ride since. It would be too stressful to ride that way. I'm usually in the "you whine like a mule; you're still alive" camp.

    (yes, that was a quote from Robin Hood. Kevin Costner rules...).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridingred View Post
    I wear a Road ID.
    I was about 49 miles into my ride and got a bit peeved... Rather than start yelling and swearing I calmly told him that I have a wife and two children, that my bike and I weigh less than 200 lbs and he's driving a 3,000 lb car. I said that maybe next time he could slow down and just pull in behind me.
    I agree this is likely to be a much more effective approach than expressing anger.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tystevens View Post
    One man's near death experience is another's fortunate non-event, I guess!
    That could be so, but there are other factors as well that might explain your friend's behaviour.

    If it's a near-death experience, usually for me, for a significant time during the incident, it may be only for a second or two, I've had the feeling I won't be able to avoid a collision, and the speed and trajectories are potentially lethal.

    There's a difference between that and an incident in which I feel in control but, intentionally or not, am being forced to brake, move, or to get off the road.

    Some might see the latter as being bullied, and depending on their life experience that could possibly result in a strong reaction.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tystevens View Post
    It would be too stressful to ride that way. I'm usually in the "you whine like a mule; you're still alive" camp.

    (yes, that was a quote from Robin Hood. Kevin Costner rules...).
    I was particularly a fan of "Mr Brooks". It seems like Costner is really in his element in that movie.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridingred View Post
    I wear a Road ID.
    Yesterday I had a guy speed past me so he could cut me off and turn into a strip mall driveway. This happens to all of us.
    This drives me nuts. I honestly just think these people get indecisive; we're not going slow, but at the same time not fast enough for their liking, so at the last second, they decide to boot it and wind up cutting our balls off. OTOH, some probably just don't even realize what they're doing, and are simply morons. Either that or they know what they're doing and are flat out jerks.

  16. #16
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    Maybe we should start a thread and list plate number or names of company trucks that do dumb things?

  17. #17
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    I got a Road ID since the first month I started riding, and wear it every single time I'm on the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wood Devil View Post
    This drives me nuts.
    the other crazy thing is drivers passing me by driving across the yellow line over a blind hill. WTH?!? As soon as a car comes over that hill.....that driver is swerving right back over and running me off the road! There is no law that says "you must pass that cyclist NOW!"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wood Devil View Post
    This drives me nuts.
    Why let it?

    <---Another fan of the Road ID.

  19. #19
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    Same thing. I see bad drivers alllll the time during my commute, which is mostly highway. It's amazing what people will do when merging or talking on the cell phone.

    I've only been riding about a year now and I've had plenty of close calls with vehicles. I ride through Arlington, VA on occasion and even with the slow speeds in the city, I've been nearly hit there more than anywhere else.

    Riding in the bike lane at about the speed of traffic, a dumbass cabbie sped up to pass me, then immediately cut right in front of me to pick up someone on the sidewalk. I had to nail the brakes to keep from slamming into the back of his car. I 'expressed my dissatisfaction' with his driving quite loudly, and the girls he was picking up actually apologized to me, which I thought was nice.

    Just before that I was sitting at a multi-way intersection behind the lead car and all the way to the right near the curb. Light turns green and the car slooooowwwllly starts moving and turning right, without a signal of course. I'm anticipating him going right so I start to speed up. Nope, dude brakes and makes a near u-turn (to the right!) down a side road, going the wrong way on a one-way street! Again had to hit the brakes hard, nearly tapped his bumper and nearly went down.

    I just can't imagine how stupid people are around cyclists, even when I can clearly tell that they see me. I definitely agree with the 'passing on the crest of a blind hill and around blind curves', that happens nearly every time I ride.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wood Devil View Post
    This drives me nuts. I honestly just think these people get indecisive; we're not going slow, but at the same time not fast enough for their liking, so at the last second, they decide to boot it and wind up cutting our balls off. OTOH, some probably just don't even realize what they're doing, and are simply morons. Either that or they know what they're doing and are flat out jerks.
    Well, sure, it's annoying. But people do the same thing to you driving a car -- speed up, pull in ahead of you just to make a turn right there, when there is open road behind you. They save themselves 2 seconds. I guess I try to distinguish general driving behavior (as applied to all other vehicles on the road) from driving behavior uniquely applied to me as a cyclist when I'm complaining about things people do on the road when I'm on my bike. And my having to exert more effort to get going again on the bike doesn't make it any different than simply having to push the pedal in my truck.

    Plus, some people just aren't that good at judging speed. They're used to cars moving at 35 mph, and then comes this bike going 10, 15, maybe 18. Can they make it, should they wait, etc. If you watch, you can tell that many drivers just aren't exactly sure what to do -- they aren't trying to piss me off. Sometimes they make the "wrong" decision and I have to slow down because of it. Just how it goes, not worth raising my blood pressure over.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wood Devil View Post
    What the hell is it with drivers, anyway? It's a clear autumn day, on both counts, and people act like they're driving through a freaking fog.
    Well known phenomenon: you tend to see what you are looking for. If you're not looking for bicycles when entering traffic, you are likely to not see them. Unfortunately, there were people operating those motor vehicles.

    I was on a ride once, I happened to pass a strip mall when my mother and wife, in a car, were exiting the driveway onto the road. I saw them from a couple hundred yards away and waved at them continuously until I passed them, but they didn't see me until I was right in front of them. They were looking directly at me, and never noticed me until I was wooshing past. They knew that I was on a ride and they knew my approximate route. They were shocked that they had not noticed me.

    Yes, it would be lovely if drivers (I include myself) always noticed everything necessary for them to operate their vehicles safely. This will never happen. People are people. It is absolutely the drivers' responsibility to operate their vehicles safely. However, it is also up to us to ride as defensively as possible so that we can (it is to be hoped) avoid the driver who happens to be having a brain [email protected] at just the wrong place and time.









    -----------------------

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by D&MsDad View Post
    People are people. It is absolutely the drivers' responsibility to operate their vehicles safely. However, it is also up to us to ride as defensively as possible so that we can (it is to be hoped) avoid the driver who happens to be having a brain [email protected] at just the wrong place and time.-
    agreed.
    I wasn't very cognizant of cyclists on the road until I became one.

  23. #23
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    I think every bicyclist should have to have an endorsement on their license saying that they have taken a bicycle safety course like motorcyclists are required to do to legally operate on the highway. Then they would know what driving/riding defensively means. You may have learned it in driver's education but that was too long ago.

    In the situation where you are driving down the road and see a motorist getting ready to back unto the highway, you should be driving defensively. If no traffic is coming behind you get as far to the left as possible away from the car to give you as much distance away from the vehicle as possible. If traffic is behind you, then slow down so that you can safely stop if the driver does pull out in front of you. A CPA that I used to work with back his car out of his driveway onto a state highway, right in front of a triaxle dump truck. He was killed instantly and the truck was a lot more visible than you are.

    The right hook is hard to avoid if you are stopped at an intersection but there are normal precautions in that instance also.

    Quit crying about how others are driving their cars and start riding defensively. You should do that in a car also. You are the best defense against others mistakes.

  24. #24
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    Be visible

    Not to excuse the drivers, but it's really important to maintain visibility when riding in traffic. The shadows this time of year can make it very difficult to see cyclists. I see sooooo many cyclists wearing dark jerseys - what are they thinking? Hi viz clothing and blinkies in the front can help.

    OP - you weren't blowing through red lights or riding against traffic this time, were you?

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