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Near misses with cars or full blown collisions--your stories(7 posts)

Near misses with cars or full blown collisions--your storiestronracer
May 23, 2002 6:11 AM
I'm traveling behind a guy in a huge Cadillac down a one lane street in the city. He applies the brakes suddenly and proceeds into a slow left turn without a signal. This was a side street, NO stop sign or intersection. I am behind him, more towards the left and approaching the car rapidly. There wasn't enough room to stop or swerve to the right and pass him there; so I locked up the back wheel and skidded into the same left turn passing him on his left. At this point, I'm thinking I just avoided a possible crash with much finesse. Just as I begin to let out a sigh of relief, he gives it some juice and completes the turn. He must have turned the wheel too much to the left because he sandwiched me into the curb with his right front quarter panel and wheel.

I fell, scraped my elbow and tacoed my front wheel. He stopped and asked if I was okay. I said no, didn't you ever hear of a turn signal?!?! I told him I'd forget about the whole thing for $100 to get a new rim. I guess I felt bad because he was an older guy. He told me to go f**k myself and sped away, but not before I got his license plate. He got a visit from the police that night who gave him a ticket and some advice. I admit some guilt for traveling a bit too closely to the vehicle, but the cops must have explained to him what the probable outcom would be in a courtroom should I decide to take it to that level. He ended up paying for my wheel a week later. Just for the record: I visited a lawyer who told me that Philadelphia law states that a bicycle may travel either on the right OR left side of another vehicle, even on a one lane street.

What's your story?
re: Near misses with cars or full blown collisions--your storiesLen J
May 23, 2002 6:26 AM
Posted this before, happened in 2000:

I live on the Eastern shore of Maryland, lots of water, lots of nice biking roads, lots of flats and lots of tourists.

Saturday, I'm out early for a ride. Beautiful day, feeling good for the first time all week. About 45 miles into the ride, on a road with a full lane shoulder, I see a cyclist on a mountain bike about 200 yds ahead of me, riding on the way inside of the shoulder. The odd thing about her is that she is wearing a sweatshirt with the hood up. I'm doing between 19 & 20mph and she's doing about 10 so I catch up to her pretty quickly. Since she's on the inside of the lane, I yell bike left and proceed to pass her. when I get to a point about where my headtube is even with her seattube, she decides to move out closer to traffic, and broadsides me suddenly. I have no choice but to cross the line into traffic as I fight for control of my bike.. At that moment a car is overtaking us at around 45 mph. Timing being perfect he hits me dead on my back wheel and propels me forward. Believe it or not (I guess because of the angle he hit me) I am still upright & fighting for control, the only difference is that now my speed has doubled. The road begins to bear left, & I shoot across the shoulder, & start to go down an embankment. I end up doing a Jan Ulrick endo as I go down the hill and end up flat on my back in a small creek.

After a few minutes of stunned assesment of my body, I discover that nothing is broken & I think I'm OK. I find my bike and it looks OK also (other than scratches). I start to climb back up the embankment. I hear this tirade from above. I look up to see this tourist, hood still on, no helmet & she has headphones on (no wonder she didn't hear me yell bike left), and she is screaming at me for being a "reckless maniac". She almost kills me & I'm the reckless maniac, go figure.

It turns out that the guy who hit me is a cyclist (thats the good news) and right behind him was a state cop (I think this is good news also) who saw the whole thing. The cyclist driver goes out of his way to let me know that he couldn't believe that I didn't go down in front of his car. The whole thing happened so fast that he never got to the brakes before he hit me.

After about 30 minutes of getting individual statements from each of us the cop comes back to me to tell me that he is giving me a ticket for what amounts to reckless driving. I'm ready to go nuts.
"What about her?"
"I didn't see her do anything wrong, I only saw you recklessly swerve into traffic."
"What about riding without a helmet & with headphones on?"
"None of that is illegal."

So now I have to go to court to fight this stupid ticket. I suppose that I should be grateful that I wasn't hurt (other than a few bruises, I am stiff this morning), but I can't believe that this idiot went home (with help from the local PD) thinking that she did nothing wrong.

Ah sweet justice. It is blind!

end of Rant


Ended up beating the ticket & got a new riding buddy.

God's been good to me!

God's been good to me!rideslikeagirl
May 23, 2002 9:11 AM
No kidding, Len!

Jeez - I can count several miracles in your tale!! First and foremost, you weren't creamed AND rounding it out with beating the ticket. Wow.
Yep...Len J
May 23, 2002 9:31 AM
I think I have fewer lives left than Elephantino!


PS I still can't believe that the car hit me so perfectly. I suspect that 99 times out of 100 I would have ended up under the car.
mea culpamr_spin
May 23, 2002 6:56 AM
There's a road in the hills above Palo Alto (SF Bay area) called Page Mill Road. It's a typical old lumber road that got paved, meant for slow moving vehicles. A lot of it is steep (several sections are 15%, one is 19%) and twisting which makes it a fun descent if you are in to bombing down mountains. You have to be careful in some places because the road is only 1 1/2 lanes wide, there are some very tight turns, and of course, no banking.

One time I was flying down the mountain just a little too fast. On one of the tight turns, I ended up swinging out wide. It was a somewhat blind curve, so I didn't see the car coming in the other lane until it was almost too late. Only dumb luck and some incredible body english managed to keep me rubber side down and away from the car. Amazingly, we passed each other cleanly and all ended well. I remember looking down and noticing the space between us as being less than an inch. I also remember the absolutely stunned face of the driver and his passengers. I'll bet there is an online forum somewhere where they are telling their side of the story, about some crazy bike rider who nearly came through their windshield.

I'm always careful on that curve now. I still bomb down the rest of the mountain!
I am still knocking wood over thismaximum15
May 23, 2002 8:50 AM
Coming back from a twenty mile out and back one Saturday and caught a red light less than 2 miles from the house. Had a really great average speed going and wanted to keep it as high as possible, so when the light changed, I took off as hard as I could go. Just on the otherside of the intersection and the same side of the road was a gas station. I'm in the bike line passing a U-Haul truck on the right and start thinking, boy...I blowing this truck away. Wrong, he was turning into the gas station and there are no turn signals on the front fenders, so I had no idea he was turning. A little bunny hop WHILE EVERYTHING WAS IN SLOW MOTION (you know that feeling) and I turned into the gas station parallel to the truck. Yes, it was very close. I know I yelled something because the driver said to me "what do you expect, I don't know how to drive one of these things". That was such a stupid statement, I had no reply and in fact wasn't mad as I should have known better than rush in that type environment. The two best things about this is what I learned and the look on the face of a lady pulling out of the station who saw the whole thing. That look still makes me grin, she must have wet herself or almost had a heart attack.
Saving a lifelemond2001
May 23, 2002 9:17 PM
Here is one for you. I am out riding and came up on a friend who was out jogging. We started to talk and move at a slow pace. She was on the outside next to the road. I was on the bike on the shoulder. I tell her that she should trade me places. I would feel bad if anything should happen to her. No sooner we trade places I get hit from behind from a guy. He was doing 50 MPH and I was like 3 PMH. I get hit so hard that next thing I know I am on the ground and looking the oposite way we were traveling. I can't feel my leg. I see my bike in the distance looking all weird. I try to stand up but fall over right away. My leg is bang up pretty bad. The guy stops and comes running back saying he didn't see me. IT turns out that he was reaching for a CD in the passenger's side and moved the wheel never seeing me.
In the end after the hospital trip. Nothing broken, 3rd degree burns on my leg calf from the car. May have been lucky that day I guess. And I can say for sure that my friend would have not been so lucky if I haven't told her to move 15 seconds before.