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Almost Got Hit Last Night(21 posts)

Almost Got Hit Last Nighttincanman99
Aug 27, 2003 5:14 AM
Last night after work I went for a nice ride. I live in Somerset County in NJ. I was riding on a rural road. There is some traffic but its not bumper to bumper.

Anyway this guy in a Lexus truck swerved as he drove by. I swerved to avoid being hit and dropped into the gulley on the side of road. Its about 4 feet down. I fell into the ditch head first. Got all cut and scraped up and came off the bike. The bike was fine but I am completely scraped up.

I am sick of this. The motorist did not even stop. I didn't get his plate. I think I am done with this sport. NJ is just really crowded and its plain dangerous with all the cars.

I just mentioned it to one my coworkers - do you know what his answer was - were you riding were you not supposed to be? Do you beleive that? I told him I was on the shoulder where I was supposed to be. Than he goes and brags that he drove really close to some cyclists on Saturday morning because there were 3 of them together on the road.

No more road biking for me.
Don't Give Invelocity
Aug 27, 2003 5:42 AM
What happened to you sucks. What your coworker said is bullsh*t. But I hope it won't cause you to give up road cycling. I'm glad your bike wasn't damaged and that, though it sounds like you have some serious road rash, you weren't badly hurt.

Was the car driving toward you or coming from behind?

I ride a lot in Northern NJ and rarely have had issues with cars on country/suburban roads. NJ drivers are notoriously bad/rude drivers but I've rarely encountered serious meanness from them when I've been cycling.

Unfortunately sharing the road with gas guzzlers can be very dangerous. I don't understand why I virtually never see NYC/NJ police enforcing speeding and dangerous driving violations.
Sorry to here that but you need to explain...biknben
Aug 27, 2003 5:51 AM
The choir you are preaching to here sees this all the time but we continue to ride. There are ways to protect yourself to minimize the risks. Some are obvious, some are not. We'd be more than happy to help you deal with problem roads and traffic situations. Drivers rarely, if ever, intentional swerve to hit a cyclist. Yeah sure, they pretend to, but we just laugh at that stuff.

Give us some more details regarding the road and the actions the driver made. You said you were on a rural road and this guy swerved at you. Do you use a mirror? What did you see and how did you see it. You later mention a shoulder on the road. Where were you in relation to the shoulder? How big was this shoulder? Where was the Lexus as it passed you? How did you end up in the ditch if there was a shoulder and you weren't struck?

Sorry for the tough love but it sounds as if you are making some knee-jerk reactions.

BTW: Lexus doesn't make a truck. Those things are elevated station wagons.
Check again about Lexus Making A TruckCary1
Aug 27, 2003 3:27 PM
No to take away from this poor guy almost getting run over by some a****le, but Lexus does in fact make a truck. Last I checked the LX450 (now the 470) which is a rebadged Toyota Lancruiser (which I happen to own and love) was built frame on body with one ton axles. In fact it the official vehicle of the United Nations.

Before any of you get all bent out of shape that I drive a gas hog, you should know I am currently waiting for my lift kit to arrive so I don't drag the bumper any more when I am off roading, so a station wagon would not suffice.

Cary
hmm?the bull
Aug 27, 2003 6:52 PM
You take it "off road".
Interesting.
re: Almost Got Hit Last Nightcmgauch
Aug 27, 2003 6:48 AM
Sorry to hear about your troubles, but I'll echo the other responses. I live in northern NJ and log lots of road (& mtn) miles. I encounter lots of indifference & space cadets but very rarely do you see someone truly evil. I shoot at those people (just kidding).

Keep riding, even if you do it off-road for a while. Chances are the idiot was just reaching for a ringing cell phone, or dropped the straw to his big gulp. Don't let a few bad apples spoil it for you.

Your co-worker sounds like a real A-HOLE. Sometimes I ask these people: "Do your kids ride bikes? I hope the motorists they come across are nicer than you." Don't sweat him either though - bear in mind that most lazy slobs are jealous of your fitness and that jealousy manifests itself in different ways.

I did my 1st fixed gear commute to NYC yesterday. Even though I live about 10 mi west of the Lincoln Tunnel the GWB is the only real option to cross the mighty Hudson. I had forgotten how cool it is to cycle across the GWB and take in the views.

MORAL: Get a brakeless fixie to remind yourself what true defensive riding is all about.
re: Almost Got Hit Last NightMilliet
Aug 27, 2003 6:58 AM
How long have you been RBing?

I just started a few weeks ago. I commute to work 19 miles RT. I leave at 5:30am so it is dark the whole ride in. I use a CygoLite that works great. I also have flashing red led tail light and bar end plug mirror. So far, I have not had any problems.

Anyway...I live in South Mississippi and my route is rural, 2 lane black-top with no shoulder at all. I am sure the traffic is nothing like NJ, but most people speed on these roads. You can add to that a high number of log trucks, other commercial traffic, and lack of law enforcement on the route to come up with a sufficiently dangerous riding experience.

Here is what I do: I DO NOT ride all the way on the edge of the road. Now of course I am riding "with" traffic (same direction I am going). I ride at least 3 feet from the edge. This does a number of things. First, it allows approaching cars to see me easier. Second, it takes all doubt from their mind that they can "squeeze" by me without leaving their lane, so they must take a wider path around. Third, it leaves me room to move over when they do pass.

Using the mirror: I only look at it in two situations. First: When a car approaches from behind, I watch it to see if it is more than one car in a row. Often it is two or more in which case, when I move over to let the first around I STAY over to let all of them pass. Second: If I see a car approaching towards me in the other lane, I glance at the mirror to see if a car is also coming from behind. If so, this is the most dangerous situation. You must try to judge the speed of both and decide if they will cross with you. If you think they will, then you must stay well out in the lane forcing the car from behind to slow down.

So far this method has worked out quite well. I have not had any drivers get hostile or had any close calls in 250 miles. In fact, quite the opposite, many drivers have been very courteous. Possibly due to the fact we have very few road bikes around here so they are not so "annoyed" again and again. Some are quite curious.

Take Care.

Ron Milliet
rpmillie@gapac.com
Petal, MS
Good to seeSpecialTater
Aug 27, 2003 7:29 AM
South Mississippi representing. Memphis here. Come up and ride sometime. Do you do any of the organized rides around you? Is that 250 miles lifetime on the road bike?
Good to seeMilliet
Aug 27, 2003 11:07 AM
I am a brand new rider, with no experience and plenty of enthusiasm. Just bought the bike (Trek 1200) 3 weeks ago this Friday. Before now, I had not road any sort of bike in 15 years. I do not own a MB and have no interest in that at this time. The 250 miles I racked up in 2 1/2 weeks of commuting. I did take an extended ride home yesterday 22.5 miles (16.7 mph avg with stops) which is my longest ride so far. My personal best for the 9.1 mile trip home is 19.6 avg MPH.

So far I really love it. I can't wait to do some longer rides. I could also really benefit from riding with more experienced roadies to learn from them.

Check out: http://www.mylongleaftrace.com/

This is a 44 mile(one way) rails-to-trails that runs from Hattiesburg (USM Campus) to Prentiss. I intend to ride it soon. We also have a few clubs and groups that ride around the area. I may look them up after I improve on the bike.

I do not get up to Memphis much. Do you ever travel down this way?

Ron
Good to seeALBikeGuy
Aug 27, 2003 12:55 PM
I'm originally from that area (Sandersville, outside Laurel). I head down that way a couple of times a year to visit family. When we do, we bring our bikes and ride the Long Leaf Trace. It's really nice... but not in July!

Maybe next time, we can hook up for a ride!

Tim
Good to seeMilliet
Aug 28, 2003 5:21 AM
Where do you live now? Alabama?

Hold on to my email address and let me know when you will be down.

Ron
rpmillie@gapac.com
I do get down to JacksonSpecialTater
Aug 28, 2003 8:44 AM
quite a bit (and even more after the new addition to the family gets here next month). I plan on doing the rails to trails sometime soon and will post here before I head down.

Good averages for just starting out. I began road riding in March and love it also. Don't get to as much as I would like lately though.

Sorry for the late reply. Take care.

G
I do get down to JacksonMilliet
Aug 28, 2003 11:53 AM
I grew up in Jackson. Florence actually. My parents still live there and we get up there with the kids on a regular basis.

Plenty of good road riding South of Jackson. Byram, Florence, Richland area.

Ron
Agree, ride in the middle of the lane if you have balls enough!Spunout
Aug 27, 2003 7:29 AM
In slow traffic, I take my own lane. Too bad, let them honk. Nobody will clip you or run you over from behind.
You did "get hit"...spluti
Aug 27, 2003 7:17 AM
Did anybody stop?
One aspect of picking a cycling route that is never mentioned is frequency of bicycle impressions. In other words, most the cars on the road are traveling routes they drive everyday. The question is..Are these drivers conditioned to experiencing bicycles on the route they are driving? Always pick a route that gives you the best chance of the drivers being accustomed to encountering bicycles. For the driver it is a very subconsious seed.
I ride dangerous roads when I have to. They are also dangerous roads that cyclists use frequently. Drivers are more apt to react appropriatly.
If you quit the road, the impression you leave for the next cyclist won't be planted.
I feel your pain, but....bicycle268
Aug 27, 2003 7:26 AM
don't give up just yet. I ride Somerset county almost every day (I live in Chatham, Morris cty) and have been harassed by drivers on numerous occasions, but maybe not to your extent. In any event, it always seems to be the rude/offensive actions of drivers that stick out in our minds. On any given 50 miler there's always an example of courteous driving directed at me. This I reward with a nod and a wave. I won't say what the rude driver gets. But just remember that there are a bunch of good guys (see also competent drivers) out there. I'll even go as far as saying they vastly outnumber the rude/incompetent ones. Stay on the road. and if you happen to see a big butt rider with a blue postal frame in Somerset, give a yell!!

Quinn

BTW, what color/model Lexus truck? I'll keep an eye out!
I feel your pain, but....tincanman99
Aug 27, 2003 7:57 AM
Its one of those cream colored yuppie ones. The one that is a glorified station wagon.
gotcha....thanks (nm)bicycle268
Aug 27, 2003 8:55 AM
hold your ground!MShaw
Aug 27, 2003 8:52 AM
Every time I hear someone say "I got run off the road" all I can think is you LET yourself get run off the road. In most circumstances, all ya gotta do is hold your line.

Do you, or do you not have the same right to ride on the road? If you do, then why give it up for someone?

Take your lane and don't stop riding.

Mike
bad advice...better to be alive than right and dead (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 27, 2003 9:16 AM
re: Almost Got Hit Last Nightaliensporebomb
Aug 27, 2003 9:10 PM
Problem is: there's always going to be confused, inattentive
(cell phone users anyone) or just plain brain-dead-nitwit
style drivers around. Some are trying to do their makeup,
drink coffee, smoke, fiddle with their radio, etc. You
get the idea.

And some are even malevolent and can actually entertain
the thought of causing a cyclist harm because it's "funny"
or they think cyclists are arrogant, or "I pay taxes and
own the road" versus "cyclists don't deserve to be here"
attitude.

Horrible. All I can say is there are always going to be
morons, idiots and malevolent types. Use a mirror, keep
a watch out and know your route and have escape routes.

It's not that different when I was a little kid with my
Schwinn Sting Ray - there were some older bully-type kids
and I had several "escape routes" out of a given area and
I could sprint at 30 mph routinely back then. I suspect
with good adrenalin I still could, heh.

Sorry to hear you had a close call like that.