I got sideswiped this afternoon at the end of a good ride - minor injury

Handlebars

Well-Known Member
Region
Canada
There are a lot of legit reasons why drivers don't see you and even if they do, it's not always the better for you.
My personal observations lead me to believe this type of occurrence: when the driver is worried about the bike, the driver then wants to give some space, then becomes overly fearful of oncoming traffic or left lane traffic and actually moves closer to the bike. I think they aim for being in the middle of their lane, at that point. That is what I gather from watching it happen. Other settings and reasons exist for why drivers do not actually even see you
 
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George S.

Well-Known Member
There are so many angry people out there. I was in bed the other night. I live in the country, on a dirt road. Around 11:00 I hear a truck coming down the road. I'm a ways back from the road, away from passing traffic noise. Anyway, there's that high speed whine of a truck moving along in an accelerating gear and then a big 'bang'. I fell asleep, wondering what it was. It was, in fact, my big trash can, out on the street. Well, it wasn't on the street in the morning, and it was pieces of a trash can. There were also a fair number of pieces of bumper. I'm guessing a truck, and speculating it sped up quite a bit. But it was all the way in the wrong lane, to hit my trash can. These are big cans that the garbage truck picks up. So if someone decides to floor the gas pedal, cross the road, and smash a trash can, doing considerable damage to their vehicle, what is that about? If someone side-swipes you, a car against a bike, that can be like a milli-second impulse. When I ride my bike I always look for the escape hatch, and too many places have nowhere to run. It's not a huge risk, but it's there. A lot of it is bullying and intimidation, so you if you let them intimidate you, they win.
 

ChezCheese:)

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Kitsap Co, WA
I'm glad I don't live in a universe of angry people. (Knock on wood.) A momentary lapse of attention could have caused a slight drift to the right, and if there was not a lot of shoulder space, it is entirely possible that the driver was as shocked as the cyclist. Which doesn't excuse them driving off. However, they may have been unaware of the loss of the mirror, and saw the cyclist continuing on (there is no mention of a crash), and figured it was a lucky near miss.

I don't see malice everywhere, because for one thing it makes the world far more ugly than it is, though it may sell newspapers and clicks. But one thing to bear in mind: a far higher percentage of boomers drive than young people, and our eyesight and reflexes are not what they once were. Dress brightly and be aware.
 

Tom@WashDC

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Loudoun County, VA.
I also bought a GoPro for that reason. I regret not buying something else, such as the cam you suggest.
In my youth I worked a road crew flag. Senior drivers coming from a stoplight do this:
1. Hubby look forward
2. Hubby step on gas pedal
3. Hubby watch speedometer until speed limit attained
4. Hubby ask Wifey if she can see anything ahead
My pet peeve is drivers who, in their desire to be courteous, pause for me, insist on waiving me through, in violation of various traffic rules, and rules of "right of way", thinking they are doing me a favor. Instead, they throw everybody off at the intersection/crosswalk, making it exceedingly more dangerous if others are not adjusting to the this "wildcard". Just follow the traffic laws people, so we are all on the same page and there is some level of predictability!
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
I actually gave up riding motorcycles due to the seemingly less aware car drivers. ( I rode motorcycles from high school to 40 something).
As a pedestrian and bike rider, crossing a busy intersection with the light is a very dangerous situation. Drivers turning right are looking to their left for left turning, oncoming traffic and turning into your space !
 

Brockrock

Active Member
Region
USA
I currently ride a Fat Bike powered by a Luna BBSHD.

I rode horses from the age of 12 to 35. I rode trails for pleasure, occasional show jumping, many years fox hunting, and two years as a steeple chase jockey. I loved galloping over country fields, rolling into 3 and 4ft fences, and feeling the thill of my trusty steed as she leaped into the air. It was thrilling! Over the years, I saw and heard about many of my fellow riders that got seriously hurt, or died. I had a a horse fall on me three times. I was lucky.

One day, I had a epiphany. I realized that the concept of a tiny, soft, primate, strapping himself to a huge, 1,800lb muscle bound animal, was pure insanity. It was fun, but the practice did call into question my intelligence. I stopped riding horses, and spent several years trying to convince my father to do the same.

I feel the same way about sharing the road with cars while riding a bike. It's a lot like skydiving, very unforgivable when when things go wrong. My bike and me are no match for a 3,000 lb vehicle when things go wrong. My riding buddy and I do not ride on the road except to go maybe one or two blocks. Even then, we wait until there are no cars in sight. I realize that most bike riders have no choice if they want to ride because they live in the city or an area without dedicated bike trails. I am fortunate in that respect as I live in Northern Virginia near Washington DC which "may" have the the highest number of dedicated, interconnected bike trails per square mile than any city in the U.S.

Brockrock I am glad you are OK. If that car had veered 6 inches more, you might be dead. To you, and all bikers that share the road with cars and trucks, my hat is off to you. You are living dangerously. Tiny, soft, primates, strapping yourselves to flimsy little toys on wheels, and sharing the road with 3,000+ lb behemoths, driven by other, distracted primates, is sheer lunacy!

The odds are against you every day, time is not on your side.

But I understand. :)
Thanks Tom. I appreciate the post and words. I am definitely reassessing my riding routes after this incident. I do have plenty of trail and off road options around where I live, but many involve transporting the bike on my car rack, and I prefer just riding from home. I still have plenty of secondary road options around me to ride, and can avoid the busier road where this occurred, and that's my plan for now.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
A Demented Corner of the North Cascades
As a pedestrian and bike rider, crossing a busy intersection with the light is a very dangerous situation. Drivers turning right are looking to their left for left turning, oncoming traffic and turning into your space !

This, in my younger days when I commuted by bicycle I was hit several times by people turning right. I got tired of having an ER nurse use a wire brush to get the gravel out of my scalp...
 

Daffyh

Active Member
My pet peeve is drivers who, in their desire to be courteous, pause for me, insist on waiving me through, in violation of various traffic rules, and rules of "right of way", thinking they are doing me a favor. Instead, they throw everybody off at the intersection/crosswalk, making it exceedingly more dangerous if others are not adjusting to the this "wildcard". Just follow the traffic laws people, so we are all on the same page and there is some level of predictability!
So much this the courtesy is appreciated but i prefer as you do we all follow the road rules. I had a driver wave me on the other day i was at the stop sign, i pointed to the sign and driver went and did the turn. Driver didnt look that happy i did that but i have been in an accident on my motorcycle where a driver did just that and gave way when not required.I hit the car coming out and totalled the motorbike, my fault for not paying enough attention.
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
I'm glad I don't live in a universe of angry people. (Knock on wood.) A momentary lapse of attention could have caused a slight drift to the right, and if there was not a lot of shoulder space, it is entirely possible that the driver was as shocked as the cyclist. Which doesn't excuse them driving off. However, they may have been unaware of the loss of the mirror, and saw the cyclist continuing on (there is no mention of a crash), and figured it was a lucky near miss.

I don't see malice everywhere, because for one thing it makes the world far more ugly than it is, though it may sell newspapers and clicks. But one thing to bear in mind: a far higher percentage of boomers drive than young people, and our eyesight and reflexes are not what they once were. Dress brightly and be aware.
OP states minor injuries, I don't see how you get injuries without a crash on a bike. Unless it was from contact with the car.
 

hoboin

Active Member
Region
USA
I currently ride a Fat Bike powered by a Luna BBSHD.

I rode horses from the age of 12 to 35. I rode trails for pleasure, occasional show jumping, many years fox hunting, and two years as a steeple chase jockey. I loved galloping over country fields, rolling into 3 and 4ft fences, and feeling the thill of my trusty steed as she leaped into the air. It was thrilling! Over the years, I saw and heard about many of my fellow riders that got seriously hurt, or died. I had a a horse fall on me three times. I was lucky.

One day, I had a epiphany. I realized that the concept of a tiny, soft, primate, strapping himself to a huge, 1,800lb muscle bound animal, was pure insanity. It was fun, but the practice did call into question my intelligence. I stopped riding horses, and spent several years trying to convince my father to do the same.

I feel the same way about sharing the road with cars while riding a bike. It's a lot like skydiving, very unforgivable when when things go wrong. My bike and me are no match for a 3,000 lb vehicle when things go wrong. My riding buddy and I do not ride on the road except to go maybe one or two blocks. Even then, we wait until there are no cars in sight. I realize that most bike riders have no choice if they want to ride because they live in the city or an area without dedicated bike trails. I am fortunate in that respect as I live in Northern Virginia near Washington DC which "may" have the the highest number of dedicated, interconnected bike trails per square mile than any city in the U.S.

Brockrock I am glad you are OK. If that car had veered 6 inches more, you might be dead. To you, and all bikers that share the road with cars and trucks, my hat is off to you. You are living dangerously. Tiny, soft, primates, strapping yourselves to flimsy little toys on wheels, and sharing the road with 3,000+ lb behemoths, driven by other, distracted primates, is sheer lunacy!

The odds are against you every day, time is not on your side.

But I understand. :)
Hello there, i am also riding in Northern Virginia, i ride to work from Vienna to Falls Church, 8 miles each way, using the road half the time and the W&OD trail the other half. I ride everyday and have found good routes that take me through neighborhoods for the most part, and i do have to share the roads with cars but i plan it out so i do it in not busy times and the roads that are very biker friendly with dedicated bike lanes (ones near where people park) but since i ride off hours, i almost never get passed. I can see how you would not want to bike on the roads, for the most part i do not feel safe AT ALL unless there is a dedicated bike lane and even then i don't really trust people. Like you said we are lucky to have dedicated bike paths but it still is a shame that we can not share the roads with the cars very easily. This morning i had my first almost accident while on the road, an elderly driver (over 80) decided to turn left in front of me, he assumed i was going slow while on a bike. That is one of the only areas on my route that is sketchy to me, an open intersection basically.

It is just so sad that there are not more paths or biker friendly routes in major cities. I am just 6 months into bike commuting and my road riding confidence is honestly pretty low, outside of the areas i have pre-planned and know are low volume traffic.
 

Kayakguy

Well-Known Member
A safety issue I encounter is crap in the bike lane. The fall leaves and pine needles sometimes pile up, and nobody clears them away. I don't like hitting a pile of leaves when unavoidable, because I don't know what might be under there, like a big stick or something. When traffic is light, I swerve out into the auto lane, but there are times when that feels really dicey.

One thing that helps is a good mirror. I've tried a bar-end mirror, but it goes out of adjustment too easily. The helmet mirror I have learned to appreciate is the EVT Safety Mirror. It's the ugly one with the semi-flexible stem consisting of ball and socket segments. It has two virtues I really like--one is the large mirror, about 2 inches I think. The other is the stability, with no vibration or wiggling. It is a clumsy looking thing, and was a bit tricky to fasten to my Bern helmet, which doesn't have the usual ventilation slots (holes, but not slots). But with plenty of zip ties I was able to get it really solidly mounted.

I won't bike now without a helmet mirror. I like to know who's coming up at me from behind, so I can make sure I'm well over in the bike lane. Occasionally I see a guy on an acoustic bike (usually a roadie, but once on a hybrid or mt. bike) gaining fast on me even though I'm on an ebike. But he's always a big buff young guy, and I'm an elderly fart with weak legs, so I don't let it bother me much. I have mentally rehearsed a response should one ever be needed: "What are you going to be riding when you're 84 years old?" But I haven't had to employ this riposte yet.
 
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mschwett

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
really glad the OP wasn’t seriously injured.

i’m curious - for those who have mentioned cameras on their bikes … do these do anything to prevent accidents? i can’t imagine a driver seeing them and being more careful. the vast vast vast majority of drivers i’ve seen endangering cyclists in the last couple thousand miles have been the clueless sort, elderly folks with poor vision or alertness, and people driving vehicles way bigger than they can safely navigate in the urban environment. never encountered any actual malice except a shout or two from rural hotheads.

what i find most helpful is simply taking a very defensive attitude. if you see a vehicle ahead of you going unusually slowly, or changing speeds, they’re probably going to turn into / across you. any driveway is a possible turn. sometimes the safest thing is not the most intuitive - i find on the occasions i have to make a higher speed turn across a busy arterial, for example, hanging right behind, in the clear mirror zone, of a vehicle almost assures you won’t get tagged by someone unless they’re going to hit that car too.
 

JES2020

Well-Known Member
Region
Other
really glad the OP wasn’t seriously injured.

i’m curious - for those who have mentioned cameras on their bikes … do these do anything to prevent accidents? i can’t imagine a driver seeing them and being more careful. the vast vast vast majority of drivers i’ve seen endangering cyclists in the last couple thousand miles have been the clueless sort, elderly folks with poor vision or alertness, and people driving vehicles way bigger than they can safely navigate in the urban environment. never encountered any actual malice except a shout or two from rural hotheads.

what i find most helpful is simply taking a very defensive attitude. if you see a vehicle ahead of you going unusually slowly, or changing speeds, they’re probably going to turn into / across you. any driveway is a possible turn. sometimes the safest thing is not the most intuitive - i find on the occasions i have to make a higher speed turn across a busy arterial, for example, hanging right behind, in the clear mirror zone, of a vehicle almost assures you won’t get tagged by someone unless they’re going to hit that car too.
No, as stated, the camera is to defeat the inevitable he said she said situation. And to capture SOLID evidence in case the driver runs off.
Most action camera are in fact VERY small, so as NOT to attract attention. They are not desinged to deter people from being anti social or worse.