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Old 05-12-2015, 06:19 AM   #1
wiseblood OP
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Reminder that people don't always do what you expect

So, I had a little face plant this morning!

On a major local road... would be a highway (10 lanes wide!) if not for the fact that the speed limit is 25 mph and traffic is crazy.

This road is split into an "express" lane, and outer "service" lanes. Every few blocks there are merges from one to the other.

Me: In the "service" lane. Kinda anxious to get to work. Traffic is worse that usual... can't tell if road work, or accident, or Taylor Swift is half a mile up the road doing an impromptu concert. All I know is, even on the motor bike it is highly tedious.

City bus is crawling... stopping in traffic to pick up passengers. Finally get around him. The merge to the express lane is up ahead on my left. Traffic is slow in the express lane, but it is moving and there is a wide open spot to easily merge into.

There is one car ahead of me. She's ready to merge. I'm crawling forward. Turn my head left to check for traffic as I merge. Roll on the throttle... turn back in front. She's stopped!

Total instinct at this point... fortunately, my hand is on the brake and I'm on it. I'm SO CLOSE there's no time to even get the lever all the way pressed. At maybe 5-10 mph I collide with the rear of her stopped car. I sort of flop my body on her trunk as my front wheel contacts her bumper. Bike falls over.

Even though it's a super slow-speed crash, the wind is knocked a bit out of me. I get up, and pick up the bike. She's out of her car... maybe 30-something, in purple scrubs. (Nurse? Sorry no pics. ). "Are you OK?" she asks.

I do a quick self-assessment: Chest is sore. Hands, arms, and legs are fine. (Though, about 15 min later I would feel a bit of pain in my right leg, above where my boots end.) Head didn't contract anything.

I'm more concerned about my forks, but the bike appears no worse for wear. It's a '03 EXC 525 -- my woods bike w/ sumo wheels on. I don't think I would even notice a new scratch. Fortunately, her car is an equally shitty shit-box with AZ plates.

"I'm OK!" I say. "You OK?"

"Uhh... a bit scared."

"It's all good!"

Fortunately, she doesn't seem to care about looking for damage to her vehicle, which she would totally be within her rights to do. (Better than the Taxi driver who tried to pull a fast one a few weeks back... another story!)

I was pretty damn geared up today, thankfully. Tech 3 boots, Vanson leather pants, Firstgear Mesh 3/4 length jacket. Riding gloves. Shoei RF1100 helmet. Even though, however, I would have escaped injury if I had a chest protector! There seems to always be another bit of gear which would have helped.

So, lessons:
  1. Calm the fuck down. It's only traffic.
  2. "About to merge" is NOT the same as "Merged."
  3. Even a slow-speed accident can hurt!

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wiseblood screwed with this post 05-12-2015 at 06:30 AM
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:43 AM   #2
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Glad you're ok. Ambiguity in other drivers is the bane of motorcyclists. For that matter, ambiguity in motorcyclists is the bane of good motorcyclists.
You don't know what the right thing to do other than get the F out of there.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:46 AM   #3
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Glad you're alright man. I had a similar accident (but she merged into me from rear) on the GWB a bout 6 years ago.

You said it right here:

Quote:
All I know is, even on the motor bike it is highly tedious.

Where did this happen?

I limit any week day riding in the city to below 14th street now, my days of commuting north of that are over, got tired of feeling like a target every day, especially midtown or around the UES.

To think I used to commute to Time Square now makes me throw up a little in my mouth....
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 74C5 View Post
Glad you're ok. Ambiguity in other drivers is the bane of motorcyclists. For that matter, ambiguity in motorcyclists is the bane of good motorcyclists.
You don't know what the right thing to do other than get the F out of there.
Yup!

Reminds me of the joke about playing poker: "If you can't figure out who the mark is, it's YOU."

I get that creepy "hair up on neck" feeling whenever I'm "flowing" with traffic. I prefer to be assertively passing or managing distances, blind spots, etc.

Today, I just felt "off." Not 100% in the riding mindset. Thought maybe because I was leaving for work about an hour past when I usually do. Totally different traffic patterns!
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:54 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Zodiac View Post
Where did this happen?
Queens Boulevard. (Called the "Boulevard of Death," for those who don't live in the area. )

Exactly here: https://goo.gl/maps/XJlYO


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zodiac View Post
To think I used to commute to Time Square now makes me throw up a little in my mouth....
Yup.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:59 AM   #6
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I wouldn't live in Queens for free rent....
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Old 05-12-2015, 07:51 AM   #7
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Crap, those little "Merge" lanes give a whole new meaning to merge. That
does look brutal even in a cage. Glad you are okay; relatively speaking.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:10 AM   #8
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Oof. Tough stretch man. Glad you're alright!


Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseblood View Post
Queens Boulevard. (Called the "Boulevard of Death," for those who don't live in the area. )

Exactly here: https://goo.gl/maps/XJlYO




Yup.
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Old 05-12-2015, 08:46 AM   #9
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Merging into traffic...

NEVER look back, and then proceed, until you are CERTAIN the vehicle in front of you has left the merge lane. It is amazing how many times the car or motorcycle in front of you moves a little, then stops.

When I'm behind a person merging or trying to make a turn across traffic, I just keep my eye on the driver. Watch their head bob and weave back and forth while they check the traffic. Only after they have moved out of the merge lane or made the turn do I start looking at the on-coming traffic.

Glad you are OK. Bet you won't make that mistake again. I've actually seen motorcyclists on group rides run into the back of the bike in front of them doing the same thing.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:10 AM   #10
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NEVER look back, and then proceed, until you are CERTAIN the vehicle in front of you has left the merge lane. It is amazing how many times the car or motorcycle in front of you moves a little, then stops.

When I'm behind a person merging or trying to make a turn across traffic, I just keep my eye on the driver. Watch their head bob and weave back and forth while they check the traffic. Only after they have moved out of the merge lane or made the turn do I start looking at the on-coming traffic.

Glad you are OK. Bet you won't make that mistake again. I've actually seen motorcyclists on group rides run into the back of the bike in front of them doing the same thing.

Yeah, exactly this!

If I wasn't in such a ticked-off rush, I probably wouldn't have tried to push it. Thankfully, it was slow, I wasn't hurt (much), and I didn't end up breaking the ONE bike of mine which is still working.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:53 AM   #11
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Riding in the city is crazy.
Riding in the city and being in a hurry is really crazy.
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:15 PM   #12
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I had a very similar thing happen years ago. Thankfully no damage, no injuries and no insurance involvement. I too was coming home from work (in my case, for lunch). Mentally I was not "in the zone." I was hungry and was feeling rushed. Bad combination.

Glad you're ok.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:19 PM   #13
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Glad you are OK.

For every ride I mentally assign "risk points" as I go along. Weather, traffic, roadway, rush-hour or not. And if the points add up so that my Spidey Sense *bings* I detour or don't go or take the cage. Basic survival. No way would the points even get ot the point of adding up to be "RIDE=TRUE" for major metro rush-hour.

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Old 05-12-2015, 06:26 PM   #14
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Laugh

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Originally Posted by Bill Harris View Post
Glad you are OK.

For every ride I mentally assign "risk points" as I go along. Weather, traffic, roadway, rush-hour or not. And if the points add up so that my Spidey Sense *bings* I detour or don't go or take the cage. Basic survival. No way would the points even get ot the point of adding up to be "RIDE=TRUE" for major metro rush-hour.

--Bill
Everybody's scale is different. I commute into Manhattan every day, so that doesn't really factor for me. But, being "rushed" and not 100 focused should have been warnings heeded.
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:31 PM   #15
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That did border on the hyperbole, no? I live in rural NW Alabama and prefer to avoid urban rush-hour interstates and try to schedule my travels to avoid rush hour. But if need be, I'll ride rush hour in B'ham or H'ville. Riding in Queens might be... fascinating, even if not for the Latvian cabbies...



:)

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