Near death experiences?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Earth Rider, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Earth Rider

    Earth Rider Long timer

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    This was yesterday evening. The light turned green, I was turning left and had the green light and green arrow. Across from me and at my left are cars sitting at the red light. No one is at the intersection to my right, but just beyond the intersection is a railroad bridge going over the street that you can't see past.

    So I start turning through the intersection and caught movement to the right out of the corner of my eye. I grabbed the brake and almost fell over, and a large SUV ran the red light at 40 mph two feet from my front fender.

    I have had a lot of fun riding around town the past few months, but I am thinking about sticking more to dirt from now on and giving up the commuting. I am trying not to be a huge baby about it, I love riding but I really don't want to get killed by some stupid asshole, and there are plenty of them out there. I feel like it's just a matter of time.
    #1
  2. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    I know you looked both ways,but SUV's arent invisible even at 40mph.

    Cars and bikes run redlights all day long,stopping is for the most part an option. I ride my road bicycle through town and I can hear them coming better then I can on my 1250 Suzuki,Ive sat at greenlights and watched cagers drafting each other through redlights one after the other.
    The theory being if the guy ahead of me made it then I can to.

    If a biker even suspects these drivers are watching out for him,hes dead meat.

    Sitting at a greenlight for a beat or two while watching behind,to the right,to the left is a good way to stay alive in a car or bike.

    Ive been riding on the street since about 1974 and have yet to be killed,but could be anytime as in or on any motor vehicle,but,the close encounters with maniacs in cars has gone down to nearly 0,the first couple years I rode on the street it happened pretty regular.

    Every intersection is a death zone and should be treated as such.

    (Having a hard time visualizing how an overhead railroad bridge would block your view directly to the right?)
    #2
  3. eric2

    eric2 ®egister this:

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    I'm guessing that you did not read the rules clearly posted at the top of this forum, so don't be surprised if this gets moved to the proper one.

    The scenario you posted is not uncommon, and you learned from it. So there is no need for hysteria.

    Use the situational awareness you exhibited in the first part of your post and you'll be fine. I'm always wary of dumbasses rear ending me, and that is the hardest area to defend.
    #3
  4. Earth Rider

    Earth Rider Long timer

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    Like I said, just to the right of the intersection was a railroad bridge going over the street obscuring everything with a tall embankment in both directions. I checked it as well as I could. It just far enough down the road that you can't really see anything beyond it. I don't know how to explain it better than that.

    Sorry for posting in the wrong section.
    #4
  5. steelerider

    steelerider Southafricanamerican

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    Next time, wait for a second or two before proceeding. Rushing into an intersection after the light turns green is the same as assuming that it is clear to go. If Im in the front of the line waiting for the light, If possible, I will wait until ALL traffic (to the left and right)has come to a stop before proceeding - this usually only takes a second or two and is a defensive way of riding.
    Learn from your close call and move on. I bet you will never make the same mistake again.
    #5
  6. Earth Rider

    Earth Rider Long timer

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    There was really nothing I would have done differently. It was a blind intersection so I waited even longer than I usually would and tried to see as far as I could down the road. He wasn't visible past the bridge until I was already in the intersection.
    #6
  7. bill pierce

    bill pierce I don't wana pickle

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    I have altered my riding habits after nearly being taken out by a deer.

    After 40 plus years of commuting on a bike, I no longer ride at before light or after dark unless it's really necessary.

    There is no shame in adjusting your habits to preserve your life.
    #7
  8. cardoctor1

    cardoctor1 Been here awhile

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    green doesnt mean go.green means wait 10 seconds so the dumbass thats texting doesnt kill you.
    #8
  9. anotherguy

    anotherguy unsympathetic

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    Always take a second look before moving. And that was just a close call. A near death experience involves injuries.
    #9
  10. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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    There's an intersection close to my home where there have been serious accidents and at least one fatality from red light runners. I go through it every day and without fail someone will pass through the intersection while I look at my green light.The police could finance their station if they enforced the law here but it is ignored.
    #10
  11. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Got a handle on it

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    Anyone sitting behind me, no matter WHAT I'm driving, will see me head-check both directions TWICE to be damsure it's clear to go. I've avoided being the T in the t-bone several times over the years. Some while people next to me took the hit.

    The kid who did the last hit exclaimed "this is my first accident in THREE years!" Wouldabeen my first in FORTY if I hadn't seen you coming.....
    #11
  12. Quadrajet

    Quadrajet Lofter of Jive

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    TL;DR – One second away from dying, didn’t die, I need to stop being distracted by stupid stuff.


    Normally I’m pretty good when it comes to potential SMIDSY’s, whether on a bike or in a cage; however, this day was different.


    A couple of months ago, right after I picked up my Buell XB12S, I was heading out of town on a local two lane highway. I was both fighting some nasty headwinds and still getting used to the...unique...shifting of my Buell. Well, as turned onto the road and was accelerating out of town, I shifted from first to neutral, which is frustrating, but it happens. After sorting out my shift and chastising myself for being dumb, which distracted me for a few seconds, I realized that a red Pontiac Grand Am was making a break for it across my lane. Just as I saw him, he saw me and at the last second he stomped on the brakes. I barely had a chance to even see his face as I blew past at 60mph, missing him by two feet. I have absolutely no doubt that if he hadn't stopped, I would have died. Either from the impact, or by being thrown into the oncoming traffic he was trying to beat.


    I know that technically it's his fault, but I don’t blame Grand Am guy because I know that he honestly didn’t see me. As far as I'm concerned, I’m the one at fault. I should have been paying attention, watching him as I approached, getting ready for evasive action, doing the SMIDSY swerve.


    After the event, I do remember looking up and seeing him sitting at the intersection as I drew closer; but, it just didn’t register because I was still pissed/distracted by the mis-shift.


    I went back and re-drove that road again, more slowly this time, and really paid attention. I noticed that there are 4 street signs (county road/intersection, speed limit, no passing) bunched up in one spot. I'm sure he glanced over at the exact time I and my headlight were behind those signs.


    Anyway, my lesson for the day was exactly like life itself. To stop worrying about petty shit and concentrate on what’s important!
    #12
  13. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Yeah,I do think a 6th sense kicks in at some point after more then a few years of road riding,the 1st year on a streetbike can be the decider whether you make it or not.

    Going fast or even slightly faster in town is absolutely asking for a car to run you over,its not that they dont see you,they dont even look.
    I enjoy riding bikes,not playing dodge-em with cars so I ride as little town as possible to get out and go riding.
    I pity those who live in the middle of big cities,I refuse.

    I ride mellow in town and I dont give a shit HOW much of a green light I have,I crane my neck around looking for the SUV blowing the red at 40mph.
    Expect cagers to turn left in ft of you and that way you wont be surprised.

    I stared one down the other day on my road bicycle,he was looking me in the eye but kept turning left on the red assuming I would dissapear I guess?

    Magazine guys talk about ABS saving their skin time after time,I cant remember the last time I panic stopped on the street,its been many years.

    Surviving the 1st year is the trick,educating your self if a new rider is another good trick.
    #13
  14. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    So don't let them hit you... Just as you did this time. Riding on the street is not a contact sport... It is not a sport at all. Take it seriously, have fun, don't hit anyone and don't let anyone hit you. :ricky

    It's pretty simple really.

    p.s. If you have a boring/uninspiring bike... Get rid of it and get one that is FUN and Engaging!
    #14
  15. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

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    Wait till they stop, then go. Simple. If someone honks their horn at you, tell them to ...get lost. :D
    #15
  16. Earth Rider

    Earth Rider Long timer

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    Thanks. Probably the best advice.
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  17. WindSailor

    WindSailor Been here awhile

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    Yep, I think we all have had more than one experience like that.

    ) Riding east on a two lane highway with the sun almost down in the west at my back. A PT Cruiser was behind another car on a straight stretch heading west (seen them both), looked left into a field and then back. The PT Cruiser was in my lane passing the other car coming at me. I literally had 3 seconds to move to the other side of the fog line to keep from getting smashed like a bug @ 60 mph. I could have slapped her side mirrors when she went by... damn.

    ) Multiple encounters with deer. Sometimes they just don't stop, or they wait until the VERY last moment to bolt. Brake - Brake - Brake.

    ) Multiple encounters in town with cars and such cutting me off - texting or what ever...

    ) People turning left with no turn signal on when we bikers are passing. We have had a couple of people at work who fell into this one. Not good.

    Staying alert at all times I think is key. Just like you did.

    Good job.:deal
    #17
  18. beendog

    beendog Banned

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    In situations like this, you turn left and pull into the middle of the road(left of your lane). Basically you want to turn much sharper than you would normally and place your front tire on the inside line of the inside lane.

    So for example if you were turning left onto a two-way road with one lane in each direction, you would place your tire on the double yellow line. This way you are splitting between the oncoming traffic and your lane of traffic.

    I do this at night as well, in case I turn left in front of a car with no headlights. I always turn left onto the yellow line so that they can fly past me on the right and I only move over once I am maybe 60% of the way to the speed limit.
    #18
  19. Earth Rider

    Earth Rider Long timer

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    Thanks. Good comments and I will keep them in mind for the future. The construction in this intersection made the lane unnaturally narrow too, and I think there were even cones separating the lanes so it was just an overall mess.
    #19
  20. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    beat me to it
    #20