Your Close Call..............

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by daveoneshot, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Zippydapanhead

    Zippydapanhead Damn kids, get away!

    Apr 11, 2011
    on the Trade River
    So a few of us are banging around, four-wheeler, dual-purpose and I'm on my trusty KLR-600. Somebody knows a great trail to run on... it is an old railroad grade... tracks are out, ties are gone, no ballast, just a non-grass clay hard pack. The railroad had bridges, but they were removed. I was never on it but it seemed cool and I'm following a four wheeler.

    We get to missing bridge 1... 60 feet wide of deep, stinking water with a crapload of old railroad ties floating in the muck. Somebody has built up a little dam sort of thing that backed up the water... it must flood in the Spring but this is late Summer... but the ATV's can fit on it and everybody goes across. Back on the trail about two miles later is missing bridge 2... very similar to #1. We get through and then it is about 4 miles to a 20 foot wide mini-replica of the other two. Every thing is cool and then we get on and really haul... no more bridges forever.

    40 minutes later we all stop and the ATV'S decide there is something more interesting... a mud bog (why do they do that... like pigs in slop?) and the bikes head back after it looks like it is just going to be a pig pen that goes nowhere but filthy. I'm third. Bridge 3... in and out. I pass into second and... Bridge 2 ... in and out. I pass into first and... WFO... forget about Bridge 1. Aaaaaah!!!!! Air... Splash... Glub... Ouch! OK, the KLR went down running (carb flush, gas tank flush... no dents!, extended crank case flushing, blown rear tire). The swamp water was too foul. The chipped pelvis was a pain in the ass. Close call because it shoulda' been a whole lot worse.

    Good Lord, I loved that bike more than any other. We went everywhere together and we did it all... in the air, in the swamp, in the woods. Was it her, or the way I felt with her? I remember when I bought her new Metzlers. She was so responsive and gave me back more than I gave her.


    But I eventually wandered away to a touring bike with a big chest and broad hips. I never forgot her thumping and thus the new relationship was doomed from the start because I couldn't let go.

  2. PT Rider

    PT Rider Been here awhile

    Aug 29, 2009
    NW Washington State
    Two times in one day...
    ...Following a car on a quiet two lane city street, he pulls over to the side in the parking space near the hardware store, then does a U turn right in front of me. Four or five blocks later, I'm on a wide two lane and a woman pulls from the left into my lane. When I get a chance to ask her why, she said, "the sun was in my eyes." I didn't ask her why she pulled out when she admittedly couldn't see what was coming toward her.

    Another day...
    The east-west two lane has stop signs at the intersection where the north-south two lane is a through road. I'm stopped at one stop sign and a Suburban is stopped across from me at the other stop sign. One car comes down the through road, then the 'burb pulls out and almost hits the second through car. If he'd hit it, it would have bounced into me. If that car had dodged him, it would have hit me. If I'd tried to power through the intersection and they didn't hit, it would have hit me. Everybody missed everybody, and I gave a wave to the 'burb driver...first a fist, then one finger.

    Riding in the Dominican Republic with (great trip, hope to repeat)...
    Driving there is OK once we learn their system which is kind'a give a little and take a little. Most traffic keeps to the right, slower stuff way right. I was in the center of the road passing a slow truck with a minibus coming at me, but it was closer than I thought, missed by an inch or two, and that was the only time I flinched on the week ride with the group.
  3. SamRus

    SamRus Been here awhile

    Mar 11, 2010
    Southern IL
    One of the closest calls today on the way to work.

    I was going about 40 mph (posted speed limit) northbound on a 2-lane road (one lane each way). The road going north was completely clear, so there was nobody ahead of me as far as I could see.

    The traffic going south (oncoming traffic to me) was not too dense, but there was a tight pack of 6-10 cars coming up. One Ford F-150 out of the middle of that pack decided to make a classic left-turn into me onto a tiny alley or a drive-way to my right. He didn't see me at all, and about 20-30 feet ahead of me started using my lane as his turn lane (I assume he was trying to be polite to people behind him and let them pass him).

    So as soon as his inside wheels crossed the centerline, my horn came on and stayed way until I passed him, which made him yank the truck back into his lane. That's what saved me. I didn't even have time to apply the brakes, and I'm just glad he yanked back into his lane, or I would most definitely hit his truck.

    I need to get much better about panic stops... That was a scary one...
  4. 390beretta

    390beretta Long timer

    Oct 31, 2009
    Phoeniz, AZ
    Riding my K75. Had just entered I-17 from the Carefree Highway heading South, so I was accelerating with some alacrity to match the flow of traffic and duck into my chosen opening. Suddenly, out of my peripheral vision I see a wheel and tire about 40 yards up in the air and it seems to be heading straight for me. I watch in disbelief for a moment and remember thinking "how the hell did that get up there"? Quickly check my left mirror, swerve into the left lane,brake slightly and see the tire bounce just ahead of me in the right lane, perhaps 50 ft., and careen off, ripping through a highway fence and off into the desert, taking part of the fence with it. All I can surmise is that it was a spare tire that fell off of a vehicle heading the opposite direction at high speed and somehow got very air born.
  5. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

    Nov 26, 2001
    in The Cloud
    One of my closest calls was my fault for doing something stupid. Here goes....

    About 15 summers ago I was riding a very narrow and twisty road with few turnouts.

    I came around a corner to find a very slow moving vehicle in front of me. I mean this car was crawling up the hill. I followed him for minutes hoping he'd pull to the right so I could pass my impatience and anger grew, I saw a spot where I could see ahead a couple of curves, and went for a pass.

    All of a sudden there was a sedan directly in front of me. He was coming the other way quite fast and I simply did not see him when I initiated my pass.

    A split second before a head on collision I swerved and went between the vehicles. There must have been microns of space between us on both sides...

    I pulled over, shaking with anger at my own stupidity and impatience. I vowed to never let my emotions get out of control when riding again. I've kept that vow, and now have about 265K crash free miles under my belt.

    The second came last week. I was at a red light at a four way intersection. Since the view to the left was obstructed, when my light turned green, I waited about 3 seconds before going, despite the fact the guy behind me started blowing his horn.

    It's a good thing I waited. A minivan driven by a woman on a cell phone blew through the intersection at about 60 mph. Had I gone when the light turned, you wouldn't be reading this boring story, as I'd be dead.:rofl
  6. FrogAndTrumpet

    FrogAndTrumpet Adventurer

    Jan 6, 2014
    Don't ask me, I'm lost too!
    During my first visit to Corsica, on the road between Auddè (Aullène) and Zìcavu (Zicavo), I was on the Thruxton, tanking along in formation with a bloke on a Multistrada 1100 (the red rag in front of me) and a bloke on a BMW 1200 RT (playing the role of tail-end Charley/packed lunch wallah). I was itching to get past matey on the Doocardee, and as the road was pretty much empty apart from us, I was often using the whole width of the - narrow - road (gives you an idea of how fast Ducati man and I were going). At one point, as I dropped towards the apex of a blind left-hander, I suddenly discovered that the precise patch of tarmac I was aiming for was about to be occupied by a local coming down the hill at a fair rate of knots (everybody drives fast in Corsica) in a lowered Peugeot 207 GTI. Luckily we both kept a cool head: the guy in the Pug stood on the anchors, and I did the mother of all counter-steers while giving it the berries. I managed to avoid him, but you couldn't have slipped a cigarette paper between my left knee and the left front wheel-arch of the Pug!

    Epilogue: After the close call, I looked in the mirror and could see that the guy on the Beemer was whitish-green with eyes the size dinner plates. So I decided that at the first possible moment we'd all pull over, have a smoke, and calm down. Of course, I just had to stop - unwittingly - in front of the local graveyard...
  7. flei

    flei cycletherapist

    Apr 1, 2013
    Western Mass.
    I grew up and learned to ride in So Cal. When I was 17, I was riding my Yamaha RD350 (wish i still had it!) in the left lane on the Ventura Freeway when an on-coming car somehow hit and jumped the cement center divider. Thank god i had no time to react! The car literally flew right over me! I ducked reflexively, never let off the throttle or looked back and took the next exit. After I parked I was able to catch my breath! :puke1:eek1:cry Since I was 17 I was not much shaken by this incident. I think if that happened to me now (age 58) I'd: A) wet myself, B) park it and never ride again!
  8. scootrboi

    scootrboi Long timer

    Jan 1, 2011
    Bisbee, AZ
  9. CSI

    CSI Long timer

    Sep 28, 2010
    The "closest" call that most likely would have been fatal happened so quickly and unexpectedly, that I didn't even starting shaking for a minute or so after it had happened.

    Thanksgiving weekend of 2012, I rode from Topeka down to Tulsa for the ABA Grand Nationals. Left Tulsa at about 6 PM for the ride home.

    I was on 169 Highway somewhere south of Chanute. Two lane, rural road with nothing but open field on both sides. Had a semi ahead of me by about 1/2 a mile or so. He was entering a very long bend to the left, and I knew I would be catching him at or near the end....coming towards us (out of the left) was a tractor.

    Now this road was fairly wide....two lanes, plus a paved breakdown lane on either side (this is the ONLY thing that saved my ass).....the tractor had his right tires on the breakdown lane on his side...plenty of room.,,matter of fact, his left side tires were only a foot or so across the white line on the right side of his lane. I could see a car coming up behind the tractor, so I moved to the right wheel track "just in case".

    About this time, the car behind the tractor decided to pass.....unbeknownst to me OR the car driver, this tractor was set up for dual rear wheels....but was only running singles. That means there was an axle stub sticking about 2 or more feet past the tire.

    Just as the guy in the car got to the rear of the tractor, he saw the stub, and jerked his wheel left.....

    I hammered the right bar, jerking the bike to the right on to the breakdown lane.....I don't think there was but 2 feet between the left side of my bike and the l/f fender of that car when we passed....and we were both running 60 or more..

    I was like "WTF"?????? Was more pissed than scared......pissed to the point that I had momentarily entertained the idea of turning around and chasing the asshole in the car down....until the realization of what nearly happened set in.

    Stopped at a truck stop a mile or so up the road......the semi that had been ahead of me had also stopped......he walked over to me and said "I thought you were gonna get splattered"....

    Had it not been for positioning myself in the right part of the line, coupled with having practiced collision avoidance techniques, I would have at the very least lost my left leg....

    -end of story-
  10. dfeckel

    dfeckel Adventurer

    Oct 28, 2007
    Mid 90's on my Zephyr 750. In my parents' neighborhood going around a sweeping right curve at about 30 mph. An oncoming car turns left in front of me. Countersteer and swerve right in front of her. My left muffler grazes her front bumper. My swerved trajectory carries me right over the curb, I narrowly miss a tree, and circle back to talk to the lady.

    I ended up getting her insurance info because I had two bent wheels and smashed headers from the curb.

    I didn't fall over, though!
  11. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

    Dec 17, 2009
    Southern Appalachians
    Nothing that really stands out, other than the occasional slight target fixation/selecting a bad line when fatigued.

    However: just yesterday I was lanesplitting on the way home and pulled up to a stoplight. As the light turns green and I take off, the car on my left hits my boot with its bumper. Yikes.

    Clearly I need to take off faster in the future :evil
  12. tkent02

    tkent02 Long timer

    Dec 6, 2008
    Littleton, CO
    I almost bought a Honda once.
  13. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

    Aug 11, 2010
    Southern Va
    Nothing to exciting but did have 2 in one day about 15 minutes apart . Went uptown to get my hair trimmed right after leaving Im going through a residential section and see a truck gun it out of a drive way . I lay hard on the brakes locking up the back , I let a little pressure off the rear and stand leaning back then get back on the rear brake . The drive sees me panics and stops in mid turn instead of just giving it more gas and giving me more space . I finally come to a stop about 2 inches from his back fender , he throws both hands in the air looking at me through his back window about the same time a car that was coming the other way gets to blowing the horn because he has her lane partially blocked . I just wave him on and go on to the grocery store .

    I grab some milk and some chicken at the grocery store and pull out going home . The road has makes a hard sweeping right ninety curve and gains a lane on the left in the turn to the intersection . This arrangement causes alot of people to think they need to be in that lane to make a left turn to get back to the interstate but both lanes are left turning lanes . Well Im in the left lane and there is a truck in the right lane . We start into the turn and I stay far left as the extra lane starts out , the truck sees the new lane and whips across the left lane and then continues into my lane which at this point isnt a full lane yet anyway . Well I go off the road into the medium laying on the sherpas horn the whole time . After the truck passes I go to get back on the road not noticing there was a 5 or 6 inch lip up to the road where vehicles had eased off the road there rutting the shoulder out . By this time I running about 15 mph and the front hits the lip and jumps on up fine but the back slides out I drop my right foot the bike hops back upright and up onto the road . I come to a stop at the intersection behind the truck and look over and a different truck pulls up beside me and hits the horn I look over at the driver and hey makes a wiping the sweat from the brow gesture and gives me a thumbs up ,Apperantly he saw it all.:lol3 The light turns green and I take off slowly giving the truck plenty of room , sure enough after making the left turn the truck need to be in the right lane to get on the interstate so it whipped over into the right lane cutting off the guy who gestured to me causing him to have to brake .I ran up beside him and just shook my head he made a shooting gesture at the truck that screwed both of us up now .Oh the gesture guy had a HD sticker on his back window so I guess he was a rider . I didnt ride my bike to town for a few days after that .

    ETA:Here is the intersection , if you look you can see someone in a silver minivan forcing their way over into the left lane about where I got back on at lol .,-78.11677&z=18&t=h
  14. FrogAndTrumpet

    FrogAndTrumpet Adventurer

    Jan 6, 2014
    Don't ask me, I'm lost too!
  15. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

    Feb 26, 2010
    Two at intersections, and one deer.

    1985-ish. Had already been riding bikes for about 13 or 14 years, so I was pretty cognizant of needing to be vigilant going through intersections, amongst everything else.

    Night time in a big city, I'm going slightly under the limit on a one way street, crossing another one way street intersection. Green light for me was about exactly halfway through it's full on cycle, so I wasn't mega concerned about a car jumping the light, or gassing it to make it through in time, on the street crossing mine.

    Force of habit I did roll off throttle a smidge and give a token glance left to pay lip service to my paranoia about people ignoring or missing red lights.

    *WHOOSH*!!!! A car blows past me so fast, literally micro inches from my rear tire, I have zero time to think, or do, or so much as shriek in my helmet. I pull over on the other side of the intersection, and sit there shaking half to death.

    Other drivers in cars behind me, pull to screeching halts and all shout: OMG! are you ok? Ambulance? Are you alive? etc., etc. lol. They were so convinced that I had been hit, that it still wasn't registering that I hadn't actually been.

    The car that went through the red light at 90 mph or whatever, that I neglected to observe despite my best intentions?

    It was going down the one way street, the wrong way, with no freaking lights on! :lol3

    1989-ish. This one is my biggest WTF of my own behaviour.

    Sitting at a red light, waiting to proceed through. Look up, see green, and go.

    Not only didn't I give a quick left-right to make sure it was ok, my light was actually still red!!! :huh Halfway though the intersection, it dawns on me that I had completely zoned out, and had reflexively acted on the green, but it was the light in the next block! Talk about a thousand yard stare or whatever, sheesh.

    That made me really buckle down and try to shake off being complacent and cocky in general with my supposed riding prowess.


    Bimbling slowly (roughly 50 mph) along in the boonies, on a hot, sunny, clear august day, zero highway traffic for hours in any direction, nearing the end of a successful couple week tour into the wilds with many, many animal encounters.

    Flash of tan fur to my left, and the absolute foreknowledge that I *am* going to be hit, I flinch, shut my eyes, heave forward on my right hand grip. I can even picture where on the bike, and what parts are going to be needing replacement, starting with the front fender.

    The buck not only didn't hit the front of the bike, nor the middle, nor me, or even the back of my bike! I was on an overloaded, piled high with camping gear F800ST, so it presented a fairly large profile. :I'm not fat, I'm just big boned!:

    My buddy riding his Super Tenere directly behind me, said he thought I was going to broadside the deer, and was all bugeyed that somehow this thing arced up and over me, instead of me hitting it.

    And he swears to this day that one of it's magnificent and vewy vewy pointy antler tines had to have grazed my rear tail pack, as it's head went completely to it's left, in midair. Either that, or it lunged at me trying to gore me as it flew past :lol3
  16. toy4fun

    toy4fun GET out of the way

    Feb 21, 2011
    Beautiful downtown Roy, WA
    Does buying a BMW count?:lol3
  17. L.B.S.

    L.B.S. Long timer

    Feb 26, 2010
    For me, that was: "EPIC FAIL" unfortunately, as I bought one. I *wish* it had been a close call, with no actual purchase! :cry
  18. Digasi

    Digasi Been here awhile

    Jul 3, 2012
    Salem, OR
    First close call was riding to work. Coming up on a T intersection with the other street having the stop sight. There is no side of the road as it dropped off in a 4 foot ditch a mere 4 inches from the white line. As I was right at the intersection a guy in a truck pulls out in front of me. I couldn't stop in time, but did the best I could and got over as far as I could. Missed the guy by a few inches some how.

    My next close call I was approaching a bicyclist. I was in my lane and he was in the bike lane. Slowed down a bit as I approached anticipating a possible event from the cyclist, there was a T intersection a little down the road that had traffic waiting as well as a stop sign a little further down the road. I also was looking for signs from the cyclist on what he would do, looking behind and to the side, given a signal he was going to turn, and where he was looking. Seeing no sign he wanted to turn, I moved to the far left and pass. Just as I was about to pass him, he darted right out in front of me. I just instinctively swerved around him to the right as it was the safest escape route as going left was out because of an oncoming car and the cyclist was heading left.
  19. bbrz

    bbrz Been here awhile

    Apr 30, 2011
    Home of the Windjammer Rantoul IL
    From mid '73-mid '74, schooled at a tech center in Quincy IL.
    Dated a very sweet little farm girl that lived on the eastern river bluff
    above the river. Rode a room mates SL350 Honda out to the farm for a get together with her. Late that night, left to go back to the city.
    Decending gravel road for about 1/2 mi, or so. Full ATGATT, jeans, t-shirt,
    tennis shoes.
    About 500' down hill, something rode along with me. DEER!
    On my left, I could have touched that animal, had I taken my hand off of the bar. 50' or so the doe ran back into the woods.
    I will never forget that night, in more ways than one.
  20. VTphoneman

    VTphoneman Been here awhile

    Aug 23, 2013
    New Hampster
    Back in the early 90's I'm 19 and dumb. I'm supposed to go to my families camp for the weekend but had to work friday night until 11pm. I decide I'll just shoot up on my VF500, normally a 3 hour drive should take me 2 on the bike. Only problem is I had never drove to camp and thus got lost. So at about 2am I'm cruising the back roads of northern Vermont on a completely moonless night. I'm going "slow" 50-55 looking for any easy turn around when something flashes by in my periphiral vision. I turn around a little ways down and come back though, this time my headlight catches what I had just missed by a foot, a freaking giant black steer standing in the middle of the road. I pulled off at a picnic area and slept on a table until morning.

    Another time I'm working a Sunday morning and I'm early. I decide to zip up though this housing development. I come around a corner when I remember that there is a stop sign at the end of this down hill corner. I panic, stand the bike up grab the brakes and go straight out of the corner up on a banked lawn. I know if I'm still hitting the brakes when I get on the wet grass Im going down. I let off the brakes grab the throttle put one foot down and slide it like its flat tracker until she's pointed back to the road, didnt even think about it . That taught me to stop being an idiot.