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Dangers of Cycling

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    Posted 5 years ago

    SpiritBear
    (813 items)

    Some of you may remember this bicycle. I had about $100 of work put into it and loved it. Not a month after I got it back from the shop, I was riding down town (I cannot remember why) when it got wrecked. You can see the bend and gouge in photo one, which wasn't present in photo two (original photo of my bike, see left of bike).

    A man in a Jeep didn't stop fully at the stop sign and pulled out in front of me as I was riding into the cross-walk of the intersection. I had tried to make eye-contact and thought he saw me, for it looked like he was gong to stop, but a lot of people don't stop for cyclists.

    Thankfully the bike took the impact and I popped out into the main road (thankfully, too, there weren't vehicles right there at the time even though it usually is a busy road).

    I yelled, "What the H***." and looked up at him. Several people stopped (to me it seemed like they just magically appeared, like last time) and came to my aid, but I stood up and (I think) I moved my bike out of the road (that part I can't clearly recall even though I wrote most of this the day of the accident) as well as what was left of his headlight and maybe something from under the hood (Couldn't tell what it was).

    He was very calm about it, and so was I after my initial moment of anger. He asked if I was okay, which I was beyond a good size bump and some scrapes, and if my bike was okay, which it's not.

    He at first hoped he could fix my bike, so I stood there and looked it over with him as he tried putting the chain back on. The back wheel won't spin, and the chain is caught in a piece of my bike (albeit in these photos the thing is dismantled to get the tyres off).

    He backed his vehicle out of the road and a man in a truck thought he was leaving the accident. After the confusion was cleared up and most people left (which only took a couple minutes as I was standing), I watched a guy call the police and give the license plate number.

    The man who hit me then realised my bike likely isn't fixable, as he noted that the frame is bent. He said he'd make it right, whether it could be fixed or if he had to get me another bike.

    I don't remember why, but we switched to the other side of the road where his vehicle was and waited for the police. I also noticed a few other damaged pieces.

    The police came, talked to him first as I stood getting a little sunburn, and then they talked to me. I pointed to the shattered glass in the road (just into the main road, centre), and told them I was struck close to there, as that's where his headlight hit the ground outside the cross-walk. Our stories matched and I held my bike up for the officer to get the serial off it.

    It turns out the man who hit me is a Probation Officer. He was just getting done with checking on one of his people. He told the police he'd either have my bike repaired or would buy me a new one, and I had earlier told him I'd ask them (if they were gonna) to not give him a ticket.

    It was odd getting into the vehicle with someone I'd never met before, but we got my bike in there and he was gonna take me to the bike shop.

    I directed him to which, and we got there to find out that my bike cannot be repaired by a business (it could be welded, I suppose, but that would be a liability).

    We went to Target, as his idea, to look at new bikes. I kept insisting we wait (and that I could wait till later in the month) and find a used bike place, but I needed a multi-gear light-weight bike for a class, which is a bit harder to do.

    He called my mom from there, having made several calls previous to his boss, wife, and someone else. He told my mom, as he tried to put it as gently as possible, "I bumped into your son today" which had to be the funniest thing from my day.

    When he explained, I could over-hear her voice choked up as she began to cry. She drove down from work to Target where we met her out front and she hugged me tightly and cried, remembering what happened last time when I got a light concussion after a lady in a silver car went through the red light (and thus into me).

    We all then went down to Toys 'R' Us, which was in the same area as Target, and then to Dunham Sports in-between the two stores. We looked at new bikes, and he really wanted to get me one today instead of waiting to find a cheaper one, so he got me a new hybrid bike (with the most amazing balance I've ever felt on a bike) after his persuasion.

    He was really nice about it all and has two kids of his own. We put my old bike in my mom's car, and we all parted-- myself on my new bike which got me through my cycling class quite well and, often, as part of the leading group (since everyone broke into pairs and groups).

    It's sad to see my World Sport no longer usable, but beyond some bumps/scrapes, a headache (I don't like wearing helmets), and light sunburn, I came out pretty well.

    He was a pretty nice guy. I kind of want to keep in contact with him, but it didn't happen.

    As for cyclists, here's what's what at least in the state of Michigan (like most states) : Cyclists must ride with the direction of traffic and can ride in the road when a shoulder/bike path is not present, or when on- and off-ramps are dangerous or numerous, or when the shoulder is in very poor shape/full of debris. We can ride in the turn lane to turn with traffic and are to obey all traffic signals. Cyclists in the state of Michigan cannot ride on side-walks (albeit I do sometimes when there is no shoulder and everyone's going 50 MPH) as drivers are less likely to see us.
    Essentially, we have all the same rights as cars (albeit we're not allowed on high-ways). We're here. We may seem annoying and like we're trying to anger you, but really we're just trying to be safe and have fun. I like bikes. I own several (3 of which are broken, 2 due to accidents, 1 that had its handle-bars fall off [and I don't have the special tool to tighten them back on] and 1 that I bought cheaply and never worked on).
    When driving, look before you turn. Look at side-walks, too. Kids often ride on those. Stop fully and give cyclists the right-of-way just as if they were any other vehicle. Just because some cyclists aren't obeying all the laws doesn't mean you should follow suit. When I get hit again, for surely it will happen, if either of my new bikes are severely damaged someone is going to get sued and I'm going to broadcast it to the entire city because, frankly, it's become ridiculous. I hate driving in my city, hence why I like to cycle. People don't stop at yellow lights or stop signs, nor do they come close to obeying speed limit signs. Often they go through red lights, too. Heck, I see the police breaking traffic laws all the time when they have neither lights nor sirens on.
    Yesterday I rode (testing a new bike I'll post later) down a 6-lane road (two lanes were turn-lanes) with a speed-limit of 45 (no one obeys it) and entrances/exits from/to the highway. I was quite pleased, for there were 0 near-accidents. I was even in the turn-lane to go left. Only one car passed too close (as people also like to cut through other turn lanes when turning).
    Why can't every ride be like that? The photographed bike was wrecked at an intersection of a 25 MPH road and I think a 45 MPH road. He was on the 25 MPH.

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    Comments

    1. Hunter Hunter, 5 years ago
      I'm curious why you didn't want him to get a ticket (regardless of whether he seemed to be a "nice guy") ? I ride a bike to commute in California, and the cops here have to be pushed to actually cite drivers for breaking the law with regards to cyclists, and I think that without retraining drivers (through punishment) they're unlikely to learn. Police officers in particular should know the law and set a better example...

      Glad you weren't hurt, but self-driving vehicles can't come soon enough!
    2. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      I thought my bike could be fixed, which he told me he was willing to pay for before the police arrived. I just wanted the situation to be over. I'm normally nice.
      Those would be the reasons.
    3. antiquerose antiquerose, 5 years ago
      Awww...Sorry to see what happened to ya!!

      I did LOVE this post -- the I thought HOW can I love this post when SpiritBear Bike got damages..............so I went back in and mark the LIKED button, as my heart goes out to you and your damaged Bike.
    4. SpiritBear, 5 years ago
      LOL, Antique Rose.
      I'm still keeping the bike. Currently it is used to keep the dogs in the yard by blocking a missing gate. Eventually it will hang in the rafters of our garage and retire there for years till I need parts from it again.

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