Got knocked off

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Got knocked off

Postby cycle_tourer » 2 Dec 2008, 10:24am

Got knocked off for first time last night. :( I'm okay just a bit bruised and stiff.

I was cycling home along the mainish (well lit) road, coming up to a junc with a side road looked to my left as i always do to try and make eye contact with drivers pulling out, thought I had (but couldn't actually see into his car), next thing i know he has pulled right out on me and full on into my side as I scream at him. Me and my bike end up in the middle of the road. Somehow nothing on me is broken, he stops and asks if he can take me to hospital etc. I got his details. He said he 'didn't see me at all'. I of course had lights on, flashing and static! And i was in cycle gear with reflective bits (shoes, longs, jacket, helmet etc).

Amazingly my bike seems okay, it's a relatively brand new Thorn Sherpa and i'm still very protective over it :D. I think the front wheel will need truing but that's about it. Is there anything else i should double check on it? Thinking of taking it in for a service and asking them to check it over anyway.

Any idea of how I can avoid this again in the future? Maybe a strip of lights up and down each side of me like a xmas tree? :lol:

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Postby unknown » 2 Dec 2008, 10:33am

I got knocked off on the 1st of Nov. Same thing. I took most of the impact and the bike was reasonably ok. I'd say sometimes you can't avoid it...

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Postby lisap » 2 Dec 2008, 10:48am

I use flashing LED arm and ankle bands so that as I turn left or right and am sideways on to traffic they can still see me. So far they have worked but my route is on pitch black country lanes and I think lights are probably more visible in that situation than on partly light roads.

Glad you and your Thorn are not too bashed up.

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Postby james01 » 2 Dec 2008, 10:49am

Glad to hear you're not too badly hurt.
I'd definitely get the bike checked over, it's an expensive machine & you want to be sure there's no hidden damage.
You were well-lit & yet these things still happen. All I can say is that I rely on a sort of instinct when I'm approaching vehicles which are waiting to pull out; if doubt creeps in I pull the brake levers until the pads are just touching the rims so that I'll save those microseconds reaching for the brakes if & when the idiot pulls out. Another trick is to give the handlebars a wobble so that your headlight plays across his face, hopefully alerting him to your presence.
(My survival instincts are based on years of motorcycling where the consequence of this type of incident was nearly always serious injury or worse, owing to the higher speeds involved. I actually gave up motorcycling for reasons of self-preservation; there just seemed to be too many near-death experiences on nearly every trip ! ).

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Postby cycle_tourer » 2 Dec 2008, 11:03am

I saw this a few weeks ago and had thought it might be a good idea: ... 152c003250

Similar to turning the handlebars, when you turn your head drivers may have more chance of seeing you as you direct the light towards them.

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Postby eileithyia » 2 Dec 2008, 11:45am

Unfortunately this is all too common, watch anyone pulling up at give way/turn left on to main road option, and you will see they glance down the road for objects hurtling toward them at 30 mph, anything slower and closer to them is in danger.

Strategy I use; Watch them. Ride on the hoods with hands poised over brakes, even slightly pulling them on. Watch Them. Look for their eyes, not always easy admittedly., Keep Watching Them. Be ready to shout to alert them to your presence. Keep On Watching Them. Be ready to swerve out or stop if necessary as you shout the warning. Keep Watching Them.

Of course it is no guarantee, but has served me well over the years.

Glad you are Ok. I am lit up fairly much like a Xmas Tree but still reckon if they are not looking in the right direction at the right time they will not see you and no extra lights will alter that fact.

This is probably borne out by the fact that of the 3 times I have had altercations with a vehicle 2 have been in broad daylight on sunny days!
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

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Postby patricktaylor » 2 Dec 2008, 12:17pm

lisap wrote:Glad you and your Thorn are not too bashed up.

Me too.

I agree with james01 and eileithyia. The safest thing is to assume they will pull out, even in perfect conditions.

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Postby kwackers » 2 Dec 2008, 12:36pm

patricktaylor wrote:
lisap wrote:Glad you and your Thorn are not too bashed up.

Me too.

I agree with james01 and eileithyia. The safest thing is to assume they will pull out, even in perfect conditions.

Lifes too short and side roads with cars too many. Just make sure you're not cycling in the gutter - if you are you won't be seen.

I think 'assuming the worst' isn't that constructive, the worse is every car you come across will slam on, veer across your path, sideswipe you and a whole host of other things that *might* happen.

In reality they don't. I'd sooner make progress than behave like a scared rabbit, I think a lack of assertiveness is actually far worse.

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Postby anniesboy » 2 Dec 2008, 2:12pm

I would agree with get it looked at by someone who knows what check.
Especially frame and forks.
One rough check for frame alignment ,is to get a length of string ,remove the rear wheel attach string to one rear dropout pass it around the head tube and back to the other dropout.With a steel rule and by eye you will see if anything is very much out.
But this is no substitute for a proper check,I assume you are too far away from Thorn Cycles

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Postby cycle_tourer » 2 Dec 2008, 2:31pm

Yeah too far away from Thorn. Woodrups Cycles in Leeds is prob my nearest decent cycle shop so i'll take it in there tomorrow.

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Postby Mick F » 2 Dec 2008, 2:45pm

Good on ya, and so glad to hear you're ok. Get the bike in and checked over if you're in the slightest doubt that all isn't right.

After my mishap at the beginning of August, I was able to repair and replace everything because I'm 'that way inclined'. I'm lucky to be confident at bike diy. I was unsure about my frame though, and I deliberated for days whether I should get it back to Mercian or not. But chatting on here, and checking and checking and checking, then riding it and 'feeling' the ride quality, I was happy that all was well. It still is.
Mick F. Cornwall

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Postby 661-Pete-oldversion » 2 Dec 2008, 3:21pm

Classic SMIDSY, this. I don't think there's anything more you can do, yourself, to prevent this from ever happening again: making eye contact is the best strategy but as your post says, even this doesn't always work. As with so many situations, the onus is on the motorist to prevent this from happening again. And it's so easy for the motorist! He's already stationary, in the side road, he's already looking to right and left waiting for a gap to pull out. There is absolutely no excuse for him not to have seen you. But fail to see you is exactly what too many motorists do. Too many motorists are simply, and almost literally, blind.

I was sideswiped on a roundabout some time ago. Not knocked off, therefore not hurt myself, my rear wheel was trashed making the bike immobile. Another SMIDSY. Another offer of a lift (home, in my case).

I politely declined the offer of the lift, muttering something like 'I don't trust your competence to drive, I don't want you driving me around'. That threw him a bit. In the heat of the moment I regarded the offer as hypocrisy, the motorist trying to buy a favour with me. But as I said it was a heated moment.

I wheeled the bike home on its front wheel (it was only half a mile). I got my dosh off the motorist for the re-build.

Since them I'm very wary on that same roundabout - as on any roundabout. But it hasn't happened again. Don't let things like this put you off.

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Postby lauriematt » 2 Dec 2008, 4:03pm

i bought lights that fit onto your spokes....which obviously a driver can see from a side view

you can also get lights to fit as valve caps - though not for presta valves

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Re: Got knocked off

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Dec 2008, 4:04pm

cycle_tourer wrote:Any idea of how I can avoid this again in the future?

Obviously, I'm glad to hear you are more or less OK.

Although I've never been hit by somebody pulling out from a side road in the dark, it's happened more than enough without an accident occurring, when I've managed avoiding action.

I found a marked improvement when I started using a really strong headlamp (as opposed to the best that used to be available which were rubbish.) Mid 1990s I started using Cateye Daylights, 6 volt gel cell system with a torch type headlamp. Since superseded by even better stuff.

The point is that car drivers get used to seeing approaching cars on a pair of 60w or more headlamps - and bikelamps tend to be overlooked. Because the headlamps on a car emerging from a side road are shining across the road, any reflective clothing will not be effective - you are relying 100% on your front lamp.

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Postby cycle_tourer » 2 Dec 2008, 4:17pm

i bought lights that fit onto your spokes....which obviously a driver can see from a side view

Like these: ??

If i driver couldn't see me side on with those he must be blind :lol: Are they even legal?

thirdcrank - Yeah that's why i was wondering about the helmet light i mentioned above. Although not powerful i was imagining at least it's higher and when i turn my head to look at drivers they may have the light facing them and have more chance of seeing me? Though maybe investing in a good front light would be better.

Does anyone use these? ... 152c003244

Have seen them in CTC magazine and wondered about them.