Almost got hit by a car tonight. I was coming down Grand Junction just West of Hancock. Car came up to T junction with GJ road and kept going. Would have got me if I had not swerved violently to the right to get around.
It was pitch black (mimimal street lighting there) and I thought I would have shown up well with my bright Mako and Cateye lights - yes two separate lights. I had been impressed with the pool of light they were throwing on the road up to that point. Was also wearing a bright orange fluro vest with reflective tape all over it. Also had two of those 'Be seen be safe" snap on fluro bicycle clip things.
I would put the video up but my initial verbal reaction when it happened would be offensive to many.
I rolled up next to car at Valley Rd lights. Woman apologised and said she just didn't see me. I was still pretty cross but didn't swear and was not abusive in trying to explain what it is like before she drove off.
I suspect she just didn't look properly or I somehow kept hidden behind a thick windscreen pillar as we both arrived at the same point. It just emphasised what so many have said here before and that is, just assume that you are invisible and they haven't seen you.
The frustrating thing is that this means to be prepared to avoid them, you have to keep under about twenty kph approaching road junctions to have any chance of stopping.
I had to do swerve and go behind a vehicle a couple of months back. Video shows him coming from the left approaching a T junction for ages and he just drove straight at me. I'd be dead if I did not brake violently and go behind him
Yes, probably the next step to get helmet mounted light. Thanks for the tip.
My reminder that impossible for a cyclist to make themselves visible to all drivers.
A cool winter evening but no rain. I thought I was visible:
– Wearing yellow rain-jacket and yellow rain-pants.
– A flashing white light on the handlebar and very bright helmet light.
– Two rear red lights, one flashing the other steady.
– At that time my bike with accessories had twenty reflectors plus a lot of reflective tape.
I waited for the green light to cross a four-lane arterial road. I was three-quarter across when almost hit by a car driven against the red light.
Ever tried fitting on a bike a lighting system larger than a traffic light?
Indeed - well avoided.
Yep, always assume one is invisible and Read.The.Car.Body.Language!
You could really see that second day light one was not stopping.
Well avoided sir.
Is one of your front lights a flasher?
I use a very bright torch with flash mode night and day and see many drivers respond to it as they instantly recognise a cyclist.
Also, unless you are training for racing, a decent flat bar road bike (with bar extensions) will be just as fast but puts you in a safer position with the hands hovering over the brakes. Quicker response.
I can't remember from the video but I also recommend a mirror for commuting to enable safer swerving to avoid collisions.
Both incidences looked like the drivers just weren't looking.
That night they were both on constant mode. Since then I've had the one mounted under the bar on flash. I find it annoying but I am sure you are right that it alerts drivers more readily.
I've had a mirror for years. In fact when I ride by son's MTB for errands, it feels very weird not having one. Yes, it's good to know where cars are behind but I have to admit, that night I was only able to swerve because I knew that no cars were present. I suspect in many emergency situations, a rider cannot be certain, even with a mirror, that they are not going to swerve in to the path of a car because you don't have time to look and it's no good thinking "there was no car when I looked ten seconds ago"
Interesting what you say about the flat bars. I go far more slowly down that road than I could go, simply because I have to be sure to give way to the right at the roundabout and to be prepared to stop for cars coming from my left at the roundabout. I don't hold this against them so much because it is a very restricted view to their right. There are also other risky places lower down. Anyway, I ride slowly in comparison with what speeds could be achieved because I am anticipating having to stop. I think you are right that flat bars would enable a more comfortable position to hover over the brakes, with faster response.
I can't stand straight MTB bars - they hurt my wrists, hands and shoulders and are really (IMHO) as useless for commuting as drops. I've switched all of my bikes over to what most people would call 'North Road' bars (think 'English 3-speed'). I reckon they put you in a far more relaxed, observant and controlled state of mind (and body) than drops. I've found that if you use the more contemporary wider aluminium ones (as per Rivendell and VO style) and a longer stem there is usually plenty of extension and room for knees for climbing hills etc. As a slightly more 'style-acceptable' alternative I can recommend the Kalloy/Uno AL-030 'all rounder which has about 15 deg of sweep and a modest 25mm rise (see pic below). About $24 at a well known very 'green' bikeshop in Wright St in the city! Excellent and cheap for converting older 10-speeds to commuting bikes!
Flat bars on their own can be a bit tiresome.
I use padded, medium length bar extensions and also use bar grips with the extra palm area. This gives multiple hand positions and enables a flatter back when a bit more speed or aero position is needed.
A lot of my riding is on shared paths and I'm a lot more comfortable with the quicker reaction time.
I had a near miss last night - usual thing, driver arrived at T-junction, saw him look both ways and then proceeded to drive straight into me. Bright helmet, jacket, flashing front light, etc. etc. Luckily I was going slow enough I braked in time to avoid a collision.
It got me thinking that perhaps the solution is to make bikes look more car like. Clearly, careless drivers are only making a cursory glance for 'car like' objects. Perhaps some kind of bar light across the handlebars might make a bike appear as a wider object and help in these situations. I did buy some bar-end plug lights a while ago but haven't used them for ages. Might dig them up and see if they help - point the light forward rather than back (although that's one more piece of kit that requires charging along with everything else!).
I wonder if somehow lighting up the whole bike frame would help? I've got wheel reflectors, high-vis etc but at night I've got to be in front of the car so the headlights bounce back to the driver. By then it might be too late.
Some amazing ideas in the link below but no idea how realistic they are or how long the batteries last
Hey, once a delivery truck driver lurched out of a tee junction wanting to occupy the same road space as my bright white station wagon on the through road. Luckily the parking lane was empty at that moment or my newly acquired car would have been a write off. You just have to admit that some drivers can't see anything at times no matter how obvious it is.
I don't run flashing lights - I leave them on steady.
Why? I figure flashing lights equates to "that's a bicycle" to the motorist and many motorists misjudge a cyclists true speed especially through round-abouts for example. Steady lights look something like a scooter, motorists are trained to watch out for motorized traffic.