Here Are The Close Calls You've Had On Your Bicycles

Here Are The Close Calls You've Had On Your Bicycles

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Image: Bojin (Wikicommons)

I’ll never forget this one moment on my bike that shook me so much I stopped riding my bike for about two weeks: It was 2005. I’m about 16 and riding my bike I recently bought to get back and forth to work at the local Mcdonald’s. I don’t know how I didn’t see or hear it, but a baby seemingly crawled out of nowhere directly into the path of my bike from behind a fence. I don’t know how I didn’t notice the mom and the baby sitting on their front porch playing.

It was one of those things where time seems to slow down. Right before I would’ve hit the child, I made the decision to veer right into a rosebush because who in their right mind would hit a child with a bike? I got scratched up pretty bad and didn’t go to work that day, but it was ok because the baby was fine.

We asked readers what were some close calls they had on their bikes. These were their answers.

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Bicycles Don’t Belong On The Sidewalk

Bicycles Don’t Belong On The Sidewalk

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Image: John Macdougall/Getty (Getty Images)

“Bicycles do not belong on the sidewalk”

Related story about this: I was on vacation, and rode my bike across the street and then onto the relatively empty sidewalk, instead of on the very narrow shoulder up hill on a busy 2-lane main road. I actually got pulled over by the police. Did I mention that I was only 12 year old at the time? Luckily I was let off with just a warning.

Suggested by: StalePhish

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Lucky

Lucky

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Image: Drew Angerer/Getty (Getty Images)

Exactly 11 days ago I crashed into an Infiniti G35 that pulled into the middle of a dedicated bike lane and stopped right in front of me while I was going downhill at about 15mph.

I live in Seattle. Downtown bike lanes are next to the curb, then there is street parking, then the car traffic lane. The idea being that it protects cyclists from riding into car doors. The problem is cross traffic has to pull into said lane to be able to see oncoming car traffic. This guy did exactly that except he didn’t look to see if there was any cycle traffic... like me. In fact he only looked in my direction right as I was about to slam into the side of his car. I’ve had so many near-misses just like this it was only a matter of time.

I was lucky. Nothing was broken. My ribs are bruised and some ugly bruises down the left side of my body. My bike, a Vanmoof S3, was unharmed mostly because I had slid sideways trying to brake and my body made all the contact.

He no longer has a sideview mirror. I’m still very sore.

Suggested by: Dean Beyer

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Close Call In London

Close Call In London

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Image: Matt Dunham/AP (AP)

Probably the scariest close call happened in London in the 1990s; I was doing about 30mph downhill in a bus-and-taxi-and-bike lane, alongside some other cyclists, whilst there was a long queue of cars in the lane to my right. One of the car drivers suddenly decided to cheat, using the bus lane to get ahead. She didn’t signal. Instead of accelerating when she saw the impending accident in her mirror, she stopped. I left a huge skidmark and almost stopped in time, did an endo and flopped against the back of the car at about 2mph, it didn’t look very graceful but at least I avoided serious head or spine trauma. At least one other rider hit harder and seemed injured; at least one stopped in time.

Immediately afterwards the driver stayed in the car and refused to say anything to any of the victims or enraged near-victims, wouldn’t provide insurance details, wouldn’t even wind down a window. Her car acquired a couple of unnecessary dents and lost a couple of wipers and mirrors - I’m not saying that’s right, but it’s maybe understandable when tempers were running high. There was no point in me reporting the incident to police at the time - the Met had wasted a lot of my time before ultimately ignoring my previous attempt to report a bad driver (who pulled a sudden U-turn without using signals or mirrors, which put me in hospital). I think the police are a bit better nowadays, and maybe drivers are better too - at least the cars have better safety features, although the driver is more likely to be distracted by a smartphone now.

Suggested by: bobrayner

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All The Time

All The Time

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Image: Sean Gallup/AP (Getty Images)

At least once a ride... person pulling out of a parking lot talking on their phone staring straight at me and just ignoring me.. Drivers doing 50 in a 25 on winding back roads where I live...

Suggested by: Jason Van Brecht (Facebook)

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Left With Injuries By Police

Left With Injuries By Police

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Hit head-on by a motorbike and left to drag my bike home 8 miles with a fractured hip and concussion by Northumbria Police.

Suggested by: @grumpycyclist72 (Twitter)

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People Not Paying Attention

People Not Paying Attention

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Image: Sean Gallup

It was like that scene from Bobs Burgers when Tina crashed in the parking lot. I was biking home from the grocery store as a broke college kid. Bags hanging off handles bars and biking slowly through a huge empty Walmart parking lot. This car is headed straight for me from across the lot. I start to turn out the way and it drifts my way. I whistle as loud as I can, the lady looks up from her phone and swerves at the last second.

Most the rest of the near misses are just people taking right turns in front of me. Not looking for bikers in the bike lane, not using blinkers, just not wanting to wait and purposely cutting me off, or my personal favorite: texting at the light, they get honked at and suddenly decide to turn right without a blinker and then slamming the brakes as they almost hit me.

People who text and drive deserve to have transmission that grenade.

Suggested by: Ben Peterson (Facebook)

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Almost Hit At Starbucks

Almost Hit At Starbucks

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Image: Joe Raedle/Getty (Getty Images)

A few years back I almost got hit by a goddamn Starbucks patron which I consider one of the most humiliating ways to die

I was taking a long way home after picking up some lunch meat and I see this crossover leaving the local Starbucks who seemed to be rolling backwards to allow me to cross in front of her along the sidewalk

Anyways I heard the little 4-cylinder scream in horror the tires chatter and I had to contort myself to avoid having “killed by stupid bitch getting overpriced coffee” on my headstone

So my lesson was never take any motorist at face value.

Suggested by: Jeremy Brodersen (Facebook)

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Almost Hit In A Crosswalk

Almost Hit In A Crosswalk

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A truck not running me over after it hit me while I was in a crosswalk. I was 12. Didn’t really injure me and just beans the part the pedal connects to. He empties all the cash in his wallet and gave it to me, about $200. Probably should have told my parents but I liked having. $200 in cash at 12.

Suggested by: Ben Herr (Facebook)

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DISCUSSION