Hit by a car.

This topic contains 34 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  byogman 2 yrs, 9 mos.

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Oct 9 2013 at 10:48am #

Last night around 7, I was hit by a car. I wasn’t particularly hurt.

I was on the 5th Avenue bus lane in uptown.

I had just gotten on 5th outbound from Jumonville. There was an outbound bus waiting at the light at jumonville and 5th.

I was paying attention to the timing of when that bus would come out onto 5th – I would have gotten on the sidewalk to let it pass conveniently. Anyhow, I was going faster than usual (but then, this is me, remember) so that I might get past the bottom of the hill before the bridge without blocking the bus.

I was also trying to catch up to some people on bikes who blasting down the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Silly me. My fate is not to drop other riders. Ever.

So I wasn’t paying the attention I should to cross traffic.

A car was coming out of Seneca.

The guy stopped (or at least very much slowed) before coming onto 5th, but was looking for car traffic on 5th and maybe glanced for buses in my direction.

Usually I would have stopped for him, but my attention was divided by the bus and the bikers.

The car and I were both near-stopped at the point of collision. He was coming from my right and I managed to get my right leg up out from between the bumper and my bike. I believe I slid rather than rolled onto his hood.

He jumped out of the car. I got off the hood.

Him “Are you OK?”

Me: “I don’t know.”


“How the f* would I know?”

*I start to move. Checks hands and feet*

“I don’t think I broke anything.

*I start to dance*

“Hey! I’m alive! Wow! I think I’m OK! ”

Some folks across the street called 9-1-1.

The driver hung around a bit to see that I really was OK I said (truthfully) it was part my fault and part his fault and I was OK with that. Some onlooker came to “PRAISE THE LORD!” The driver left.

Firemen, medics, and police arrived. Every one was sort of baffled.

I was about as high as I’ve ever been on drugs. (Trust me. That’s something.) Just from being alive and all. I was hit by a car and just bounced off. Quite amused at that point.

Not paralized from the neck down or anything.

I felt like superman.


At one point, a cop was irritated and asked in an aggressive voice “What do you want us to do?” His buddy evidently heard my story the first time and said, “It wasn’t him that called.” The cop calmed down.

I have a ding on my shin that the medics put some guaze and tape on. I had asked “Do you guys have a band aid?” They don’t. They usually don’t mess with trauma on that level.

The cops offered me and my bike a ride home, but I could make it on my own – the front wheel was stuck at first, but some pulling and it worked. The wheel is out of true, but I didn’t even need to disengage the brake for it to roll. Might need to replace it, might not.

I was about 10 minutes late for a date. Fat chance I’ll get that woman onto a tandem now. We went to a blues dance.

All-in-all the impact was about what you might expect if you fail to dis-engage a pedal clip when you stop. Maybe a little more painful (maybe), but not nearly as humiliating.

I would have been way more hurt If I fell the other way onto the pavement as opposed to sliding onto the hood. I’ve slept places that were harder than that car hood.

The onlookers were way impressed with my “I’m-not-dead ” dance

I’m a little sore this morning. I a little old to be rolling around on the hoods of cars. Though no worse than if I, say, got drunk and did half a dozen somersaults on some well-manicured lawn.

Lucky son of a bitch.

This morning’s exam of the scene shows that the view up the busway is partially blocked by signs, a trash can, a bus shelter, and a telephone pole. It was one of those cases where the driver probably could have seen me, but didn’t. I had a blinking front light on that might have been blocked by the trash can though. I can’t really fault the driver – I know those intersection and know that I’m invisible coming down there. OTOH, I didn’t offer to pay for the large ass-print on his hood.

It was actually a fun adventure and an educational experience on a lovely evening. Pretty sweet for me! (But I hesitate to recommend hitting hit by a car to other bikers)

This morning a woman from down the hall heard me describing this to co-workers and came in to say that her brother-in-law was the fireman who got killed on Baldwin Road.

Be careful out there…


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Oct 9 2013 at 10:56am #

Glad to hear it wasn’t worse. Keep dancing!


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Oct 9 2013 at 10:57am #

Wow. Glad it wasn’t so much worse…


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:13am #

I am very glad you are not dead! I hope the date/dance went well.


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:19am #

Mick wrote:I was about as high as I’ve ever been on drugs. Just from being alive and all. I was hit by a car and just bounced off. Quite amused at that point.

Not paralized from the neck down or anything. I felt like superman.


SO GLAD you’re okay, Mick!!! Your post reminded me of a Churchhill quote: “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:23am #

joanne wrote:SO GLAD you’re okay, Mick!!! Your post reminded me of a Churchhill quote: “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”

I used that quote last night.


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:27am #

^Ha! Excellent.


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:33am #

Car on Mick collision… I feel sorry for the car. Glad you are OK!


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:39am #

Hope the dance helped take your mind off the bang-up.


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:44am #

Glad you’re ok!


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:45am #

Wow. Whew.
May we all be so lucky and rubberized if/when our crash day comes.


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Oct 9 2013 at 11:50am #

So a driver pulling out of Seneca did what (freshman/transfer?) students at Pitt do, fail to look for traffic in the bus lane. He’s damn lucky he didn’t have the 71D’s ass print on his hood.


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Oct 9 2013 at 12:48pm #

@ Stu- I’m pretty sure he at least glanced in the bus lane direction.

If you are looking for buses, it’s easy to miss a bike.


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Oct 9 2013 at 12:53pm #

Really glad you are ok, Mick.

Does that incident work for you or against you in the karma points race?

For you, in the sense that the odds of having a bike accident caught up with you, and the law of averages is now a little more skewed in your favor?

Or against you, in the sense that you used up available good karma/long life points in the ability to walk away from a potentially serious accident and go directly from that to a date?

In all seriousness, thanks for the update, and I am realy glad to know that you are ok.

Post the accident happening on the BP bike crash page, will you? Follow links to maps, online, and then tab to crash data. We want to monitor WHERE accidents are happening. We don’t need a lot of details, other than that it happened and that you are ok.


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Oct 9 2013 at 1:05pm #

Mick wrote:for the large ass-print on his hood

Talking about imprints someone leaves in other people lives. :)

Glad you are OK.


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Oct 9 2013 at 5:48pm #

Mick, I am so glad you are not dead. And the image of you dancing after the hit must be recreated for us sometime.


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Oct 9 2013 at 7:10pm #

you dancing […] must be recreated for us sometime

I’m pretty sure Mick was headed to this event.

I might suggest just showing up and plying him with beers. Though Mick is more than happy to dance without the beer, and more keenly. Ah, the variety of intoxications that life offers…


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Oct 9 2013 at 8:21pm #

I was indeed heading for Hot Metal Blues.

The “I’m-not-dead” dance, however, was at the accident site.

It was an amplication of a systems check:

Both hands move. Both feet move. I can wiggle everything. And y’know, it FEELS GOOD TO BOOGIE!

This is probably not recommend by health care professionals.


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Oct 9 2013 at 8:53pm #

Mick wrote:@ Stu- I’m pretty sure he at least glanced in the bus lane direction.

If you are looking for buses, it’s easy to miss a bike.

Hey Mick, really glad you’re ok. And the “I’m not dead” dance is a great image.

Since you mention that you thought he glanced in your direction and there are some visibility problems with the intersection. Think a 311 is in order?

Also, question not implication, but how bright is your front light?

Just wondering what you think about the setup can be changed.

bicycle heaven

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Oct 9 2013 at 11:10pm #

Glad to know your ok,it takes a good man like you to know it was both of you at fault or just a accident on both sides or maybe on the driver of the car only but you knew you were ok and let the driver leave,,belive me he felt like crap and thought the worst but you let him off the hook, A accident is what it is and only that but some try to get money or just to set someone back,,,,good man , great to here your doing well and did a good deed


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Oct 10 2013 at 6:57am #

So glad you’re ok Mick!


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Oct 10 2013 at 7:48am #


Glad you were not seriously injured. You mentioned having a blinking light. I have some questions regarding that if you don’t mind. How bright is the blinking light? How wide is the beam pattern? How was it aimed?

I’m asking because, as I stated in the other thread, most bike lights that people use are practically worthless and can only be seen by someone who is already looking at the bike. At worst, it can give a cyclist a false sense of confidence that they are more likely to be detected from another driver. If a trash can is preventing a driver from seeing your blinking light then it’s because your light has too narrow of a beam and is not bright enough.


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Oct 10 2013 at 8:11am #

I don’t want to start an argument, but I get the feeling that you’re saying that if Mick had had a brighter light, or if it was configured differently, the accident wouldn’t have happened. It is important to have good lights. But even the best equipment can’t protect us perfectly. If a driver is not expecting to see a cyclist, it’s quite possible for them to miss seeing them, even on a clear day. We have to constantly be on the guard, watching for drivers doing dumb things — not that it’s possible for us to do that 24/7, either. There is some risk associated with what we do.

rice rocket

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Oct 10 2013 at 8:29am #

7 is right around dusk at this time of year, probably the absolute worst time of day for visibility, even more than when it’s fully dark. Lights barely show up, and even flouro colors are barely visible. I very much avoid riding around then.


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Oct 10 2013 at 8:37am #


I’m not interested in starting an argument either, I was merely trying to assess the situation while also disclosing the reasoning for my questions. I’m not assigning blame either so please don’t misinterpret my posting in that sense. I’m an engineer and part of my job is to assess, calculate and minimize risk, so it’s in my nature I guess.

The most common theme I see regarding bike accidents is failure of the motorist to detect a cyclist. Knowing that most drivers are distracted and often don’t see a cyclist, the best chance to increase your odds of being seen is by equipping your bike with bright, flashing lights. The disconnect seems to be what some cyclists consider to be adequate in that regard.

I apologize if this comes across as inappropriate for this thread, but it seemed applicable given that the author mentioned the lights and that they did not have any effect on him being detected in this case.


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Oct 10 2013 at 9:14am #

The light –
There is a chance that it was totally blocked by the trash can, thus invisible regardless of brightness.

The light was a planet bike 1/2 watt LED. The batteries, while not near dead or anything, weren’t new. If the light had been brighter – and still blinking – there is a real chance the driver would have seen me.

Blinking lights irritate me. If it had been a brighter light, there is a chance I would have put it on steady.

The light had been a little flaky the last few weeks. After the car hit me, the light was out and only worked after opening up can closing it again. There is some chance the light had flaked before the incident, although I think that is unlikely.

None of the obstructions totally blocked the view – they just made it easy to miss something (smaller than a bus) coming from that direction. The trash can might have blocked the light and the impression of my head may have been that of someone on the sidewalk – closer and moving more slowly (hard to believe, I know…)

The visibility is less a problem with buses – and nothing else moving in the bus lane is legal.

I’m guessing buses occasionally have panic stops and even fender benders at that corner (Seneca) and the next (Moultrie). Doubt that the changes in the intersection would make much difference.

Extreme caution for bike riders is in order. Cars are not looking for you.

I once almost hit a bicyclist crossing Forbes just south-west of there while I was riding, because I was looking for cars. The bike was so far left on Forbes he was in the door zone, but still, the main issue was I was looking for cars.

Going in the other direction, two short blocks east of there is where a bike rider passed me on the right as I was moving on 5th to the right into the parking lane last week. I’ve had another close pass with a bike in that spot that I’ve reported on here a year or two ago (there was a kerfluffle because I insulted the guy’s lycra).

When I go through there, I worry more about the folks visiting the “free trade zone” in that area. You need heroin? Crack cocaine? I believe you can get either within 200 yards of where I was hit. My impression is that you have a choice of vendors.

The driver that hit me didn’t seem to be buzzing on anything, but that was just one – of the many – ways I was lucky.


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Oct 10 2013 at 9:41am #

@unrealMachine, I take back what I said about the light not being an issue — a 1/2 watt LED light with a weak battery is pushing it…


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Oct 10 2013 at 10:26am #

Mick, Thanks for sharing your story, I’m glad you are OK.


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Oct 10 2013 at 11:05am #

@ rice rocket & jonawebb,

I have some comments regarding your last two posts, but I am going to post them in the bike lighting thread so as to not go off on too much a tangent in this thread.


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Oct 10 2013 at 5:36pm #

glad you’re ok, dude… did you get that wheel sorted out?

The sun glare looking west is also pretty nasty now around that time. When I was riding up Penn to the bikepgh meeting around 6:30 last night it was pretty bad; when I was stopped at lights I kept turning around to make sure the cars coming up behind me were going to stop. That may have counteracted any light you had.


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Oct 10 2013 at 7:30pm #

Ditto all the glad-you’re-not-dead stuff. Jeezch, whew and weirdly fun.


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Oct 13 2013 at 11:38am #

So, will you be riding in the bus lane again?


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Oct 13 2013 at 8:08pm #



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Oct 14 2013 at 10:21am #

@ ErinK So, will you be riding in the bus lane again?


The alternatives are going on Forbes and fighting the Parkway exit traffic or doubling+ my distance either going over the hill district or through the Armstrong tunnels to various trails.

When I see car coming out of the side street and turning onto fifth (or coming up Fifth and possibly turning onto a side street, I have to assume they won’t see me.


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Oct 14 2013 at 7:58pm #

It’s really sad that that’s still the best practical way get from downtown back to Oakland. In terms of the better bike-way, or even more limited climbing lanes, I know they’re absurdly hard to get all parties on board with and get funded, so I’m not expecting there to be interim announcements. I’ll just say, boy is this a hard one to be patient on!

I did try the parallel alternate, Forbes through the parkway interchange a couple times during the winter. Perfectly legal, but to put it mildly, no, I don’t think cars were expecting to see me there. Not much more anyway than the car Mick ass-printed was expecting him to be coming up in the bus lane. And the traffic patterns there and diminished visibility where, I guess it must be where blvd of the allies crosses over, no I don’t think it would have been safe doing that at all if traffic hadn’t been pretty plugged up.

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