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View Full Version : Death defying bike crash a few minutes ago



Chris Coose
07-16-2009, 12:38 PM
Coming down the hill headed toward work on the major road that cuts through downtown Portland.
I'm in the middle of the lane at about 25 MPH. A Portland housing Authority truck cuts directly in front of me, taking a left hand turn.
I'm in the breaking position and clamp them. He proceeds through. I get tossed directly over the handle bars on to my head, left shoulder, left hip/saddle and right heal in that order.
He didn't see me.

If I hadn't braked in time I'd have been smuck. A bystander called the ambulance and I'm mostly scraped up and the ibuprophen ought to take care of it and i've got a call into the Dr. to get a check over.

The helmet is toast. The bike is good cept the handlebar tape and the seat got scraped as it pitchpoled.

I'm going to buy a flouescent vest.

I think this is about 6 of 9 lives.

Jesus that was close.

2MeterTroll
07-16-2009, 12:47 PM
call it in. i am happy you are OK.

Captain Intrepid
07-16-2009, 12:54 PM
Glad to hear you're ok! I've had similar things happen to me when I've been biking. One in particular scared the **** out of me, as it was only a few days after I'd learned a friend of mine was killed by a car while riding his bike.

And drivers wonder why cyclists get pissed off when they don't pay attention...

Popeye
07-16-2009, 12:55 PM
.. on the major road that cuts through downtown Portland.
I'm in the middle of the lane at about 25 MPH.

why are you in the middle of the lane and why are you going so fast ? :confused:

Popeye
07-16-2009, 12:57 PM
He didn't see me.

why not ?

Joe (SoCal)
07-16-2009, 01:04 PM
WOW man glad to hear your OK

Another lifetime ago I was a bike messenger in NYC during college, the near misses and hits from trucks and cabs I took still make my hair stand on edge.
I was young and I thought i was bullet proof, used to ride a fix gear with no brakes. Talk about being zen with the road - oooofa

Don't forget to get a new helmet ASAP cause on a bike lightning will strike twice.

LeeG
07-16-2009, 01:08 PM
why are you in the middle of the lane and why are you going so fast ? :confused:

because once you hit traffic speeds you can be seen better and have a better angle for seeing vehicles entering traffic and avoiding them. Imagine being on a motorcycle going 25mph you sure as all hell wouldn't be riding to far right side of the lane.

If he's significantly slower than traffic it's reasonable to stay to the right but if he's not impeding traffic in his direction it's reasonable to take the lane.

Popeye
07-16-2009, 01:15 PM
.. once you hit traffic speeds you can be seen better .


going faster never gave me a better angle for seeing vehicles nor improved my chances of being seen :confused:

huisjen
07-16-2009, 01:19 PM
Chris, have you discussed this with Portland Housing Authority?

Dan

Popeye
07-16-2009, 01:19 PM
Imagine being on a motorcycle going 25mph you sure as all hell wouldn't be riding to far right side of the lane. no , but i could easily accelerate on a motorcycle and traffic isn't forced to overtake me on the left

oznabrag
07-16-2009, 01:21 PM
Glad you're OK!

Ian McColgin
07-16-2009, 01:21 PM
A bike is a vehicle governed by the same rules, which Chris was obeying. The truck was not. It's pretty simple.

Popeye
07-16-2009, 01:25 PM
A bike is a vehicle governed by the same rules, which Chris was obeying. The truck was not. It's pretty simple.common sense keeps me alive and well on my bike , not vehicular traffic rules

even simpler

George Roberts
07-16-2009, 01:27 PM
A bike is a vehicle governed by the same rules, which Chris was obeying. The truck was not. It's pretty simple.

Since we only have one side of the story, it is best not to assume too much.

25mph appears to not have been a safe speed for Chris Coose.

donald branscom
07-16-2009, 01:27 PM
Always remember when you are riding a bicycle or motorcycle that you are
INVISIBLE!

Never assume they will see you. I always assume they will NOT SEE YOU.
Glad you did not get any broken bones.

donald branscom
07-16-2009, 01:28 PM
why not ?

They are looking for other cars or trucks. NOT bicycles or motorcycles.

Dave Gray
07-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Glad to hear you are OK with no broken ribs or collar bone. Makes you consider just how invaluable a helmet is, doesn't it?

Even if you don't have a vehicle ID number or a license I would do as others advise and call it in.

Making yourself as conspicuous as possible is a good idea too. At one point I had four blinking LEDs on my commuter bike - one on each front fork, two in the back.

huisjen
07-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Guys, those who would give up freedom for peace will get neither. Bikes belong on the road, this freedom must be fought for.

Dan

LeeG
07-16-2009, 01:34 PM
I'm going to buy a flouescent vest.

I think this is about 6 of 9 lives.

Jesus that was close.

or 7 or 8.
After my helmetless crash 20mo ago I ALWAYS head out with a bright yellow/green vest and my helmet ALWAYS has a high output white LED up front and one or two Planet Bike Superflash LED tailights. I'm not always lit up but if they are always on the helmet or bike I can always have the opportunity of flicking them on.

Motorcycles have the flickering headlights for a reason. When I've been riding at sunset with the sun behind me or in dense rush hour riding I'll often turn on the blinker mode, 1watt in blinker mode is very visible in sunlight.

The Princeton Eos is light enough to mount on the helmet, I've been using rechargable 1000ma/hr NiMH or disposable lithiums. The lithiums last longer and hold a charge for a long time but are pricey. The rechargeables work just fine for a weeks intermittent use of daily riding. With bright headlights on the bike I'll set the Eos to low just so the swiveling headlight provides attention getting and above 15mph it provides useful light any car will recognize as a flashlight shining their way. 1 watt is noticable 100yds away when shining straight at a persons eyes.

http://www.princetontec.com/?q=node/110

If you don't have a PB tailight get a couple, one for the helmet and one for the bike.

http://ecom1.planetbike.com/3034.html it also comes in a clear case with black base. I've had people mention seeing me 1000' back in daylight with that tailight.

An inlaw had a crash like yours except he did hit the car, he lived and spent a couple weeks in the hospital and a years worth of multiple surgeries. Another friend had a similar car crash during an adventure race 8mo ago and still is recovering from the brain injury.

Anywho,,good idea about the vest.

Dave Gray
07-16-2009, 01:37 PM
Since we only have one side of the story, it is best not to assume too much.

25mph appears to not have been a safe speed for Chris Coose.

Classic George.

LeeG
07-16-2009, 01:38 PM
going faster never gave me a better angle for seeing vehicles nor improved my chances of being seen :confused:

ONCE you hit traffic speeds you will be seen better and your viewing angle and possible escape routes are better. I never said going faster increases visiblity.

You make a good point about driving a safe speed for conditions and not assuming one has the right of way or that other vehicles are recognizing your position and velocity.

Joe (SoCal)
07-16-2009, 01:47 PM
Since we only have one side of the story, it is best not to assume too much.

25mph appears to not have been a safe speed for Chris Coose.

When I was in my prime I could dial up a 45+ MPH in a FLAT sprint and hold it no problem still can :p How about you? Ive done over 72 mph in descents into the Hoover dam and the San Jauns in Colorado. Ive seen at least one photo of you, you know the one that gave your height and weight ;) and I've met Coose on several occasions as a good judge of speed on a bike I say he could safely kick your scrawny little be-hiney. :p

George Roberts
07-16-2009, 02:07 PM
Classic George.

Part of using the roads as either a bicyclist or a motorist is avoiding accidents. One can insist on being right all he wants, but in the end the pain, suffering, and cost of being in an accident is not worth it.

Ian McColgin
07-16-2009, 02:17 PM
It's true one does not want to end up like Michael O'Day, but we also should not blame the law-abiding victem of a lawless truck driver. Leaving the scene is never lawful and not using the rear-view is inexcusably negligent.

I learned biking from Newton Centre to downtown Boston that it's really more dangerous to go a lot slower than the flow. Get in the right lane and cars really crowd you to the side where someone opening their door will kill you. While it's true that two wheels, motorized or not, makes you invisible to the selfish incompetants, you're still better off in the stream being as visible as you can.

I had to use a cane to walk back in my theology school days commuting downtown for my field work. It was a great thing to keep out and to flourish.

Keep riding.

Rational Root
07-16-2009, 02:17 PM
going faster never gave me a better angle for seeing vehicles nor improved my chances of being seen :confused:

I think that he meant once you hit traffic speeds... you can be seen better in the middle of the lane.

Dave Gray
07-16-2009, 02:18 PM
Part of using the roads as either a bicyclist or a motorist is avoiding accidents. One can insist on being right all he wants, but in the end the pain, suffering, and cost of being in an accident is not worth it.

Well duh. Thank you for the lecture. Do people actually read what others have written? Chris was going down a road. Someone pulled out in front of him. Have you never had this happen to you, whether in a car or on a bike? I nearly got creamed on July 4, driving my car down a major road, when some idiot blew through a stop sign from a side street going 35mph or more. But I guess I haven't told his side of the story, have I.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-16-2009, 02:30 PM
Guys, those who would give up freedom for peace will get neither. Bikes belong on the road, this freedom must be fought for.

Dan

Perhaps you'd like to comment on the efficacy of bicycle brakes - and the contrast with those on most motorized vehicles.

Playing with dense fast traffic is a dangerous game - sometimes exhilarating - sometimes painful - occasionally lethal - but there is no excuse for whining.

huisjen
07-16-2009, 02:35 PM
When I commuted three miles each way for several years in Portland OR, I made sure my brakes were in good shape. They were as good as most cars, and I had to use them because of morons with motors many times. I used bike lanes, but cars would whiz up next to me and then make a right turn across my lane with me in the way. Good brakes saved me. I had car doors open in front of me. Good brakes saved me.

I wasn't playing in traffic. I was traffic. I had every right to be there. I was following the law. Don't try to give me **** just because cars are unsafe.

Dan

Chris Coose
07-16-2009, 02:45 PM
After the ambulance guys looked me over I went back home got a new shirt and went back to the office.
My 2PM guy was an emergency room Dr. and he gave me a once over in my office, admired the helmet and told me I'd be puking by now.
I've got a bit of a black eye emerging. He says it's broken blood vessels from the quick stop on my head. Guess I probably avoided some brain damage.

I'll be in touch with with the Housing Authority and get the helmet, pants, shirt and handelbar tape replaced.

No problem going the speed limit, in the lane, braced for braking, going downhill. He didn't see me is all. Need a vest now and remember I'm 57.

BarnacleGrim
07-16-2009, 03:02 PM
Got myself a helmet when I bought my new bike the other day. It looks ridiculous, all bicycle helmets look ridiculous, but they do save lives.

I just have to remember to take it off when I'm in the shops.

Brian Palmer
07-16-2009, 03:17 PM
Glad you are OK, Chris. I ride to work a lot, too.

The cycling community just lost a strong advocate for cyclists rights and an instructor in riding safety when Bruce Rosar was killed last weekend in North Carolina. http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/2932.html

Bruce was friend of mine when we lived there and we did a lot of canoeing together. He was a stickler for safety. He apparently made a left turn into the path of a car coming from the left. It may have been the only mistake he ever made, but it was his last.

Brian

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-16-2009, 03:18 PM
... I made sure my brakes were in good shape. They were as good as most cars,

. Don't try to give me **** just because cars are unsafe.

Dan

Make the measurements and do the sums - seriously no D/F bike on god's green earth has the capacity to match the braking acceleration of a modern car.

rbgarr
07-16-2009, 03:59 PM
Chris,

Was this heading downhill on the Franklin Arterial and the PHA truck coming up hill? Glad you got out of that without being killed. The crossovers there are dangerous even for auto drivers!

D

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
07-16-2009, 04:12 PM
Glad to hear you're mostly OK Chris.
Cars and bikes don't mix well.
I'll only ride on backstreets and bike trails.
I've heard too many stories like yours to trust my life to morons in cars.

Chris Coose
07-16-2009, 04:13 PM
Headed downtown down Congress from Munjoy Hill, cross Washington Ave intersection and he hooked his left just after India St going toward the Hill.

Lots of bike traffic on Congress.

Really swell guy named Ray. No way to be cross with him. He just didn't see me until he heard a scream and looked into his rearview mirror and I was splayed in the middle of the road.
Good thing too. Beyond the protection of the helmet, his proceeding through the intersection and my attention to the brakes at that speed, avoided a collision.

Concordia...41
07-16-2009, 04:13 PM
You guys can continue your p---ing contest(s). I'm just glad we didn't loose Chris!

- M

hokiefan
07-16-2009, 04:35 PM
Glad you're OK Chris. Ibuprofen is magical stuff some days.

Cheers,

Bobby

Dave Gray
07-16-2009, 04:42 PM
Good news Chris. Thanks for clarifying that it wasn't a hit and run, which is why you emphasized making yourself more visible. When I think of the times I rode in the middle of the night and dark roads with no lights, no helmet, and dark clothing, I wonder that I am still on this planet.

Howard Sharp
07-16-2009, 08:10 PM
Bet you thought your cartwheeling days were over. Very glad to hear you survived.

The Bigfella
07-16-2009, 08:12 PM
I'm glad you are OK Chris.

I almost took out a cyclist last night myself.... Very, very close... I stopped and he went across my bow at about 20mph - missing by 1' or less.

Raining, dark and me making a tight turn into a narrow street. He came down the hill on the pedestrian path (not a shared cycleway - a pedestrian path) at full speed and I just glimpsed movement in time and hit the anchors. It isn't always the car driver at fault.

Popeye
07-17-2009, 06:53 AM
. No problem going the speed limit, in the lane, braced for braking, going downhill. He didn't see me is all.

which begs the question , if you slowed down , would the other driver have seen you then ?

or alternatively , at a slower speed if you do get cut off , can you brake safely ?

Popeye
07-17-2009, 07:01 AM
I think that he meant once you hit traffic speeds... you can be seen better in the middle of the lane.

so .. to ride more safely while biking major roads that cuts through downtown portland first get up to 'traffic speed' and then cut out to the middle of the lane

as opposed to riding along a little more slowly and staying to the right :confused:

Joe (SoCal)
07-17-2009, 07:05 AM
which begs the question , if you slowed down , would the other driver have seen you then ?

or alternatively , at a slower speed if you do get cut off , can you brake safely ?

FWIW 25mph downhill on a bike is not all that fast. Hell 25 mph on a slight incline is not all that fast on a good bike with a decent rider ;)

The question is visibility not speed. At a zen speed cruising through the streets of NY on a fix with NO brakes I could get in a zone where I could almost read peoples minds. It was very MAtrix like. You see the woman about to get out of the cab, or the pedestrian darting out between parked cars, the frustrated driver about to dart into the otehr lane. All this and you thread the needle Through it at a decent clip. It was aboutbeing in the zone.

But that kind of Zone is near impossible to maintain and you will get TAGGED by a driver who just does not see you no matter how fast or slow you are going. Drivers honestly just do not see cyclist or misjudge their speed. Thats why keeping closer to their speed makes you more visible - does that make sense - I dont know how best to discribe it but if your buzzing faster next to them they tend to reconize and also judge you better cause you are moving in a closer speed to them.

As far as braking a good road bike with a decent set of brakes can stop pretty good from 25 mph. On a Fix gear "Stick" with no brakes you had to bunny hop and lock and then come to a hockey stop in an emergency. But the fluid commitment you needed to make and the tempo you set to speed up or slow down based on leg speed put you in the Zen to thread fast ;)

brad9798
07-17-2009, 07:16 AM
WOW!

I just caught this, Chris!

Glad you are basically okay, bro!

:)

Popeye
07-17-2009, 07:21 AM
Drivers honestly just do not see cyclist or misjudge their speed. Thats why keeping closer to their speed makes you more visible - does that make sense - I dont know how best to discribe it but if your buzzing faster next to them they tend to reconize and also judge you better cause you are moving in a closer speed to them.

aye, drivers just don't expect to see bikes

also recognize speed was the critical factor in this case , suppose you are correct and visibility is improved yet at the same time braking and avoidance are diminished , slowing down in traffic on major thoroughfares seems abundantly reasonable to me

Joe (SoCal)
07-17-2009, 07:35 AM
aye, drivers just don't expect to see bikes

also recognize speed was the critical factor in this case , suppose you are correct and visibility is improved yet at the same time braking and avoidance are diminished , slowing down in traffic on major thoroughfares seems abundantly reasonable to me


Again 25MPH is not that fast, just try to maintain that speed in your car for 1 mile ;). With a little more speed it is my opinion that avoidance ability increases do to speed and ability to MOVE out of the way faster, or get ahead of the problem faster. While you are probably correct that braking diminishes somewhat but not enough with modern bicycle brakes. Just this old bike riders oppinion ;)

Popeye
07-17-2009, 07:43 AM
no thanks , i choose life

Joe (SoCal)
07-17-2009, 07:51 AM
no thanks , i choose life


I'm pro choice ;)

Popeye
07-17-2009, 08:00 AM
I'm pro choice

which reminds me , i think i'll make like a baby and head out

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-17-2009, 08:03 AM
http://www.ultimatehandyman.co.uk/forum1/files/side_view_september_28th_re_size_339.jpg

Chris Coose
07-17-2009, 08:30 AM
which begs the question , if you slowed down , would the other driver have seen you then ?



Beg all you want, that's what happened.

Canoez
07-17-2009, 08:32 AM
How are you feeling this morning, Chris?

Joe (SoCal)
07-17-2009, 08:43 AM
Yea next days are the hardest - hope your not too sore buddy

Chris Coose
07-17-2009, 09:50 AM
Waking this morning would indicate no travelling blood clots. The helmet is scun from stem to stern with big dents in the crown so the bit of neck pain makes sense. My right heal is bruised as that was the last body part to slam the pavement.
The abrasions are 3 on a pain scale of ten.
I feel like I went for a rugged mountain bike ride is all.

Thanks for the concern. All's good as I move into the next day of what has been a very fortunate existence.

Popeye
07-17-2009, 10:22 AM
that's what happened.

yes , i know , logically faster biking increases safety

how's that work'n for ya ?

rbgarr
07-17-2009, 10:38 AM
Even if drivers see bikers it just doesn't compute for many of them: "I'm bigger... you're smaller... you have to stay out of my way."

I've seen cars pass bikers and then make a right turn down a street immediately afterwards, cutting them off. No clue at all.

Glad to hear Ray was a good guy, Chris, but that makes the situation only slightly better.

LeeG
07-17-2009, 10:52 AM
aye, drivers just don't expect to see bikes

also recognize speed was the critical factor in this case , suppose you are correct and visibility is improved yet at the same time braking and avoidance are diminished , slowing down in traffic on major thoroughfares seems abundantly reasonable to me

riding at a safe speed is reasonable. When I ran smack into that teenager in Pt. Townsend I was going a very brisk 17mph for small city traffic. Unfortunately he dashed right in front of me expecting there to be no cars because it was night and he didn't see 70watts of headlights shining into the road. I was wearing a headlamp with 3watts of light but that wasn't sufficient enough to light up the roadway and my motor was quiet. If I was driving an electric car with parking lights and going 25mph I would have run right over him. So helmetless me went to the ER with a concussion and his flexible young body just bounced as I bounced from 17mph to 0mph. 12mph would have been more reasonable.

What I don't get is that on wide country roads where there's a nice 8' paved shoulder and it's 45+mph there's a noticeable percentage (maybe 2%) who drive by right next to the shoulder line then pull into the middle of their lane as they go by. All manner of cars go at 55mph in the middle of their lane or a bit left of their lane and there's this occasional car that flies by with their right side skirting the white shoulder line and then the drive back to the middle of the lane over the next 100yds and stay there.

LeeG
07-17-2009, 10:54 AM
yes , i know , logically faster biking increases safety

how's that work'n for ya ?

right,,and a higher horsepower car/motorcycle is safer so you can get out of situations.

Popeye
07-17-2009, 11:02 AM
right,,and a higher horsepower car/motorcycle is safer so you can get out of situations.

right , like if i wore a leather mini-skirt and walked the lonely stretches of bumtown at night

Rick-Mi
07-17-2009, 11:11 AM
Glad you came out of it OK Chris.

This time year in Michigan there are a number of cycle riders who utilize their rights on the road among cars and trucks. Legal right of way or not, I think putting your body in the hands of all the retards out there behind a wheel is just plain nuts!

My wife and I love recreational riding and do so often. Even though the paved trails are accessible from our home, we avoid busy traffic entirely and use a bike rack driving to established trails.


.

2MeterTroll
07-17-2009, 11:19 AM
right , like if i wore a leather mini-skirt and walked the lonely stretches of bumtown at night

I would get you a nice hand bag that went with your mini and shoes :D
after all its the accessory's that make the outfit.

Popeye
07-17-2009, 11:24 AM
there's right and there's stupid

choose one (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt0Lrs_yhMI) :D

2MeterTroll
07-17-2009, 11:29 AM
ahh but i am not allowed to shoot drivers that assault me with a deadly weapon.

Popeye
07-17-2009, 12:13 PM
i am not allowed to shoot drivers that assault me with a deadly weapon.

which is both right and stupid

i said choose one , not both

Chris Coose
07-17-2009, 12:31 PM
logically faster biking increases safety



WTF is the matter with you?

Bruce Hooke
07-17-2009, 12:38 PM
Chris, I am very glad you came through this OK!!!

Regarding the discussion of speed...the whole thing strikes me as kind of ridiculous. Of course you would be safer going walking speed along the edge of the road, or better yet the sidewalk. We might as well note that you would be safer if you stayed home and barred the door. You could also drive a tank everywhere you go and you would have little to fear from a vehicle accident unless a tank truck full of gasoline should happen to run into you.

The question is what is reasonably safe while also meeting the need to get somewhere! Almost all of us could agree on the extremes...it is clearly stupid to go way over the speed limit and clearly stupid to not wear a helmet. It is also clearly pretty safe to only ride a bicycle on a bike path. In-between is the difficult area and I am not sure anyone can say exactly where someone else should draw the line regarding what is safe and what is not safe.

Bruce Hooke
07-17-2009, 12:40 PM
WTF is the matter with you?

I'd suggest you just ignore him. More and more of late Popeye's main goal here seems to be to pick a stupid fight and see how long he can drag it out.

Chris Coose
07-17-2009, 12:45 PM
I was well within my risk zone. Nobody in front of me, nobody behind me. I was using the road appropriately at an appropriate speed for the conditions and the guy simply didn't see me.
I shall adjust to further risk sensitivity as I said in the first post and once it snows I shall put the bike away and walk to work where I could be chewed up by a large sidewalk snowblower.

The story is the helmet.... isn't it.

Chris Coose
07-17-2009, 12:48 PM
Gottcha Bruce. He's an idiot savant

Bruce Hooke
07-17-2009, 12:50 PM
The story is the helmet.... isn't it.

Yes, that is the really good message...thank God for helmets!!!

Popeye
07-17-2009, 12:59 PM
my goodness , we are a little 'cranky' today , aren't we

htom
07-17-2009, 02:35 PM
Glad you're OK, Chris.

Idiots on wheels ... internal combustion, electric, or human powered ... they are not going to look out for others, and expect others to look out for them. You sound like one of the non-idiots, lest someone misunderstand. Saw a young man last night, weaving through traffic, not wearing a helmet. I wished I had a baseball bat I could stick in his path as he turned (without signalling) into the lane to my left, labeled "Brain Pot ?"

Chris Coose
07-17-2009, 04:26 PM
All the casual bicyclists in downtown today had no helmets.
All those coming and going (commuters) are helmeted. I think that is the standard.

Portland Housing did not call me today about my requests (helmet, pants a shirt and some handlebar tape). They probably called a lawyer first. If they don't call me in the next few days I'll get mad dog Nick on em.

oznabrag
07-17-2009, 06:01 PM
Gottcha Bruce. He's an idiot savant

Well, that's at least half right.

The Bigfella
07-17-2009, 08:08 PM
I reckon that by not calling you, it is obvious they do not have your interests at heart. Edit out anything you have said about how you feel, etc, or delete the thread... and call a lawyer.

They deserve it.

I'm glad you are walking....