Monday, March 10, 2014

Stay alert when riding....

last wednesday riding with gina, leslie, monica and heidi eastbound on elfin forest road we had a serious near miss. you can read the replay here http://veganxplorer.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/dear-motorist/  heidi did such a good job I elected not to re- write the story but to reflect a bit.

my bike handling skills may have saved my life yes...but so did paying attention to the road, riding single file and having the rider behind me vigilant as well. had we been in a pace line, aero, the outcome may have been different.  we often ride through elfin aero and in a paceline..and i would not refrain from doing it but just be aware.  i felt the truck with trailer come alongside and immediately sensed he was close, if i was aero (which i don't recall)  i came up and out of my bars.  radar was up.  i don't think he maliciously tried to take us out, i think he was following someone who abruptly turned and he did too without remembering, realizing, recognizing we were right there.  the fact he did not stop when i screamed (his window was down) or after gina and les chased him down is the issue.  slamming on my brakes, careful not to go over the bars, unclipping my right foot, rolling and throwing the bike saved me, the bike and a pile up behind me.  but monica too was paying attention and did not t-bone me or run me over. 

all in all we were reactive and lucky.  the take away.... pay attention out there, be aware who you ride with and their skills.  if you are not comfortable with him or her, give them feedback.  i have on more than one occasion asked a fellow rider to single up or not ride so close.   i have ridden with people who make me really nervous and i avoid riding with them in groups.  when in a group if i am nervous i will drop off the back or go to the front.  i avoid getting boxed in or riding next to  someone who is in the road, knowing if they swerve, they will take me out.  if there is not a bike lane, a wall,  no shoulder or a drop off, ride in the road, you want the car to go around you.  a near miss without any place to go is dangerous. 

accidents happen but we can do what we can to be safe.  that's my .02 on bike safety.

follow up on the incident... i reported the license plate to the police and have not heard anything.  i looked up mark's tractor service and found a phone number.  as much as i want to call up and berate him, egg his truck.. i think i am going to call and ask if he realizes how close he came to running me over, what could have happened?