Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Near miss

A person almost hit me with a car this morning. The only reason this driver didn't was because I pulled into the gutter, then hit the curb, throwing myself onto the shoulder.

Fortunately, the part of the shoulder I hit was the soft grass between the curb and the sidewalk. I felt my knee plunge into the earth as I rolled off my bike. The fact that I was moving slowly up a hill must have helped too. My new front wheel got scratched up, my chain rings are scratched, and my fender is out of wack. I'll need to check if my front wheel needs to be trued.

Since I was laying on the side of the road, it allowed a concerned citizen in his SUV to pull out of his residential street, complete his left turn and drive away. I checked that my knees would still bend, my wheels still turned and my underwear was dry. Pedaling my squeaky bike up to the top of the hill, I scanned the cars to find the right one waiting at the red light.

It was a light coloured Toyota Corolla that nearly hit me. Unfortunately I saw a Camry first, and thinking I must have misjudged the shape of the car, I talked to the woman driving. After a very polite exchange, (I have learned how to stay calm when confronting bad drivers, alleged bad drivers that is) I became fairly sure this was not the driver. I looked two cars ahead and saw the Toyota Corolla just as the light turned green. There was no chance I would catch up.

I let the Camry driver know that it definitely wasn't her. She agreed.

I had decided earlier that morning that I would make this morning's ride a slow one, since I was feeling a bit lazy. Even though I felt pretty calm after the crash, I thought maybe I was shaken and didn't know it. So finishing my ride slowly seemed like a good idea. Other than a stop along the way to straighten my brakes and fenders, the rest of my ride was routine.

Location: John Street in Thornhill, Eastbound, climbing the hill just west of Bayview.

Darren J 6/28/2006 09:47:00 AM

10 Comments:

Hey man, glad you're okay. Tracy biked downtown with me this morning and drivers seemed extra crazy down here too, as well as some idiot cyclists who rode on sidewalks and then came back on the road, cutting us off.
Glad you made it with out serious injury .
First glad you are okay. Even if the car didn't hit you it still caused your crash and damage to your bike. That sucks. Do you think the driver saw you fall and didn't care, or just didn't see? How did the car almost hit you - was the driver trying to sideswipe you when you bailed?
Hey Darren... I'll chime in too with "Glad you're OK!"

I'm also amazed at how well you can keep your cool. I would have been pissed. :) Too bad you couldn't chat with the driver who almost ran you down. I guess you weren't able to get the license plate number either, eh? It's worth filing a report if you can get the license plate and description of the car.
I've often thought it would be a good idea to have a webpage that lists the licenses of drivers who leave the scene of an accident like this.
I know that hill & area. I'm glad you seem to be no worse for the wear.

Was this a case of the car giving you no room on to road (i.e. improper pass) or at an intersection?
Thanks for all the messages.

The car was approaching me from behind and I could see that it was way too close to the right and wasn't moving left. I can only guess that the driver wasn't looking. At the last second I checked again and saw the car just behind me. That was when I bailed.

I have had cars pass me closely before where the driver misjudges the size of their car and is too close, but those people usually shift at least a little bit to the left, enough that I can look back and sort of see that I'll barely fit between the curb and the mirror. This time, the driver seemed to either be oblivious or clueless about the size of the car.

I don't know what was going on with this driver, but I'm sure that this person doesn't deserve a drivers license.

I wish I had been able to talk to the driver. I didn't get the license plate. And unfortunately the driver has one of the most common cars on the road.

I would have thought I would have been pissed too. I guess because I was happy to be alright, I didn't explode with rage.
Hope you aren't too shaken up to make it out to the cycling cog ride tonight - I'm going to try to make it.
See you there Tanya. I'm looking forward to riding on some bike paths.
Add another vote for "glad you're OK!" - sounds like you at least managed to get out without any major damage!

I don't knoe what's going on, it seems like drivers this year are worse than I recall them ever being...

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