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Old 08-25-2017, 02:06 PM   #1
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Okay BARFers, quarterback away on this one. Start the video around the 45 second mark.

Story - I was commuting to work along my normal route. Camera is mounted on bike, not helmet. No driveways, alleyways, or parking lots on my right. Damp morning, so for the most part I was being pretty chill since roads were slick. In that particular location, I'm more worried about pedestrians jumping out from the right or someone moving out of a parking spot, attention and positioning were focused more on that.

Driver admitted to attempting to make an illegal U-turn from [his] far right lane to get to a parking spot on my side of the street. By the time I saw him and started to react, with how quickly he was getting across my lane I knew I couldn't avoid him, and if I was going to hit him, wanted to do so straight on rather than sideways or worse yet getting clipped by his truck. At least managed to keep the bike pretty straight, so accomplished that.

Bike is totaled, I was ATGATT so nothing more than some cool bruises to show for it, nothing else has popped up so I think that was the worst of the damage. Had a nice outline of a GSXR tank on my nether regions. Really glad I wasn't a dude

Pretty much every time I've tossed a bike I've known there were things I could have done to prevent it from happening (or that I did that caused it to happen). Other than not being there, I'm honestly at a bit of a loss on this one - guess I could putter around town at 10mph, but that offers other risks. Perhaps you guys will see something I missed. His insurance took 100% fault.

Going through slowly I can see the top of his shell in one brief moment between the cars way earlier, but other than that, I don't see any giveaways until he's getting into my lane. Since he didn't pause to see if anyone was coming, I couldn't swerve around him (didn't want to have him hit me, either).

If nothing else, good lesson and reminder to ALWAYS gear up.


youtu.be/YMvHFWDoYbw
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Last edited by Honey Badger; 08-25-2017 at 02:15 PM..
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:04 PM   #2
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!@#$ OUCH, that sounds like a hard hit. I personally am not sure there is nothing you could have done there without X-Ray vision. You would have been able to avoid if you were in the right lane, but obviously there are other risks with that lane aswell. More to the point, i don't think you could have avoided this situation in a car either.
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:05 PM   #3
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Only minor criticism .... going just a bit fast considering your sight line was partially blocked. Also, maybe just a bit slow to see him and react.

Easy to say in hind sight, I know, but you might have done a sharp swerve to the right and missed him? But it all happened FAST. My guess he would have seen you and STOPPED ... not hit you. But that's all speculation.

Fact is, some riders are just not good City Riders. Real art to it. I remember years ago following one the Lightning Express messenger kids through traffic. How they survived, I have no frickin idea, and many did crash.

But what I saw was that they ANTICIPATED drivers' actions before they even did that bone head move. (like your guy) Those Lightning kids had a SIXTH SENSE in traffic. Super aggressive, dangerous as HELL, yet generally, they did well. Yes, they crashed plenty, but considering the pace and the antics ... it was a miracle.

Hope you can blag any good parts off your bike before it goes to the knackers. Be careful out there!
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Old 08-25-2017, 03:14 PM   #4
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Looked like a solid line of traffic so expecting a lane invader was tough. Guess that will be more in my thoughts moving forward.

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Old 08-25-2017, 03:30 PM   #5
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Ya, could have been going a bit slower, was still about the speed limit (GoPros seem to make it feel faster - which is great on track videos LOL)...but in hindsight, yes, would slow down. Don't know if that would have allowed me to miss him, but there's a chance it could have.

As for swerving, in that moment, the thought crossed my mind and I decided I'd rather take my chances with a front end hit than a potential sideways hit - that leg is already messed up enough lol. Especially with the dampness of the roads, I knew front end traction was sketchy (it's amazing how much can go through your mind in such a short period of time).

IF there had been anything for anyone to turn into on my side of the street, I would have been watching extra closely for someone doing exactly what he did - since there isn't anything on this particular stretch of block, I'll admit, that was lower on my radar as far as "high risk" things to be watching for in that moment/stretch.

Been commuting in the bay area and into SF for a good 10 years now - plenty of close calls, but they've never been more than that. 150,000 miles on the street, but guess my card came up on this one.

Will be cutting back on the moto-commuting going forward though.
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Old 08-25-2017, 06:25 PM   #6
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So glad you're okay. Did you go flying through the air?

To me it sounds and looked like you considered all the usual options in a split second and made the decision. Good on you! Nice work!

Good reminder to keep frosty out there. I'm also a long time city resident rider so this is all close to home for me.

Again, I'm so glad you are okay.
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:04 PM   #7
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Glad you are OK.

I can offer the following thoughts:
1) MAYBE going slower might have helped but that is pure conjecture.
2) Expecting someone to pop out where he did... I am with you on your reasoning so I don't think you did anything wrong there or anything you could reasonably have done better there.
3) move more toward the right would have enabled you to see the other vehicle sooner and would have allowed them to see you sooner but at the same time reducing your space cushion to cars and peds on the right... that is a hard choice.

Maybe a planned momentary move to the right as you pass the end of the line of cars. But that presupposes the likelihood of someone doing what the other driver did and that is a big stretch in my mind.

This is one of the instances where you rely on ATTGATT to save your hide!
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:38 PM   #8
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The problem was obviously your speed and your lane position. You may have cleared it from the right lane, but you and the driver would have had better sight lines.

I rarely accelerate on city streets because of the randomness. It could have been a bicycle or a pedestrian. I think of myself stalking the streets at slow speed.
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Old 08-26-2017, 07:34 AM   #9
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+1 that you're ok.

Damm how a normal day can suddenly go sideways just like that.

Left turners, u-turners coming thru gaps in stopped traffic is tough to predict/see in advance. Not sure what if anything could have been done differently other than going at a slower speed for dense traffic conditions.

The only thing I can come up with is if you see a gap in stopped/slow oncoming traffic then there's potential for something to be shooting the gap.
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Old 08-26-2017, 10:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sanjuro View Post
The problem was obviously your speed and your lane position. You may have cleared it from the right lane, but you and the driver would have had better sight lines.

I rarely accelerate on city streets because of the randomness. It could have been a bicycle or a pedestrian. I think of myself stalking the streets at slow speed.
In a City especially being the first through an intersection and substantially ahead of anyone else moving forward can surprise people, especially dumb people like the driver that took the OP out.

"Oh, the light ONLY just changed so I have time to jump through here."

Of course, had the OP been slower and had a car to her immediate right that dumbass would probably have still made the same move anyway.
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:15 AM   #11
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Only thing I could offer would be to scan for gaps in the row of cars. I crashed before because of someone coming through the cars. Luckily I saw him and avoided t-boning like yours, but the man hole cover I crossed while making avoidance was an unexpected change in my traction and put me down.

Glad you're ok my friend
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:28 AM   #12
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Other than being a bit fast, I can't see much else that you should have changed. You were already on the right side of your lane, and if you had started braking the millisecond that the truck showed up from behind the car that was blocking the view of it, I still don't think you could have stopped before hitting them. But it would have been a lesser impact.

This is a reminder to the rest of us to wear good gear all the time, because you never know when something like this will happen to you. Glad that you escaped serious injury.

I'm just thankful for all of the divided roads out here in the East Bay where there are much fewer opportunities for people to make a move like that.

I can think of quite a few things the driver of the truck should have done differently.
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:23 AM   #13
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Your lane position looked great to me. Right side of the right lane. This is where I place my bike.

Looked a bit fast, but it is a go pro. This one is really hard to pick something out. One thing to realize that sometimes the speed limit is too fast. And a stopped car in traffic, in the city, is dangerous. People open doors in traffic, jay walk, etc. I have a number of SF commute stories.

When ever I see a long line of stopped cars, no matter if it is splitting or other, I immediately think danger. Stopped cars allow a number of things a moving car will not.
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honey Badger View Post
Had a nice outline of a GSXR tank on my nether regions. Really glad I wasn't a dude
Pics or it didn't happen!

On the serious side, DAAAAAMMMMNNN that looked like a hard hit!
Even if you were a little bit slower, not sure you could have missed him, and yeah, whatever happened to "No U Turn in a business district"?

Glad you're ok.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:32 PM   #15
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AJ go out and get yourself another bike curtesy of that guys insurance, what a dick.

The only criticism I can add, perhaps you could have been riding a little more to your right. In all honesty 99% of us would have had the same accident, you really just didn't have enough time to react.

Sorry for the get off.
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