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Be careful out there kids

edited May 2008 in Events & Planning
Second Logan Square bike fatality in two weeks

This is a public service announcement... wear your helmets, use your blinkies, assume drivers can't see you, etc. No corks funerals this summer please.

How not to get hit by cars


  • That's really sad to hear. Echoing what JB said - I see terrifying near-misses nearly every day. Assume car drivers are blind fools. And I wish bike riders wouldn't jump red lights / stop signs like they do; it's really really risky.
  • Yeah, very sad and scary.
    I get extra paranoid downtown, but accidents can happen anywhere, anytime.
  • i agree with that 'how to not get hit by cars' page. unfortunately, i do run red lights and do stupid things from time to time... like taking on a car full speed. but if you ride at whatever speed is comfortable for you, stay aware of your surroundings and let other riders and cars know what your intents are you should be fine.

    i totally agree with riding more to the left, in the middle of the lane! i know i piss drivers off sometimes, but in the city, do you really get that far ahead of me when you pass me doing 30+, i just roll up next to you at the light 20 seconds later, and don't have to stop because it's green now.

    riding should be fun, not stressful. if that means taking back roads and riding 8mph so be it.

  • Yes, riding more out to the left is definitely the 'proper' way to ride, I think. Squeezing in on the right is more dangerous for the rider, from assholes whizzing close by you to car doors opening unexpectedly. Tough shit on the car behind - your life is as valuable as his and he should overtake as he would if you were a vehicle; when there is the right amount of space.
  • In my experience having never been in a substantial bike accident and riding in the city all my life, never assume you have the right of way. Always be looking for the next asshole in a car to do something unexpected. People in cars never see you and are always surprised by the speeds that can be achieved on a bicycle these days. One also has to remember that American drivers rarely look in their mirrors so once they pass you they never expect to see you again. Riding a little more left only works if there is room, try and avoid four lane roads (e.g. Irving Park Rd.) or roads that have barely enough room for two cars to squeeze through. The epidemic of SUV's has only made the problem worse, your profile on a bike seems to be smaller and the sight lines inside the vehicle seem worse too.

    It is not like I do much riding any more and relegate myself to paths or one way streets, I'm old and have tempted fate long enough. Be safe everyone.
  • i just rode to a cubs games with some friends. on the way there i went down our back street and turned left onto armitage. i was riding the wrong way down the street as i usually do until i see a break then i jump over to the right.

    today it took longer than normal, i ended up at milwaukee before i could merge over, so i got into the left turn lane first, then as i was about to get over i heard a loud truck flooring it to make the light, so i came back to the left and stayed put. he however felt the need to yell something out his window and hit me in the head with a cup! what an awesome 3 year old move.

    so, just like always i keep on riding and see the guy not too far ahead, so i start pondering what i'm gonna say when i eventually catch up to him. i had some sort of hateful ones lined up, but stuck to my usual come-back. sure enough, at damen he is stuck at a light about 6 cars back. so i casually pull up beside him, he was quite surprised to see me again. and i said, "so... you didn't make it too far did you?" as i rode off i heard him say NO!, then he starts yelling how i should get out of the road because i'm a fucking asshole, etc.

    so i stay in the left turn lane, the light turns green, i turn behind the two cars ahead of me. not to far around the corner i hear an engine revving up behind me... i think, did this guy seriously just turn so he could follow me and get the last say? sure enough, when he gets his chance he pulls around me, and this time throws a piece of metal out the window. it only hit me in the hand luckily, but it bounced of someones car door. so now they get to suffer the wrath of the 4 year old construction worker. i really expected him to start throwing legos next.

    thankfully, there is no need for a lawsuit, although i start reading his plate and thought, ah, forget it.

    i guess i'll just say karma is a bitch! and if he happens to get fired because he needed that piece of metal and whilst storming off the job site gets hit by a cyclist... i may not care.
  • Well, that's lame. I usually swallow any zingers I'd like to give to road rage drivers... if only because they hold the clear advantage if the situation escalates.
  • Kevin, that sucks. What a jagoff. You could've been hurt by that piece of metal! Well, he's the one who has to live with his own crazy ass.
  • from wendy:

    DANG, KEVIN! were you doing that in a car? i did that and they wouldn't give me a license!
  • At the same time... it always feels a little wrong to me going down Armitage the opposite way like that. Especially when there's people on bikes coming the other way.

    Why not just cross the street?
  • i see a phenomenon of peeps west of western when i head to work at armitage and lawndale...riding on the wrong side of the road - at traffic. isn't that against the law? someone tried to convince that WAS the law. i swear you are supposed to ride with traffic, like cars. but i see it there all the time. and it's like slow riders, groceries, no helmets - not the stealth like riders fo the corks or mass. what gives?
  • i know it's wrong... i don't know about against the law (but what is against the law in chicago?). i just do it because i hate stopping and waiting for a break, i just ride the wrong way and keep checking over my shoulder, then jump over. i'm not saying i was right, but you can't throw stuff at people, unless you are under the age of 3. if he hit me in the eye with that piece of metal and i was blind now, it would be a totally different ball game.

    and... i do get out of the way for oncoming bikes though, i'm not an ass.
  • edited May 2008
    Posted By: Lashmasteri see a phenomenon of peeps west of western when i head to work at armitage and lawndale...riding on the wrong side of the road - at traffic. isn't that against the law? someone tried to convince that WAS the law. i swear you are supposed to ride with traffic, like cars. but i see it there all the time. and it's like slow riders, groceries, no helmets - not the stealth like riders fo the corks or mass. what gives?
    Yeah it's weird, I'd say around 75% of the wrong-siders are men in their 50s or older.

    Maybe way back in the day that was how you were supposed to ride or something. With traffic is definitely the law now.

    "Riding against traffic puts you in a collision path with vehicles entering the street from a stop sign-other drivers will be looking for a break in traffic coming from the other direction. You also cannot see traffic lights and are directly in the path of oncoming bicyclists."
  • My assistant at work was in a bit of a bad bike accident on his way into work recently... and wasn't wearing his helmet. He's regretting that one, with a big old black eye and some serious scrapes on his head that took him a few days to recover from to just feel well enough to come to work.

    So he's had the experience that will remind him to wear his gear, and it was non-fatal. Thank goodness.

    I wonder if he'll also finally admit that its a good idea.... to put brakes on your bike.

    I don't care if you ride a fucking fixie, you need brakes on a bike in the city. It isn't enough to have braking power in ideal situations, rear wheel only. Two wheeled vehicles need brakes applied to both wheels, balanced, to prevent them from skidding out of control in crisis braking situations.

    I support you guys and everyone else that rides a human-powered vehicle but ... you aren't Kevin Bacon or a bike messenger, odds are.


    I don't hate on bikes. I hate on senseless risk-taking.
  • Ain't nobody here that rides brakeless.

    I don't even think we have any fixed gear riders since Christian moved to NYC.
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