Let me tell you my lovely morning story. I wanted to get from North London to Clapham Junction and between the two I nearly had 2 accidents.
First: I was passing cars, and a car from the left wanted to turn right into the lane I was travelling in. I couldn’t see anything until it was too late, and I pushed the brake hard. ABS saved me from crashing, there was only 5-6 cms between the wheel and the car… If I had a bike without ABS I would have definitely hit him. The driver was terrified, and started shouting, I was just nodding and trying to understand how this happened. After that he showed me to go, and I couldn’t fit, so he backed up - into another car behind him…
I travelled another 2-3 miles and, again, passing cars, and an idiot woman came out between 2 big cars, again, couldn’t see her, and she NEVER looked to the right. I was just in my lane though, so was legally filtering. I tried to pass from the right, but she hit my panniers from the left. She shouted, and walked away… No damage to panniers though, but if I had a smaller bike I would have come off.
All bikers should thumbs up after this accident…
Brutal morning, I think I will have to reconsider this whole commuting thing. I have covered 330mi this weekend without a single incident, and in 10mi this morning I almost had 2…
But the trouble is you might say I caused it because I was creating dangerous situations, but if I don’t pass any cars, my commute can take 1.5-2 hrs and then I’m a lot better off by the good old tube.
What do you think? Have you had such incidents in London?
Firstly, good news that you didnt come off, good skills.
Secondly. It’s Monday!!! How many people go out and get pissed, take drugs, stay up all night and party and then get in a car and drive to work on a Monday morning, or walk to work on a Monday morning. Monday mornings are when we as bikers should have our “moron alert” radar set to “high”.
People are tired and dont concentrate, they dont look and all they are interested in is getting to work so they can have a cup of coffee.
700 miles in two days for me in North Lincolnshire - beautiful roads, no issues. As soon as I’m back in London, Ford Fuckass driver pulls out on me on the roundabout while jabbering away on a mobile, I saw the phone and expected it - so no issues. Pedestrian walks out without looking, I’ve spotted their feet under the bus before they walked and had already slowed down. Anticipation and being on the ball. Keep your speeds down while filtering, watch the gaps and read the flow. Good for not coming off and keeping it together though!
Glad you’re okay! As you say some of the situations were ones you put yourself in. However you only learn by experience so it’s good you escaped injury and live to ride another day armed with the knowledge to do things slightly differently.
Commuting on a bike isn’t about overtaking everything it’s about picking your overtakes and keeping in mind no matter how long a car holds you up a chance to pass safely will come up and you will progress faster than the cars around you.
Monday mornings, as said above, drugs, alcohol and simply not being with the local scenery are the usual suspects. We all have our moments though. Mine was doing a safe overtake of a slow moving truck on the A15 and going through a speed camera zone at 90+ Borrocks! Not been on that road before, so now the 6points and fine are going to hurt…
Pedestrian walks out without looking, I’ve spotted their feet under the bus before they walked and had already slowed down. Anticipation and being on the ball.
–mate, if you see it coming, think, would any court in the land honestly have expected me to? If the answer’s no, speed up, take him out. do the rest of us a favour. (Let’s see if anyone thinks I’m serious)
You just got to ride very defensively and expect bad things to happen Gabe - then when they happen you are ready for them and will have enough time to brake or steer around them. Expect every car/van/lorry to do something unpredictable or stupid.
Question: Is it my fault if I hit a pedestrian in the opposite lane while passing cars, or the pedestrian’s who was crossing at an ‘illegal’ place and also not taking care of passing cars, etc.? What if the pedestrian is seriously hurt, or maybe dies?
Ive had a lot of incidents like that. As a result, my thumb permanently hovers over my horn to beep at people whom I anticipate have not seen me.
Once, when there was traffic at a standstill on the A1, a woman decided that it was a carpark and literally threw open her door in my path. Luckily Id seen her start to move and had already started to brake, but she started to have a go at me and the best I could think of to say was that this is London, not the countryside.
London is lemming city. Youll also be suprised that sometimes, even when youre using your horn, people just ignore you. Revving your engine tends to work more in that scenario. They just dont look.
I’ve no idea, not being a lawyer or policeman. I’d just stick to trying to not hit anything or anyone and being calm enough to at least measure up the size of the person you’re about to scream at before you let fly. Actually I try not to scream, but have a nice, cheery polite word (found myself saying `Hiya’ to someone who pulled out in front of me last week before explaining myself). You catch more flies with honey than vinegar, an old girlfriend of mine said.
There are certainly days when it seems everybody’s out to kill you - just have to get through them - keeping sharp and being aware a must - you obviously know that - think about it, if you weren’t aware and on it when you needed to be you’d be writing about your smashed up bike instead of writing about near misses.
Statistics have a strange way of catching up with you, I try not to worry too much about it though and trust myself without getting complacent.
I think it’s like this for most commuters but they just get used to it. Plus when you get used to it situations become more predictable. For example there is a part of my route where pededtrains cross between cars. I know they do that now so I know to look for them.
Yeah I know it is part of the daily commute, but I freaked out a bit. I think at the end of my route I was saying in my helmet, you’re not going to take me down, not gonna kill me, standing strong and keep on rolling…