Author Topic: I nearly died today, but I didn't  (Read 1812 times)

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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I nearly died today, but I didn't
« on: December 30, 2018, 03:06:45 pm »
There isn't a thread for near misses

Let me start one with today's

I was going at a reasonable speed on the road above Culmstock when a VW van close overtook me, the road is narrow.

The road also goes twisty and quite downhill after that so a bike can quite easily stay ahead of a van, so this was slightly tedious

There is then an S bend, the second bit of which is tight.  I braked to ensure I was on the correct side of the road on the corner.  Unfortunately, on exiting the corner our van friend had stopped (must have braked hard) in the middle of the road.  I was carrying too much momentum even after the corner.  I started to brake and the bike started to slide on the wet, slick and downhill road.  I was going to go into the back of the van so I went to the right of it.  Double unfortunately, the reason the van had stopped was that there was a blue Landrover coming the other way.  I'm not sure how my bike fitted into the tiny gap between the van and the Landrover.   Clearly, it must have violated some law of physics as I ended up on my arse.  The Landrover stopped to see if I was ok and the van left the scene without a word

I have a graze on my knee, two on my arm and probably another bruise on my left leg

But I'm not dead!
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lou boutin

  • Les chaussures sont ma vie.
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 04:40:48 pm »
Ouch, scary. I hope you're okay.

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 04:55:17 pm »
Shows just how important it is to stay focussed, I guess the van overtaking you distracted you from the golden rule of never ever going into a bend that you can't see round at a speed which you cannot safely stop from as anything /anyone / animal / other cyclist could be in the road!!!

Thank goodness you lived to ride another day, a little wiser I guess!

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 05:05:29 pm »
I nearly died when crossing the road as a fast approaching sports car headed towards me.
I avoided death by walking a bit quicker across the road.

Think this topic should be changed to I could have potentially died today.

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 07:09:14 pm »
That was a bit close.

I think I violated a similar rule when knocked off, as I saw one car stop on the approach to the roundabout, then relaxed my vigilance and missed the second car that didn't stop. Until it was too late.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

vorsprung

  • Opposites Attract
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Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2018, 08:14:28 pm »
I nearly died when crossing the road as a fast approaching sports car headed towards me.
I avoided death by walking a bit quicker across the road.

Think this topic should be changed to I could have potentially died today.

Anyone could die any day, noone knows the time or the date

What I'd like to see discussed is bike related very close calls where your life flashes in front of you.  And afterwards you can't quite see how you got through realitively unscathed
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vorsprung

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Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2018, 08:15:46 pm »
Ouch, scary. I hope you're okay.

thanks, wrist got jarred and have a couple of big grazes but otherwise ok

bike seems ok too
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vorsprung

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Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2018, 08:18:54 pm »
Shows just how important it is to stay focussed, I guess the van overtaking you distracted you from the golden rule of never ever going into a bend that you can't see round at a speed which you cannot safely stop from as anything /anyone / animal / other cyclist could be in the road!!!

Thank goodness you lived to ride another day, a little wiser I guess!

+1
 
I used to commute home on that road so know it pretty well, I was on a bike with disk brakes that can normally stop on a dime.  But in this case - which I've never seen before - the road was wet, the van stopped in the blind spot around the corner. 

Just shows, expect the worst and you won't be disappointed
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citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2018, 09:25:19 pm »
What I'd like to see discussed is bike related very close calls where your life flashes in front of you.  And afterwards you can't quite see how you got through realitively unscathed

I had one some years ago where I was going round Trafalgar Square and found myself between two buses in a rapidly closing gap...

I don’t think I have ever accelerated so fast in my life. I got ahead of the buses with millimetres to spare.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2018, 09:41:51 pm »
I was buried deep in the peloton in a Belgian kermesse in 1987, on wet cobbles, on the limit and well out of my depth at better than 50 km/h. Shoulder to shoulder, handlebar to handlebar both sides, breathing out my ears and barely hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Halfway through a tricky section through the houses in a village, a hand reached across, grabbed my stem and steered me through the next couple of bends better than I could possibly do myself. We all got through, nobody fell off and I got blown out the back of the bunch a few minutes later. I never saw who did the steering...
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

benborp

  • benbravoorpapa
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2018, 09:45:36 pm »
Again, several years ago (and that's being generous) but these things do stick with you - descending from Crystal Palace in traffic when the driver of an oncoming car waiting to turn right took my presence as an opportunity to go and floored it. Mind-bendingly bad decision, the only possible way of avoiding the collision was for me to swerve, there was absolutely no time to brake to any ameliorative effect - I was right on top of him. Unfortunately the driver that had been waiting behind him was of the opinion that if one car could get across then two could if he was quick about it. I don't think there would have been a visible gap apparent to the driver that was following behind me. Millimetres to either side.
A world of bedlam trapped inside a small cyclist.

Ben T

  • What you saying, then?
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2018, 10:06:14 pm »
I was buried deep in the peloton in a Belgian kermesse in 1987, on wet cobbles, on the limit and well out of my depth at better than 50 km/h. Shoulder to shoulder, handlebar to handlebar both sides, breathing out my ears and barely hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Halfway through a tricky section through the houses in a village, a hand reached across, grabbed my stem and steered me through the next couple of bends better than I could possibly do myself. We all got through, nobody fell off and I got blown out the back of the bunch a few minutes later. I never saw who did the steering...

God?  ;)
Unless you put on overalls, boots, and a helmet with a high tech pre fitted lamp - and you dig coal - nope, you don't know me.

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2018, 10:29:03 pm »
A few months ago, I had a pinch puncture and a very rapid front tyre deflation descending White Horse Hill.  This is very steep, very lumpy, and has a dead stop at the bottom for a crossroads.  This has been a recurring nightmare ever since the Swindon RC club secretary told me of a horrible crash he once had when his front tyre blew on a descent.

Anyway, I hung my arse off the back of the saddle and braked as hard as I dared at the rear.  I didn't touch the front brake because I could have pulled the tyre off the rim.  With much fuckshitfuckshitfuckshit type of language, I rumbled to a halt with about five yards to spare.

I tend to let rip on descents and have had a couple of downhill incidents where I have locked up both wheels.  Once was at university, when I was on the way down Dogpoo Lane in Birmingham, grabbed far too much brake and slid about 50 yards, stopping about a foot from the rear of the last car in the queue.  The other time was going down a hill on Dartmoor, where I locked up both wheels of my Cannondale MTB on dry tarmac because I'd anticipated a left hand bend instead of a right-hand bend (tip, kids: use your eyes and don't assume you can remember every detail of a road).  Apparently I negotiated the corner in truly spectacular fashion.  The guy following me was a 3rd-in-the-UK BMX champion and said it was the best piece of bike handling he'd ever seen.  He thought it was intentional  :-[

There was also a sky-ground-sky-ground moment when MTBing, where my mate was convinced I was dead.  I didn't have a scratch but I couldn't get up at first because I ended up lying on a steep bank with my head a lot lower than my feet.

I'm not sure I'd do it if there was *no* risk...
Never tell me the odds.

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2018, 10:48:23 pm »
Scary. Good to see that you are here to tell the tale.
Get a bicycle. You will never regret it, if you live- Mark Twain

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2018, 10:59:45 pm »
Dogpoo lane has a downhill?  Oh, probably the bit after it becomes Dad's Lane (of chippy fame).  For some reason I've always used Cartland Road to get to the top of King[']s Heath, which performs the same basic function of being a place where you really don't want to lose control of your bike, with a couple of strategically placed potholes to make sure you're paying attention.

My unfortunate 40mph front wheel blowout last year (where I didn't die, but did think I was about to while losing a lot of skin) was on Gay Hill, which I've previously observed wasn't named by a cyclist.  It's absolutely no consolation at all that I hold the Strava QOM for that descent.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
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Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2018, 11:06:43 pm »
I was buried deep in the peloton in a Belgian kermesse in 1987, on wet cobbles, on the limit and well out of my depth at better than 50 km/h. Shoulder to shoulder, handlebar to handlebar both sides, breathing out my ears and barely hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Halfway through a tricky section through the houses in a village, a hand reached across, grabbed my stem and steered me through the next couple of bends better than I could possibly do myself. We all got through, nobody fell off and I got blown out the back of the bunch a few minutes later. I never saw who did the steering...

God?  ;)

I'll see your God* and raise you an Eddy Merckx.

*not yet, I hope.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2018, 11:16:12 pm »
Dogpoo lane has a downhill?  Oh, probably the bit after it becomes Dad's Lane (of chippy fame).
Yes, you're absolutely right - it's Dad's Lane at that point.  We had a (super-skanky, £18 pw) house in Heathfield Road in the second year and it was the most obvious way to get down to the university.
Never tell me the odds.

Torslanda

  • Professional Gobshite
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Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2018, 11:27:54 pm »
Quote
I'll see your God*.

That's easy. Just try and open a text whilst driving...


*not yet, I hope.**




**Me too.
VELOMANCER

Well that's the more blunt way of putting it but as usual he's dead right.

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2018, 11:32:53 pm »
Glad to hear you survived!  Having a scare like that every so often really helps to concentrate the mind on what can happen if you lose focus.  My last one was on a fast descent a couple of years ago and since then I've definitely been more cautious, preferring to live to fight another day whilst realising nothing is risk-free.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2018, 12:38:14 am »
When Jan and I were in the early days of tandem-riding, I liked the speed challenge on descents. We were in Dorset for a long weekend some years ago and there was a Steep Hill just here IIRC. Our freewheeling was going well, and we were doing about 35mph and I felt very confident of breaking our (then) record of about 42mph. However, we suddenly left the bright sunshine and disappeared into the trees. "Disappeared" was the operative word because my glasses had become very dark and I could no longer see where we were going. We hit something in the road - a ramp or a pothole, I couldn't see - and definitely became airborne. We landed OK, if rather shaken, and the rest of the descent was rather more controlled.

A week or two afterwards, our rear wheel was returned to Bridgewater for another Rohloff hub repair when I realised that yet another flange had broken. When it arrived, I received a call from an agitated Robin Thorn. "Not only have you broken the Rohloff flange, but also the tungsten carbide rim! No one has EVER done that before!"
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2018, 01:09:00 am »
I'll never know how I survived overtaking a car approaching the left hand bend here. I pulled out, only to find the other lane occupied by a truck heading straight toward me. My sister, being that way inclined, thinks it was God who saved me. I don't believe that for one second, but I still have no idea how I ended up not dying as a bonnet ornament on a Roger Warnes 40 tonner, and instead, ended up on the left side of the road in front of the car I was overtaking.

That was 35 years ago at least. I still don't know how I survived.

Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #21 on: December 31, 2018, 08:39:28 am »
Two events spring to mind both circa 2001.

Firstly commuting to a student summer job, wet road and a mini roundabout. The two cars from my left failed to yield, the first either saw me and took a very tight gap to beat me onto the roundabout. The second never saw me. Somehow I hit the gap between them at 15+ mph without the time to touch the brakes or change line. The pedestrian at the side of the road was yelling "oh shit". Niether car stopped though I did have to let the adrenaline clear from my system and my colleagues wanted to feed me sweet tea as i went rather white recalling events once i had arrived at work.

A second was at birmingham uni returning to mason hall after a band rehearsal. I Turned left at the traffic lights onto edgbaston park road from church road behind a doddery fool. Therefore i set up the timed overtake through the right left bends in the bottom of the dip. Just as i got the visibility for the go / no go decision and saw the opposing traffic and braked the doddery fool braked for the bend. Even with my tenor horn on the carrier i managed to lock the rear under the weight transfer and if felt like it snaked about a foot either side of straight which should have been a sight for the following car. I'm still not sure how i didn't hit the back of him.

From the first i changed my commute slightly, i stopped at the newsagent by the roundabout to get the paper and therefore walked over the arm the cars arrived from. The second just pulled me up from thinking I was on a motor bike when I was cycling.

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
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Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2018, 08:43:25 am »
I'll never know how I survived overtaking a car approaching the left hand bend here. I pulled out, only to find the other lane occupied by a truck heading straight toward me. My sister, being that way inclined, thinks it was God who saved me. I don't believe that for one second, but I still have no idea how I ended up not dying as a bonnet ornament on a Roger Warnes 40 tonner, and instead, ended up on the left side of the road in front of the car I was overtaking.

That was 35 years ago at least. I still don't know how I survived.

That would have been Fakenham news.
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2018, 02:36:17 pm »
Firstly commuting to a student summer job, wet road and a mini roundabout. The two cars from my left failed to yield, the first either saw me and took a very tight gap to beat me onto the roundabout. The second never saw me. Somehow I hit the gap between them at 15+ mph without the time to touch the brakes or change line. The pedestrian at the side of the road was yelling "oh shit". Niether car stopped though I did have to let the adrenaline clear from my system and my colleagues wanted to feed me sweet tea as i went rather white recalling events once i had arrived at work.

A friend of mine wasn't so lucky in similar circumstances last year - T-boned on a roundabout by a van doing around 40mph...

I have no idea how he survived, but the worst of his injuries were a smashed pelvis and shoulder. Amazingly, he was back on his bike within a few months.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: I nearly died today, but I didn't
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2018, 04:26:15 pm »
Glad all those reporting here are still here to tell us.
The earth is vast and beautiful and contains many miraculous places. (Chekhov)