Posts Tagged ‘road safety’

Too Fast and Too Close.

February 15, 2009

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“Have you ever needed to stop quickly on that?” Shamim asked me today while we took a breather after speeding down the Hagley road.

My answer to his question was simple “Yes, kinda, but I will usually look pretty far ahead to lower the need to stop quickly, or just go around”

Go around, ladies and gentlemen was what I tried to do today but unfortunately to no avail. I could not go around as I was hindered by what seemed to be a wall of cars and curbs.

I crashed. I crashed so bad that the right side of my face went through the rear window of a parked car which ended up with me going to A+E, in an ambulance.

She was traveling at approximately 20mph and I was right behind her… The light blue Volkswagen Polo that is. She stopped ( abruptly I might add ) in the middle of the road to let another car come through thus leaving me with a fraction of a second to find a way out of this sticky situation I had just gotten myself in. First I jam the rear wheel and brake, nope… Too close. Next, swerve to my left as my right side is packed by oncoming cars, Nope… Too fast ( I must have thought I was riding around a velodrome in the slipstream of a speeding motorcycle or something ). Smash!, Crack!, Shatter! I now find myself inside the rear window of a parked, stationary Audi A3 and it hurts. My head hurts like fu**ing hell, I feel like I just got a smack off the hardest geezer in the world.

“Oh my god are you ok, do you need an ambulance?” are the first words that I remember after impact, “No, No I am fine seriously” I replied, Then I managed to catch my reflection in the rear passenger side door of the A3. The right side of my face was running with blood like Niagra and I looked liked I had just been murdered.

The police and an ambulance had been called and the kind gentleman from the barbers or the carpet shop ( I can’t remember ) had hooked me up with a cloth out of his first aid kit to slow the bleeding, but before I could sit down and let the shock ensue I had to get back off home. I had left not only my phone, so no means of letting Amy know but I had also left my camera. Do you think I could smash a car window in with my face and not get a single picture? Forget it. The fine readers of Spinwell need to see this.

So I fu**ed up people and my apologies for the few profanities in this post but I am sure you can feel my pain. Yes I messed up real good,
I was going way too fast and way too close to the car in front with no ‘exit’ srategy and no ‘real’ brakes.

Pros and Cons debate on brakeless riding on the streets anyone?
I don’t know, I may have to have a mental tussle with myself on this one.

I am now home and resting, the hospital fixed me up nice… I have a huge swelling on my head, a stinking headache and 4 slashes on my face and ear… Oh and a healthy paranoia of having to pay the guy who’s window I smashed. Wounder! ( Literally )

The Dolan, my trusty steed, my ride, my whip, my bike, is cool, cool like ice. The only thing it has now, that it didn’t have before is the blood smeared white Velocity Deep V.

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Enemy number 2

January 13, 2009

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Pedestrians.

Not all but some. The bad pedestrian.
When they are happily walking along the pavement they cause me no problems at all as I ride on the road and not on the pavement.

The issues usually start when the bad pedestrian wants to cross the road.
Those who cycle regularly will feel me here…

Have these folks forgotten the green cross code? Stop. Look. Listen.
The middle one right there is the most important… Look!

I very nearly collapsed some fool’s chest in last week due to him not adhering to the green cross code.

I had left work and was on my way home. Everything was going swimmingly until I reached the junction where Hill street crosses Smallbrook Queensway and onto Hurst street. It is a massive and dangerous junction but if you time it just right you can go across the whole thing from the end of one cycle lane to the beginning of another without even thinking about stopping.

This time however was different…
All the cars were stopped at red lights so I was on my way across the junction and quickly, when no sooner had I reached the other side in safety, a bad pedestrian decides now is the right time to step into… and hover ( !? ) around in the cycle lane, that very same cycle lane that I happen to be hurtling down. Mistake.

Maybe I could have stopped in time ( I had like 5 metres between me and him at this point ) but maybe I couldn’t have, we will never know. Either way I had a split second to decide which one it was going to be, stop or not and in a split second my mind was made up. “F**k it, Im going for it, there is enough room for me and him in that lane” provided he does not move. People he did move.

The result was my right shoulder ( complete with all 12 stones of me behind it ) slamming straight into his chest at 20mph and him having an intimate meeting with the deck. It must have hurt him, the noise that exited his mouth at the moment of impact gave me some indication.

luckily he was a young guy, otherwise I could have seen this situation ending pretty nasty. Not to mention if my bike was in the equation, that would have meant big problems, broken bones, concussion, wheels like tacos the lot. Luckily this time it was just my shoulder.

Usually I guess I would have gone over to see if the person was ok even though it was his fault but no… I proceeded to stop the bike and turn my head towards the offender and call him none other than the ‘C’ bomb… and yes, to his face.

Anyone in my eyes who wants to try and cross the road without looking should be taught a lesson, that is not to say I wish for them to be knocked over by a car or even knocked over at all. Perhaps a road safety lesson in a classroom should suffice?

The meeting of my shoulder and the offenders chest was certainly his lesson.

Hopefully next time the offender will think about the green cross code.

So kids please remember… Stop, look and listen.
Most importantly look because next time folks it may not be me and my bicycle coming towards you but something far bigger and heavier with a lot more metal and a lot more engine.


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