Friday, June 26, 2009

For God sakes, be careful!

This cyclist wrecked right behind me on the John Dietrich Trail this morning.

He didn't get hit by the pick-up, but it was a near miss. All three of us could have prevented the accident.

On the trail I caught up to him fast and passed him easily. He was just tooling along probably at 11 or 12 mph, I was at around 17 mph. About 100 feet after passing him I crossed the street where he wrecked and saw the pick-up pulling out of Aramark Uniform Services about a block down the street. Otherwise there was no traffic. A moment later I herd a click (his bike hitting the ground) and a thud (the cyclist) as well as the pick-up stop and door open.

The driver got out and offered a towel to the victim. I turned around to see pretty much what you see in the picture.

The cyclists didn't see the car till it was too late and slammed on the brakes and did a endo. He hit his chin on something and will need stitches. He seemed ok otherwise, his teeth were fine and so was his bike.

I gave him a band-aid. (always knew there was a reason I'd been carrieing a first-aid kit I've never needed, for 4,000 miles, I'm such a geek huh?)

I and the driver made sure he was ok and he called for a ride. I think he was pretty embarrassed.

What went wrong?

1. I didn't yell "car" back to him. In my defence he was pretty far back, but I should have made the effort.

2. The driver didn't have his lights on. It was pretty light, it happened about 6:45am, but he still should have had them on. You'd be surprised how many people don't!

3. The driver wasn't looking down the trail for cyclists.

4. The victim didn't look for traffic. Or yield at the crossing. (note yield sign) My money is that he probably was going to blow through the intersection just like he saw me do. (bad idea, always ride like your alone)

5. He didn't have any lights on his bike, much less a helmet.

Ultimately it was the cyclists fault, but if any of the 3 of us would have been safer it wouldn't have happened. And I'm no cycling safety expert. Especially after this post I'll probably be the next to get clocked. That's the way karma works, isn't it? But still, I'm very sorry I didn't yell "car" to him.

Otherwise it was a rocking (but steamy) commute. I lost 6 lbs. since Sunday night. Could have something to do with that funny phobia I have about dropping a deuce anywhere but home, or it could just be the lack of TDN pie.


  1. Dang, that's harsh. But you hit it on the head, ultimately it was his fault - and he shoulda slowed down before panic stopping.

    Another note, on a panic stop always grab the rear brake first, lift your butt out of the saddle and go as far back as possible with it, then grab the front. Someone gave me that trick and after you train yourself, it's great. Gotta get that center of gravity over the rear instead of the front (where in a panic stop it will naturally go).

    +1 on steamy this morning. Nice outside, but man was I sweaty when I got to work!

  2. You're not alone on the weight fluctuation following the Tour de Nebraska (met you and chatted a couple times on the Tour)! I found your post that you'd gained 8.5 pounds over the ride interesting, since I gained 5 pounds myself! Read with interest this morning to see what your weight did. We both lost 6 pounds! I suspect it has something to do with the hydration and fueling the ride required and perhaps our body getting used to not needing it again. In any case, I doubt it was 'real' - more likely due to the water.

    On another note, your photo this morning was taken very near my house, which backs up to the Dietrich trail. You're right on all counts there, we can all do something to help our fellow riders, but we must also be responsible for our own safety.


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