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First day riding - SMIDSY

Discussion in 'Your Near Misses - A Place to Vent' started by blergen, May 11, 2014.

  1. So I was wobbling through back streets around my place on my new bike a few days ago. A total of about 10km on my bike (and under my riding belt). Coming down a side street approaching a T intersection on another minor rd to turn right. There's traffic, so I stop at the end of the side street in the right-hand wheel track waiting to turn right. Scanning the traffic, there's no decent gap so I wait. I see a car coming from my left indicating to turn right into the side street I'm in. Cool, no gap yet, so I look right to see if anything is opening up there.

    I hear a disturbingly close-sounding tyre squeal and I look back to see this f*cktard P plater (the one who had indicated right) screech to a halt about an inch away from my front wheel. Clown tried to cut the corner and obviously didn't see me. Talk about a brown trouser moment. Good wake-up call to be more alert I guess - although I'm not sure how I could have avoided him even if I'd seen him earlier. I think I'll be in the middle or left wheel track turning right from now on...
  2. Deep breath. ;) Left hand track has its own problems in that situation.. It leaves room for people to think you are turning ;left and to cut down your right hand side. Center track at a stop point is the place that cars drop oil and is not swept by the tyre track of the (mainly) car traffic.

    You will read on here and other places "own your lane" meaning make yourself visible to other traffic by your road positioning.In your situation I probably would have chosen centre but its a judgment call in every situation.

    What were the light conditions, sun behind, time of day i.e. dusk etc. The P plater screwed up obviously but you can be in the right and still injured so worth analysing the conditions and options etc.

    Glad you are OK.
    • Like Like x 4
  3. Yeah absolutely, I'll take anything away from it that I can. Conditions were perfect. Sun wasn't at a blinding angle, was about 4pm, dry, clear day. Good thing it was dry, otherwise he would have cleaned me up - although if it was wet I would have stayed home.

    I thought the right-hand wheel track was the best place to be for visibility - maybe I need to angle my bike more across the lane to be more obvious.
  4. Yes, generally it should give you best visibility. Especially in the conditions you describe.The P plater may have seen you but screwed up his judgement on the corner. After all he is an inexperienced driver.

    Difficult to know if he saw you and screwed up or didn't see you and screwed up. ;)
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Nah he didn't see me. He was just as shocked as me when he pulled up.
  6. #6 smileedude, May 11, 2014
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    For what it's worth I've been riding a while and I've never had anything like that happen to me. It sounds like you didn't do anything wrong either. It's not often you will hear this but there sounds like there are no lessons to be learnt from this and you should really try and let this one go without a moral of the story.

    Though I usually take the left wheel track in the above situation, principally because it allows you to leave as soon as a right turning car starts to move while if your to the right you can't start moving until that car has mostly finished the turn.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Side streets are notorious for people cutting corners and getting lax / casual in turns ... they are often close to their home or a short-cut and thus attention gets sketchy.
    It pays to be cautious and not poke your nose too far out. Left of centre? maybe ... if it is a narrow side street that tactic may well help.
    Good luck with your riding.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Has happened to me in the car a lot...I'm waiting at an intersection and the dick I'm giving way to decides to cut the corner, getting uncomfortably close..
  9. I take an off centre track at these positions because I noticed the centre position is always oily because cars that leak from oil from their engines.
    You certainly wouldn't want to pull up hard on an oil patch, especially in drizzling/wet conditions.

    Notice the same thing in roundabouts. It was drizzling one day, and my front wheel got out from under me going around a tight roundabout. Lucky I got my foot down in time and saved it. Needless to say, that happened once, and have been mindful of it ever since.

    Just some thoughts.
  10. Agree with above, it's a tough one to manage. Once or twice I have been saved by the simple and forgotten option of giving the dozy buggers a beep of the (admittedly rather weedy) horn as they drifted towards me.
    It's not always going to work though.
  11. In that situation I tend to sit a bit back (maybe half a bike length) from where the stop line would be, but not so far back that I can't see left or right.

    And I've had it happen to me in a car, so yeah, if they can't see a car there's not much chance they'll see a bike.
  12. probably I'd have kept my eye on old matey, and not looked to the right. After all, it doesn't really matter what that traffic over there is doing as you can't pull out until the left side is clear. At least that way you might have had a little more warning of what was going to happen and could have sounded your horn for an audible warning
    • Like Like x 2
  13. I'm new to riding......but I get it in my cars. One is a Territory, 2.2 tonnes and the other a RED focus. I put my headlights on as I'm in the country, well, Kilmore but nooooooooooo, I constantly get people pull out in front of me with a horrified look as they suddenly realise I'm braking hard to avoid turning them into a red cabbage! BTW, the next arsehole that does it whilst they're on the phone I'm going to...........well, I shouldnt!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. sounds like you were obscured by the driver's side pillar and remained hidden throughout the car's turn which makes sense if he was on a constant radius. Plenty of pedestrians nearly get clean bowled for the same reason.

    If you ride like a muppet in built up, tight traffic areas, then by all means slam slam on the anchors in the car wheel tracks - left or right. But if you're riding sensibly to the conditions, you won't be unsettled by dry grease and oil in the centre of the lane, and you'll see it anyway as you pootle to the corner. You then ahve complete control of your lane and decent escape angles if anything unpleasant appears to be unfolding.

    Last thing is you should be constantly scanning both directions 'cause shit happens from every direction when you're on a bike =D
  15. Dont take it personally, as a new rider you will make little mistakes that you will hone as you get more kms under your belt, and the brown trouser moments are less and less.

    Either that or you just dont notice them anymore.
    Glad your alright though.

    Always a good idea to constantly check your mirrors while exposed stopped, to other moving traffic.

    I got myself in to the habit of being in gear, clutch in, watching closely in the mirrors.
    People will say it damages your clutch etc, but, clutch is a clutch.

    Moral to the story, find what works for you, and stick with it.

    Knees in the breeze :)

  16. Couple of thoughts...
    1) Expect bizarre and lazy driving in any area where there are houses. People are near home, so they relax.. a LOT. They tend to also have their mind on home stuff...not driving. In their minds, they're either already home, or they havent yet left. They don't look 'cos theres never been car there', they take really lazy lines through familiar corners, and generally do really odd stuff. Its just the way people are - they are doing the driving equivalent of thowing on the old trackies and uggies to wander around the house. The trick is not to do the same thing yourself when you think you are nearly home. Weekends can be worse as you get the people who only drive on weekends, and are not quite on their game.

    2) Most people when turning right at a T intersection are more interested in spotting a gap in the oncoming traffic, than looking into where they are turning. How many times have you seen people start the turn and have to stop part way through the intersection when they realise the traffic is banked up, or the road is blocked on the other side? They wont see you there, for the simple reason that they probably wont look. A blip of the throttle when down shifting might get em to look your way when your coming in - but dont bet on it.

    3) Lane position. Positioning yourself to be seen always has to be balanced with positioning yourself in harms way, or with the view to escaping as needed. If you are going to sit in the extreme right at the T intersection, best to sit a certain distance back. Especially as something larger like a truck or bus may show up which may actually need to use that space to make the corner. Personally, I prefer to be a little further to the left, and a little further back all things being equal. In my mind this has the benefits of:
    - I'm less likely to get cars creeping up beside me
    - I'm not in the line of travel for any lazy turners from both sides (sometimes people carry to much speed through corner turning left).
    - I'm far enough back that someone failing to behind me is less likely to push me into traffic, and to give me some dodging room.

    Like everything else - there no real rules though... just adapting to your environment to stay alive...

    Fun though!