Distractions

Watch later today for a chance to win a copy of David Byrne’s Bicycle Diaries. It’ll be a quiz question, and the first to answer correctly either as a comment here or as a response to me on Twitter wins the book.

Several years ago, while I was driving on Mattis Avenue in Champaign, Illinois, I was rear ended pretty hard by a guy driving a pickup truck. After we pulled over to exchange information, the first thing he said was, “I’m so sorry, dude, but did you see that HOT BABE in the leather shorts over on the sidewalk?!”

Umm, no. I was watching traffic. It looks like that Yehuda might have the same problem with biking and distractions.

And that reminds me of the time my friend “Nick”, who was bicycling along the Diagonal Highway into Boulder, Colorado head down against the wind when he rear ended a car parked in the shoulder and bloodied his nose against the rear window. Fortunately, all he lost was a little blood and a little pride.

Finally, a recent cyclist fatality in the East Bay should remind all of us to watch we’re going. I don’t cross the centerline (like this guy in the video below did), but I sometimes do go a little fast on the downhills.



5 Comments

  • Andy
    June 28, 2010 - 11:13 am | Permalink

    I doubt they meant to cross the yellow. Looks like they didn't anticipate how fast they would get. When you're unexpectedly going >40mph, braking is just as frightening as not braking for fear of wheels skidding. I'd say they came out pretty darn lucky not to smash into any of those vehicles, and hopefully they learned from this mistake.

  • June 28, 2010 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah, I agree. I've done similar moves where I approach a curve too fast and have to bail. Thankfully, I've never come close to hitting a car like the guy in the video did, and these days I take it a little easier on unknown curves. I'm sure it was a heart stopping moment for the cyclist in the video.

  • June 28, 2010 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    I'm impressed he pulled over. And yeah, that's sad. But I've also been, uhh, distracted by the sidewalk booty especially when out on West Cliff (hmm, wonder if that's part of why its my favorite place to ride that isn't off road? could be).

  • June 28, 2010 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I ran into a parked car once. I was trying to ride up the hill to my parent's house. It gets steeper near the top, and I rode with my head down, lungs heaving, legs burning, when all of a sudden a gigantic chrome bumper appeared about a foot ahead of my front wheel. My neighbor – who NEVER parked his car on the street – parked his car on the street that day. I hit it at maybe 4 or 5 miles per hour, toppled over, and then lay there on the street trying to get out of my toe clips and straps. The owner was sitting in his lawn chair in the shade with a cold beer in his hand – laughing his butt off!

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