Friday, August 19, 2011

One Way Cyclists Die

Sorry for the rather forceful title, but you know, it is what it is. A great many readers of this blog are experienced, knowledgeable cyclists who don't need to read any further. On the off chance that you are not however, I strongly urge you to read on. I was riding home yesterday and cringed as I watched this:

Now some cyclists might think a move like that is a calculated risk and not so bad. I disagree. Do that move with a car and you might get knocked over, injured or worse. Do it with a truck and you'll get knocked over and then be crushed by its rear wheels and have an excellent chance of dying. The guy in my video obviously came out just fine. But what happens when the truck driver isn't all over his mirrors for a couple of seconds and then sees a break in traffic? In addition, few people realize how huge the blind spots on a big truck are. Here are a couple of videos to illustrate:

The next video is good too, especially the blind spot bits at 3:10 or so.

Lorries, LGVs, Semis, Cube Vans, Big Ass Trucks ... no matter what you call 'em, I hope you get my drift.

Yer Pal,


cafiend said...

Surprising what people don't realize until someone tells them or they find out the hard way. Even a small motor vehicle is a sensory deprivation tank. Motorcycles are little better. Helmeted or not, their own engine noise cuts them off from quieter audible cues and they have to pay attention to keeping themselves upright and out of the cross hairs. But trucks and buses are the leaders in sensory deprivation. Only an idiot would sport around in the death slot next to them.

Steve A said...

Au contraire. I think Rantwick instead illustrated how incredibly safe cycling really is when people can cluelessly engage in such behavior on a daily basis and still only less than a thousand get killed annually (Canada and US combined). That was the cycling equivalent of Russian Roulette. Sadly, such people often talk convincingly how cars treat them poorly and they need to be protected. Doubly sadly, police in many places wink at such behavior instead of hauling the idiot in on charges.

Thanks for the video. It is almost as good as if you'd captured a Yeti. Unfortunately, what you did capture is all too common.

cafiend said...

That's the thing about most dangerous activities. People get away with stupid risks more often than they suffer the consequences. It only really matters when one person's risk puts other unwilling participants at risk.

Trying to teach people a better way demonstrates compassion and self defense (enlightened self interest). Fewer cyclists doing stupid tings means a safer cycling environment and a better public image for cycling.

Kokorozashi said...

Thanks for posting this video, and an explanation of why it's not a good idea! Rarely does a day go by out on the road on which I don't see someone doing this (usually someone who appears to be an experienced cyclist who ought to know better).

It's always struck me as dangerous, but it also strikes me as rude to filter ahead of the rest of the traffic ... and the last thing we need is for more drivers to think all cyclists are self-serving ninnies with a bad case of 'Me First' syndrome.

cafiend said...

On the other hand, filtering forward if done gently might eventually help motorists realize that they, too, could be making better time in traffic by giving up the car and using a bike instead.

EVILFLU said...

I see this happen way too often! Thanks for posting the video (and it was right by my work too - cool!)

Keri said...

Wow! I've seen cyclists do that in front of me a few times. Always freaks me out.

Great find on those UK videos!

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