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So, as my log-in-name suggests, I commute into DC daily about 45 miles every day. I have been doing this for about 2000 miles now, but am very newly back to riding.

So, as I have been racking up the miles, and getting more familiar with the roads and traffic, I got sloppy...

Until yesterday morning I had been checking each lane in the mirrors and turning my head each time prior to changing lanes. This one time, I didn't, I checked the mirror only and it seemed I had plenty of room going from left to right. I started to move over, and right into the side of the car I thought was well back of me but turns out it was right alongside me by the time I was moving.

To make matters far worse, while all this was happening at about 60 mph traffic was coming to an abrupt stop right in front of me...

Needles to say I was a bit distracted by almost sideswiping the car to my right that I barely had time to almost lock the breaks to prevent me running right into the car in front of me. Luckily I did not lock the breaks or swipe the car or come to a "sudden" stop into the rear bumper of the leading car.

I had been getting more comfortable out on the road, but this just reinforced my need for constant good habits and never taking anything for granted out there so I thought I'd share.

mk
 

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PHEW!
I'm glad you didn't get tangled up in all those cars. At the begining of the story I thought you actually made contact with the car on your right side.

Other than soiled skivies, I'm glad you're okay.
 

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Very good point and reminder. I know that living in an area such as we do, where "heavy traffic" is 5 or 6 cars at the four-way stop, it's very easy to become lax in your concentration and develop "lazy" habits. We worry more about the wildlife than the traffic (I almost nailed a turtle the other day, came right out of nowhere!:eek:), which can be just as deadly. Just yesterday there was a motorcyclist killed in Minnesota when he struck a wolf. A reminder that no matter where we ride, always stay aware.
 

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Indeed! Be alert. America needs more lerts!;)

And we're all happy that although you were relaxed, you spotted the situation in time...:)

 

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Thanks

Thanks! I recently have gotten back into riding also about the same miles. A very good reminder for me. I do find myself getting a little to relaxed. This is a great reminder for me and i hope evryone else. Hope to hear about some better ride experiences.
 

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Woooo, man I'm just glad you're ok DC! I take a lot of back roads on my 30 mile ride to work so I am constantly on the lookout for deer...I pass a new dead deer almost every day on my way in. I really try to stay away from highways because you never know what someone in a cage is going to do.

Take care out there and keep the rubber side down.
 

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close call. sounds like the experience will make you a better rider. whether or not there is a car behind or in my blind spot in the lane i'm turning into, i always throttle on just to make sure i'm ahead of any car in that lane
 

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jeebus i was wincing reading that. that's why they call them lifesavers, doing the over the shoulder check.
saved my skin a few times, when a cage will sit in my blind spot for ages on a highway or something.
 

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I agree bevo. I've recently started riding again (almost a year back on the road) and find I have changed a lot from the way I used to ride in my younger days. I took a spill some years ago because I was in a driver's blind spot and they clipped my front tire. Now I will not go next to a car unless I can make eye contact with the drive or get completely ahead of them.
 

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Now I will not go next to a car unless I can make eye contact with the drive or get completely ahead of them.
i've never understood this making eye contact thing. how can people tell if they're making eye contact with someone unless you take your own eyes off the road and look directly to your left or right? and before you can make eye contact with each other, there is a period of time where you're riding right next to them and you know they can't see you yet.

instead of making sure they can see me, i think it's more important to be in a position where they can't touch me. i just assume that no one on the road can see me at any time and always position my bike in front of or behind them so they can't hit me whether they see me or not. and if i must ride next to a car in traffic, i make sure i've got enough room to maneuver should they want to get in my lane.
 

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i've never understood this making eye contact thing. how can people tell if they're making eye contact with someone unless you take your own eyes off the road and look directly to your left or right? and before you can make eye contact with each other, there is a period of time where you're riding right next to them and you know they can't see you yet.

instead of making sure they can see me, i think it's more important to be in a position where they can't touch me. i just assume that no one on the road can see me at any time and always position my bike in front of or behind them so they can't hit me whether they see me or not. and if i must ride next to a car in traffic, i make sure i've got enough room to maneuver should they want to get in my lane.
X2 what Bevo said!! And ridin the roads around here the deer are terrible. I don't know if it will help come a situation, but I ride the center of the backroads keeping a close eye on both shoulders for that darting deer. My hopes are being in the center of the road I'll have manuvuring room should a deer dart out. Yes, I watch for the opproaching car as well!!:)

Glad to hear you're ok!! Be careful and ride for 5!!:cool:
 

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When I say I get to we're I can make eye contact I don't mean I try to do so with every driver, just that if I am next to them and look left or right I could if they were doing the same. My thought is if I am in that position if they go to change lanes they'll see me next to their car. Is this a bad idea?

I too use the middle on the back roads into work, not only because of animals but it seems drivers drift over the yellow line a lot more out in the country.

Glad to hear inputs because part of the reason I joyed this forum is to learn some safety ideas. And of course get mod advise when I get the cash.
 

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Times 3 on what Bevo said. I have here lately been catching myself not paying attention!!!! Would of had a close call today if i hadnt been paying attention, and i was just pulling into the parking lot at the bank!!!! some girl was tired of waiting for the car in front of her and went around with the pedal to the floor, squelling the tires, right in into where i was turning, thankfully i waited cuz i wasnt sure what the first car was doing!!!!!! Alot of stupid, inpaitent ddrivers in my town!!!!
 

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Well as the saying goes "It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when", but you can make the 'when' a lot safer and longer periods in between, by slowing down and paying attention to details in your riding -- Be anal about it & be alert to your surrounding (bugs, birds & deer ect..). I trust my riding, but not their driving :)

Glad your ok
Ride safe
 

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Glad your ok.

Someone once told me that "on the list of the most dangerous things out there on the road, our own overconfidence is near the top."
---my Uncle Bob---
R.I.P.
 
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