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Accidents, Crashes, and Close-calls Post-incident report, analysis and discussion aimed at increasing safety


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Old 07-17-2017, 01:43 AM   #1
Scott Eldredge
 
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Default Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bike

I was returning from errands in Half Moon Bay, CA, riding last in a long line of cars headed south on coast highway, hanging back a little because I like my own piece or road and there was no threat of some asshole tailgating me to hurry me along. Four or five cars ahead me a BMW pulled over to the shoulder and stopped. I kept my eyes on him, backed off the throttle a little as he let all the cars pass, except me. I saw the front wheels turn left, and I jinked left, and he pulled directly out in front of me to make a U-turn. I continued hard left to the opposite shoulder as the driver completed the turn without pause. As I passed the front of the car I felt/heard a nudge on the bike, but my trajectory remained earthbound and on course. I swung around back to my side of the road and stopped to take inventory of KLR and Scott, impossibly still together. Bike was fine, except the right saddlebag was missing. I collected myself and went back to look for my stuff. I found the bag on the shoulder, more or less intact. One strap ripped off, zipper ripped open, plastic snaps broken off. iPhone still working. On the bike I noticed scuff marks on the side rack, and the right rear turn indicator was dislodged, but not broken. And I found a piece of the BMW.

I went back to Half Moon Bay to look for the car in the unlikely event the driver stopped. No luck there. I'd spent it all. I filed a report with the California Highway Patrol because with front end damage, there was some small possibility the car would be seen.

Takeaway 1: If I had been a little closer to the car in front, I'd have passed by on his good graces. The BMW couldn't have turned fast enough to get me. had I been farther back, I'd have had time to stop, or for driver perhaps to see me. The middle distance seemed safe but wasn't. I think the driver was looking up the road to see that it was clear, already having assumed it was clear behind him, or her.

Takeaway 2: There's no guarantee that BMW would have seen me in my small black car, in which case we'd have collided. Being on a bike might have saved me.

Takeaway 3: Nelson Riggs saddlebags are well made. Survived in better shape than expected for what happened. NR is good company. Don't sell single bags but offered me a nice discount on another set.

Last edited by Scott Eldredge; 07-17-2017 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 01:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

WOW!!!! That is crazy!! Glad you came out of that situation as well as you did. Hard to believe that F-wit didn't stop since he SURELY saw you at some point if not right when he clobbered your saddlebag.

That is a great reminder for ALL of us to be SUPER aware of our position AND the other clowns on the road. Thanks for posting!!
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

I was surprised that the driver didn't stop. I thought of giving chase right away, but I knew I wasn't in any shape to do that. Took the rest of the day for my nerves to really settle.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

Takeaway 4.

You knew something was wrong when he pulled over to the side of the road. Trust your instincts. Bleed speed when something seems wrong. Downshift so you have some throttle response, tap the brakes to warn behind you. If someone pulls out in front of you, try not to go in front of them, think about the rear of the vehicle... not saying you could have done this here, but disasters rarely present themselves to learn... anytime I see a car who LOOKS like he's going to jump out, I bleed speed, and get ready to go behind him. I've had cars pull out and stop, and the only thing that saved me was that strategy.

Takeaway 5.

They don't see you. I approached an intersection, put on my signal, and went into the left lane of a two lane left turn. There was a line of cars in the right one. Mr. Minivan decided to jump the line by getting into the left lane (empty) with a quick left turn. He turned into me. I was trapped by his mirror, and by my handlebars. I couldn't brake, or the angle of the van's front end would have turned my bars and thrown me into oncoming traffic. I couldn't accelerate because I couldn't turn my wrist as my arm was over his mirror, and he was steadily pushing me over the double yellow into traffic.

You just can't train for this stuff sometimes.

What did I do? I panicked a bit, Hauled in on the clutch and put some fist sized dents in his hood, using his mirror for leverage.

That got his attention.

He braked, that freed up my handlebar, allowing me to regain control and re-enter the lane.

I was hoping he would get out of his van TBH... he never did, so I just went at the next light.

No damage to the bike, no real damage to me, his hood, however... well...

I had no warning at all. By the time I saw his wheel turn, I was even with the rear of the van. That's all I got.

Just food for thought. I'm glad you made it out unscathed. IF it's any consolation, it is quite probable that the damage done to his car is more than quadruple what a new set of bags will cost you... and now you have a spare!
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Old 07-19-2017, 04:23 PM   #5
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Smile Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

video or it never happened...



sorry had to say that.

glad to hear things went your way and you did not get hurt.
bad deal but you were very very lucky. and get to ride another day.


sad so many out there are just not looking for not just motorcycles but anything,
(i drive a big rig).
and then there are those that just drive away. i once followed a hit and run, he was very mad i was behind him. but after i told him about what he did and the chp was on the way he returned to the accident. (went away in cuffs).

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Old 07-19-2017, 06:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

Glad to hear that you are OK . The good thing about soft bags is that they can be sewn with a cheep needle and heavy thread.
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

I know of 3 people killed in the last 4 years by cars making u-turns in front of them. Whenever I see a car pull over to the right or on the side of the road I expect they are going to pull out in front of me. Many people who make u-turns only use their side mirrors and don't turn around to look so they don't see you.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

Glad you're okay and you recovered your goods.

Every turn or intersection I maneuver I look for cars, take a moment and double check for motorcycles, pedestrians and whatever else might not have a 6' width and two headlights. I was raised by a cop who demanded vehicular safety and I consider myself a safety and security oriented person AND a good guy on the roadways.

Nonetheless, I F'd up recently and flat out didn't see a motorcycle in a retail plaza parking lot and pulled halfway out in front of him. He gave me the stare down, wtf hand gesture and revved his engine. I have blacked out windows so he couldn't see my apologetic gestures.

As much as we want to label people F-wads and whatnot the fact is sometimes good drivers make mistakes. Hopefully we avoid them as well as you did!
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Old 07-25-2017, 01:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

I have on occasion not seen a motorcycle until the second time I looked, and as a motorcyclist I look for them. Bicycles too; they also seem to have cloaking devices.
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Old 07-25-2017, 12:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArizonaPI View Post

As much as we want to label people F-wads and whatnot the fact is sometimes good drivers make mistakes. Hopefully we avoid them as well as you did!
This. I've taught my daughter that everyone makes mistakes while driving, you just hope you don't get caught.

I don't care WHO you are... or how good a driver you are, if you think you can convince me that you've never made a mistake while driving? Not going to happen. You may make fewer mistakes than others, but no one is perfect.

Doesn't mean we can't try!!!
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:53 AM   #11
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Default Re: Let all the cars pass; make a U-turn in front of the bik

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Z View Post
This. I've taught my daughter that everyone makes mistakes while driving, you just hope you don't get caught.

I don't care WHO you are... or how good a driver you are, if you think you can convince me that you've never made a mistake while driving? Not going to happen. You may make fewer mistakes than others, but no one is perfect.

Doesn't mean we can't try!!!
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Doesn't watchin' Dukes of Hazzard as a kid count for something???
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