Bike meet bumper, body meet bonnet (again)


Almost one year since I was last knocked off, it happened again. On the way to work, I’m always wary of one of the junctions. It leads off the A1 southbound. People still seem to be in a motorway mentality as they pull off and don’t always look quite as well as they could. I’ve had a few near misses there and seen a few crashed cars too.

I passed the junction safely. It was at the next one that a small car cautiously edged out of the side road into my line. I tried to steer out into the road, but I didn’t have the time or the space and her bumper connected with my front wheel. T-boned again, I bounced on the bonnet and land on the floor.

The driver was very apologetic and she couldn’t do enough to make sure I was OK, however the excuse was the same old story – sorry but I didn’t see you. I was well lit, running a Cateye Volt300, fully charged and on flashmode. It is bright, easily up to the task of lighting the offroad section of my commute, and a light that I had thought would get me noticed.

I am OK, I don’t even have a bruise (I’m not complaining about that), although my front wheel will need some work to run true again. I would rather not get knocked off again though. Check the road and check again; keep your windows clear. Stay wary, stay safe.

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About velorichard

Riding a bike around Cambridgeshire looking for some hills
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4 Responses to Bike meet bumper, body meet bonnet (again)

  1. Frank Burns says:

    Good to hear you are unscathed, Richard. The psychology of attention is very interesting and complex. Even in broad daylight, when I am wearing a high viz top, my presence is either ignored or not seen by some drivers. I think, essentially, they don’t see us as a safety threat (from their point of view), so their minds don’t engage with the fact that they have a responsibility for our safety. I wish you future safety in all your commuting.

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    • velorichard says:

      Thanks Frank, as a rule I feel quite safe on the commute. I’m early enough for the roads to be quiet and most riders give me a good wide pass, but it only takes one persons inattention…

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  2. bikevcar says:

    Glad you’re ok. It’s pretty infuriating when some dozy-eyed morning driver does something like that. Almost as infuriating as the excuse. “I didn’t see you” = I wasn’t paying any attention.

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    • velorichard says:

      Thanks. True, it’s an all too familiar story. Five more seconds for another look at a junction would probably make a big difference. Perhaps we need a public information campaign like the Think Bike one, from a few years ago, where the motorcyclist gets T-boned by a car.

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