Near misses

bompington Posts: 7,674
edited March 2012 in The bottom bracket
This morning I was on my way to work by the roundabout route, descending through Abernyte. Don't let the sunny pic fool you, it was raining and still more or less dark at 6:30. I was doing a bit over 30.

Dog walker ahead (walking on the left of the road) with dog on quite a long lead, so I move over to overtake nice and wide - in an unhurried kind of way, no radical manoeuvres.
As I cross the white line there's one of those "seams" in the middle of the road (you can see it in the streetview), and it must have given my back wheel a little kick because all of a sudden I'm going sideways. Somehow I hold on, the back end fishtails back the other way, then back again, and to my surprise I'm back in a straight line again - I glanced down at that point to see that I was still doing over 25.

Although I have learned a thing or two about balance from off-roading with kids in bike seats, I can't really claim to have bike handling superpowers, so I think I was a bit lucky there.

What's the brownest shorts moment you've ever had that didn't actually result in a big crash?


  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,534
    From a self-inflicted point of view the worst one I've had in the last few years was when pulling out onto a busy, fast roundabout in Cardiff (Rover Way / Lamby Way junction for those that know it). I finally got a gap that I could get out in, went to clip my foot in but the pedal was upside down. As I was pushing hard to get out into the gap my foot slipped off the pedal and into the back wheel, I slipped forward onto the cross bar and the bike leaned right over to the point I thought I was about to hit the deck. Luckily the lady in the car behind me was alert and got safely past me as I recovered my balance so my only injury was (somehow) a broken finger plus a p*uncture and buckled wheel!

    I've had more near misses due to driver incompetence in the last two weeks than in the previous 2 years for some reason. On one roundabout I had a fail to give way by a driver tanking it up the slip road onto St Julians roundabout in Newport one day (I anticipated it and avoided them by a couple of feet), two days later someone on the same slip road gave way to the car circulating with me then looked me straight in the eye before pulling out and forcing me to stop and then the next day coming into the same roundabout someone overtook me and then turned left across me. I'm not a nervous rider but I've now decided to take the cycle path that adds 10 minutes to my journey.

    Racing, I did the Mannin Veg Road Race on the Isle of Man in 1990. The bunch was about 200 odd riders on fully closed roads and early on the was a touch of wheels in the middle of the bunch that I just about survived. Having completed the race and hit around 60mph coming down Snaefell I got back to the hotel to find several spokes had been ripped out of my wheel.
  • sfichele
    sfichele Posts: 605
    Out of the saddle, bombing down a steep hill at around 75 kph. My shoe came out of its clip on the upstroke and hit the front wheel spokes. If the cleat had jammed in the spokes it would have been an epic face plant
  • alihisgreat
    alihisgreat Posts: 3,872
    I've only really had one... was cycling in Oxford coming into town down Cumnor Hill... and wanted to make a right turn so i could turn around, whizz back up and do some hill repeats...

    Saw a car coming up behind me far too fast.. so i stayed tucked into the side of the road but still signalled for my turning with plenty of time...

    it was obvious that the car wasn't going to slow down... so it slowed right down so i didn't overshoot my turning, carried on signalling and looking round... and the car nearly took my arm off speeding past -> i hadn't even moved out to make the turning..

    I've been pleasantly surprised with my town cycling experience apart from that though -> Oxford is great because of all the cycle lanes, and bus lanes. + there is the fact that on most of the roads cars are only doing ~25mph so they aren't always in a hurry to overtake a cyclist doing 20.

    I've never had a brown pants bike control moment though.. probably something to do with the fact that i don't see many big descents in Cambridgeshire or Oxfordshire.
  • verylonglegs
    verylonglegs Posts: 3,954
    Cycling down a very quiet country road, picked up plenty of speed on a short downhill section and had just passed a group of about half a dozen houses/cottages when I noticed a couple of kids further up walking slowly in same direction as I'm going but constantly checking the hedgerow at the side of the road. Just before I get to them to pass them another kid dives out of the hedgerow just in front of me and starts running towards me but with his head turned away from me looking over his shoulder at his mates. They were obviously playing hide and seek. I haven't a clue how I missed hitting him head-on at probably around 35mph, it was just a instinctive twisting/swerving motion from my body which avoided any collision. I don't think he had a clue how close it was as I think he turned his head back round as I passed the other side of him, I felt part of him brush by the hairs on my arm. It certainly got the adrenaline flowing for a while after!
  • ddraver
    ddraver Posts: 26,391
    Nothing as epic as those above but I had a good one a few weeks back. Flying along with a good force 5-6 breeze back home having slogged my way into it for two hours. I was hitting about 50kph on some of the open stretches (no hills here) along a wide main road with a good, segregated bike path on each side. There was a petrol station ahead where the bike path went around the inside of it. Feeling rather good about myself I went around the first bend flat out, which totally ruined my line into the other bend back toward the road. I was sure I was about to end up in the hedge and subconsiously started to panic brake which locked the back wheel a bit resulting in me powersliding around the corner, Got through the turn fine and even managed to get a little sprint on out of it. THere is no why I could have thought my way through that deliberately.

    I think you re wrong about off-roading Bomp, I think it forces you to learn things about body position and relaxing, but also gets you used to the bike moving around underneath you and what it feels like when you skid/lose grip. Eventually these things just become leaned behaviour so when it happens unexpectadly your body/mind already knows what to do. Riding an MTB in the mud or snow is one of the best things you can do for your bike handling skillz but learning things like wheelies and trackstands is also useful and is something that not enough roadies take time to learn. (Most aptly shown by triathletes!)
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • centimani
    centimani Posts: 467
    Several for me...(like most of us who've spent any reasonable time on the bike i suspect)

    Turned out of a junction at speed, i had looked right to see a lorry approaching, but guaged his distance as being safe. What i didnt count on was his speed, probably 50mph and accelerating in a 30. He came past me, tractor unit, endless trailer passing me at 50ish within maybe 300mm for what seemed like an eternity. Jesus, i sh1t myself for every foot of him that passed. Punishment pass i suspect, i partly deserved it. That shook me up for an hour.

    B-stard firemen....not far from home, i was aware a fire engine was approaching from behind, eased off and eased into a junction to allow him to pass...he let go with his two tones RIGHT BESIDE ME...... JESUS F'KIN CHRIST :shock: :shock: :shock: i swear i nearly sh1t myself, the sound was deafening.
    B'stards....ive never forgiven them, even now, 20 years later i look at a fire engine and frikkin hate them :x Irrational of course, wished i reported them. If i'd had a weak heart, they'd have killed me with the shock...seriously, deadly seriously.

    Then there's the ones who nearly run you over, and can't understand why you're upset :?
    Nearly sideswiped by a merc coming out of his drive. I gestured toward my eyes as i got in front (open your eyes bud, kinda thing). He dismissively waved me away...(thats guaranteed to wind me up) so i stopped right in front of him. He just couldnt concede he'd done anything wrong.
    After a few sharp words i said to him ...
    'what do you want, ME to apologise for YOU nearly running ME over eh ?'...along with several expletives.

    At this stage i realised he'd got another fella in the passenger seat, began to realise i'm outnumbered, but i was unable to let it go...banged my front wheel into his drivers door (knowing a tyre against metal wouldnt do any hard) and said... ' perhaps that'll get your your eyes next time'....and rode off.
    Then at that stage you realise ...oh bugger, he;s got to pass me now. He did, with plenty of room. Phew.