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My First Crash (Or, Why Drivers Should Always Use Their Turn Signals)

riverc0il

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I always figured it might happen eventually. I always thought it would be when I rode through downtowns of suburban cities in which doors open every which way out into the road with no shoulder. Or getting side swiped on a busy road with no shoulder. But instead, it was a car taken a right hand turn in front of me without using a turn signal.

The ride itself had been going incredible for the first 3/4. This was a clockwise loop around Squam from my home in Ashland. A 48 mile loop with something like 2800' vert. It was a loop I had been working up to and when all was said and done (including the crash and riding away from it), I averaged 17.9. Only bummed that I could have maintained 18 had I not crashed.

I was cooking around the northern and eastern parts of the lake and had an 18 MPH average through the hilliest part of the ride. My gearing was really stepped up and I was carrying speed much better than normal. Temp was a little hot but the speed kept me reasonably coolish even working the ups and downs.

Along the southern end, I hooked up with 25 instead of looping up and over 25B. 25 eastbound is a long uphill but good grade so it is easy to maintain 18-20 despite the constant uphill. Downtown Meredith was a shit show of tourists trying to leave town for the weekend. I need to find an alternate route from 25 to 3 without going towards the light at the intersection of 3/25.

North on 3 was good but my legs were fading as the hills picked up again. Alternative route up and over College Road was a killer. But soon enough, I was heading into downtown Holderness on 3 North (a road I can hold 20+ MPH on when I am really going after it) and I knew I was home free, this ride was in the bag and I was super happy about it.

As I entered the downtown section, the speed limit drops to 30. Somewhere around this point, a car pulled out into the road about 100 feet in front of me. I didn't think much of it but I continued to gain on him. I must have entered town doing about 22 or so and the limit is 25) so I was surprised he was not picking up speed. I should have known something was up... but I figured it was an old driver or something.

Soon enough, I am down to about 15ish MPH and just behind the guy on his right. At this point, I should have taken the lane and assumed what was going to happen. But I was tired and probably not paying enough attention to the developing situation. I never saw a blinker but the next thing I know the car turns right. Right in front of me.

Slammed on my breaks as I had absolutely no where and no time to do anything else. I must have been leaning right because my back wheel fishtailed left. This threw me into the car which slowed me down considerably and dropped me to the pavement. After a quick moment to collect myself, I was walking around taking an inventory of body parts. No sooner did someone ask me if I was okay than I picked up my bike and said "yea, I am fine, I am more worried about my bike!" LOL :lol:

Two other drivers stopped. And folks in the parking lot came over to assist. Guy that hit me was the last of a half dozen people to come over and ask if I was okay. He might have been shaken up too, I guess. He had no idea what happened. I suggested either he didn't use a turn signal or he did and I didn't see it. After I reconstructed the accident for him and he did not offer that he had used a turn signal, I am fairly confident that he did not and had he done so, I would have been able to stop in time.

Regardless, I should have braked and given him more room and I should have taken the lane since I was going as fast as he was. Hind sight is 20/20.

My left butt check is black and blue up top and red down lower. Otherwise, I am fine. The bike seems okay. Nothing broken or damaged aside from one of my handlebar caps popping off (popped right back on). I might take the bike into the shop for a quick tune up though, just to be safe.

Despite offers of assistance to drive me home (I had a phone and someone that could have gotten me any ways), I hopped right back on and kept going. I would have been really disappointed if I had not been able to complete the route and record my full mileage and time for this ride. :spin: :D

So I can finally say thank goodness for the cushioning I got there and I am glad I have not worked it all away quite yet. It was a good ride despite the crash and it certainly could have been much worse. The fact that I rode away from it is about as good as I could hope for. Now I have an ice pack on my ass as I type. Can't wait to see what sitting at work tomorrow is going to feel like. :-o
 

bvibert

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Sorry to hear about the crash, glad it went as well as it did though.
 

billski

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Sorry to hear about that Steve, but much happier to hear you are OK.

Lack of directional signals has always been one of my peeves since moving to this region in 1980. Drivers really need to be less selfish in their behavior. Providing more information about intent (by all wheeled vehicles) makes the roads safer for everyone. As bad as your incident was, a stronger argument has been made that signaling is even more important for pedestrians .
 

Greg

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Wow. Glad you're okay. I still contend tumbling down a rocky trail is safer. At least I'm the only one responsible for poor decision making... :)
 

riverc0il

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Dropped my bike off at the shop for a wheel truing and crash inspection. Should have it back tomorrow. Doubt I will do the Tuesday ride I was planning on doing to North Woodstock and back with the fast ride group. Sitting at work today was a pain. Spent most of the day trying to find stuff to do standing up. Or hanging my left ass check off the side of the chair while sitting, that got old quick.

Hopefully by Wednesday the swelling will go down so I can get back out there. Looking to amp up the weekend mileage again this coming Sunday with a loop that goes from Home to Meredith to Newfound to Plymouth and back home at 52.1. And then the metric century the week after that. Route specs from yesterday:

Route:


Elevation Profile:
 

riverc0il

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Oh yea, max speed of 46.9 MPH. :eek:

And that was up on the hoods. Could have gone faster if I had gotten more aero in the drops. That was going down the hill that killed me last time I looped around Squam and went counter clockwise. Learned my lesson and took this loop Clockwise. MUCH easier!!! And that hill was much more fun. :D
 

WJenness

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Oh yea, max speed of 46.9 MPH. :eek:

And that was up on the hoods. Could have gone faster if I had gotten more aero in the drops. That was going down the hill that killed me last time I looped around Squam and went counter clockwise. Learned my lesson and took this loop Clockwise. MUCH easier!!! And that hill was much more fun. :D

Was that the hill around mile 30? That looks like a pretty sustained steep.

-w
 

drjeff

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Dropped my bike off at the shop for a wheel truing and crash inspection. Should have it back tomorrow. Doubt I will do the Tuesday ride I was planning on doing to North Woodstock and back with the fast ride group. Sitting at work today was a pain. Spent most of the day trying to find stuff to do standing up. Or hanging my left ass check off the side of the chair while sitting, that got old quick.

Hopefully by Wednesday the swelling will go down so I can get back out there. Looking to amp up the weekend mileage again this coming Sunday with a loop that goes from Home to Meredith to Newfound to Plymouth and back home at 52.1. And then the metric century the week after that. Route specs from yesterday:

Route:


Elevation Profile:

Nice mileage! Before you know it you'll be posting routes with mileage similar to a typical Marc weekend ride ;) I'm half expecting to hear of a weekend ride for you later this year that starts out as a loop around Squam, but turns into a loop down 1 side of Squam, around Winnipesaukee then back up the other side of Squam :)
 

riverc0il

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Was that the hill around mile 30? That looks like a pretty sustained steep.

-w
My top speed was just after mile 18 heading into the town of Sandwich. The downhill at mile 30 is Route 25 which is a nice downhill but involves heavy traffic and some curves in the road. Probably was doing 30-35 around there.

Nice mileage! Before you know it you'll be posting routes with mileage similar to a typical Marc weekend ride ;) I'm half expecting to hear of a weekend ride for you later this year that starts out as a loop around Squam, but turns into a loop down 1 side of Squam, around Winnipesaukee then back up the other side of Squam :)
I don't know if I want to get into Brevets. I'm doing a Century later this fall and I think that will be about as long as I would like to go in one ride. One of the problems with long distances around here is the elevation gains. That loop around Squam was essentially 3k' vert which is a decent amount for a 47 mile ride. Winnipeasukee is the same thing, lots of hills around the lake. I will be riding around the big lake later this month (60ish miles) but I don't think I could combine the two until I am substantially stronger and have a TON more endurance.

Interesting banter on boston.com about drivers and motorist interactions in the form of reader responses to some very reasonable guidelines. Both sides are equally represented
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news...ons_guest_colu_2.html?comments=all#readerComm
I don't read comments to news articles, that type of banter is perhaps the least mentally engaging drivel ever typed by humanity. No disagreement here regarding any points in the article though.
 

drjeff

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I don't know if I want to get into Brevets. I'm doing a Century later this fall and I think that will be about as long as I would like to go in one ride. One of the problems with long distances around here is the elevation gains. That loop around Squam was essentially 3k' vert which is a decent amount for a 47 mile ride. Winnipeasukee is the same thing, lots of hills around the lake. I will be riding around the big lake later this month (60ish miles) but I don't think I could combine the two until I am substantially stronger and have a TON more endurance.
.

Having grown up my entire life wife my grandparent(s) living in Wolfeboro, I driven the loop around Winnipesaukee more times than I care to remember over the years. Probably 3/4ths of the loop is reasonable on a bike. Depending on which direction you ride, some of the Weirs/Meredith stretch could easily suck hill wise, and no matter which direction you ride it, the section of 28 between Alton and Wolfeboro just plain totally would suck(even taking 28A out of Alton to avoid the 1st couple of hills on 28 will still leave you 3 or 4 killers :eek: :eek: :eek: )
 

riverc0il

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Having grown up my entire life wife my grandparent(s) living in Wolfeboro, I driven the loop around Winnipesaukee more times than I care to remember over the years. Probably 3/4ths of the loop is reasonable on a bike. Depending on which direction you ride, some of the Weirs/Meredith stretch could easily suck hill wise, and no matter which direction you ride it, the section of 28 between Alton and Wolfeboro just plain totally would suck(even taking 28A out of Alton to avoid the 1st couple of hills on 28 will still leave you 3 or 4 killers :eek: :eek: :eek: )
I am planning on doing this clockwise starting from Meredith (since i live in Ashland). So either way, I have to start AND end with a big hill. UGH. There are some alt side roads in the Laconia/Rt3 area to cut off two or three hills but that is about it for "short cuts".

I was looking at 28A at Alton which helps a little but that climb up to Wolfeboro looks like the absolute pits of the entire ride. I can't imagine finishing up that loop and then going around the northern side of Squam as well. :eek: I mean, I like a hill as much as the next guy, but yek gads that is just a big more than I would think is a reasonable ride.

Then again, the big ride every year out of the local bike shop is the "Grand Tour" which is Plymouth to the Kanc, Bear Notch, Crawford Notch, and Franconia Notch for like 120 miles and who knows how much vert. I have no idea how those guys do it. At the beginning of the season no less! :blink:
 

drjeff

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I was looking at 28A at Alton which helps a little but that climb up to Wolfeboro looks like the absolute pits of the entire ride. I can't imagine finishing up that loop and then going around the northern side of Squam as well. :eek: I mean, I like a hill as much as the next guy, but yek gads that is just a big more than I would think is a reasonable ride.

:

If you're going to think about looping Winnipesaukee clockwise, you gotta use 28A. The section of 28 between where 28A breaks off and either Bay Hill Road or all the way down to the Alton circle and back out to the lake that way, is the worst of the worst. What would be your last climb before descending into Alton off 28 no matter which way you choose, is a killer :eek: :eek: :eek: 28A gets you a nice downhill, with some small rolling hills right along the shores of Alton Bay, just a real scenic road, and one that would let the legs recover a bit after the "smaller" hills of 28 between Wolfeboro and 28A

I can also tell you from having RUN it in the Big Lake 1/2 marathon a few years ago, that once you get off 28 in Alton and turn onto 11 to start heading back towards The Weirs, that 11 from Alton to basically Ellacoya State Park in Guilford is easy on the climbs, and once again a pretty scenic road
 

drjeff

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Sorry, my bad. I meant to type that I am planning on doing that ride counter clockwise.

Same thing applies though, that strecth of 28 between where ever you'd meet up with it after 11 and where 28A/28 meet up just plain sucks! 28A is still the prefered route both counterclockwise and clockwise around that part of Winnipesaukee!

If you were really a totally insane psycho hill monster ;) , then what you'd need to do, is right at the tip of Alton Bay where 11 and 28A meet up, you hang a quick right as soon as you get onto 28A onto Bay Hill Road, and what would await you is around 3/4th of a mile of basically climbing up a cliff to 28 :eek:, then as soon as you get to 28, maybe a 1/3rd of a mile of a steep downhill followed by another 1/3rd of a mile or so of climbing up a slightly less steep cliff than what you just finished climbing likley less than 2 minutes before on Bay Hill Road :eek: :eek: :eek: There's just no real easy way around that corner of Winnipesaukee. The "good" thing though knowing that is going counterclockwise, once you get to Wolfeboro, you've both passed the 1/2 way point AND what is the "worst" part of the ride
 

Riverskier

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Interesting banter on boston.com about drivers and motorist interactions in the form of reader responses to some very reasonable guidelines. Both sides are equally represented
http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news...ons_guest_colu_2.html?comments=all#readerComm

These guidlines seem reasonable to me. I respect bicyclists and their right to use the roads. Maine recently passed a law requiring cars to give at least 3 feet when passing a cyclist and I personally give much more than that. However, there are 2 things that I find aggravating.

1) When riding with others and you are about to be passed by a motorist, ride single file! It drives me nuts when passing is impossible or unsafe simply because 2 bicyclists feel the need to ride next to each other blocking the lane. I don't have much experience encountering group rides and am not sure of the dynamics there, perhaps that is different (maybe, maybe not), but this certainly applies to any group of less than 5.

2) Stay as far to the right as possible. Sure bicyclists have a right to the road, but so do cars, and in almost all cases cars go faster. It drives me nuts when someone rides their bike in the middle of the lane. Of course, I live in Maine and drive mostly on country roads, so this may differ in a big city where there is a lot of stop and go at slow speeds.

It is only a small minority of bicyclists that actually do these things, but respect definitely works both ways.
 

bvibert

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These guidlines seem reasonable to me. I respect bicyclists and their right to use the roads. Maine recently passed a law requiring cars to give at least 3 feet when passing a cyclist and I personally give much more than that. However, there are 2 things that I find aggravating.

1) When riding with others and you are about to be passed by a motorist, ride single file! It drives me nuts when passing is impossible or unsafe simply because 2 bicyclists feel the need to ride next to each other blocking the lane. I don't have much experience encountering group rides and am not sure of the dynamics there, perhaps that is different (maybe, maybe not), but this certainly applies to any group of less than 5.

2) Stay as far to the right as possible. Sure bicyclists have a right to the road, but so do cars, and in almost all cases cars go faster. It drives me nuts when someone rides their bike in the middle of the lane. Of course, I live in Maine and drive mostly on country roads, so this may differ in a big city where there is a lot of stop and go at slow speeds.

It is only a small minority of bicyclists that actually do these things, but respect definitely works both ways.

I'm not a road rider, but I've done a lot of reading on the subject. My take on your second point..

In most states cyclists have the right to 'take the lane' (ride in the middle of the lane) when they feel they need to for safety reasons or whatever. It's also often unrealistic to expect them to ride as close to the edge of the road as possible (even when they're not taking the lane). That's where all the debris, sand, etc.. is. Skinny road bike tires don't do well in that sort of stuff...
 

Riverskier

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I'm not a road rider, but I've done a lot of reading on the subject. My take on your second point..

In most states cyclists have the right to 'take the lane' (ride in the middle of the lane) when they feel they need to for safety reasons or whatever. It's also often unrealistic to expect them to ride as close to the edge of the road as possible (even when they're not taking the lane). That's where all the debris, sand, etc.. is. Skinny road bike tires don't do well in that sort of stuff...

Legal or not, I am talking common courtesy. I can legally drive 25 in a 45, but I wouldn't, or if I was so inclined to do so I would pull over periodically allowing other drivers to pass. Ultimately though, I agree with what you are saying 100% and perhaps I should have been more specific. I certainly don't expect bicyclists to ride on the very edge, and certainly where safety becomes an issue, I have no problem with taking the lane. However, I occasionally encounter the cyclist that I could best describe as "thinking they are a car" and riding right down the middle of the road when there is no discernable reason to do so. Again, they are a very small minority of riders. I am pro biking, though a mt biker myself, but I do feel as though etiquite work both ways, as with everything in life.
 
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