Thursday, July 29, 2004

I hit a pedestrian while on the bike a few days ago and I have been thinking about it.

The situation was two rows of stopped cars in front of a light with the left lane as a turning lane for the CLyde Tunnel. I was riding up between the cars to avoid being stuck in the left lane and getting squished by someone turning.

The guy was crossing the street and crossed between the stopped cars. I swerved and went down and thankfully we created enough of a scene that no cars moved during the event.

He was at fault. He was crossing in the middle road when there was a pedestrian crossing 20 feet away.

However, fault means nothing in cycling. Unlike a car, you cannot be satisfied with simply stating "I am not to blame", this means nothing as the vehicle at fault rolls over top of you. I did make some mistakes, I made too many assumptions.

I assumed he was not going to run across the road. I never got eye contact and was never sure he saw me. When he did not make eye contact, I should have shouted. Got his attention, make him think I am some serial killer cyclist looking for my next victim. Finally on maneuvering, there was little to do. I braked and slid, he saw me and stopped, taking up any space I may have had.

So lesson learned - don't assume anything.

Unless you see their eyes, they don't see you.

If they don't see you, scream obscenities at them and get their attention.

I have been thinking about why bikes need to avoid sidewalks (pavements) and I will note these later.

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