Angel on your shoulder

I have to have one at the moment and they are definitely working overtime.

Saturday I am exiting the freeway and someone decided I was not doing it fast enough, I was still going 70 mph, so they pass me on the right shoulder.

Today about 45 minutes ago I am sitting at a traffic light waiting for the green turn arrow to make a left. Lucky for me I was watching traffic and not just watching for the green arrow because when I got the turn arrow I saw a semi with a trailer that did not seem to be slowing down and at the speed I estimated it was already too late for him to stop anyway. He did get it stopped by locking up the brakes BUT he was more than half way through the intersection and past my turn lane. Been a long time since I have seen a semi braking so hard that it was practically hopping.

Wheels

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Buy that angel of yours a beer…!
There really isn’t any point in worrying about death… It can come any time and for no other reason than somebody checking their phone for a message at the wrong time, or doing something equally mundane. A couple of days ago somebody decided to overtake me as I was about to turn left in a T intersection. I had blinkers on for a long time and slowed down to make the turn. I’m glad I seem to have a healthy habit of checking my rearview mirror before turning.

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A few years ago I was heading home from the airport after a flight. Just off the airport property there is an intersection with a traffic light. It is a bit blind looking to the left when you are stopped at the line. When the light turned green, something made me pause, and a couple of seconds later a truck blows through the intersection at probably 60+ mph, they didn’t even try to brake, so I assume their attention was elsewhere. I was driving my Mini, and had I gone on the green light, I would have been broadsided at a speed that would probably not have been survivable. I guess it just wasn’t my day to check out.

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This is why, when traveling further than 8 hours, I’d rather fly. Perhaps because I’ve been a part of the aviation ‘system’? My wife doesn’t understand - her perspective is, lets just say…no, won’t say it :slight_smile:

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On a x-country road trip about 3 years ago we GOT OUR WINDOW SHOT OUT IN TRAFFIC in Houston, Tx!!!. Seemed it was a ‘gang thing’ - the latest fad with those with too much time on their hands. What seemed to prompt it: wife was driving at the time (I was getting a break after my stint) and she wasn’t moving fast enough, apparently, in heavy traffic.

My guess was a small-caliber weapon, thankfully, likely a 22.

In some demented state of retribution for her alleged transportation sin, this person decided to teach us a lesson. The bullet went through the rear window about 18" behind my head. Crawled our way off the interstate; found a Walmart and bought some plastic sheets (garbage bags IIRC); Duct Tape and sealed the window - it was raining pretty hard too.

Yeah, I was pizzed off. Probably good I wasn’t driving, or by myself, or things might have escalated.

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I rode a motorcycle to work for decades - it demands good habits; I used to say that it should be mandatory for everyone to start out on a motorcycle. Other reasons too I won’t get into.

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Imo it almost seems as if most riders in this area have a death wish considering the way they fly around on them without regards to traffic conditions or most traffic law’s.

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Good point. Note that while I rode for 25-ish years, I didn’t start until I was 30.

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Sitting here waiting for my father to get done with his blood test I just remembered I had TWO near misses this morning. The first incident was out of my mind since the second incident with the semi was pretty hair raising.

There is a 4 way stop sign at the end of my block that intersects with the main street. That main street used to be a sleepy little road that was a dead end until about 5 years ago when they connected it with another street. Since that time traffic has increased 20 fold and there is even a bus route that uses it now.

The stop sign on the main road in the early morning is less than a suggestion for too many early morning drivers. This morning was no different and as I was slowly pulling up to the stop sign a car blew through it on the main street going at least 40 mph, possibly faster. They did tap their brakes after completely blowing through the intersection which was well after it would have mattered. :roll_eyes:

The police do sit at that stop sign on a regular basis but never before 6 am so until then it is Road Warrior time.

In all likelihood knowing my impatient 25 year old self there is a good probability that at least one of those near misses this morning would have been collisions.

These two incidents involved two separate vehicles that I took out to get gas this morning.

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Luckily I live in an area of Germany where cycling is a normal activity. Cycling to work, cycling recreationally, cycling when doing groceries etc. so most drivers are cyclists themselves and even the stereotypical young immigrant with a tuned car is generally a very considerate driver however when you are out on the road as much as I am there are bound to be incidents. Three immediately come to mind.

The first one which scared me the most was about six or seven years ago. I was riding on a small road with a 30km/h speed limit going a little fast myself (about 35km/h) when I suddenly heard an engine howling in the distance behind me. First I didn’t think much of it but it came closer fast and suddenly I heard the car shift up and go even faster. I just made it into a free parking space slamming hard on the brakes with my rear wheel getting some air time to avoid crashing into a parked car when this maniac blasted by, probably going 70-80km/h on this narrow road with cars parked on the right side, leaving just enough room for a single car to pass through at a time. He didn’t stop at intersections where he would have to give right of way to traffic from the right, just kept going, past a Kindergarten. I really hope that he has lost his license since… I needed a minute before I felt being able to continue. I have never been so scared riding my bike as I was in that situation, really shook me to the core. Without the free parking space I would probably have died that day.

The second incident was ~300m from a traffic light on a slight downhill section. The traffic light just turned green and I accelerated into a full sprint going about 50km/h to catch the green phase when an oncoming car decided to turn around right in front of me. No warning, no indicators, she simply started a 180° turn when I was already very close. It’s the only time I had to come to an emergency stop from a full sprint. Her excuse: she didn’t see me (yeah right, it’s a bright day, sun in her back, I was wearing a yellow helmet, high vis jersey and my lights are always on, even in bright daylight…

Third close call was my own stupidity. I was very tired one morning and shouldn’t have been riding tbh. Took the right of way from someone at a four-way stop, luckily the driver was careful and I apologised and we went out separate ways.

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This thread is giving me pretty powerful flashbacks. Yup had a few close call myself…
I’m just glad you guys are all here to talk about it. :+1:

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Oh wow. I have had my share of close calls as well… some my fault most of them not.

I ride with a very wise group of gentlemen riders (motorcycles) and as one of them once said to me:

“Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly”.

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Words to live by!

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