I’m about to share with you a true, but tragic story. This story is about a guy who I use to know, and go riding with on the weekends. In fact, this guy is responsible for me getting back into cycling about 8 years ago. When I say a guy I use to know, I don’t mean he’s no longer with us. He’s still alive, fortunately, but he’s not the same guy I use to know, unfortunately. You see, this guy never followed the rules of the road, and didn’t think he had to. He never wore protective gear such as a helmet or gloves. Would never stop at red lights or stop signs. And never paid attention while going through intersections. Overall, he was never careful at all, which is why he’s known as the crash dummy, bicycle accident guy.
It’s not that crash dummy, bicycle accident guy was a bad guy. His problem is that he never followed the rules of the road. As a result of not following these rules, he’s been in accidents on multiple occasions.
What are these important rules that crash dummy, bicycle guy didn’t follow? And how can you learn from his mistakes so that you don’t end up never capable of riding a bicycle ever again?
He always forgot his helmet and gloves
Crash dummy, bicycle guy use to love riding his bike. Whenever we went riding, that’s all he’d talk about. He was so proud of his bicycle, especially his Dahon Speed P8. In fact, he’d get so excited to take his bicycle out for a ride, he’d forget to wear his helmet and gloves.
Many cyclists will persist that a helmet isn’t a sure-fire way to protect your head, but I’m sure crash dummy, bicycle accident guy would say otherwise. There was one occasion when crash dummy bicycle guy was going down a hill at full speed, and ended up crashing while trying to stop. His face got all scratched up from bushes, along with the top of his head being all cut up from small tree branches.
On another occasion, he hit a small pot hole, and hit his head on the blacktop. Luckily he wasn’t going too fast, but his head was all bruised up, and caused some long lasting ailments to where he can no longer ride a bicycle.
If he would have been wearing a helmet, like he was fortunately, on one rare occasion, he would of ended up with just some minor cuts and bruises.
Crash dummy guy never stopped at read lights or stop signs
Just like wearing helmets and gloves to keep your hands and head from getting banged up from crashes, it’s also important to stop at red Light and stop signs.
It doesn’t matter if there’s cars coming or not. It’s important to stop to make sure there’s no traffic speeding through. Crash dummy bicycle guy made this fatal mistake in an intersection once. He wasn’t paying attention to traffic, and decided to go through a red light.
A vehicle just happened to be riding through the intersection, and smashed his bike, and broke his leg. Instead of riding his bike all summer, he was instead wearing a leg cast. Once his leg was all healed he was able to go back to riding his bicycle. But his leg was never the same. Even to this day, his leg sometimes bothers him where he fractured it.
Another bicycle accident in an intersection? OH NO!
Poor crash dummy, bicycle accident guy. Another time while riding home from work, a car ran through a red light and into him, bending his crank.
Unable to ride his bike home, the driver drove him and his bike home and paid for a new bicycle.
Had crash dummy bicycle guy stopped, looked around the intersection carefully, and pedaled quickly through, he most likely would have avoided this accident all together. REMEMBER: MOST ACCIDENTS HAPPEN IN INTERSECTIONS!
An accident on the sidewalk while heading to work
Unfortunately, crash dummy bicycle guy had another accident. This time it was while on his way to work, very early in the morning.
He was riding on the sidewalk, not paying attention to driveways. Suddenly, an elderly lady pulling into a gas station hit the front of his bike. The front fork was bent, making the bicycle unridable. Fortunately, the bike shop wasn’t too far from where he was working at the time.
Within a few weeks, the bike shop had the bicycle all fixed up. Had crash dummy bicycle guy known that riding a bicycle on the sidewalk makes it harder for drivers to see cyclists, he might have decided to ride on the road instead.
BE ALERT TO PEDESTRIANS ALSO!
Never could avoid those potholes or debris in the road
Besides crashing from potholes, crash dummy bicycle guy never looked out for debris in the road. He would constantly ride over anything in his path. Glass, twigs, rocks, garbage, etc. Crash dummy bicycle guy would ride over it, plus more.
He would also not tell me when I was following him, that this stuff was in the road. I would have to follow him from a distance in order to have time to dodge or avoid it. If I followed too closely, it would be too late by time I saw it.
I only wish that crash dummy bicycle guy would have called out this stuff and pointed to it beforehand, so that I wouldn’t have to follow behind from such a distance. Then again, he never saw it in the first place, so I really couldn’t blame him.
Riding on the wrong side of the road
This is not something that only crash dummy bicycle guy has done. Many other cyclists are guilty of it also.
Riding on the wrong side of the road, against traffic causes many problems, not only for motorists, but also other cyclists.
While riding on the wrong side of the road, many motorists don’t expect you to be there. And if you’re waiting on the wrong side of the road at a red light, it’s easier for turning vehicles to hit you. That’s because by the time they see you, it’s too late.
Then, there’s the issues it causes for other cyclists. If you’re riding on the wrong side of the road, you force other cyclists to swerve around you, causing them to ride into passing traffic. Or getting closer to parked vehicles, risking the possibility of getting doored.
Always ride on the right side of the road, with traffic so that you don’t put yourself or others at risk.
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Don’t get doored
One day I invited crash dummy, bicycle accident guy to take a ride along my usual bike route. While riding in traffic, he Kept swerving in and out between parked cars.
This was dangerous because as you swerve back onto the road from the gap between parked cars, it’s hard for motorists too see you until it’s too late.
Fortunately, I was able to show him how it’s better to ride in the bike lane at least 4-6 feet away from parked cars. I also made it clear that you should look to see if anyone is in the parked cars.
By being alert, you can be prepared to stop or swerve to avoid being doored. If it’s not possible to stay far enough away from cars, it’s better to take the lane. This prevents cars from hitting you while trying to squeeze past you. Or getting DOORED!
Be predictable Mr Crash Dummy, Bicycle Accident Guy!
Besides wearing reflective clothing and using bicycle lights, you should still practice great bicycle etiquette.
If you want motorists, pedestrians and other bicyclists to respect you, then you must do the same.
Respect all rules of the road by stopping at red lights and stop signs. Be careful when you must ride on sidewalks, and always be predictable on the road.
Don’t swerve in and out of lanes, or make turns or sudden stops without first notifying motorists and other cyclist with the proper hand signals.
Most of the time if you’re very respectful, others will be more than willing to share the road with you.
Never dart across the street when traffic is coming, like Mr Crash Dummy, Bicycle Accident Guy use to do. And never yell profanity at others.
Be alert when following other cyclists
A few times while we were cruising around, crash dummy, bicycle accident guy would follow too closely behind me. On a couple of occasions, he bumped into my back tire while stopping at red lights.
I had to explain to him that he shouldn’t tailgate me just in case I was forced to stop during an unexpected emergency. For every mile that you’re going, you should be approximately one bicycle away from vehicles or other cyclists.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wish for one more ride with crash dummy, bicycle accident guy. I miss the interesting places that we use to ride to.
We once rode from Rochester, New York to Spencerport. While in Spencerport we explored the village and even did a little grocery shopping. It was a long, but adventurous day.
But what I’m going to miss the most is the conversations we had while riding around, and of course hanging out at our favorite coffee shops.
It truly saddens me to see this guy in the condition that he’s in. And I think it’s horrible that this guy has had so many accidents, similar to a crash dummy.
The difference is that this guy isn’t a crash dummy, but instead an actual human being. And if you haven’t guessed by now, also my Dad.
So, the next time you’re out riding alone or with someone such as you’re dad, keep the following tips in mind.
Please follow all rules of the road. Wear protective equipment, especially a helmet and gloves. Be careful at intersections and watch out for debris in the road. Always use hand signals, and be polite to motorists and other cyclists.
And if your dad or someone else you know thinks he’s a crash dummy, bicycle accident guy, tell him to read this article. I’m sure he’ll change his mind afterwards.
PLEASE STAY TUNED AS THIS TRUE STORY MIGHT BE JUST BEGINNING!