Thursday, January 11, 2007

What do I have to do...

TO BE SEEN?! I mean really?!

I have my bright school crossing guard vest complete with lots of swanky reflective stuff. I have lots of reflective tape and attention-grabbing lights. I obey traffic laws, I stay in my lane, usually in the right wheel rut, where I see motorcycles ride. Yet today, I almost got pancaked again. This time, it was a guy trying to shave 0.08 seconds off his drive, coming out of the Marriott near my bus stop. He was probably going 25 through the turn to the little access road, and he turned hard, cutting into the oncoming traffic lane for probably 20 yards. Only problem? I WAS IN THE #@$@ING LANE!

At first, I thought to myself "Crikey! That guy's going pretty quick through the parking lot." Then, "He's turning without a signal. Figures." Then, "OH **** OH **** OH ****!!!!!!". I was maybe five yards from my stop sign and already going pretty slow, when the driver passed me. I leaned to the right as much as I could given the momentum I had, and I swear it's the only thing that kept the SUV from hitting my handlebar, or pasting my head with its mirror. Or both.

It's called common ****ing sense, people. The past two days I've been out, I've been damn near pasted. I think I'm going to get one of those giant canned air horns used by boaters and sports fans. It's obvious that people in Johnson county are blind as bats before they have their coffee.

Also, I did try to chase the guy down to get the plate number, but when the driver saw me turn around, he gunned it (right turn on red). I'm pretty sure the guy felt bad, as he was obviously looking back to see that I was still upright, but people like this need to be taken off the road, period.

By the way, how I handle these situations, for those who want to know, is once I have the plate number, I call 911. I tell them what road I was on, and tell them that a motorist almost ran me off the road, and was driving erratically. I give them as much information as I have about the vehicle (plate number, color, make, model, approximate age of vehicle, and description of anyone inside that I could see). I don't mention that I was on a bike, but if they ask if I can still see the vehicle, I tell them that I stopped to use my cell phone. I have done this a few times when I was in my car (minus saying I stoped to use the cell phone), followed the crazy motorist, and have seen cops pull drivers over.

Since the cop probably didn't witness any illegal activity, I doubt it ever ended up with a ticket, but I'm sure the cop let them know someone reported their erratic and reckless behavior. I'd like to think that people I call in when I'm on my bike meet the same fate.


Eric said...

Hey if this ever happens to ya in Missouri with a Missouri license plate you can report it to the Missouri Bicycle Federation. We'll look up their license plate and send them a nice letter letting them know a cyclist reported them and giving them a copy of the rules of the road that pertain to cyclists.

Noah said...

Thanks :)

Actually I did get cut off wednesday by a motorist coming out of an alleyway. He then let me pass, then drove next to me, rolled his window down and apologized. It seems downtown people have a lot more common sense. Even though there are more cars out here, I always feel safer riding downtown than I do riding on the roads in Olathe.

I'd bet I could probably get info using KS tags. Never quite thought about that. I'm probably one of the biggest geeks you'll run into, and I've got contacts in all the right places. Thanks for the heads up.

A Midnight Rider said...

Ha! Shaving 0.08 seconds.. That's funny.

I also wonder, when calling the police with the report, and say "I was on a bike", if they just fluff us off.

All the best.

Eric said...

Kansas is much stingier with their DMV database. We've tried to get access to it since many of the motorists in Western Missouri have Kansas plates, but appareantly current law doesn't allow people outside of the DMV to have that info.

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