Friday, March 9, 2018

Riding Up Escalators Is The New Skitching

When last we met, I'd appended the following video to the end of my post:



And I now see that this video has made the local news down there in the Miami area:

Welch said he is not mad at the driver, who stayed at the scene, and helped him get medical care. He said he posted the video of the accident on YouTube to make others aware.

"Here we have a chance to educate drivers and also educate cyclists," Welch said. "I won't let somebody else's mistake like this one hurt me again in the future. I will be extra vigilant."

This is a commendable conclusion to draw.

Anyway, various people weighed in with their analyses of the collision, and as is invariably the case at least some of these comments had an undercurrent of "this sort of thing would never happen to me"-type smugness.  In a way it's a cousin to the "Minnesota Humblebrag," and a good name for it might be "Vehicular Cyclist Exceptionalism." After all, as we've seen before, only the VC adherents have the secret knowledge which enables them to move through American traffic unscathed.  To wit:

Scott B. said...

Motorist should have signaled and merged. No vehicle—cyclist in this case—should ever pass on the right. 

This appears to be the consensus on this thread. I only mention it again because all of this is vehicular cycling orthodoxy. It's plainly true in this case, and Bike Snob is misdirecting us with his complaint that the motorist didn't look—which is the least useful thing to say about this eminently preventable accident.

MARCH 7, 2018 AT 9:27 PM

Now, as I pointed out in the comments, I do agree that the cyclist in this case was going too fast.  Certainly also when riding between traffic and a curb with driveways one should always be prepared for a squeeze, and it took two wrongs to make this collision collabo go down.  Nevertheless, I maintain that the fact that the motorist didn't look is in fact the most useful thing to say about this "eminently preventable accident," for when one knows that motorists often don't look one can then adjust one's riding style appropriately.  Specifically, one can make a point of riding at a prudent speed in places where motorists and pedestrians are wont to enter the bike lane unexpectedly.

Conversely, saying that no cyclist "should ever pass on the right" is not useful at all.  Moreover, it's just plain wrong.  Look at this configuration, with the bike lane on the right and the motor vehicle lane on the left:


Are we really to believe that a cyclist should never pass a car while riding in the bike lane on this roadway?  Should he or she instead cross over and pass on the left in all circumstances?  I think not.

As for the incident itself, if the cyclist had been riding more cautiously he may very well have been able to avoid the collision, but given the manner in which this driver turned across the bike lane without signaling it's also quite possible he might have right-hooked even the most cautious and alert cyclist:


Unless of course that cyclist was a Vehicular Cyclist, because they and drivers share a special mind-melding relationship:


By the way, it's worth noting that even "expert" cyclists have managed to get themselves taken out in exactly the same way:



One crucial difference here is that the driver did signal:


Also, Lucas Brunelle's humblebrags are in a category all their own:

Lucas Brunelle
Published on Nov 12, 2014

I was taught how to crash at the Olympic Training center and it paid off, here I actually ended up on my feet

Well, maybe not completely on their own:



I wonder if they received the same crash training.

By the way, it appears that Brunelle has relocated to Miami, so maybe that was actually him in the first video after all:



He's also grown so desperate for new thrills that he's now riding up escalators:


I'm not impressed unless they do it in Crocs:



I think he just found himself a new sponsor.

52 comments:

Schisthead said...

Riding escalators kinda sounds like ebiking.

What ever happened to riding good old fashioned stairs?

Skidmark said...

No comment.

Grump said...

Not sure if you can "learn" how to crash. I would say that you are either born with it, or you aren't. You even see some Pro's getting injured in low speed crashes, while other riders with 10% of their talent just lose some skin in high speed crashes, over and over again.

Anonymous said...

100% in agreement. Signalling helps but drivers need to look. Cyclists also have to be careful, especially when passing on the right, but it completely unrealistic to think that cyclists in a bike lane are not going to pass slow moving or stopped traffic.

It is an education issue as well. In the Boston area, I ride in similar settings. There are no signs reminding drivers to look or proceed cautiously. Drivers often have no idea of the close calls and near hits that they leave in their wake. Of course there are the other drivers who simply don't give a fuck or are actively hostile. I hope that there is a special place in hell for them but would rather see them in jail.

BamaPhred said...

Read it, and no comments yet?

Bob Fischer said...

In the Miami video, the brake lights went on a full 2 seconds before impact --- more than enough time for a bike (or SUV) behind the car to slow down and avoid a rear-end collision. Sure, the car should have signaled, merged (carefully) into the bike lane, slowed down and then turned. But that ain't gonna happen unless there are a LOT more bikers out on the roads. Most drivers have no clue they are supposed to merge into the bike lane before turning right.

I agree, there are times to pass on the right. But brake lights ahead with no obvious traffic or congestion can mean only one thing... an un-signaled turn. And two seconds was plenty of time to avoid getting right-hooked. It can be hazardous to guess which way the car will turn, so trying to pass it on either side could be dangerous.

[I was once left-hooked in a similar situation. It's a two-lane road with angle-in parking in the median and no parking on the right. The car in front of me slowed down, I started to pass, and then the car left-hooked me in a parking space. No signal. Even passing on the left can be dangerous, if the car wants to turn left. The driver had the gall to blame me, then demand I move out of his way so he could finish parking. I took my lock out of the pannier, held it in my hands, and calmly told him this was my parking space now, and he needed to find a different one. Eventually he changed his tone apologized, hoping I would then move. I thanked him and told him he still needed to find another space.]

Can I ride my e-bike on the escalator? Is that like e-biking squared?

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top ten? Scranus to all!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

When you consider that an escalator is capable of moving in the up direction with a 300 lb or greater person on each step and you don't feel it moving any slower whether it is packed or empty, and then see what some parents let their kids do while riding on escalators, it's a wonder that we don't see more stories about escalator accidents and dismemberments.

PS, these are the same parents that will admonish you for not wearing a helment whilst bieks-cycling!

G Cajala said...

I agree with ya snob 100%! Id also like to mention, we live now in an era where most modern cars are built to withstand roll overs, meaning A, B and C pillars are designed much more wider than cars from the 1990s. Drivers have more blind spots and the newer generation of drivers are relying on electronic sensors and cameras than ever before. So you can count on these incidents happening more in the future.

ken e. said...

holly go-lightly has a great track about the dangers of escalator riding. side-saddle ftw!

Anonymous said...

You know Snobby, We all assume the guy didn't look, but we clearly have no way of knowing if he did or not. All we know is that he didn't see him (Because he says he didn't see him) He was in the guys blind spot, so . . .
To they're credit it seems both the driver & Cyclist had a healthy response to the incident. Which is heartening.
I think we all learned something here. - Mas

Anonymous said...

Got right hooked while doing 25 on shoulder of busy road. Driver looked and sped up to get past me then hit the brakes to turn. I got speed down and bounced off side of SUV into ditch. I managed to get unclipped and landed on my feet but was still going too fast to stay on my feet. I high sided over the bars at the bottom and was not seriously hurt. I was pissed but managed to stay out of an argument with the driver. I left after deciding I wasnt hurt other than a grass burn or two. I blame myself. If you expect drivers to be dicks you will not often be surprised. Was wearing a helment but I didn't land on my head so it didn't matter. Maybe if I had dick brakes I coulda stopped in time?

Anonymous said...

Signaling and merging my way into the weekend after taking a sick day

Anonymous said...

If i didn't stop every time for turning drivers turning through bike lanes without looking, i would probably be hit 2-3 times a day on my daily commute. Annoying, but you aren't going to hurt the car when it hits you.

Anonymous said...

If i had a dollar for each time someone said or thought the phrase "Lucas Brunelle is a douchebag" I would be a wealthy man.

Anonymous said...

I think the difference here is that if a driver had inadvertently knocked a VC driver down, the driver would have flipped him the bird and said, "Get outta the road, asshole!" Whereas the driver in this case, who inadvertently hit a cyclist who was riding politely in the bike lane, stuck around and helped the guy.

Anonymous said...

HEY THAT GUY WAS RIDING AN EBIKE! Notice how fast he was going and he was catching up to traffic? He should have been in the middle of the lane! Now who’s fault is it really?

Vaginal Irrigation Reservoir said...

Passing too fast on the right is riding politely?
Are you a Masshole, too?

Drock said...

Elevated bikes lanes for the whole world but who’s paying for that? End the cars save the world. Who’s at fault with deer strikes, two times with deer, stay in your world deer, don’t u know I’m important. Kill the deer, kill the pumps, and the pimps. And on and on and on, comments who needs them. To the trails James.

Olle Nilsson said...

Gotta agree with Bob Fischer. If the car's brake lights go on for no apparent reason, that's a warning flag - in this case, maybe was only an opportunity to reduce speed before impact. Doesn't matter what form of transportation I use, I try look for signs of potential bonehead moves. Might not save you every time, but being naive requires a whole lot of luck on your side. Still, can't be on alert 100% of the time - shit happens.

Anonymous said...

I'm used to being observant at intersections, but a right turn into a mid-block driveway is much more difficult to anticipate. That happened to me a few years ago at low speeds, so I don't think there were brake lights, and I just barely stopped, thanks to dry brake pads and a front wheelie.

Fat pillars on autos are a big safety problem. I think that daytime front blinkies can help drivers notice a blinking light in their mirrors, and they then can notice that there is a bicycle. A lot of our local accidents seem to be left hooks (left turning traffic at an intersection, waits for cars to clear, hits the oncoming through bicyclist.) The last time that happened to me was before dusk a few years ago, before I started using blinkies 24-7, but all this is not prevention, it just improves your odds. I don't mean to sound like an invincible vehicular cyclist. Every now and then I do something stupid, and I'm glad some motorist is paying attention to me.

HDEB said...

Remaining on the same step while going up the up escalator is lame and easy. For a real test of bike handling skills (and pointless fun idiocy) ride your bike down an up escalator, it is very difficult and the falls are painful ; )

Skidmark said...

I liked the toot-toot-toot horn after the collision.

Bob from Brooklyn said...

Yeahhhh I dunno. I ride in city traffic all of the time. And I HATE it when drivers do this. They should be more aware. But, the reality is, they do it. You shouldn't ride with full confidence at that speed. You should be aware and cautious when a driver starts to slow down (brake lights should be enough to make one hesitate). Agreed he shouldn't have been riding so fast to begin with.

I suspect cyclists who ride with this level of unyielding confidence and entitlement may subconsciously want this kind of thing to happen to them, just so they can scream at someone and grieve about it.

Cyclists are insufferable in the US. Wish it was more like in Japan or Europe. There, the volume of cyclists is way up, people ride at moderate speeds, for transportation, not to break speed records, in normal clothes etc etc. They are courteous to those around, peds and vehicles alike. Everyone has the common goal of being safe and polite. No one wears helmets except kids, sometimes. Parents haul multiple kids around the city and its not a problem. People don't have go pros strapped to their ebikes. Stop riding in a city bike lane like your riding the tour de france. Encourage more people to ride by riding normally, and as Snob knows, more people riding will make drivers more aware, making it safer for all of us.

The whole antagonism of drivers and vice versa is just noise, people talking over each other. Im definitely on the side of cycling but not on the side of particular cyclists who wanna treat city streets like their personal race track, yelling at and cutting off other people. I see this all the time... get over yourselves. Enjoy riding your bike in a way that doesn't put other ppl out.

Bob from Brooklyn said...

Yeahhhh I dunno. I ride in city traffic all of the time. And I HATE it when drivers do this. They should be more aware. But, the reality is, they do it. You shouldn't ride with full confidence at that speed. You should be aware and cautious when a driver starts to slow down (brake lights should be enough to make one hesitate). Agreed he shouldn't have been riding so fast to begin with.

I suspect cyclists who ride with this level of unyielding confidence and entitlement may subconsciously want this kind of thing to happen to them, just so they can scream at someone and grieve about it.

Cyclists are insufferable in the US. Wish it was more like in Japan or Europe. There, the volume of cyclists is way up, people ride at moderate speeds, for transportation, not to break speed records, in normal clothes etc etc. They are courteous to those around, peds and vehicles alike. Everyone has the common goal of being safe and polite. No one wears helmets except kids, sometimes. Parents haul multiple kids around the city and its not a problem. People don't have go pros strapped to their ebikes. Stop riding in a city bike lane like your riding the tour de france. Encourage more people to ride by riding normally, and as Snob knows, more people riding will make drivers more aware, making it safer for all of us.

The whole antagonism of drivers and vice versa is just noise, people talking over each other. Im definitely on the side of cycling but not on the side of particular cyclists who wanna treat city streets like their personal race track, yelling at and cutting off other people. I see this all the time... get over yourselves. Enjoy riding your bike in a way that doesn't put other ppl out.

Brunelle is the Poster Boy for bicycle douchebaggery said...

Especially the "Boy" part, 40-something and he was still living with mommy. He probably learned that riding on an escalator can attract attention from Trump. What Bro-Nelle really needs and wants is a sign on his head that says "Look at Me!, Look at Me!" Oh wait when he is wearing his douche camera that is exactly what he is wearing....nevermind.

Pretentious Much said...

A Lucas Brunelle "Film??" Ummmm, No, it is a video and it is 7 minutes long

Anonymous said...

I suppose Mr. VC'er (are there any female VC types?) is happy "controlling" the lane, meaning sitting on the bumper of the car in front of him sucking its exhaust. It's one of the small joys of life for us non-VC'ers to go blasting past stuck traffic on the right. Of course, one must be hyper-vigilant when passing on the right, and that's true for bikes, motorcycles, and cars as well.

leroy said...

Ride safe all.

And if you're travelling between Queens and Manhattan, the new lights on the Queensboro Bridge are quite nice.

My dog claims my enthusiasm was embarrassing, but in my defense, he was the one whistling "It's electric, boogie, oogie, oogie, oogie."

Bikeboy said...

I've survived 50+ years of bicycling and motorcycling by trying to be aware of ANY moving object (vehicle, dog, squirrel, kick ball, etc.) to somehow trajectory across the path I'm intending to take, and planning a way to save myself. (Behind me as well - I try to check the rearview constantly.)

Yeah, I use bike lanes (when bicycling), and I pass on the right. But - if there's an intersection or curb cut, and s vehicle MIGHT use it, I do my best to be prepared if that happens.

As another commenter said, if you expect motorists to be dicks, you'll rarely get surprised. (And when you do, it's a pleasant surprise, when they turn out NOT to be dicks!)

Anonymous said...

Maybe an e-bike newbee? I have seen a lot of new e-bike riders riding without the normal sense of how to ride safely at speed in traffic or etiquette on the bike lanes. Seems to be a problem when people used to doing 12 mph are suddenly doing 20. I agree this is both cyclist and driver fault but a little caution goes a long way in making commuting hospital free. I still cringe every time I see a 20 something SF bicyclist squeeze past a slow moving bus near an intersection or bus stop.

He'll be gone soon said...

John Forrester was in a car-bike collision. He was riding in the street, not on a "dangerous" bike path. He escaped more serious injuries by turning off the street. He "apologized" for the motorist by noting his windshield was obscured (why not take a few seconds to clear it up?) He is always urging more skillful bike riding (fair enough), almost never urges more skillful driving. Apparently he no longer rides a bike; too old for assertive bike riding, meanwhile many older-than-John Dutchpeople (and Americans in some locations) can ride slowly on the infrastructure which he opposes.


"Then I was in a car-bike collision. I was riding to work on a wide, level arterial, when a car coming the other way turned left into a driveway that didn't have an open gate. I instant-turned right up the driveway, but got caught just the same. The bike, my custom-made Drysdale, was totalled and my left lower leg suffered bad bruises right down to the bones. The motorist was an army man in charge of the reserve barracks, for which he would open the gate every morning. He lived nearby and his windshield still had the morning's dew all over it."

Dooth said...

Maybe because there are no hills to climb in Miami and the cycling can be unchallenging; elevators are the only option. I dunno... I got it! They should try cycling with the crocodiles!

Anonymous said...

The automobile is man's greatest mistake. The scourge of the car culture has spread over most the planet with an average of 1.25 million individuals perishing in traffic violence worldwide. We all now live under the tyranny of the automobile. Carmageddon now, carmageddon tomorrow, carmageddon forever!

Kevin Love said...

Here is a before and after of a similarly busy road in The Netherlands:

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/another-before-and-after-in-s-hertogenbosch/

Anonymous said...

Is Lucas Brunelle a phucktard and Team Rush an example of phucktardery? hmm?

JLRB said...

Ride on.

Scott B. said...

First of all, totally honored to be quoted on Bike Snob. Actually sort of starstruck.

I overstated the case when I said no vehicle should pass on the right. If traffic is slow or stopped, a bicycle can safely overtake slowly on the right.

On the other hand, Bike Snob is clearly wrong to posit passing on the left as the only option to passing on the right. Another option remains: Not passing at all. One may slow down in the bike lane, or, if approaching an intersection, merge into the first lane, where one will not be right hooked and will be more visible. Surely no cyclist would make the argument that nobody should have to incur the slight inconvenience of slowing down to accommodate other road users.

The vehicular cycling I practice does not guarantee I won't get hit, but it does greatly reduce the chance I will get right hooked or doored, which are two of the most common cycling accidents. It does not rely on mystic mind melding between motorists and cyclists. I have had many pleasant and cooperative interactions with motorists, and they didn't involve mind melding as much as they did using a rear view mirror, signaling, and anticipating their actions and limitations as we negotiate the road together.

cdinvb said...

Pass, slow down, abrupt right turn w/o signal? Happens so often around here that I just expect it. Situational Awareness, as they say in aviation.

Andy said...

"The motorist was an army man in charge of the reserve barracks, for which he would open the gate every morning. He lived nearby and his windshield still had the morning's dew all over it."

He lived close enough to still have morning dew on his windshield, but he still drove his car there.

Bill said...

Stupid!

bad boy of the south said...

Beware of the "right turn,clyde" as well as the "left turn,clyde" hooks.
Ride safe,y'all.

Anonymous said...

"VC adherents have the secret knowledge which enables them to move through American traffic unscathed."

No secret. You just refuse to accept it. Bicycle Drivers have incidents too, just fewer of them.

"Conversely, saying that no cyclist "should ever pass on the right" is not useful at all. Moreover, it's just plain wrong."

You are right, it is wrong. It should be No DRIVER should ever pass on the right. It's true whether you drive a bicycle or a motor vehicle. It's only not useful to your edge-riding agenda.

"Are we really to believe that a cyclist should never pass a car while riding in the bike lane on this roadway? Should he or she instead cross over and pass on the left in all circumstances?"

Why not? It would avoid this dangerous pitfall common to all bike lanes. I'm not saying to willy-nilly jump across the right lane and enter the next lane without looking. I'm saying to take your advice and slow down, get in line behind the car, and when he completes the turn, it leaves the lane open for the cyclist to continue.

"Unless of course that cyclist was a Vehicular Cyclist, because they and drivers share a special mind-melding relationship"

It is not black majic. It is the same sense of knowing what each other is doing on the road because you are following the same set of rules. You know what to expect, because it is what you would do. Without it, you could not drive a car on the road, much less a bike. It's called the Rules of the Road and it's not perfect, but it works pretty well. It only breaks down when someone doesn't follow them. Why do you insist it does not work for cyclists? Oh, yes. Because you insist on giving cyclists different rules and forcing them to ride at the right edge. You know who invented that idea? Motorists.

ITALO SLEAZE said...

No one at fault in that right hook accident except legislation. E-Bikes are misnamed. Electricity is the source of the motorized power. It's a motorized vehicle and shouldn't be in the bicycle lane.

JLRB said...

Up the down escalator is the new up the down staircase

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062425/

Wayne Lancaster said...

Team Phukwits

Anonymous said...

Don't cross a lane (newsflash, bicycle lanes are traffic lanes) with traffic in it, be it bicycle or car, give way or pay through your ass with insurance fees, doesn't matter what you "think" or "believe" or "suppose", it's the law and drivers need to either abide by it or pay for a new bike and whatever else gets damaged when they screw up.

wyrrk said...

riding so fast never looked less fun.

Vomitus Prime said...

Is there an equivalent of the Bristol Stool Scale for vomit?
I mean as a child vomit curator, I suspect you'd have some tools other than paper towels and wet wipes (or warm damp washcloths) in your toolbox.

@ ITALO SLEAZE
No "criminality" suspected.
One is usually required to exercise care in turning by looking back and seeing if you are cutting someone off in the bike lanes, even a speedy eBiker. And that car had likely passed the eBiker shortly before and may have already been aware of their presence in the lane, but misjudged their speed.

Still, no merge before the turn (driving error) and not a very long time for a signal to be on as a turn warning.

Speed of EBiker a contributing factor, I'm doubtful with reaction time that there was much time to stop to a crawl before being cut off by the driver.

It sucks. You really do have to expect stupid moves when driving with others in traffic, most drivers are not very good at it and most cyclists are also not very good at it, but at least they aren't much of a threat to anyone but themselves.

Skidmark said...

When turning to ones right, it is most efficient to stick your left pinky finger out such that, as you turn the wheel to the right, you click the turn signal and the blinker comes on automatically, indicating you are now in the process of turning. Really more a confirmation than an indication, but should be sufficient to allow one to loudly proclaim: “l had my signal on”.

Persia said...

So if electric bikes can go twice as fast as real bikes, shouldn't there be a requirement that their brakes are twice as good?

Skidmark said...

@Persia 10:35pm- Not necessarily, many alternatives exist. For example, if too many E-bike riders were “being lost”, perhaps fertility drugs could be administered to their ranks in order to adjust the “numbers” upward, toward the desired equilibrium point. Your mindset is to simply apply more of an already outdated technology(disc brakes). We need more creative thinking. A technology that will save us- from the technology that is killing us.