My first traffic scrape: what happened?
Tonight on my way home on 16th Street a pickup drifted through a stop sign (I did not have a stop sign at the intersection) without even pausing, and then seeing that I was barreling right toward him, he did the most logical thing if you’re drunk and scared: he hit the brakes and kept turning, meaning he was not only staying in my lane, he was pointed more directly at me and getting closer to me.
So the learning experience is: don’t brake. I can’t brake and turn at the same time. If I’d stayed at speed I probably could have just swerved around, but my braking kept the bike upright and made it a lot harder to turn. It was a near miss, and something went «thunk.» I think it was a turn signal against the truck, but I can’t find any scrapes to confirm this. No damage, no injury, didn’t hit the ground, it was just a scare.
The truck went on, and stopped a half block away. Then, presumably by the fact that my bike was still upright assumed that I was OK (or else that he didn’t want to know if I were) and drove on. I was half tempted to chase him down, but that wouldn’t have led down a good road, now would it?
Anyway, what’s strange to me is that I swear I felt the rear end of the bike slide, but I went back and looked at the road and there’s no skid mark. The road might be barely wet from fog, maybe that’s it. But I also don’t remember using the rear brake at all. Of course it’s very possible that I just don’t remember it. But I’m wondering what could cause that feeling that the rear wheel was going out from under me other than a rear wheel skid. Any ideas?
In the end, I’m lucky that it was just a scare. Saturday night, what are the odds that he was sober while ignoring a stop sign and turning towards the oncoming vehicle in reaction to seeing it? Yeah, exactly.