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Commuting - Near Death Experiences


kosmonooit
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Happens to me almost everyday I cycle on the roads here in Jhb, and that's generally on back roads, pavements, avoiding traffic and cars as much as possible, minding my own business. For the sake of safety and public record, I am going to document them here as they happen now. Let's just hope they remain as such, as 'we' learn from each and every one.

 

Yesterday evening about 18h00 cycling up the hill to the north of St Johns in Jhb, long gentle climb, my regular route home from work in Rosebank. Road goes into a small traffic circle at the top (used to be a stop street). It's dusk. I have flashing lights on front and rear, plus reflective strips on my long cycling pants. No traffic (so it seems) coming in so I start to cross, after almost a dead stop. Next thing this skora kora bakkie comes towards me at my 3 o'clock, probably at 60 k's, without stopping at all. It came out the shadows of the trees, no lights. (Yield signs at all corners on the Traffic Circle) I yank the brakes and hit a reverse with the unclipped feet just in time. Bakkie flies past my front wheel with mm to spare. I scream obscenities. Just as well I don't own a firearm, it's times like that I would have used it. These are the idiots that we have to cope with on our public roads.

 

Fortunately I saw that death machine just in time and I could react, and managed to avoid it. Its the ones you don't see and cant avoid that will kill you. My rule of thumb is really if I see another vehicle in my path, I assume they have not seen me, and expect them to come out in front of me. Never take anything for granted. But I didn't even see this cretin coming, only when he started cross the intersection. And don't expect other users to follow the rules of the road, or assume they will, especially if they will cross your path.

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Nice thread to document incidents and learn from them.

 

My experience with most motorists is when you actually stop at a stopstreet at about the same time or even after the other motorists and you look them in the eyes then they will allow you to go first. This works best if you do a trackstand(something everyone should learn to do).

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Yes 4sure, the only way you can be sure they have seen you, and acknowledge your presence, is to look 'em in the eyes. I find even sometimes motorists at a stop street, or approaching one, look in your direction but do not register you, or your right of way.

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I train in Befordview in the mornings and have to take evasive action almost twice every ride.

Looking a motorist in the eye does not help.

Seems they dont regard us as road users or our speed does not register with them.

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I fortunately haven't had any close shaves - I commute in December and January when it's theoretically quieter on the roads - even though there's Witkoppen, Main, Kyalami and Allandale to deal. Your story is terrifying! Glad you made it!

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