Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy
24 posts • Page 1 of 1
Doored today. Hit my calf and bounced off the skewer. I stayed up.
I was doing a filter in an on-road bike lane which provided 1metre of space between the parked cars and the line of traffic slowly moving away from a crossing. I always slow right down, I was doing probably 20kmh. I looked in the mirrors of parked cars and at the drivers seats for occupants, but I must have missed him.
The driver had opened the door to the first stop. In this circumstance I probably would have been fine regardless of the timing. Second stop on his door and I would have been in the traffic.
So I was in a bike lane, he was at fault. But this is not the point of the post. I have some observations:
1. In general, filtering is a bad idea. Because the traffic was slowly moving away from a stop, drivers assume it is all clear to open there doors. If the traffic is moving, then they are more inclined to look before opening.
2. Filtering is a bad idea. You canâ€™t actually ride at one metre when filtering. You can at best probably ride 80cm from the parked cars. When you ride in moving traffic you can sit just over that white line indicating the bike lane, so you are at 1.2 or 1.5m. This will save your life.
Now I know all this, so was the driver really at fault? Yes, but I was too. And I was more at fault because I should take better care of my own life. With that in mind when I went back to explain his responsibilities I was pretty friendly. Strangely, among his apologies, he informed me that he had been doored as a boy. I have grey paint on my skewer â€“ this is why the handle is curved I guess and a good reason to run them forward facing as I do.
Glad you're OK & not too banged up.
ummm i wouldnt say its your own fault at all, you did everything you could - slowed down, looked for drivers...
he did... nothing.
The fact you're ok means it was purely through your actions that you're ok because you took the precautions - you're being a little hard on yourself.
Very good advice.
Even though most drivers open their car door with some care, but there are many who like to fling their door wide open. It's frigging scary. Give wide berth!
Bianchi, Ridley, Montague, GT, Garmin and All things Apple
Seems to be the season for it. I've had a couple of close calls over the last week and have been riding wider as a result and have been very cautious filtering doing head and mirror checks in addition to going slow.
Glad to hear you are still upright!
I actually tell motorists NOT to look before opening their doors, I tell them to 'pop' their door, so the door sits just outside the body of the car (think 5cm's or so). I tell them to THEN look in their mirror THEN if completely clear THEN open it.
Turns out the local newspaper took this advice and re-prints it when they can. Reason being is, that cyclist doing 30km/ph in the bicycle lane, by the time you've looked in the mirror, checked, hit the handle, opened the door they are already there.
Of course the obvious solution to solving dooring's is to get everyone to ride bicycle's....
Assuming the cyclist knows they are only popping the door instead of opening it. I have seen cyclists stain their knicks and swerve into traffic in this exact situation. Look then open IMO.
It's that constant risk v's reward balance we take. Do I filter and save some time knowing that the risk of dooring is significant? or do I sit behind traffic in the middle of the lane - and take just as long to get to work as you would if you drove a car...
Well, there's always a balance. Filtering when safe and legal, hang back when not.
Whenever I drive through grid locked CBD, it really amazes me how many cyclists just aren't aware or are willingly taking risks. No sympathy there. Safety means acting to rule and acting to expectation. Surprising another road user may end up being a surprise on oneself.
Its a bike lane. Drivers & pedestrians need to be aware that bikes travel in it (kinda obvious really). With more time and education it will get better. In the mean time there will be doorings.
Yes I use bike lanes next to stopped traffic, no I do do it at max speed when the lane is narrow.
Doorzone bicycle lanes don't work, and people will never get better at not dooring bicycles. Opening a door is something people do when they've switched off mentally, and the bicycle lane is the furtherest part round the scan area - which is the least well scanned.
The only thing that can change realistically is that more cyclists will refuse to use doorzone bicycle lanes, or councils will start removing them when they start to become co-defendents in lawsuits. If I rode in bicycle lanes whenever they were marked, I'd have had more than one dooring accident by now.
I disagree, at least to some extend.
I don't see many people losing doors to cars. I don't see door swing open in heavy flowing traffic. So it seems that people to think before opening their doors. They just don't think BIKE.
I agree that on road bike lanes aren't ideal but I don't think that they are useless. Big wide on road bike lanes are the best thing short of dedicated cycleways (which pretty much don't exist here) That said most bike lanes aren't wide enough.
nah - in Balmain - I've seen 3 people door cars - because most of the roads are narrow and cars are in the door zones. Usual reason - driver is on the phone when they park - they don't get out of the car until they finish their phone conversation, or they get out of their car part way through the conversation - they completely forget about the road around them. Those are extremely unpredictable for anyone, because the car is parked before you get there - so you don't get the obvious clue.
In the same area, I've also seen someone fling a rear door to full extension without looking - had I been in the doorzone - I'd have struck it at 30. In that case the car had been parked for some time, and there was no front seat occupant.
Happens all the time. I've seen my fair share on busy multi lane roads. Sydney lanes are a lot narrower than Melbourne - if you park your car on the left lane and open the door without checking, you'll get swiped by a passing vehicle on the right lane. Doesn't stop people from doing it though.
I don't understand what 'filtering' has to do with it? If you are in the bike lane why can't you overtake the slower (stopped) traffic on your right? Is it even really filtering when you are in your own lane?
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No, it isn't. It's using a designated lane. Doesn't make it safe, though.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen
+1. It's a habit that can't be eradicated through education alone.
This happened to me time and time again going down Bourke St. I even got hit with a shopping bag once. They had gotten out of the car and were standing in the bike lane. When they took the bag out they swung it out into the car lane, hitting me as I tried to go around the door.
Soon, when I see a door knocked off, now they moved the bike lane off the road and reduced the space between the lane and the door zone, I'm going to stop and take photos so I can enjoy the picture when I am reminded of the times I have been hit. It *will* happen. I have seen mirrors knocked twice in the last month.
I know that not everyone's going to like riding a bike, so maybe some other solutions for the disabeld or lard-arsed
Or maybe a convertible
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
years ago i got doored by a passenger alighting from a stopped car at the lights. never saw it coming. luckily i was doing about 20, so no harm done, although the driver had a good spray at me for almost killing his significant other. funnily, i don't remember it that way..
I was nearly doored a couple of years ago. It proved to me that it is impracticable to ride in doorzone bikelanes. The law says to ride in a marked cycle lane where practicable. Now I don't ride in doorzone bike lanes and I don't care about the cars in the lane behind me. I'll move over when it is safe to do so, otherwise... they can wait.
15 Bikes 2 adults 6 children, 3 dogs, 10 chooks and a heck of a lot of fish
i only filter at speeds that will minimise the risk of injury if someone opens a door, when it's impractical to ride outside the door zone altogether. and don't blame me if you open your door and i stabilise myself by grabbing onto it as i go past, accidentally bending it back on its hinges
I agree. It only takes one stupid (or inattentive) driver to ruin your ride.
On the subject of bike lanes taking riders into door zones... that's pretty irresponsible of whoever built them like that.
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Mmm, that one is expensive to fix... such a shame!
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