While biking to work this morning, a white pickup truck nearly ran me over. It would have been his1Her? I never saw the driver. fault and done while he was breaking the law.2ORS 811.340 Fortunately I saw it (him) coming3It’s amazing how many stupid driver tricks I’ve been able to predict or detect and avoid. I guess it’s true: the one that gets you is the one you don’t see. and was able to avoid the collision.
I considered a chase,4Adrenaline is an amazing performance-enhancing drug. but know road rage never goes well for anyone. Instead, I noted the truck pulled into a parking lot near where I work. I wrote a short letter, printed and signed it,5Yes, there was a real human being on that bike. Not some anonymous nobody. then walked and stuck it under the truck’s wiper blade.
July 1, 2014
Your life almost got a lot more complex this morning. Mine could have ended.
When you turned left from 48th Avenue onto Cornell you were in the left turn lane. There was a car to the right of you, which is a lane that can either turn left or go straight. I was behind that car on my bike.
The car in front of me went straight. Maybe that confused you into thinking that yours was the only lane that turned. Maybe you knew both lanes could turn left but only saw the car beside you go straight so you thought you had a clear path. You knew you wanted to turn right on Elam Young Parkway and had limited distance to merge right. So you did it in the intersection.
In either case, it’s clear that you didn’t see me, on a bike, turning left, next to you. Only because I braked and veered6I’ve replayed this incident over and over in my head, trying to remember exactly what happened. It’s still fuzzy, and I’m unlikely to make it more clear. My normal route is from the middle lane (the rightmost lane that turns left) across the intersection and ending up in the bike lane exiting the intersection. It’s normally a fun intersection on the bike because Cornell’s banking makes this route downhill. I don’t know how much I had to veer to avoid a collision, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. For example, a couple of weekends driving up the Gorge, a vehicle driving next to us drifted into our lane. Next thing I knew, we were moving left, automatically and without thought. The brain is crazy cool that way. This morning I remember looking left and seeing the truck really close. This was confusing as normally there’s nearly a full lane of blank space between me and the car to the left as I turn. Veer, dodge, just luck? I don’t know? did you not run over me.
Please be more careful next time.