Clipped while riding Cokey

Well, police were involved again, but I didn’t get a summons (sorry, I
forgot to assault them). But I did manage to get hit by a van van while
riding my Coker to school this morning. Who’s ever been hit by a car while
riding a unicycle? Amazingly, not only wasn’t I hurt, but it wasn’t even
my fault. However, I am quickly running out of extra lives.

I was pedaling down Flatbush Ave at 7:20 this morning. Even then, this
avenue is pretty dangerous. I was in the far right part of the far right
lane, but a school ‘bus’ (actually a van) clipped my left elbow (which is
attache, via my left arm, to my left hand, which was holding onto the
extension built on to my uni). I felt a little nudge and wasn’t sure what
had happened, but it became obvious soon enough when the idiot who hit me
then veered further left (probably his poor judgment or instinct, since he
had already hit me) and tore off part of the back bumper of a passing car.
I hopped off the Coker safely and examined my elbow to make sure it was
ok. There was a tiny scrape; no bruise.

You might think that the bus driver would apologize and feel bad, but he
was a total jerk. He kept saying that it was my fault for getting hit,
just for riding ‘one of those crazy one-wheelers’ on Flatbush. My
arguments were wasted on him. The guy whose car he hit was naturally aware
that this man was a bit nuts, so we avoided him. Partly because of the bus
driver’s terrible attitude, I decided to stick around so that when police
arrived, I could tell what happened as the first step in getting this bad
driver (and jerk) off the road.

My advice, however, is if anything similar ever happens to you, there is
no point in staying. I wasted an hour and was late for school. When the
cops finally arrived, they did nothing, and this guy will drive that bus
until he causes a major accident.

By the way, I always wear a helmet and wrist guards, and I try to ride
carefully when in traffic. This on wasn’t my fault. And no, I am never
riding on Flatbush again. But I should be able to.

David Stone
Co-founder, Unatics of NY

No longer one of the lords of Flatbush? I usually find talking to crazies moderately entertaining. It’s the listening that becomes difficult.

Glad you escaped uninjured…again. Maybe you should try something just a little riskier.

(Unfortuneately)I had a very simmilar experience: I stupidly rode one of the most imfamous roads in Jackson, populated by speeding Prep’s and Socker Moms. A school bus decided it was going to pass me, despite oncomming traffic, and I turned to look when it shift gears. Lucky I did, since I ducked down as I looked back- had I not, the mirror that grazed my helmet would have smacked solidly into the back of my head. Whoo hooo- I live.

Not my fault, but all my near death Cokering has been as a result of some idiot deciding the law doesn’t apply to him (drunk, speeding, ignoring the funny lines on the road, etc). I shouldn’t have to avoid some streats- but I do.

My mental image of NYC traffic has it moving along at a jog- unless, of coarse, there is a Giant Monster smashing down town. I suppose if it realy is this cinematic, it might be relatively safe- depending on who’s directing.

Stay healthy,

Christopher

RE: Clipped while riding Cokey

> You might think that the bus driver would apologize and feel
> bad, but he was a total jerk.

I have almost never encountered people who admitted they were sorry, or that
anything was a cause of their own mistakes, after an accident. Part of this
is based on our insurance companies making us paranoid about admitting
fault, but most of it is a combination of human nature, and of the kind of
person that causes accidents. People don’t like being wrong.

> He kept saying that it was my fault for getting hit,

Of course it was your fault. How dare you be in his path?

> just for riding ‘one of those crazy one-wheelers’ on Flatbush.

There is a point to this part though. Some roads/streets are far better
suited to cycle travel than others. One of the streets I use to get to work
is extremely cycle-unfriendly. There is a quick succession of on and off
merges, before and after this road crosses the American River. Of course
there are no other roads across the American river for about 2 miles to the
West, and over 5 miles to the East.

The risk level of riding on roads like that one (Watt Avenue) and Flatbush
are way higher than on average roads. Though our legal right to use the
roads is no different, we are the ones without the metal shells around us.
Dead right is still dead.

> I decided to stick around so that when police
> arrived, I could tell what happened as the first step in
> getting this bad driver (and jerk) off the road.

> My advice, however, is if anything similar ever happens to
> you, there is no point in staying. I wasted an hour and was
> late for school. When the cops finally arrived, they did
> nothing,

From my limited experience, doing nothing is the default result for people
who don’t have compelling reasons to do more. I think you have the option of
requiring a police report. I don’t know exactly how that works, but when I
worked for the driving school, if accidents ever happened it was drilled
into us to get a police report, no matter how minor. This is your way of
getting a legal record of what happened.

I don’t know if the same can be applied to a cyclist with an injury so minor
it may be hard to convince the cops you were actually contacted.

> And no, I am never riding on Flatbush again. But I
> should be able to.

We should be able to drive without seatbelts, but accidents will still
happen. We should be able to leave our homes and cars unlocked, but the
world is full of dishonest people. Your decision to stay off Flatbush is a
longevity-enhancing one. Sometimes we must go out of our way to protect
ourselves. But it’s the only “selve” you’ve got… :slight_smile:

Stay on top,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“I am never riding the wrong way on a busy street again, esp. when on the
phone.” - David Stone, on survival

David,

Glad you’re ok. I think this is a sign for you to get back to working on level 8 :slight_smile:

Joe

Glad you’re ok, David. I’d offer you a couple of my own lives but I’m running short myself: malaria, empty scuba tanks, mountain fever, commuter trains…

Re: Clipped while riding Cokey

Arent you required by law to stay at the scene of an accident? Just because you were the one hit, that doesn’t mean you can just go when you want to. I mean, I’m pretty sure it is illegal to be involved in a wreck, even a bump, and then just leave. Sure, people do it all the time so they dont have to involve insurance but … well anyway, just something to think about.

Anyway, If you wait for police and it gets on record, then you have a foot to stand on in case you ever need to prove anything relating to the incident. Plus, it seems like the right thing to do.

Just a comment, not trying to flame,

Animation

Many municipalaties WILL NOT SEND an officer unless there was an injury. In fact, they may refuse to come when requested. Yep, uh-hu- that’s right.

Christopher

Strange. My experience has been that if you do what the law requires (leaving the vehicles in the road where they were at the instant of the crash), and wait, they pretty much have to show, if only to tell you to move. :slight_smile:

But, I’ve only been in 2 accidents, both minor with no injuries, and the police came both times, pretty quickly.

I admit that 2 is a pretty small sample size.

Still, I personally wouldnt leave the scene of the accident unless the police refused to come when people at the scene called. If they just outright told me that they weren’t coming, I guess at that point I would leave.

Animation

you said you rode your unicycle to school, how do you leave it there and not get it
a)vandalised
b)stolen
c)people throw stuff at you

i’ve thought about it many times ans broght it once, but i got drive jus tot do a demo.

I can think of two things to get the guy off the road. First of all, you were injured and have a right to demand the police come to the scene. If that guy had scraped a pedestrian, you can bet the pedestrian would have demanded a police investigation and gotten it.

The second thing that you can do now, after the fact, is a letter (not a phone call, not e-mail, yea, yea, yea, ask your Grandmother :slight_smile: )but a real old-fashioned letter; to the school superintendent of the school district this guy was driving for. Don’t be emotional. Don’t demand anything, just a nice, simple for your information you may not have the world’s safest driver on your payroll kind of letter.

I will be shocked if you don’t get a reply and some meaningful action.

Elaine
Norman, OK

Re: Clipped while riding Cokey

Animation <Animation.3w4ga@timelimit.unicyclist.com> wrote in
news:Animation.3w4ga@timelimit.unicyclist.com:

>
> rhysling wrote:
>> Many municipalaties WILL NOT SEND an officer unless there was an
>> injury. In fact, they may refuse to come when requested.

>
> Strange. My experience has been that if you do what the law requires
> (leaving the vehicles in the road where they were at the instant of the
> crash), and wait, they pretty much have to show, if only to tell you to
> move. :slight_smile:

In Texas, it’s the law to move vehicles off the road if there is a non-
injury accident, if they can be moved. Makes sense to me, doesn’t tie
traffic up as much. Accident reconstruction is apparently good enough
using information from the participants’ recollection of of said accident.
If there are injuries, more info would probably be needed to find out more
exactly what happened, and to protect the injured, the vehicles stay where
they are.

Re: Clipped while riding Cokey

Animation.3w3iy@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
(I wrote:)
>> My advice, however, is if anything similar ever happens to you, there
> is no point in staying.

>
>Arent you required by law to stay at the scene of an accident? Just
>because you were the one hit, that doesn’t mean you can just go when you
>want to. I mean, I’m pretty sure it is illegal to be involved in a
>wreck, even a bump, and then just leave. Sure, people do it all the time
>so they dont have to involve insurance but … well anyway, just
>something to think about.
>
>Anyway, If you wait for police and it gets on record, then you have a
>foot to stand on in case you ever need to prove anything relating to the
>incident. Plus, it seems like the right thing to do.
>
>Just a comment, not trying to flame,
>Lewis W Beard

Hey, Lewis. Yes, you are required by law to stay at the scene of an
accident, even if you are the victim. But aren’t unicycles above the law?

Actually when I told the bus driver that I didn’t see the point in
sticking around, he got pretty angry. I think he would have inflicted even
more damage than his truck had I attempted to leave.

David

Re: Clipped while riding Cokey

merrill.3vxqn@timelimit.unicyclist.com writes:
>
>David,
>
>Glad you’re ok. I think this is a sign for you to get back to working
>on level 8 :slight_smile:

If only I could practice level 8 while riding on the subway to Manhattan,
I’d go for it.

Actually, I am getting a bit better at toofeno, 1’ww, and right-footed 1’
riding (circles, figure-8s, …).I practice a few times a week for an
hour. What I might do is get up early some days to practice then.

See you soon

David

RE: Clipped while riding Cokey

> (leaving the vehicles in the road where they were at the
> instant of the crash), and wait, they pretty much have
> to show, if only to tell you to move. :slight_smile:

Surely that works for cars, but in Brooklyn all you’d have with a unicycle
is a flat Coker.

In Sacramento we have a guy who was hit by a car while riding his bike, and
then apparently run over by two other cars. None of them stopped. This was
at night, so hopefully at least one of them didn’t see him. All of those
people are criminals committed a crime by not stopping, aside from any other
wrongdoing.

If the bus guy was working for a “real” bus company, he would probably be
required by company rules also to get a police report. It might even be a
law for commercial drivers, but I’m not sure. However since he was obviously
the cause of all the destruction, surely he would do everything possible to
avoid all record of the incident.

Even if a police report were filed, it might be hard for David to get
included, if the cops don’t want to take him seriously. But I’m sure the
other motorist would be on his side. Apparently he was hit because of the
bus driver’s sloppy attempt to miss him in the first place.

Something to think about if this ever happens to anyone in the future.

As for me, I’ll avoid riding with traffic whenever possible. Take the back
streets, and only go onto the busy ones when you have to.

Ride safe,
John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone
jfoss@unicycling.com

“If electricity comes from electrons, does that mean that morality comes
from morons?”

RE: Clipped while riding Cokey

> anything, just a nice, simple for your information you may
> not have the world’s safest driver on your payroll kind of
> letter.
>
> I will be shocked if you don’t get a reply and some
> meaningful action.

Alas, Norman Oklahoma and Brooklyn, NY are very different places. There are
many different kinds of bus services in NYC, only a few of which are run by
the schools. The New York City schools is a gigantic school district, with
plenty of room even in it for corruption. The driver more likely is from a
private bus company that gets hired out by the schools, so contact would
have to be made to a bus company, who can insulate itself from the schools.

There is always the possibility of corruption or just plain dishonesty. One
of the reasons I left New York was the amount of corruption that was
obvious. Where I live now it’s at least hidden :slight_smile:

But the idea of writing a letter is still a good one. Then the driver’s
bosses will at least see a different angle of that accident, if not find out
about it for the first time. You could copy that letter to the local police
precinct as well, noting both addresses on there so the recipients can see
who’s getting it.

I find it funny that the driver wanted you to stick around. Obviously this
is so he could point at you while telling the cops something like “Look what
was in my way!” as if other vehicles in the road are any excuse for his
actions.

Make a “dent” in evil drivers!

Good luck if you try to pursue it,
JF

Re: RE: Clipped while riding Cokey

john_foss@asinet.com writes:
>I find it funny that the driver wanted you to stick around. Obviously this
>is so he could point at you while telling the cops something like “Look
>what
>was in my way!” as if other vehicles in the road are any excuse for his
>actions.
He actually believed that I was going to be issued a summons for dangerous
riding, simply bc I was on a ‘one-wheeler’ (his vocabulary was limited
except where it came to cursing). When the cops arrived, one of them
mentioned that since she hadn’t seen me riding, she could issue no
summons, and the guy was stunned. Neither of them knew whether unicycling
is permitted on city streets (of course it is). I was surprised the driver
wasn’t issued a citation for bad driving. Well, ok, I wasn’t surprised,
but I was bummed.

David

Co-founder, Unatics of NY
1st Sunday / 3rd Saturday
@ Central Park Bandshell
1:30 start time after 11/1/01