Fear the Door

So I finally got doored for the first time this morning. It could have been worse, but it's a wakeup call. I'm not sure there was any way I could have avoided it really. On the plus side, I was still riding my old behemoth of a cruiser, so I was going slow enough to avoid it for the most part; all that got clipped was my right hand, and I had time to put my leg down to avoid getting knocked over. It would have been an entirely different situation if there had been a car to the left of me.

For those who know the city, I was biking East down Harrison, about to emerge by the park. It's a pretty narrow street, so when it's empty I'm usually near the curb, and when there's someone parked there unloading (there's no actual parking), I have to skirt them pretty closely to avoid going into traffic. I was about to pass a smaller moving truck when the door swung open; I didn't want to swerve too far left because I was afraid someone might be coming from behind me, so I yelled out and hoped for the best. I thudded, rebounded, stopped to get my balance, and really couldn't restrain yelling "you have rear-view mirrors - what are you doing?!" He claimed he didn't see me, and I responded that he hadn't been looking and rode on. I feel kind of bad now, having yelled at him, because I have a feeling with truck mirrors (which are made to see wide) he might not have seen me considering I had to pass him so close.

That being said though, if he had looked out more than a second or two before opening the door, he would have seen me coming from further back. I don't know about you, but when I'm looking in those mirrors before opening the door, it usually takes me a few seconds to asses the situation. I guess that's all part of being a biker though - you really do become hyper-aware of these things when you get behind the wheel of a car.

All in all, I got pretty lucky and escaped relatively free of damage: just a sore hand and a bruise on my calf where my pedal dug into my leg when I had to steady myself. I guess I'm glad I wasn't clipped in as well; I would have gone right over! So, lessons learned:

- Avoid Harrison for a while - at least until it's warmer and people are expecting bikers to be on the road a bit more.
- Strap a police siren to my fender so people actually look to see where I am before opening their doors.


julie said...

glad you're ok!

yeahdog said...


Cycling Phun said...

Glad to hear you're OK. Two words,
Voted for Bloggies yesterday... Just saying! :-D

yeahdog said...

Trucks suck even more! What are bloggies?