Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

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stagewex
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by stagewex » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:45 pm

Waffl6 wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:04 pm
Add more lights. You need multiple lights forward facing on your rig to be more "attention grabbing."

The problem with a single light is that it can be missed or doesn't give oncoming drivers a good enough depth to perceive. They can't tell how fast you're going, if they even see you at all.

The solution: running lights, sidecar spotlight, a GOOD horn and above all a clear mind and training. You're responsible for yourself on the streets, that's just how it is.

Motorcycle riding isn't for everyone. I know a lot of people think that a sidecar is safer than 2 a wheeler but the fact of the matter is that is only in certain circumstances. Have you seen what happens to the tub in a crash? Yeah, that's gonna make sure you have to skip leg day for a while.

I drive one of those huge 4-Jeeps now, blazing Red in color. It's like a volcano coming down the road. In the middle of the brightest day I've had other cars swerve into me and then give me the "I'm so sorry I didn't see you" apology shrug. At least I get that sometimes.

More lights, reflectors, all good but no one is going to be able to avoid at some point a distracted or bad (or both) driver. You are putting yourself outside the circle of steel as a choice so always be prepared to make a split-second decision.

For the O.P., I would not personally encourage or press your girl to ride with you until she is good & ready. And perhaps she never will be, that's just life.
My wife took the full MSF course and was out riding a TW200 with me when she got spooked and hit a curb. Less than 5 mph but think 5mph into a wall.
She just started riding the Vespa I got her last year and had asked for a rack for it for Christmas. So she's ready but I doubt she will ever ride a 2-wheel dual sport off-road with me again. But who knows?
It's a process to come back from a near miss or tumble or worse. Some do and some don't.
Just count your blessings.
Stagewex

Current Herd all running amok:
2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
2006 Honda "Big Ruckus" PS250 (Elec Start)
1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only) *NOT running amok, out for Bottom & Top-End Rebuild.
1986 Yamaha BW200ES (Elec & Kick Start)

List what you "have", keep the others in your precious memory bank.

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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by BigJames » Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:09 am

I refuse to live in fear due to the stupidity of others. Some prefer to, so be it. I have seen one thing that gets the idiots attention, a camera on my helmet with the led flashing red. Jerks can't see the damned motorcycle but they see that LED every time, but some just don't give a damn. Last year had a friend killed on his Harley rig, wife seriously injured. Needless to say the kids (all well over 30) never want her to ride, not sure she will ever want to, his son(well over 40) has his 2 wheeled Harley now...he, like his Father, too refuses to live in fear due to the stupidity of others, like the <expletive deleted> who killed his Dad. My wife? Just not into it, but doesn't mind that I am, again, so be it...
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by RC20 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:43 pm

In my case my girlfriend and then wife decided for me, if that is not a twist (well I agreed but)

When I met my wife I had given up my motorcycles as "irresponsible". The usual too many close calls and I am an adult now and .....

She in turn took the money I got for her Bronco that needed more work than I could do with my setup and bough the R80GS. Boy, talk about a reverse lecture. Evil woman, she just lets me rant on and then asks, do you want to ride it? $#!+, what do you do?, with her it was, take the hit because she is going to use that forever let alone, hell yes I want to. So, in a manly manner I hung my head and mumbled yes. Was that a yes? Yes, it was a yes.

I had failed to get my Cycle endorsement when that came to pass (written test, if you did not then a field test). I took the test on the R80GS (quite a feat as it was a moped course).

Then when I borrowed the R80 too many times (she alwyas got a good vehicle in its place!) she looks at me one day, don't you think you should get your own cycle? Evil woman.

She had cycles in the past and was good, very very good. Not as tech approach /analytical as I am but a pure natural ride , reflexes were levels up past mine. I never had figured out how much I missed cycling. She knew the risks and wanted me to get back to it. Amazing perceptible lady.

She has since given it up, I had to when the back went but fully on board with the Ural so i could again. I may die tomorrow doing it, but if I do, I will die grateful. I know I am never going to be even close to elite level, but its in the blood.
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by tgtrotter » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:49 pm

INSUBORDINATOR wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:10 pm
.....Perhaps if they'd declare open season on distracted drivers - they'd be the frightened ones for a change.
:thumbsup: As should be.
windmill wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:25 pm
I've upgraded my lights in a responsible manner to communicate my presence to reasonably aware road users.....
Does that include tail lights ? I'm a little paranoid of being rear ended. Have installed aux tail lights on last three cycles but not the Ural yet.
BigJames wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:09 am
...Last year had a friend killed on his Harley rig, wife seriously injured...
Sorry to read that. Totally sucks and something I am constantly aware of. Riding or driving.
BigJames wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:09 am
...he, like his Father, too refuses to live in fear..
My wife's Brother died in a cycle crash. Probably his fault. We've known others too. Our first date was on a cycle. I'm lucky to have an enthusiast for a wife.

The old adage if a horse throws you. you get back on and ride. However, we are not all the same. Some of the toughest guys Ive known were afraid of horses, yet some of the sweetest girls love them.

My fear keeps me aware. My awareness has kept me alive...so far.

Back to the OP. One of our daughters does not feel comfortable at all on a cycle and is just ok in the sidecar. Just not her gig and so be it. I think if you wait and when the time comes just ask your wife once if she wants to get on or in, you'll get your answer.

I'm not great at statistics. But as we ride more and more, year after year. Do we become better riders and through that able to avoid our number coming up ? Or do the chances increase with time ?
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by windmill » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:25 pm

tgtrotter wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:49 pm

windmill wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:25 pm
I've upgraded my lights in a responsible manner to communicate my presence to reasonably aware road users.....
Does that include tail lights ? I'm a little paranoid of being rear ended. Have installed aux tail lights on last three cycles but not the Ural yet.
I upgraded to LEDs which makes them more noticeable. I haven't added any aux tail lights as I find the Retro/M70 type to better than average for a motorcycle.

My light upgrades are fairly modest. I understand nothing will make everyone see, and take notice of me, and I refuse to do anything that could excessively impair the ability of others to observe their environment because it can put other vulnerable road users such as fellow motorcyclists, cyclist, and pedestrians at risk.
Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

2007 Patrol 100k km and counting,
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by RC20 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:09 pm

None are so blind as those who will not see.

I had one case where I could see the person looking directly at me, and I could see they did not see me. Headlight on bright, clear day, no other traffic.

While it was in an auto, I was guilty of that once as well. I have no explanation how that happens. The other vehicle was a large pickup, fortunately they were fully alert and avoided me.

I find as I get older things go not register as well. On the other hand if I scan and then re-scan, anything moving registers. Weird stuff.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by MartyL » Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:45 pm

I got hit last year on my Gear Up. A little old lady taking her granddaughter to the airport ran right through the red light and hit me on the bike side fender just past my exhaust. Spun me 360 and I then smacked into the side of an SUV on the sidecar side. Luckily I saw her coming at the last moment out of the corner of my eye and goosed the throttle or she would have totally t-boned me. Destroyed both rear and sidecar fenders. Bent rear wheel and sidecar wheel. I banged my chest into the left mirror and bent that. She did about $3000.00 damage to my rig. Gene went over my rig throughly. No bent frame.Her Ins. Covered it. I was lucky. No broken bones. At the accident I called my wife and she was like, You break any bones?” My reply,”No just banged up” she says Ok I’ll be over with some ice bags.” She’s used to me with my antics so not much surprises her...
2010 Gear Up
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by Macabry » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:20 pm

So .... with regards to the above comments about lights and visibility:

I'm afraid I have to agree that it doesn't matter what you do if a person doesn't look they dont see !!!

I've been a Paramedic driving >5 Tonne Box Bodied (DCA - double crewed ambulance) for about 12 years. They are big, boxy and bright yellow with reflective battenberg and striping on each side and they have extremely bright strobes on the front as well as led beacons all around 360 degrees .....combine that visual presence with a Bullhorn and 3 tone sirens and you'd expect us to be fairly noticeable :? ...... But no, during emergency driving (with everything lit up and loud) l regularly encounter drivers (and bikers too sadly) who:
1- pull out without looking/seeing
2- dont notice me behind them for up to 5 minutes !!!
3- drive straight at me without noticing until the last minute
4- try to merge into me
5- try to run a junction so they can "get through" before me

To clarify, emergency driving doesnt mean fast driving, so I'm not racing up to these morons, its just progressive driving.

What have I learned:
It doesn't matter how bright and visible you are a distracted, untrained, old (sorry, but the extremely elderly are lethal) and unfocused driver WILL NOT see you. Yes, you can tip the odds in your favour but you can safely ride a matte black stealth cruiser in fog with the lights off as long as you view every other roaduser as a total braindead zombie. That means prempting every ridiculous lane change and a total lack of signalling..... it sounds harsh but when you see the result of these collisions it hardens you. EVERY DRIVER ON THE ROAD IS A POTENTIAL KILLER.

Sorry for the seriousness of the post but the topic deserves it !!!

And although the post might be preachy, I am by no means above driving like a d!@head myself sometimes .... we are all only human/morons :lol:
"There are only three sports: mountain climbing, bull fighting, and motor racing. All the rest are merely games"

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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by windmill » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:04 pm

Macabry wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:20 pm
Sorry for the seriousness of the post but the topic deserves it !!!
As a professional driver I agree.
Barry

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills".

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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by Snakeoil » Sat Mar 07, 2020 7:37 pm

A couple weeks ago I was riding at night right by my house.
I had to watch the vid several times before I noticed where the car came from. Granted, the camera was not facing dead straight ahead. But even after watching it the first time, I could not figure out where he came from. Then I noticed his headlight up ahead in your lane. My guess is, your headlights blended in with the lights behind you just like his did as you approached. You both failed to see each other. And I'm not criticizing either of you. He was leading the oncoming traffic that he wanted to blend into. When he looked down your lane, he probably saw what you saw looking at him when you looked down your lane and never saw his headlights out in your lane. What he did was wrong. Poking out into a lane like that is 3rd world driving technique and it will kill you some day. There is no place worth getting to that badly that you can't wait a few seconds for a better entry into oncoming traffic.

This is why I hate night driving and since we hit a deer at night about 10 years ago, I never ride at night if I can avoid it. Rainy nights or on shiny roads in dry weather are worse because the glare and reflections off the road kills any decent sense of perspective. In my 20's my girlfriend had a new gen 2 Camaro and I hated driving that car in the rain. Something about the slope of the windshield and wet roads made driving in traffic a challenge. And I had 20/17 vision at that age.
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by stagewex » Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:46 pm

No need to guess, he was coming from a side street on my right, no cars an no lights behind me. Checking his e-mail? On the phone? Who knows? Said earlier drive & ride like everyone is out to kill you and/or figure you are invisible. That way you will be ready when a crazy unexplainable moment happens to come up. Like in all those crazy “fail” videos.
Stagewex

Current Herd all running amok:
2019 Honda CRF450L (Elec Start)
2008 Vespa 150S (Elec & Kick Start)
2007 Ural Patrol (2WD, Elec & Kick Start)
2006 Honda "Big Ruckus" PS250 (Elec Start)
1991 Honda XR250L (Kick Start Only) *NOT running amok, out for Bottom & Top-End Rebuild.
1986 Yamaha BW200ES (Elec & Kick Start)

List what you "have", keep the others in your precious memory bank.

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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by Kilometers2 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:57 pm

Similar situation with a kid in the sidecar, only I was in my Gear Up with bright headlight on (always), LED Auxiliary lights, and the Spot light on (always). Guy made a left turn right in front of me. It happens.

Recommend if you have access to a trailer that you trailer rig to a National or State Forest and take a picnic lunch and stay off paved roads and just putt around 15-20 mph...go slow. Repeat, often. Build up a bank of fun memories in the rig.

I am a slow learner and have bought, loved, and eventually sold 3 Urals. I love sidecars and my wife doesn't. She doesn't like feeling she is not in control. Still, I am moving soon and thinking of getting a 2020 Gear Up now that I have a big dog - keeping wife too.

Go slowly and good luck.

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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by RC20 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 5:43 pm

Sorry for the seriousness of the post but the topic deserves it !!!
No apologies needed. My experience as well, you can have an A bomb go off and the ones who will not see will drive right into it, flash, what flash?

Never underestimate the power of human obliviousness.

You could be setting a trail of nuclear hand grenades and they will not see you.

Ok to try flashy thingies but don't count on it.
Fear No Gravel
Formerly Owned: ( various rides on others)
Honda 90
2 x CB750K (one a true Japan Model flown to Hawaii by a P3 Orion Sub Patrol Aircraft!)
1 x CB700 SC ala Shaft Drive Nighthawk S (RC20 is the actual in house production Model)
1 x R80GS (ok to start with, learned to love it for what it was)
1 x CB450K

Current:
1 x 2019 cT Terracotta

What I Did (I quit June 2 , 2019)
Mechanic/Technician/Engineer: Electro Mechanical Systems

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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by jvan1954 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:56 pm

Ref windmills post with wreck pics. If those fools did not see those huge vehicles what chance is there that they would see us?
I ;long ago developed the habit of flicking back and forth dim/bright on the headlight, can't say for sure it helps but it makes me feel better about visibility. An old biker taught me to do that automatically in darkness mainly for deer but I bet it works on idiots some of the time too
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Re: Almost Got Hit with Girlfriend in the Sidecar

Post by mack505 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:11 pm

jvan1954 wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:56 pm

I ;long ago developed the habit of flicking back and forth dim/bright on the headlight,
I don't know if it helps or not, but I routinely do that when approaching an intersection with cross traffic. There is one particular spot on my daily commute that scares the hell out of me. As a FF/Paramedic, I KNOW what happens at that spot. Would avoid it if I could.
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