I nearly hit a kid today.

Sep 2, 2009
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#1
Jesus.

I think the shock has just started to wear off, as I have only just remembered what happened on the way home.

Part of my ride home is a long flat straight with really nice new surface. Not many cars, so obviously I absolutely hurl myself down this.

Well, I was doing my usual, when out of nowhere, this little girl, about 5-6 years old, in bright yellow (thank GOD she was wearing something bright) just bolted into the road in front of me. Totally out of nowhere, and not on a crossing or anywhere near a crossing.

I always ride in the middle of the lane like the arrogant prick I am, which meant I had time to swerve right, skimming her coat on my leg.

I didn't even have time to shout as she ran out that fast.

F*ck. I was in total shock.

Turned round and she was running back into the side road area (housing complex I think), so I just carried on riding. I didn't touch her and thought it would be a scare that would do her in good stead in the future.

But by CHRIST. I can not stop thinking of what would have happened if I had hit her. I was going well over 50kmph, weigh around 78kg, and am not slightly built. I hate to say this but I think I would have killed her.

Not going to sleep well tonight.

Just needed to get that off my chest, sorry.

:eek:uch:
 

theDude

Maximum Pace
Oct 7, 2011
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app.strava.com
#2
scary.

Would not have gone well for you if you did hit her, I believe you would always be in the wrong.

Have people noticed that many taxis have forward facing cameras? Is this something worth investing in, as in, always riding with a gopro on a bicycle? There must be something to it.... Defaulting the blame to the bigger vehicle is not always the right thing, but if you can't prove otherwise.....


Anyway, don't think it will be the last time that happens, how often will that girl get lucky?
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
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#4
Thank goodness you did not hit her, nothing but bad outcome if you did.

She was one lucky girl, you were attentive enough to move so you did not hit here, you are an arrogant prick so you were in the middle of the lane, giving you precious reaction time and she was wearing yellow. Just think if it had been a guy in a car, texting on his phone, she would have been much worse off. Sounds like you did everything right, and got lucky. Sometimes you can do everything right and still end up in a bunch of hurt, I'm very glad you came out of that one intact, and the little girl too, I hope she is very scared of the road now!
 

StuInTokyo

Maximum Pace
Dec 3, 2010
1,662
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#5
scary.

Would not have gone well for you if you did hit her, I believe you would always be in the wrong.

Have people noticed that many taxis have forward facing cameras? Is this something worth investing in, as in, always riding with a gopro on a bicycle? There must be something to it.... Defaulting the blame to the bigger vehicle is not always the right thing, but if you can't prove otherwise.....


Anyway, don't think it will be the last time that happens, how often will that girl get lucky?
I've been really thinking of the GoPro camera for my bars with riding in traffic with the trailer daily.....:eek:
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#6
Yeah, I am still shaking in a bit from the experience.

I was definitely not riding recklessly, and was like you said, fully attentive. If I wasn't, she would be a goner and you guys would probably never hear from me again (well, apart from in the news, of course).

She was very young, but I wonder where her parents were / why they hadn't taught her not to just leg it onto main roads...

Honestly, she just ran straight out without looking. Was like a cat running across my path.
 

bird

Speeding Up
Nov 30, 2010
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#7
Owen, so glad both for you and the kid that you didn't actually hit her.
Also thanks for sharing, it reminds all of us who read it that we can't be too careful out there on the road.



One more thing...


cheer up!! :)
 
Apr 3, 2012
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Tama Center <-> Otemachi
#8
Owen,

Out of curiosity, you mentioned not many cars... Was this major road? Ie, where the commuting cyclists battle it out with taxis and count passing buses as trophys?

Glad to hear everything worked out. I would say its the in attentive guardians of the kid that needs a proper yelling at. As a parent, I'm constantly badgering my kids to look around for cars, mopeds, and cyclists. I am so frustrated with ignorant parents that seem to be everywhere in this country.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#9
Not good. I took out a kid in unfortunate circumstances some time back. Fortunately everyone was OK. It was a horrible feeling and I am just glad that you missed.

(Especially cause we haven't got our kit yet!!:cool:)

That is why I stay off back streets now. Wherever possible I stay on roads that cars use frequently and pedestrians are more alert and cautious and I can belt along at whatever pace I like, In fact when duking it out with cars faster is better.
 

Forsbrook

Maximum Pace
Feb 13, 2008
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#10
Owen,
I'm glad you avoided her for both your sakes.
It was good that you put it on here to keep us all honest and to not take anything for granted!
I sometimes wonder what planet some parents are on.Wasn't there a story last week where some mother let her 2-year-old stray onto the train tracks with the inevitable tragic consequences!
 
Jan 14, 2007
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japanichiban.com
#11
I've been putting on my 'bear bell' when riding down river towards busier cycling paths but don't bother when I'm going up river where there are less people....

But you can't protect yourself or others from strays... that appear out of nowhere....

I always think a kid is about to appear in front of my car from nowhere... very scary.

Cats, dogs, crows & pigeons I'll yell or hiss at them as I approach....humans I just slow down...and spin my pedals backwards to make lots of noise...

May need to ride a noisier bike...
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#12
bird; Cheers good mate! Yeah, I am sure I will be fine once James and Mike step in to start taking the piss again. Usually sorts me out.

JackTheCommuter;

Not a major road, no, but certainly one that GETS major as it nears Tokyo.

Route 2, for your information. The incedent (nearly) happened somewhere between Kasukabe and Omiya.

Trucks use this route every morning. Just so happened I usually ride home at the quiet times in the mid-afternoons.

I am the only 'road warrior' who uses it on a daily, for sure.

theBlob; totally agree about high speed being better when riding in traffic. If they see you are a contender, they give you space.

Forsbrook; yeah, me too.
 
Mar 20, 2012
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#13
Glad no one got hurt, but you have my sympathies - the thought of hitting a pedestrian (and especially a child) terrifies me more than the thought of getting hit myself.

I actually had a similar near-miss myself today (though no where near in the same league as yours) - a pair of University students looking to cross a busy-ish road (despite the signs telling people not to cross other than at crossings), looked to the right and straight at me, then looked left, and then started to cross without looking back again to see where I was. They clearly totally underestimated the speed at which I was travelling, and I had to brake-swerve around them.

I'm not sure what road safety campaigns are like these days, but I definitely think there needs to be a bigger emphasis on the importance of looking for pedestrians. So many people (including myself, I'm sure) are conditioned into responding to the sound of an engine, that they get a bit blase about actually checking properly by sight as well. As electric vehicles also get a bit more common (the only one I have ever seen was still very quiet despite added engine noise), I'm sure this will be an increasingly important issue.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#14
humans I just slow down...and spin my pedals backwards to make lots of noise...
Mate, if I could have seen the little girl in the first place, trust me, I would have slowed down.

One just doesn't expect someone's little angel to come belting out across the path, and into the road at lightening speed, right into your path.

I think it is time for someone to invent the following for bikes;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiWNw0A1Ijg
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#15
a pair of University students looking to cross a busy-ish road (despite the signs telling people not to cross other than at crossings), looked to the right and straight at me, then looked left, and then started to cross without looking back again to see where I was. They clearly totally underestimated the speed at which I was travelling, and I had to brake-swerve around them
You should have absolutely CLATTERED them.
 

theBlob

Bokeh master
Sep 28, 2011
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#17
Depending on the speed limit on that section of road, a judge might consider "well over 50kmph" on a bicycle to be reckless.
No, you'd be alright. In fact you might even get a standing ovation if you can take your gps in to show it wasn't a fluke:cool:
 
Mar 20, 2012
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#19
You should have absolutely CLATTERED them.

At the point of near-impact, I winced... and they giggled. Apparently a near miss with nasty injury is somewhat amusing. :rolleyes:
I reckon it would have been a different story if I had had a Horn of Authority (somewhat like the one in your ferry horn video above) adapted for my bike though! :D