The Chainlink

For the third time in my life, I got doored on Friday. It’s not something you get used to, and I’m sorry to report it’s still terrifying. I was on the left edge of the bike lane (out of the door zone) southbound on Milwaukee Avenue. A long line of traffic was stopped on Milwaukee for the light at Ashland. The rear passenger door from a car in the line of stopped traffic flew open. Fully closed to fully open occurred in the amount of time it took me to cover the distance from the rear bumper to the rear passenger door, which is to say, it happened pretty fast.


I’m OK, and I rode yesterday, albeit with a new front wheel. Nothing’s broken, but I am sore. I think those three years of circus arts training at the Actor’s Gymnasium finally paid off, but I do wish I had been wearing hockey gloves and elbow pads in addition to my shorts and a t-shirt.


So what’s the point? 


As the weather gets nicer, there are more cars, more bikes, more pedestrians, and consequently, more threats. Everyone needs to remain vigilant, even for (and maybe especially for) low probability events. Even when we have the right of way, we are each the last best chance of avoiding an accident.


Be careful. 

Views: 100

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Every second I am trying to pay close attention and be aware like King Fu guy. I have caught almost a dozen close calls and once my side basket got ripped off, but I was laughing so hard and it was empty so I just stopped picked it up and told the lady it was 'her' lucky day. Granted the only damage was to her door. Regardless of who fault it is, it is our own bodies that have to take the heat for it. Also maybe the poor sucker who may get ran into and also hurt. If if you think about it too, who's fault is it if it is raining/snowing and/or you are with no light or if you are flying down a busy street during rush and you know perfectly well it is going to be a tricky ride. Too many people I hear always putting responsibility on the drivers. That is only gonna work in a court, reality is much more painful.
Thank you for posting this! I thought I was already a master in the deadly ninja arts of city bike riding but your post proved me wrong. I have never even thought about a passenger opening their door while stopped. This will change the way a fly down bike lanes when cars are stopped.

Thanks again!

I am happy to hear that you are ok.
I'm glad you're ok too. I found myself chuckling every time I thought of "all the while screaming like a little girl" and "a concerned pedestrian (east german no doubt) confirmed one full inversion" while riding up Milwaukee on my way home. Thanks for making my commute.

I'm still laughing — thanks for making my evening.
That stretch of Milwaukee between Ashland and Damen really sucks. It's so narrow, and there are so many cabs and valets letting people off in the middle of the street. I always cringe when I see cyclists speeding down the tiny space between the parked and stopped cars. Glad you're ok.

How did the person who doored you react? Did they stick around to see if you were ok? I was doored about six years ago, and the injuries have long since healed of course, but the most lasting damage was to my faith in human decency... the guy who had opened the door on me just walked away without a word.
Glad you've recovered okay and that there wasn't more damage to you or the bike. I've been doored a few times, once by an inattentive cab passenger when the cab stopped in the middle of the street.

I absolutely agree with Joe's comment about getting back in the saddle as an important part of recovering from trauma - true for bikes and horses. My worst dooring was on Halsted, and I was lucky not to die by being run over. It's a good thing that a broken tailbone doesn't necessarily have to keep you off the bike. Being able to ride home and having nothing else bad happen that day made a big difference in recovering from that particular incident.
Just awful! Sounds as though you managed a graceful dismount despite the abrupt interruption. Get well soon.
I too now join the taxi door club. I got doored tonight next to earwax on Milwaukee. I wasn't hurt too bad, but my knee has stolen up like a melon. At least everyone nearby was really nice and accommodating, the passengers in the cab also waiting to fill out the police report.
Hopefully nothing is broken. Ice the hell out of that knee though. And stop stealing knee melons.

Ricardo said:
I too now join the taxi door club. I got doored tonight next to earwax on Milwaukee. I wasn't hurt too bad, but my knee has stolen up like a melon. At least everyone nearby was really nice and accommodating, the passengers in the cab also waiting to fill out the police report.
M-azing, but they are so delicious.

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
Hopefully nothing is broken. Ice the hell out of that knee though. And stop stealing knee melons.

Ricardo said:
I too now join the taxi door club. I got doored tonight next to earwax on Milwaukee. I wasn't hurt too bad, but my knee has stolen up like a melon. At least everyone nearby was really nice and accommodating, the passengers in the cab also waiting to fill out the police report.
I second your observations about that stretch of Milwaukee. I commute a couple of times a week from Bucktown to Hyde Park, and early a.m. (5:30-6:30) it's clear sailing, but on my way home in rush hr+, I've had a few too many close calls, and it's definitely gets worse as the weather gets better. Taking Elston off Milwaukee has treated me well (and if you time it right and push, you can essentially make it from Chicago Ave to Cortland hitting greens the whole way :)

heather stratton said:
That stretch of Milwaukee between Ashland and Damen really sucks. It's so narrow, and there are so many cabs and valets letting people off in the middle of the street. I always cringe when I see cyclists speeding down the tiny space between the parked and stopped cars. Glad you're ok.

How did the person who doored you react? Did they stick around to see if you were ok? I was doored about six years ago, and the injuries have long since healed of course, but the most lasting damage was to my faith in human decency... the guy who had opened the door on me just walked away without a word.
Ricardo, sorry to hear about the crash. I hope there's no real damage and that you heal up quickly. You can't overdo the ice, ibuprofen and keeping it elevated. At the risk of sounding elitist, I think we need to keep the membership in the "Milwaukee Ave taxi/car door club" small and exclusive. Vivek and Heather are right, there are times of the day (most notably rush hours and weekend days) when Milwaukee between Damen and Ashland just isn't safe. If it looks scary, trust your lizard brain. Everyone should consider a detour.

RSS

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service