Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby Sims on Mon 24/Aug/15 12:22pm

I awoke this morning to a delightful blue dawn. Some what at odds to Auckland's previous string of damp weeks. I collected up the trash and with care, placed it by the kerb. My lycra was feeling sexy smooth and I had a fresh podcast on cue.

On such a still morning my mind wandered. New enduro wheels for the mountain bike? Why are the American public so interested in Donald Trump? How does the US media manage to create a pedagogy of idiocracy about democracy...

At this stage in my commute I'd crested the Hopetoun bridge and was steady rolling into a green light. I plied on the speed an powered onto the Vincent Street hill.

Next I watched as a garbage truck swung across the road and proceeded to drive the wrong way up the bus lane - My lane! It took far to long to process and my expectation was that he would U-turn, or pull over. But yet, to my dismay, he continued to charge upwards.

I grabbed those shitty calliper brakes as hard as I could. My desperate emergency stop had me slewing sideways, with one foot out and dragging. At the last minute the truck pulled out and flicked around my position. He pulled over 25m further up the street.

Despite my attempts at calm collected behaviour, I failed to collect a plate. In fact I failed to do anything other than breathe before he pulled out and drove off. At least it wasn't hard to track down the company website.

It all serves to reenforce my own sense of mortality. What if the truck hadn't swerved out? What if I'd panicked and pulled left into a parked car at 50kph. What if I'd pulled right at the same moment the truck had swerved right? It would not have ended in a pleasant manner.


Ride safe my friends. It’s a fine line between triumph and disaster.
Sims
Member for: 15 years 2 months

Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby UK_Exile on Mon 24/Aug/15 12:30pm

Stay safe. Sounds like you were lucky. Not a nice experience & I know from reading your post, and from personal experience, it sure makes you think about what if.

Question though re podcast, do you ride with music? You saw the truck coming; would you have heard it if it was coming from behind you?
UK_Exile
Member for: 12 years 3 months

Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby Sims on Mon 24/Aug/15 12:45pm

Sometimes music, sometime podcasts or audiobooks. To me audio is not an especially useful sense for busy roads. It can only point out that a vehicle is behind me; It gives me no information on how closely it will pass. So on a busy Auckland road, it just becomes white noise.

If you add in wind noise, on top of my already less than optimal hearing, my preference is always sight. I'm always checking over my shoulder - That way i can keep building a picture about where traffic is and what its doing. Most of the time I'm going nearer to the speed of the traffic. So I'm most concerned with whats going to cut me off, or pull out in front.
Sims
Member for: 15 years 2 months

Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby Barbsarama on Mon 24/Aug/15 1:26pm

Aaaaah, perfect, the second post is inadvertently laying blame with the cyclist.
Barbsarama
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Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby Sims on Mon 24/Aug/15 1:40pm

Barbsarama wrote:Aaaaah, perfect, the second post is inadvertently laying blame with the cyclist.


Mmm, I think people just make assumptions about what 'safe' behaviour is. I've been commuting everyday rain or shine, for 10 years. So I know what works for me. But each to their own. I certainly wouldn't recommend earphones for anyone starting out...
Sims
Member for: 15 years 2 months

Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby scatter on Mon 24/Aug/15 1:41pm

UK_Exile wrote:Question though re podcast, do you ride with music? You saw the truck coming; would you have heard it if it was coming from behind you?

So what if he could or couldn't have heard it? As Sims says, hearing gives not indication of how close something is going to pass you.

I have hearing issues. I can't hear anything behind me at all (it's all a drone). Should I not be on the road?
scatter
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Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Mon 24/Aug/15 2:03pm

Co-incidentally I had a Waste Management truck pull across Scenic Drive in front of me when I was riding down there about 1 hour ago :angry:

I stopped and wrote down the rego etc and will ring them (as hopefully you have done).

I often ride listening to books on my MP3 but then most of my riding in on quieter roads in the middle of the day in the middle of the week and I have a helmet mirror :thumbsup:


Glad you're ok :)
FLATULENTFRIEND
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Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby UK_Exile on Mon 24/Aug/15 2:17pm

scatter wrote:
UK_Exile wrote:Question though re podcast, do you ride with music? You saw the truck coming; would you have heard it if it was coming from behind you?

So what if he could or couldn't have heard it? As Sims says, hearing gives not indication of how close something is going to pass you.

I have hearing issues. I can't hear anything behind me at all (it's all a drone). Should I not be on the road?

Feck me. All I was doing was pointing out hearing is an additional sense that can be useful in keeping yourself safe. I wasn't saying having music caused a truck to do something stupid that endangered him. It's challenging enough staying safe in traffic & I prefer to have my eyes and ears working the best they can. Others can chose not to.
UK_Exile
Member for: 12 years 3 months

Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby Conners on Mon 24/Aug/15 5:15pm

On the plus side, I got a sweet draft behind a garbage truck the other day. Something different about their wind blocking ability, let's you sit at a strangely safe distance while giving a huge aerodynamic pull.

I'm aware that this post adds very little to this thread. :)
Conners
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"Seeing Double"
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Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby Barbsarama on Mon 24/Aug/15 6:52pm

Bet the smell was pretty sweet too :p
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Member for: 8 years 3 months

Re: Commuting, Garbage Trucks And My Own Mortality.

Postby laworder on Wed 26/Aug/15 9:50am

Sims wrote:I awoke this morning to a delightful blue dawn. Some what at odds to Auckland's previous string of damp weeks. I collected up the trash and with care, placed it by the kerb. My lycra was feeling sexy smooth and I had a fresh podcast on cue.

On such a still morning my mind wandered. New enduro wheels for the mountain bike? Why are the American public so interested in Donald Trump? How does the US media manage to create a pedagogy of idiocracy about democracy...

At this stage in my commute I'd crested the Hopetoun bridge and was steady rolling into a green light. I plied on the speed an powered onto the Vincent Street hill.

Next I watched as a garbage truck swung across the road and proceeded to drive the wrong way up the bus lane - My lane! It took far to long to process and my expectation was that he would U-turn, or pull over. But yet, to my dismay, he continued to charge upwards.

I grabbed those shitty calliper brakes as hard as I could. My desperate emergency stop had me slewing sideways, with one foot out and dragging. At the last minute the truck pulled out and flicked around my position. He pulled over 25m further up the street.

Despite my attempts at calm collected behaviour, I failed to collect a plate. In fact I failed to do anything other than breathe before he pulled out and drove off. At least it wasn't hard to track down the company website.

It all serves to reenforce my own sense of mortality. What if the truck hadn't swerved out? What if I'd panicked and pulled left into a parked car at 50kph. What if I'd pulled right at the same moment the truck had swerved right? It would not have ended in a pleasant manner.


Ride safe my friends. It’s a fine line between triumph and disaster.


Totally sympathise with not being able to get a plate number, very hard to do stuff like that in situations like this - and the more life threatening it is the less likely you are able to do it in my experience. Thats why I got a camera

Regards
Peter
laworder
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Member for: 6 years 8 months

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