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Why Did You Open Your Door!?
November 6, 2003 - Its a normal ride to work in California on I15 from Murrieta to Rancho Bernardo, CA. I reach highway 78 and traffic backs up as usual. About 2 miles into lane splitting I pass 3 CHP officers on thier bikes (not splitting). No problem, we ( another bike is following me) are safe and sane. Doing about 25mph I notice a 2 door Camaro open the drivers door directly in my path! I nail the brakes and find out how much traction BOTS dots DON"T have. Bike finally low sides on the right and I slide down the road on my Roadcrafter.
Damage assessment = right side upprt R100RT fairing crunched, right side valve cover scracthed up, right side saddle bag scratched. There goes the custom paint job! I managed to go not hit anything with me OR the bike between two lanes of traffic. Oh yeah, I broke my right hand too. I should have hit him so he could pay for the damage. The driver left and the CHP pulled up and couldn't do anything since I didn't hit anybody. I got up, rode the bike into work and got a ride to the Urgent Care for xrays and cast.
Took a while before I could split again without extreme nervousness, but the track has a way of curing fear (thanks AHRMA!). Oh, and the Road Crafter held up beautifully, with a small scrape on the elbow and the leg - nothing serious.
you gambled, you lost
now do not whine about it
It is easy to understand why the Camaro driver might have opened his door: the evil SOB envied your ability to move in traffic that had him/her trapped. Instead of rejoicing in your good fortune, that driver resented you and released their frustration and road rage on you.
I wonder, if you had struck the door, would the CHP have ticketed you for going too fast for conditions?
You gambled, you lost now do not whine about it.
This is a Jackass comment, He was with in the law no gamble at all.
Also disagree with gamble/lost statement, you were within your legal rights. My question is how experienced a rider are you? 25MPh and you can't control the bike. Maybe you should take one of those safety course where they teach you how to ride. Yes, I have experience, on and off road for 40+ years. Maybe that bike is too big for you, try a YZ80 or something.
I agree, at 25mph the rider should've been able to stop safely in a straight line with no loss of control. Sounds like the rider locked the front break too early.
this comment was obviously made by someone who either doesn't ride or has very little experience in riding.
I ride the same road as above everyday. Temecula to Rancho Bernardo. Would need to quit if I had to cage it (or could not split).. Regardless, My K1200S with Anti-lock brakes stops on a freaking dime, with all the traction I need. More money, but worth every dime when someone in a cage gets pissed..
Rode the line for 19 years in SoCal. Commuted from Lakewood to Santa Monica. I too would not have done it without the bike. Was fortunate to not have to experienced the "car door". Glad you made it OK.
any body stupid enough to drive between trafic shouldn't be suprised if something like that happends. It's not a jackass comment it's true. If thats the within the then thats stupid too.
Glad you weren't hurt any worse than you were. Calif laws are in place because it helps traffic move. I wish the other states would get an idea and make splitting legal. I probably wouldn't split lanes because my ST1300 is just too wide but when I'm in California I have to admire the ability to do so.
Good on you for riding the bike in to work after it went down!
After lots of miles, and lots of practice, I split lanes on the 15 and 78, on a Goldwing, and it really makes a difference.
Even with all the lights on the front of my bike, I am often pleasantly surprised when cars pull over in their lane to let me by. I make a point of giving them a quick wave to acknowledge their courtesy.
I try very hard to not be obnoxious, so I keep the speed differential low to moderate, and don't try for those spots where I don't think I can reasonably fit. I only split between the far left lanes. If I spot another bike coming up on me, I find a safe spot, signal and move into the lane, then wave the other rider aroune me. I usually get an acknowledgement from them as well. Thanks for reading, and good riding to all.
then you do so at your own risk. Here in NC, it's illegal. The way people here like to turn without signalling, I wouldn't lane split even if it WAS legal. Because of the great year round weather here on the southeastern coast, a lot of people ride bikes. The cagers STILL manage not to see them! Glad you're ok...
Yeah, drivers for some reason have this jealosy about letting anyone get one iota past them. We will have these problems until the human race decides to grow up.
Shoulda briskly swerved, lined up the shot and kicked the guys door off! That'd teach him to be an inconsiderate asshole.
As far as I know California is the only state that allows lane splitting. It doesnt make sense to me to shave time off your commute at the risk of losing your life.............
"any body stupid enough to drive between trafic shouldn't be suprised if something like that happends."
Did anybody else laugh out loud when they read this comment?! I almost spit my coffee out of my nose!
Dear Anonymous: Do you really think I shouldn't be surprised if I'm riding past a car and the person deliberately opens their door in an effort to injure me or damage my bike? Should I also not be surprised if they decide to stab or shoot me as I go by?
Thanks for letting me know the correct etiquette in these situations. Next time it happens I will thank the person for their constructive criticism of my riding style. Should I then lie down in front of their vehicle and invite them to drive over me? Please advise.
The original poster says he/she was doing 25 mph when the door opened in front of them, but they didn't say how close they were to the offending car.
Yes, I agree with the posts that say they should be able to do an emergency stop from 25mph and maintain control, but I suggest they were probably very close to the car and had to use 100% braking on an uneven surface with little traction (what are BOTS dots anyway?) So yeah, a very challenging situation to be in.
By the way, would you expect witnesses to this behaviour to report it to the police? I would hope that someone would call the police on their cell phone to report behaviour that is deliberately putting someone's life at risk in this way. Or perhaps that's just wishful thinking.
As a car accident lawyer i have shown my great concern on that. I wish the other states would get an idea and make splitting legal. I probably wouldn't split lanes because my ST1300 is just too wide but when I'm in California I have to admire the ability to do so.