Biker Down

Biker down valencia

Biker being loaded into an ambulance near 20th and Valencia. Looked like he’d been hit, but can’t be sure. Careful out there, friends.

(link)

31 Responses to “Biker Down”

  1. Stucco-sux says:

    What do you expect when the new trend is to bust through red lights and stop signs. A douche on a bike = a douche in a car, except a car is made of metal and much heavier.

  2. ... says:

    Stucco-sux : you’re a dipshit

  3. SimonSays says:

    Not to start a flame war here but Stucco-sux is right to a certain degree. I see more and more cyclists blowing right through red lights or taking corners blindly and quickly. Safety first — assume you’re invisible.

  4. olewanei says:

    It isn’t hard to get hit in the Mission. Ride your bike around between 16th and Cesar Chavez one afternoon and note how few cars use their signals… or wait until they enter the intersection to signal… or signal left and then turn right as you slam on your brakes.

  5. Ariel. says:

    I don’t know what happened, but I saw the guy being put on a stretcher, and this was on Valencia. There is a bike lane there, and this was in the middle of the block, not near an intersection.

  6. Rachael says:

    A big problem I see (I bicycle every day generally) are people riding in the bike lane but too close to the right near all the parked cars. … and there’s parking all along Valencia. Actually I think that bike lane is substandard in a few places: if you ride in the middle of the bike lane you’re still in the zone where you can get clipped by an opening door. People ride too close to the right because they fear the moving traffic but a door opening in your path means you either hit the door or swerve into traffic suddenly.

    • Chester says:

      Yeah, it’s better to ride out of the door zone, even if that puts you closer to traffic. One is generally more likely, I think, to get doored than to be hit by a car coming from behind. Any cyclist should also constantly paying attention to what is going on in parked cars up ahead. If you’re scanning that, you can usually tell when someone is apt to open up a car door in your path.

  7. Hater of the Red Light Runners says:

    I’d put money on the biker running a red or a stop sign. I see it all of the time at 5th and Townsend (CalTrain).

    • daver says:

      you obviously don’t read and are too quick to judge since someone said they saw it happen in the middle of a block not near an intersection.

  8. 24th & Bryant is where I live says:

    Doesnt this kind of thing happen a bunch of times every day?

    • kit says:

      No, in fact, it does not happen a bunch of times every day. I’ve ridden several miles daily for the past two years and have yet to have any serious accidents.

      The danger of bicycling is grossly exaggerated.

  9. [...] Mmmm. There seems to be a plague: Be aware when you ride your bike in the neighborhood, as Mission Mission picked up a twit from Donald Tetto saying a “Biker being loaded into an ambulance near 20th and [...]

  10. zinzin says:

    hope the person is OK.

    i just got back from NY, where i rode a motorcycle just for fun, and i can tell you, the car drivers there are MUCH MUCH more aggro than they are here.

    that said, i’ve also seen some really bad driving in SF.

    and just an hour ago, i was proceeding slowly and carefully west on 19th, in my car, driving, and as i crossed valencia i had to STOP IN THE INTERSECTION because some selfish twit on a bike, stopped at the red light, heading south on valencia (so on my right) had her ENTIRE FRONT WHEEL jutting out into in the traffic lane.

    and i stop, IN THE INTERSECTION, because i cannot proceed without sending her to the hospital, and i just give a little “beep”, not a long honk, just a little “gee you must not realize you’re in the traffic lane, neighbor…see, i’m stopped here, at a green light, and cannot proceed”, and she gives me a disdainful look, and flips me the fucking bird, in that “fuck you you fucking car, i’m riding god’s bicycle” sort of way.

    so there ya go. lots of entitled assholes operating cars & bikes both.

    sad part is, the bicyclist will ALWAYS be the one that end up in the hospital, even if they’re in the right, legally, or morally.

    • kit says:

      zinzin:

      i greatly appreciate how well you were able to handle the asshole cyclist without making a generalization. :) you are absolutely right, some people seem to ride bicycles *because* they feel it gives them a license to be a dickhead. but there are also those of us who are just trying to make the world and our bodies a better place.

      thanks for driving safely out there. if i see you on the road, i’ll give you a wave and a smile. ;)

      • zinzin says:

        thx for the kind word. as i said somewhere, i got nothing but love for cyclists…and i am in awe of the passion in the sf cycling community. it’s a glimpse into a brighter, more responsible future. i would love to ride a bike, but back injury prohibits. my kid is a bike lover though.

        so today, i’m stopped at a red at 7th or 8th & folsom. a guy is riding WEST on the north side of the street (folsom is one way going east), cruises through the red, and makes a very hard & fast left, so now heading south, in the pedestrian crosswalk as my light turns green. he bumps a woman hurrying to get across with his elbow, knocking her shit out of her hand. then the car in the right lane (next to the bike lane) gives him a HARD and unfriendly honk, because he’s fucking up everyone’s shit and didn’t stop to help the woman pick up her bag…and he flips the “god’s bicycle” bird at the car, and spits at him, and proceeds south.

        so anyway, my point is, regardless of moral ground, regardless of “feel it gives them a license to be a dickhead”…why do cyclists take risks of personal physical harm so flippantly?

        look at rachel’s bf…who was apparently riding carefully & well. hurt bad. this guy could have been EASILY mowed down by the guy in the right lane at the light, much less riding the wrong way down folsom, which is essentially a freeway.

        i would be mortified to hurt a cyclist….but i see so many taking silly risks, much less behaving badly. doesnt make sense in a crowded city.

  11. daver says:

    I ride my bike everyday and have been for the last 10+ years. I’m definitely way more cautious than I used to be. You have to tell yourself every car is going to door you, hit you, be an asshole to you. Every biker is going to swerve in front of you. Every walker is going to suddenly cross without looking in front of you so mentally you’re prepared when shit does potentially hit the fan and you can hopefully avoid that shit.

    I agree there are way too many new bikers/young bikers who I see almost get creamed all the time when they run reds. I’ve cringed way too many times.

  12. jimbeam says:

    This is sort of interesting as I’m in DC right now, riding every day, and it’s a much less bike friendly city. Cars simply don’t care about you. They never signal, will cut you off without thinking twice and almost never look over their shoulder when opening a door.

    I guess I just find it silly both ways (until someone gets hurt, that is). Did you really lose any valuable time Zin, when you were blocked for a few moments in an intersection? This is what I find ridiculous about drivers in cities. They zoom around as if the next light isn’t red, like they can make up a ton of time that will make a difference in their lives by driving like assholes. I see it every day in DC and it just cracks me up (it’s sort of like how SF drivers hate stopping at stop signs. Like those two seconds are really meaningful).

    • zinzin says:

      JB – wasn’t really about time. as i said, i was driving slow, i always drive slow. i hate driving and hate being in a car, but for me, it’s the only option. all i was trying to do was proceed across an intersection on the green. the light was green when i entered the intersection. i was going maybe 15mph. maybe.

      what got me was that she wouldn’t roll her bike back 2 feet to let me by. and she flipped me the bird. so i sat in the intersection, and then when the light changed, i sat there blocking southbound traffic on valencia till she moved her entitled, rude, selfish ass across.

      so who’s the asshole? me, just because i happened to be in a car? and she gets to act poorly because she’s on a bike? please. that’s silly.

      packed in as we are, everyone needs to be careful and considerate.

      and i’ll say it again, a bike will ALWAYS lose to a car in a crash. i don’t see why bikes aren’t more careful than they are, regardless of moral high-ground.

      • Jen says:

        Agreed on your last point, zinzin – I’m a kind of annoyingly slow cyclist sometimes, because regardless of whether I’m “right” or whatever, I am 200 combined pounds and they have a whole lot of metal and momentum on their side. I don’t want to fuck with that. I’ll take a few extra seconds to get somewhere if it means I’m not going to get my face smashed.

        I saw someone pass me on Market yesterday at whatever that really scary intersection is before you get to Valencia. Cars whipping around the corner, I was stopped all the way back (good lord, that light takes forever), and the kid just whizzes past me on the right into direct traffic. Cars had to stop and he whipped around one of them that almost didn’t stop in time. I was really afraid he was going to get laid out. His confidence in just speeding dead into the light makes me feel like this isn’t the first time he’s tried that little maneuver.

    • luke says:

      I’m not certain why a car should have to wait in the scenario zinzin describes. Part of the problem is that bikers are a minority group compared to cars and like all minority situations, it’s much easier for bad behavior to represent the entire community in the eyes of others.

      There are plenty of bikers that sit inside and in front of the crosswalk that annoy the hell out of me when I bike. They’ll get in front of you and often are slow to accelerate and wobble (unable to bike straight). You pass them and if you end up with bad light timing, you have deal with their slow ass again. Why do some bikers need to block crosswalks or traffic? Do I go through stop signs when there is no traffic? Absolutely. Do I wait when there is? Absolutely. The most annoying thing for me is to be waiting at a stop sign to have the only car I am waiting on to sit there really long just to turn a direction not in my way (without a signal).

      Clearly things would work better if everyone was more considerate and that includes not blocking cars that have a green light.

      As for this incident it sounds like it was the parking safety issues that plague the Valencia corridor. I was almost doored from the left by a car in traffic this week.

      • Jim says:

        Try life as a pedestrian in the lovely Mission. Not only are the cars out to get you, but the bicyclists are as well. I’m really tired of having to dash out of the way when I’m in a crosswalk and a bicycle blows through the light or stop sign. I’ve had a few really close calls and I’m developing a really negative attitude toward the entire bicycle set as a result. It’s a mode of transportation, not an act of rebellion for pity’s sake. If the bicyclists are so put upon by speeding steel automobiles, why do they terrorize pedestrians with their steel and superior speed? If you are on foot, in a car or on a bike, you either obey the rules or you’re an asshole.

  13. [...] Hmmm. Parece haber una plaga: tenga cuidado cuando ande en su bicicleta en el vecindario, ya que Mission Mission recabó un mensaje Twitter de Donald Tetto que decía que “Una persona que andaba en su bicicleta [...]

  14. suckerpunch says:

    One down, too many to count to go.

  15. rachel says:

    This was my boyfriend, I was riding in front of him.

    We had lights on our bikes, were in the bike lane, single file and as far to the left as possible in the middle of the block riding north on Valencia.

    I passed this parked car, she zoomed out after me and my boyfriend hit her front tire and went flying.

    He suffered multiple facial fractures, some stitches and a bruised shoulder and is damn lucky. He also doesn’t have insurance so there’s that. Probably the worst part of it was being stuck in the emergency room of SFGH for 15 hours.

    Thanks for the words of concern and those who realise that it is not always the bikers that disobey traffic laws that get hit.

    • zinzin says:

      again, sorry to hear, and thanks for sharing.

      glad he came out (more or less) OK.

      scary. this driver was clearly an idiot. did they even know or stop?

      best for a speedy recovery.

    • asen says:

      I am really really sorry to hear. The same thing happened to myself and my boyfriend. Riding single file down Fulton at Webster (not going fast, I am a slow biker), a car turned thru the intersection and cut in between us. Spent many hours/days at SFGH with no health insurance, he now has several plates. I wish your boyfriend a speedy and healthy recovery.

    • kit says:

      rach,

      much love from a fellow sf cyclist.

      i think this situation is really one of the most dangerous because depending on the level of noise it’s sometimes impossible for you to even tell if a vehicle is just parked or whether it’s running and about to pull in front of you.

      hope your boyfriend is back on two wheels soon and that the driver will take this as a lesson to drive more safely and conscientiously in the future.

    • Scott says:

      What happened totally sucks! I am a huge bike advocate and I also drive a car. It is a fine balance in this city. Both sides need to take responsibility and things like this may not happen as often. In this case it was obvioulsy not your boyfriends fault.

      What I really wanted you to know is that he should look into http://www.healthysanfrancisco.org this is the program that will allow him to get access to health care and have a primary care doctor at a low or in some cases no monthly fee. I work on this program and really believe that everyone without health insurance needs to check it out.

  16. [...] San Francisco is also concerned about your safety. The blog also has picked up the Mission Mission’s story about last Tuesday’s twit from Donald Tetto saying a “Biker being loaded into an ambulance [...]

  17. bonita bohemian says:

    hi, I’m a car owner and a biker. I wanted to comment that I think events like Critical Mass are part of the problem and not the solution. While I realize that Critical Mass is an awareness tool, it is also causing friction between cyclists and drivers. I have personally witnessed a car stuck in critical mass (chuckle), but then I saw many cyclists getting all us against you on the poor girl in the car – hitting her car and stuff. NOT COOL GUYS.

    I believe drivers should slow down, and cyclists should be more aware. I believe cops ought to start ticketing showcase cyclists to get the, “hello dumbass that car can fucking kill you in an instant” message across to young and inexperienced city cyclists.

    After reading this story, I am planning to make sure that I slow down when I’m driving. I would also be mortified to injure a cyclist.

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