Tuesday 18 August 2009

An unusual way to get doored

Being "doored" refers to an event where a stupid driver has failed to look in their wing mirror before opening their door, and has flung it open without warning into the path of a passing cyclist. It happens to me quite regularly - so regularly, I no longer get the urge to ride full pelt into the driver as they emerge from their car. I know to listen out for the tell tale "clicks" of doors being unlocked, or the slight wobble that a car develops as a driver shifts their weight in preparation for opening a door. I refuse to wear any form of headphones, knowing that losing the ability to hear a door opening could be the difference between a bit of swerving and swearing and a trip in a shiny white truck with flashing lights.

When I coming home on Monday, my phone started ringing. I was tossing up stopping and answering it, keeping on riding and answering it and not answering it at all when a door was flung open in front of me. Thank goodness I decided to leave it alone!

I took this photo from the top of the bike zig-zag that leads up to the bike path over the ANZAC Bridge. Note the taxi bongo van in the middle of the photo.

Most cyclists come and go via the red arrow (there's another street under that tree), and the biggest hazard here is taxis stopping illegally right on the yellow line that is there to prevent them from stopping in front of the bike path. If I had come that way, this taxi would not be a problem.

However, I came the back route today, which involves riding on the footpath for about 50 metres down to the bike zig zag. The taxi pulled up in the driveway in front of me, and just as I was about to go around behind it, I heard the tell-tale "click". It took me about 1/100th of a second to work out that the click was not one of the side doors - the driver had released the tailgate without bothering to look. I went as wide as I could, just as it started to rise right in front of me. If I had been a fraction slower, it could have caught me right in the guts, which would have been less than pleasant.

Every day on a bike in this town is an exciting day. Not always for the right reasons though.

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