Cyclists and Boarders Know! Cardoors are a Deathtraps! When you hear a "Click" get out of the way fast! Watch Out! Always look inside parked cars as you pass! Look for faces in the side mirrors! Assume every door you pass will suddenly be thrown open! Taxi cab passengers are the worst! Be extra careful around taxis! Take the Lane! Keep riding! Don't be afraid, be aware! We pay taxes and have the same rights to operate on the streets! Don't give up the fight! You car drivers out there Remember to check your mirrors! Then check again just before you open your door! Cyclists and Boarders can appear faster than you might think! Always assume a cyclists or boarder is about to pass your door! Lets work together! Share the streets! We can prevent these types of accidents! An injury to one is an injury to all!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Walter Lutz — Los Angeles, California

To Live and Ride in Los Angeles

I was heading East in the Bike Lane (of all places) on Sunset Blvd. one sunny Sunday afternoon when I got doored by an SUV. I am usually aware of opening doors of cars that have just parked and usually can expect the driver to swing open the door without the slightest glance into the side mirror. In this case, there was this couple that had been sitting in their vehicle for a while and due to the tinted windows I couldn't see that they were there. Well, the driver decided it was time to get out and as he was talking to his passenger, swung open his big SUV door just as I was passing. My front tire made impact with the edge of his door, sending me flying into the next lane. Luckily, there weren't any cars coming at the time and I just got scraped and bruised.

The guy apologized profusely, and was nice enough to take me, my bike and my ruined front wheel across town to a high-end bike shop, where he paid for a new rim ($125) and gave me a ride home. In parting, I told him, "I'm not glad ran into you, but I'm glad it was you that I ran into."

It was hard to get back on the road for a while. It was hard to relax and not expect every single parked car door to suddenly open as I passed. I'm back to my old riding self again, though I ride much farther to the left than ever, 'taking the lane' and staying clear of the Door Zone.

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