squeazasis wrote:I'm guessing from your wording that either you didn't see him because it was dark, or else he moved suddenly into your path.
Oh I saw him. If you look at http://maps.google.com.au/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=beach+rd&sll=-37.846778,144.946648&sspn=0.00068,0.00272&ie=UTF8&split=1&rq=1&ev=p&radius=0.07&hq=beach+rd&hnear=&ll=-37.846882,144.946733&spn=0,0.00272&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=-37.846881,144.946733&panoid=L3kq-lrXVQ6Bri0nEzazyw&cbp=12,214.4,,1,4.06
you can see a wire kind of separation of pedestrians paths from bike/roller-skaters paths. As I was approaching I saw him approach the wired partition from the beach side and briefly glance my way as his hand reached the wires. It was after sunset, probably around 6:30pm, so the street lights and pavement lights had come on, and this is usually the period peoples eyes try adjusting to the darkness, and artificial street lights. Also I had my head and tail lights on already because the evening was cloudy. I wasn't going anywhere near the speed I could do on the road, but I was nevertheless moving. Still, seconds ago I had been overtaken by faster bikes. So as I approached, I noticed him look my way, but due to light conditions and distance, and his brief look, eye contact wasn't possible.
Next thing I saw was that in 3 smooth steps he ducked his head under the wire, swiftly moved through and with two quick long paces was right in my path, and I was right on him. I didn't have time to do anything but try to veer away from him. No time for bell, or yelling, nor brakes. I didn't succeed in avoiding him completely, and deflected off his front and ended up on Beach Street off balance and landing hard on my left pelvis and left shoulder, then rolling head over bike, with bike tangled up in my legs, and settling on my back with bike near my feet on the right side.
He was nice enough to come help me up, and after a brief period of bitching, moaning, and swearing in 4 or 5 languages (some of them computer languages, probably), I asked him with a question, "You saw me right!? I saw you look!" His reply was he didn't see me, that he was looking at a woman. What can I say to that!? When he was satisfied I wasn't seriously injured, and didn't require an ambulance, I saw him walk to his bmw which was parked directly where he crossed the partition.
At this point I would also like to thank two riders who also stopped, to help me up, and to make sure I was alright. My left brake [on the handle bar] was twisted, the handle was slightly off true from the front wheel, my wallet had apparently ended up on the road, and my water bottle holder was broken. I thanked the riders who stopped to help, dusted myself off, and continued on the remainder of my journey. That was last Wednesday, and I knew the following morning I was going to feel pain.
Well I still have a widening bruise on left iliac crest [pelvis], and when I sleep on the left side both pelvis and left shoulder hurts. So I suspect shoulder too is probably strained. I have made an appointment to get my GP to have a look at it this coming Thursday. I realise I'm still under 50 or 60, but the fall was pretty hard, and in the back of my mind was fear of hip/pelvic fractures that occur with greater frequency as we age.
Scary thought! I've noticed (in the daytime) that sometimes pedestrians block the path walking in groups, or have dogs not on leads that they don't keep out of the way as cyclists approach (this can be a worry). A couple of weeks ago on the anniversary trail, I was already riding slowly having just had to stop or almost stop with the path being blocked by school kids, when I approached a pre-schooler (with adults of course) who was running towards me. I thought he was going to stay out of the way but at the last moment I had to end up swerving onto the grass. I was thinking afterwards, he was probably too young to have developed the concept that you don't run into the path of a moving vehicle!
Yes, that long beach road shared bike & pedestrian path invariably has pedestrians engrossed in whatever conversation or activity they're doing, and wont hear or notice the bell ringing right up till I'm within 10 meters or so. But by then I would not only be covering my brakes, but also slowing down. Nevertheless, when they finally do notice me, they get startled, and could behave/ move erratically. More reason to be going slow enough to stop or dismount. Dogs and children are even more unpredictable. Neither look up or ahead, and worse they don't know which way to go, or give way to.