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    Always wear your helmet.

    Let me serve as a reminder to everyone to always wear your helmet (especially) when you are riding your ebike. I know most people here do, but for the dummies like myself here, learn from my mistake.

    Yesterday morning, I left for work. I decided that since it was early enough, I was going to go old school and bike with the motor turned off...get some excercise. Since I was going mere mortal speeds, I put my helmet in my bag with the idea that I would wear it on my ride home since it would be dusk and visibility would be limited. About a mile in to my 2.5 mile commute it happened. I was in the bike lane headed west, under a line of trees. I was coming up on a gas station that was to my right. Lady headed east on the same road pulls in to the center turn lane to pull in to the gas station. It is about 7:40 a.m, so the sun is low and in her eyes. I see her, but it turns out her focus is on the truck headed west on the same road, she does not see me in the shadows. She makes a split second decision to not wait the 5 seconds for the truck to pass and guns it into the parking lot. By the time I realized what was happening and she too, it was too late. I hit my brakes, but still hit her fender at about 15 mph. Over the handlebars and hood I go. I rolled midair and actually landed on my right shoulder first, but it did not stop my forehead and crown from sliding along the pavent to a stop. It was amazing how silent everything sounded in the moment after the initial impact. I managed to stand up, but then blood started rushing down my face. It did not hurt that bad but the look on the ladies face and the guy in the truck after he hopped out said it all.

    Luckily the truck driver used to be an EMT years ago and was on the phone calling an ambulance. I maintained consciousness until they arrived but passed out and had a seizure for a few seconds before they loaded me into an ambulance and got me to the hospital. I had exposed my skull in the accident. The fact that I didn't die or at the least suffer cranial fracture or anything broken amazed the ER doctors. I just kept thinking, "How am I going to explain to my wife that I didn't have my helmet on?"

    So I got extremely lucky. I was released today after 36 hours at the hospital. I will have to have follow up reconstruction plastic surgery to not look like Frankenstein. I am typing this with one eye completely swollen shut and more stitches in my head and knee than I can count, but I am alive.

    I am already thinking of ways I can make my next bike more visible (the one I was riding is too damaged to really worry about repairing/rebuilding) but I promise, I will never be without a helmet ever again.

    I will link the photos of the injury because they are incredibly gruesome, and only people with incredibly strong stomachs should view .

    #2
    I am sorry to hear that man and glad you're now on the road to recovery.

    Well, as for lights, I would suggest you put a pair of custom made blinding ass headlights, a xenon strobe and a blinding red tail light. I don't really care what others might say about "yo bro, you're blinding traffic, etc etc... " Again, I much rather blind so you don't look at me than getting run over b/c nobody noticed me. I see that every time I ride, no bike I pass has decent lights, they all suck... and for some obscure reason everyone likes to wear black clothes too, with a black frame on a dark road... with a freaking almost dead Walmart blinker. If you need help building some blinding headlights, let me know.

    I would also recommend a trike instead of a bike for commuting... most ppl think its unsafe but I yet have to have a single close call while riding mine at 30-50 mph on the roads... again, just make sure you run bright-as-sun headlights and some retina scorching tailights with a xenon strobe. Nobody will be missing the big, wide, fat-ass weirdo-looking thing with UFO lights in the middle of road, trust me I know.
    With a trike, if you fall, the fall won't be from 15 feet up the air... and if someone cuts me off so I end up hitting their door panel it will be el-suck for them as their door panel will have a nice encounter with my 350 RPM 9 HP chainsaw... also remember that you can stop a lot faster on a tadpole trike than you can on a regular bike as you have two front brakes...

    As for helmet, yes, I always wear a full face helmet when I ride any of eTrikes or eBikes.. After my two mishaps on the eBike, I will never consider riding a bicycle on public roads without a full face helmet. As a full face helmet has already saved my pretty face twice in the treacherous icy roads in WI... and I have a face shield and chin guard all scratched up to prove it.

    I sure hope the lady insurance will be paying for everything, and I would sue her for lost wages as well. That "Mario Andretti" behavior should not be tolerated, and like a good old Spanish traffic TV commercial once said: "it is better to lose 1 second of your life than to lose your life in 1 second (or in this case to kill someone in 1 second)
    Alpha One 6000W tadpole e-Trike (Cyclone): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
    Alpha Two Cyclone 3000W tadpole e-Trike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkakVw8yY8E
    Electric Cyclone 3000W eBike "power mod": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

    Comment


      #3
      Just saw the pics, wow man, I am so sorry... hope you get better...
      Alpha One 6000W tadpole e-Trike (Cyclone): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
      Alpha Two Cyclone 3000W tadpole e-Trike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkakVw8yY8E
      Electric Cyclone 3000W eBike "power mod": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

      Comment


        #4
        Yeah, on the lights, I already had done COB LED lights on my car that are brighter than most vehicle DRL's. Next bike will have those running down the front fork and back pegs and auto come on when my battery is switched on. I had already planned something like that, but plans don't help all that much in the now. Luckily I have bomb insurance, but yes, we handed over the woman's info to our insurance company. I am not out to get "pain and suffering" type stuff, but I am still going to talk to an attorney I know about what needs done to assure that I don't pay a dime out of pocket and that I can replace my bike.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Ianj View Post
          Yeah, on the lights, I already had done COB LED lights on my car that are brighter than most vehicle DRL's. Next bike will have those running down the front fork and back pegs and auto come on when my battery is switched on. I had already planned something like that, but plans don't help all that much in the now. Luckily I have bomb insurance, but yes, we handed over the woman's info to our insurance company. I am not out to get "pain and suffering" type stuff, but I am still going to talk to an attorney I know about what needs done to assure that I don't pay a dime out of pocket and that I can replace my bike.
          Seriously, with an injury like that you deserve pain and suffering compensation - she was negligent and it was her fault after all.

          Comment


            #6
            Sorry, so very sorry. Riding among a bunch of 1000 lb. cages is dangerous. Reading this makes me push even harder for more bikelanes and bikeways in road design. It's time, unfortunately I may not see it in my lifetime but as bicycling seems to be on the increase again, and as eBikes grow in popularity, it becomes even more important for each of us to speak out i our communities for better bicycle infrastructure. In the cooler weather I wear my armored, stealthy, jacket. Winter riding I always grab for the helmet. Cages are even less bike aware in very cold weather.

            Heal well!

            Comment


              #7
              Here's a great article on adding LED strip lights to a eBike. They're SUPER cheap and the vendor is vetted and is fairly quick at shipping the strips.
              http://www.ebikeschool.com/how-to-ad...-dc-converter/

              Comment


              • wklatt
                wklatt commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for the article on lights. I ordered both the headlight and tail light that the author uses. Can't believe how cheap they are, and I got free shipping!!

              #8
              If you want seriously blinding headlights build your own using these:

              http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...2-2586-lumens!

              They overdrive really well and can pump up to 3500 Lumens per LED.

              I have two of those as low beams on the front and one of those on the rear. Its a solid wall of light. (I also have flash-to-pass on the trike with even more stupid bright LEDs than those, two XHP70 pumping 4000 lumens each)

              G.
              Alpha One 6000W tadpole e-Trike (Cyclone): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFC8MRwvgUM
              Alpha Two Cyclone 3000W tadpole e-Trike: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkakVw8yY8E
              Electric Cyclone 3000W eBike "power mod": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_weSmz_h3Ig

              Comment


                #9
                The problem I've found to be the worse is cars misjudging your speed - you are a bicycle after all. Even with a bike lane and lights (1600lm), and I know they've seen me, I've still had people cut across the bike lane in front of me in similar situations as Ianj's accident because they just do not expect me to get there that fast.

                And I always wear a helmet - it has MIPS and a Kevlar lining for good measure.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Wow, those pictures definitely convinced me to drive more defensively.

                  Congratulations on not being killed or maimed!

                  Comment


                    #11
                    Originally posted by Ade View Post
                    The problem I've found to be the worse is cars misjudging your speed - you are a bicycle after all. Even with a bike lane and lights (1600lm), and I know they've seen me, I've still had people cut across the bike lane in front of me in similar situations as Ianj's accident because they just do not expect me to get there that fast.
                    I am always worried about that too. Obviously that was not the factor in this accident, but I have seen people about to make turns around me where they are basing their decision on me being on a bike and then realize I am moving much faster. In heavy street areas with a speed limit of 35 mph, I typically slow down to 20 or under so I don't throw off people's mental cadence. If I am downtown where the speed limit is 20 (and everyone drives 25-30) I tend to just merge with traffic and go the same speed as them. Normally if possible I will ghost a car and let them be a form of attention. Someone turning on to the street might not see me, but they will see the Chevy Tahoe that I am drafting and avoid both of us.

                    Thanks for the suggestions on the lighting systems, when the time comes, I will look into these options and utilize the forums here. In the mean time, I am going to contemplate life, think about what kind of new bike to get when I am better enough to ride again, and sit on my front porch and yell at kids not wearing helmets (my wife actually did that yesterday when she took me on a walk, some guy probably 15-17 riding his bike with no helmet and talking on his cell phone with no hands on the handlebars. When he slowed down at the crosswalk he looked at me and saw my mangled face and was understandably grossed out even though he was polite about trying to hide it. My wife just says "this is what happens when you don't wear your f***ing helmet if you are lucky".) We are totally going to be killjoys for the next couple months, I am sure of it.

                    Comment


                      #12
                      Well, on the plus side, you're all set for next Halloween. ;)

                      Seriously though, sorry to hear of your crash, bad things happen fast and faster at speed. I hope your recovery goes well. I wear a full face 90% of the time, usually because I figure if I don't, I'll end up some day in an ER wishing it wasn't hanging on a peg at home. I do wear a helmet 100% of the time though, after so many years of wearing one, I feel naked without one on.

                      Comment


                        #13
                        Very sorry to hear about your accident. But it convinced me to order some lights for my ebikes. I always wear a helmet, but just a regular bike helmet. Now you make me wonder if I am if I should be using my full face motorcycle helmet on the streets. I feel a lot safer on the mountain trails, though,... without cars.

                        Comment


                          #14
                          I've been really guilty of not wearing a helmet and have had a couple close calls. I think I'll be wearing it from now on. Living in New Orleans where everyone is partying most of the time I've been lucky so far. Sorry for your accident and thanks for the reminder. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

                          Comment


                            #15
                            Blinding lights are a BAD idea. Being well marked and using appropriate lighting is the best defense. There is an excellent German standard for eBike lights. Lights that are effective and safe when riding in traffic. I'd hate to be in litigation with blinding lights as my defense. The best defense is appropriate lighting and a well lit frame, IME.

                            The comment about what drivers expect is maybe the most important to the discussion. I saw it on motorcycles and scooter. Drivers misjudge speed, but with so few eBikes on the roads, no one expects a bicycle to be coming at them any faster the 8-12 miles an hour. Back to the speed and safety discussion...We have to realize we are out of the norm and it's up to us to stay safe. Expect the unexpected. To bad there's no MSF training for eBikes. To fast for the roads and crappy brakes. It'll take more then a helmet...

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