|Posted on Friday, August 27, 2010 - 08:46 am: ||
I was riding into work this morning on the Uly when something happened that I worry about, and it all turned out fine, so I thought I would share so people have more data. This is a data point of one, so take it with a grain of salt, but it is better than zero data points.
I was on I-75 in the center lane, probably doing 75 mph (faster traffic was in high speed lane). Situation normal, head up, situationally aware and knowing that I can at that moment bail right or left if necessary (I always keep track of if there is a hole near me I can hide in, and where it is).
About 250 yards ahead, I hear a loud bang and see a bunch of smoke (don't know which caught my attention first) coming from a big 4 wheel trailer hauling water.
It played out a lot slower than I expected. I was able to hit my left turn signal, do a mirror check, and start changing into the left lane while doing a head check (and remember, I already knew there was a hole there for me, as I track it all the time, so that gave me the "three check" threshold I prefer before I change lanes).
Brake and clutch were covered, and I was actually accelerating, watching the tire, trailer, and surrounding cars to see what they might do.
Maybe 4 seconds after the "bang" the tire came apart and threw a great big chunk of retread up into the center lane (which was what I was waiting for). I had brake and clutch covered, at the extreme left lane (which gives me the median to bail into) and no cars were in the center lane.
So I just kept riding. The tire chunk hit the center lane then tumbled off to the right. The trailer guy kept his head and slowly slowed and pulled over to the right shoulder (clearing an exit ramp before he could safely get off the road).
So it worked out fine!
It was a good data point. If you hear the "bang", there is a decent chance you have enough time to manage the situation. 3 to 4 seconds doesn't sound like much, but in "adrenaline time", it's a freaking eternity... I even had enough time to use the turn signal.
|Posted on Friday, August 27, 2010 - 11:14 am: ||
IAMike and I had a simular event happen on the way to homecoming a couple of years ago.
I94 heading east just east of Minomine WI heading up a gradual incline.
Semi in the right lane, Mike out front, some clueless cager gal between us. She had split us as we were passing the 18 wheeler.
Mike was about even with the middle of the trailer when I started to hear the STRONG thump thump of a tire on the left rear of the trailer. About the time they lady in the car got even with the left rear of the trailer there was a TREMENDOUS bang. Sounded like a bomb went off.
I knew what it was and let up on the gas a bit and covered the brakes.
The clueless lady also started to slow, so did time for me... I saw and heard the tire starting to frag.
The lady backed off to just off the back end of the trailer, still in the left lane. The tire starts to self destruct sending large chunks of wire infused rubber into the front of her car. To her credit, she didn't slam on the brakes just let off the gas.
I saw something interesting and took advantage of it. The tire chunks were hitting the front of her car and either knocking them down or flipping the up over the car. I pulled closer to her and they flipped right over the top of me!
As soon as the big chunks were over (only a few seconds really, seemed like minutes) I dropped way back as she pulled over into the right lane preparing to stop.
Since there were no more chunks, I accellerated past the truck to catch up with Mike.
The look on the truck driver as I went by was bizzare. He was white knuckled and wide eyed. He looked over at me like I was living a charmed life. He gestured to me, pointing to me and kind of shrugging his shoulders. I did shrugged my shoulders smiled, pointed to my chest and gave him the OK with the left hand.
He kind of did the brow wipe deal and gave me the thumbs up and then started pulling off onto the shoulder.
I caught up to Mike, shrugged my shoulders, smiled and we kept going.
Even with my earplugs in, my ears were ringing from the bang.
Like you Bill, had I not recognized the sound of a tire going bad or other clues things could have been much worse.
Had the clueless lady not split Mike and I, both of us would have been past the truck when the tire let go.
About a mile down the road the adrenaline thing kicked in, my right leg started bouncing up and down on the peg and my mouth went COMPLETLEY dry. Lasted a minute or so and that was it..
Glad to hear your incident want as well as mine!
|Posted on Monday, September 06, 2010 - 12:26 pm: ||
Interesting that you keep calling her a clueless lady when she did everything right and, from your description, helped save your life.
If she had done all the things a truly clueless person would do, you wouldn't be writing this.
Anyway, glad you're safe, but work against your prejudices.
|Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011 - 02:58 pm: ||
looking at these.... I had a similar chance of being involved in a multi-vehicle crash on my way home from Lake Park, Ga. going north on 95 which is scenic further down south. There was a lady in an overloaded station wagon hauling one of those enclosed U-Haul trailers. 95 was just a 2 lane divided hwy and the young lady hauling the U-haul was in the fast lane going the speed everyone else around her was. I was about 6 cars back in the slow lane and I start to see the trailer sway back and forth in the lane and it was picking up momentum and then her car was starting to sway too. I thought she was going to lose both vehicles and take out most of the cars around her, but she regained control some how Thank God! Even at the distance I was riding from her I most likely would have been caught up in that from the other cars around her. Sweat on the helmet brow for that one.
Long time I rode a Suzuki Intruder 1400 before I got into the Buells and I was riding with these lady riders most of them riding Harleys coming home from Philly on 95. One chick named Gail had this White harley and I guess she didn't do a pre-ride check before traveling but her exhaust bracket came off while we were southbound doing 65 MPH. That thing bounced back into the pack of us it was an angled tubular piece that you could no way predict where it was going to go. It hit me below the rear brake pedal and bent the whole brake pedal up and numbed my right foot. We all pulled over the girls got off of their bikes and ran to Gail to look at her bike. I didn't know if I had a broken foot or not, numb and in pain. I sat on the guard rail and shook my foot to wake it up. Another Thank God I was riding the Intruder it has a big A$$ rear brake pedal.