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Thread: What items have you dodged or hit on your commute?

  1. #46
    Motomark motomark's Avatar
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    Road Hazards

    I have dodged many things along my travels,a few stand out more than others.Like the time I was on interstate 26 north of Charleston S.C. following a roofers truck not too closely and I noticed that the ladder on the truck was moving from side to side on the ladder rack.Then all at once the ladder stood straight up,stood perpendicular to the rack and then flew completely over and behind the truck then was dragged a short ways behind it until it broke free and pirouetted around and around the three lanes in front of my bike.I was all over the brakes and swerving around tring not to run over the ladder and not get hit by other traffic.The truck continued on down the road without even slowing down, ladder slid to side of passing lane and stopped parallel to the road.On another adventure I had also been following a Summer camp bus pulling a trailer full of canoes,out of the one of the canoes blew out what appeared to be a 5 gallon bucket,it bounced all over my lane if front of me,I swerved to miss it,thinking that I was about to crash,I braced and hit it full on and it bounced off my engine protection bar to the side of the road.I did not crash,pulled over to see what I hit,it turned out to be a nice new Slumberjack sleeping bag.I tried to chase down the bus to return the bag to its owner,could not catch up to it after securing it to my bike.I now have a very nice sleeping bag.On another trip as I was following a fishing lure bouncing down the road in front of me on a long straight stretch of highway,way up ahead of me was a bass boat on trailer,the lure was attached to a nice fishing pole and reel that was in the boat, the pole bounced out of the boat and now its mine.Has caught many freshwater fish for me.
    Mark

    1971 R75/5,1990 K75RT,1994 K75,1999 KLR

  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDabbs View Post
    It's not always possible to follow in safe distance. Other cars will pull into any open space in front. Angle iron bounced down the road from a jeep that hit around 75 yards in front, and sent it flipping and hopping.

    Me hitting things doesn't really happen that often, but I've been commuting since '76, so things are bound to happen. Thanks for the word of caution, though!
    Your argument is weak and a cop-out. Do you remember your high school drivers ed? A student will always say what you said, that another car will fill the space you were keeping for safety. The reply to that is, ease off and increase your following distance.

  3. #48
    George K1200RS GeorgeK1200RS's Avatar
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    Running over a turtle is like hitting a big rock rock - Michigan

    A face full of poop from a crane flying above me - Mississippi River in northern Illinois

    Bugs at night that covered my face shield, windshield and head light with bright red guts - 30 seconds and I pulled over - somewhere in Oregon at night. Used my drinking water to clean things so I could proceed.

    What looked like black bugs. Slowed down. Turned out to be chucks of a tire from a semi. If I had not slowed down, the recap would have taken me out when it flew off the wheel. Somewhere in Florida

    Crossing a narrow country bridge in Ohio Amish Country, a hawk departed the road kill it was dining on and hit my left mirror and my shoulder. No real damage to me, but got a small collection of feathers.

    Several furry four legged critters - both daytime and night...including one huge raccoon...in several states

    Came around a blind corner, again in Ohio Amish country, and found myself sharing the road with a herd being driven back to the barn. I pulled over to let them pass. Then a bull mounted a cow and did this thing while they moved past me. Later on the road, behind a liquid manure sprayer that was dripping...not a pretty sight or fragrance. Slowed down and backed off until he turned into the field he was going to spray.

    Came up on a cattle hauler semi somewhere on an uphill grade in the Rockies. When the hill got steeper the exhaust from the cattle ran out of the back of the trailer and made life interesting.

    Picked up a 20 penny nail in my /5 back tire on a back road in Kansas. My buddy took the wheel and tire into town while I sat on the side of road with my bike center stand on by rocks to raise it up. Only two cars passed in the three hours it took for him to get back with my repaired tire. After that I always carried a spare tube...and today tire plugs.

    Was in northern Arizona. Off in the distance a very large RV was stopped in the road so I slowed down. There was a huge range bull in the middle of the road not letting the RV pass. When the bull looked a me, I slowly turned around and rode away. Went 150 miles out of the way to get where I was going. No contact, thank God.

    Open face helmet, rural Michigan. A hornet came over the windshield and into the helmet by my right ear and temple. Several stings before I got stopped and able to remove the helmet. The hornet flew off.

    I'm sure there are many more, but my memory fades.
    George
    K1200RS, K1200LT, R80RT, R100R, R75/5

  4. #49
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Voni and I were riding across the Missouri bootheel on a two-lane blacktop highway. I was in the lead. I noticed a fairly large flat piece of corrugated cardboard lying in the road. I think it was a flattened cardboard box. I was in the right wheel track and also meeting a semi but passing the cardboard was a non-event for me. Just as I was past the cardboard it was blown up into the air by the passing semi. That is of course where Voni and her bike were.

    I glanced in my mirror just in time to see the box flat against the front of her bike - headlight and helmet face shield were covered by the cardboard. She couldn't see anything straight ahead. But she (apparently) calmly reached up with her left hand, grabbed the cardboard, and pulled it away to her left. We pulled over to gather our wits.

    The cardboard, and the grit on it from being run over several times, left scratches on her headlight, the fairing, and her helmet faceshield.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  5. #50
    neanderssance man sedanman's Avatar
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    Years ago commuting to work on my NightHawk 650 I got behind a guy with a rowboat in the back of his pickup. The boat was not secured at all and I thought it might slide out so I was ready when it did.
    Paul
    "Friends don't let friends ride junk!"
    2011 R1200RT

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    Going 70 or so on an Interstate in traffic, I was confronted by a 20-30 gallon plastic garbage can a few years ago.

    It rolled into my lane, and as with Joe's experience, I was too close to dodge. There was a thump as the bike's front end rode over it, and a buzz-thump as (I think) it briefly was stuck beneath the bike before the rear tire went over it. I was surprised that the bike did not even wiggle alarmingly, although I can confirm that my adrenal glands got a good workout once they figured out what had happened.
    "Driving a car" I hit a plastic bucket too, after it flew out of the back of a service truck in front of me. Busted my fog light & bumper cover paint job messed up. I was in hvy traffic with multiple lanes & in urban St.Louis during daylight rush hour. When I was told it was my fault I ended up talking to the Vice-president of Claims(or better put, "howdowegivethemtheshaft") and I distinctly remember the guy asking me if the bucket was air born(and thus supposedly unavoidable) or lying on the highway (as if you could simply drive around it) to determine if they had correctly decided against me by assigning fault. I lost my large claim free discount & after asking "which way was my fault" I lied & kept my discount after the call.
    Another time I hit an orange cone as I rounded a ramp/curve and took out a PU headlight & they didn't take the discount then with no discussion?
    Moral: watch what you hit and HOW you hit it...
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicVW View Post
    Your argument is weak and a cop-out. Do you remember your high school drivers ed? A student will always say what you said, that another car will fill the space you were keeping for safety. The reply to that is, ease off and increase your following distance.
    I will repeat that cages where I'm from will absolutely cut in front of you if there's any chance at all (young sailors on their way to base). We're moving fast. Dangerous? Yes, I try to maintain a car-length or two when at all possible - it's inconceivable to actually put a car length in between for every 10mph as I was taught back in '66. Main goal is to get to work and home, safely, through whatever. Always scanning, never daydreaming. Nonetheless, stuff happens. If you travel daily, things will occur, hence the title of this thread - What items have you dodged or hit on your commute.

    Now, as an aside, since you are named ClassicVW, my first was a '63 Bug, then a '58 Bug, a '64, then a '67, then a '76, then a '74 Karmann Ghia. Good cars, all!

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDabbs View Post
    Now, as an aside, since you are named ClassicVW, my first was a '63 Bug, then a '58 Bug, a '64, then a '67, then a '76, then a '74 Karmann Ghia. Good cars, all!
    Great cars! I don't know if I can recall every one I had or built, but they included a '65 Bug convertible Porsche red with Porsche wheels, a '68 Bug, and a '74 Super with factory metal sunroof.

    I'm always on the lookout for either a notchback or a squareback. ( I know, Lots of luck! )

  9. #54
    Registered User bluehole's Avatar
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    Not sure if this qualifies as something I dodged or hit, but...

    Commuting to work on local circumferential highway a few years ago on a R1150RT. Got caught in the right lane behind an open semi. Traffic in the left lane was heavy and there was no getting around the truck, but I was not in a hurry so I settled in for the few miles to my exit. Noticed some tan/brown spots showing up on the windshield. Did not think too much of the spotting until a I realized the cages on the open semi were full of chickens. The liquid spots on my RT were chicken poop. Gear kept the poop off my work clothes, but pulling the gear out of my sidecases before the ride home was nasty. Nothing like putting on gear lightly sauteed in chicken mess for most of the day. The bike smelled pretty bad too. Gear and bike got a thorough cleaning when I got home. I make a point of staying well away from chicken trucks.
    2000 R1100RS
    1972 R75/5

  10. #55
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeDabbs View Post
    Yes, I try to maintain a car-length or two when at all possible - it's inconceivable to actually put a car length in between for every 10mph as I was taught back in '66.
    A car length or two? You are tailgating 99 percent of the time! And what you were taught in '66 was totally wrong even then. Appropriate following distance is determined by time, like two seconds minimum, not car lengths. The car in front passes a pole or delineator. You should be able to count a full two seconds before you pass that same object.

    Yeah, I know, it can be difficult on some major metropolitan roads maintaining proper following distance, but you should never give up entirely...

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  11. #56
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    I'm always very careful to limit the time I ride near open trucks and keep a good distance from all other vehicles. So guess what I got to dodge in Missouri.
    The topbox from the bike ahead! Never even considered that as a threat! They bounce real good.
    Volunteer for the 2014 Rally in St. Paul. rallyvolunteer@bmwmoa.org

  12. #57
    Registered User kthflieger's Avatar
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    I-25 through downtown Denver during rush hour - pickup truck with a stock rack hauling new tires lost one overborard. Luckily I went under it between bounces. The motorist behind me wasn't so lucky as the tire landed squarely on their hood. That was enough - I let the RTD bus driver do the driving after that when I had to commute into D during rush hour!
    "Wer reitet so spaet durch nacht und wind -es ist der Vater mit seinem Kind" -- Goethe
    R1200RT, F800GS
    '80 GL1100

  13. #58
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    What items have you dodged or hit on your commute?

    Besides Deer and Moose the oddest thing I dodged was a couch in the middle of the road traveling home (NY) from Daytona through Georgia 2 years ago. I had plenty of time to slow down but there is that moment where actually seeing a couch in the middle of the road doesn't immediately make sense to the human brain thus the delay time factor. And I mean with the cushions and everything looking right on it. Didn't fall off a truck/car.

    What I have "hit" (or hit me) was traveling on a Honda CL450 someplace in Indiana many miles in a cloud of stink wet funk that was starting to make me almost vomit. I tried to outrun the smell and mist but it only got worse. Eventually I caught up to a tractor trailer hauling hundreds and hundreds of pigs in open cages. Ahhhhhgggg, I was drenched in swine urine +?
    I had to go to one of those self-cleaning car washes for the bike and myself.

    Learning to drive in the early '70's I recall we were taught in H.S. Drivers Ed one (1) car length for every ten (10) miles per hour.
    Not realistic but that's what they taught.
    Last edited by stagewex; 02-17-2014 at 04:37 PM. Reason: bad spelling

  14. #59
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stagewex View Post

    Learning to drive in the early '70's I recall we were taught in H.S. Drivers Ed one (1) car length for every ten (10) miles per hour.
    Not realistic but that's what they taught.
    Actually, not as far off as today's experts would have you believe, particularly with the cars back then and typical speeds about 60 mph. At 60 mph or 88 feet per second, two seconds is 176 feet. That divided by 6 (for 60 mph) would be 29 feet. So six car lengths wasn't even enough at 60. For today's sized cars you need more like 8 or 9 car lengths at 60 mph to have 2 second following distance.

    Yee gads! They taught me to tailgate in driver's ed in 1959.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  15. #60
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    I described the two-second following distance as a minimum. They now teach a three-second following distance.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

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