Got doored today

door (v): to open your car door and hit a biker who is riding by

Luckily it wasn’t bad, just some cuts and scrapes. I was riding between the parked cars and the driving cars, and some kids opened the doors of a driving car.

Some things that I want to say about this:

This does not mean biking is dangerous. I was lane splitting. This is where you ride between lanes of (usually stopped) cars. I don’t recommend it for a beginner. You can just as easily bike without lane splitting.

However, biking should be safer. As usual. In particular, we should teach drivers about bikers and “dooring”, and teach the Dutch door-opening thing where you open the door with hand that’s farther from the door so it makes you turn around and look out the window by default.

Lane splitting (for bicycles, in stopped traffic, at least) is legal. At least, I’m pretty sure. I’m more sure in California than in Pennsylvania, but either way, I’d like to know some info if you’ve got it. It should be, anyway. Decongests the road and is normally reasonably safe. Besides, if you argue against lane splitting, you better not argue that bikers should get off the road and stop blocking traffic. We’re all trying to reduce congestion.

The driver was nice. You hear a lot of horror stories about bikers getting hit by jerks or people who vanish. I’ve been hit twice in Pittsburgh now, both minor, and the drivers were both really nice and communicative by texts later. I think this is the norm.

If you hit a person, give them a minute. Saying “are you okay?” a lot is kinda counterproductive. I don’t want to say “yes” because of insurance/legal reasons (“sorry, insurance won’t pay your medical bills, you said you were okay.") but ¬†you’re basically asking me to make you feel better. There’s nothing you can really do (unless you have first aid supplies), so just chill out for a second and let me collect my thoughts and survey my body and bike parts. Even then, I probably won’t tell you “I’m okay” (even if I probably am). But I appreciate you stopping and hanging out for a minute. My adrenaline’s going nuts here.

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