View Full Version : close encounter with a tour bus

09-27-2004, 10:05 AM
it's leaf-beeper season already in new england. the season i dread. because we get legions of tour buses clogging our roads.

yesterday, i meet my first tour bus of the season, literally.

i was riding through a traffic circle. i had the right of way. a tour bus was entering the traffic circle. there was a huge, clear "yield" sign on his road. he looked me straight in the eye and drove right through the yield sign. he used the "gross vehicle weight" line of reasoning on me. i was already committed to the traffic circle. he kept coming. i moved left, toward the inside of the circle. he moved left. i moved left as far as i could. he moved farther left. i reached out and pounded on the bus side, it was close enuf to touch. he moved farther left. i now had a choice. hit a bus or hit a granite curb. the last thought that flashed through my head as i braked, relaxed and laid it down over the granite curb was...oh, no, not on this paint job.

to tell you how sick i am, after i stopped bouncing, the first thought i had wasn't am i ok, it was "is the frame ok?" i was on my pearl white CSi and i heard some metal/granite interfacing going on as i fell. luckily (?) my left shoulder, hip and knee took the bulk of the impact. but the left seatstay did get whacked pretty well by the granite. luckily, too, i'm just scraped up as well. that relaxing as you fall trick really does work, even on granite.

in a testiment to the strength of steel and the build quality of a serotta, the seatstay is straight and true, just scraped pretty well, in one spot down to the steel. thank you, kelly, for build such a stout frame. any tips, anybody, for touching up the paint on a steel frame?

as a final aside, the rest of the ride, i did look at all the dead roadkill critters with a very empathetic eye. we're all one screwed up bus driver away from being roadkill ourselves. the gross vehicle weight argument is powerful but damn unfair.

09-27-2004, 10:13 AM
climb, I am glad you are alright.

Your story reminds me of a classic chinese fable I grew up listening to...it's about a cricket trying to stop a wooden cart from proceeding down the road that he frequently crosses over to the other side.... Well, guess who win in the end?

I know it's an unfair match but the end result is just the same. :D

09-27-2004, 10:20 AM
Climbo?! Is the Merckx SC OK?!?!?!?? Ok, good....whew....<burp> :beer:
Oh, and are you ready to sell it?? I hear the top tubes on those thigs are really flexy... :bike: :banana: :D

Matt Barkley
09-27-2004, 10:22 AM
Sorry to hear about the encounter Climb. I find the most dangerous and offensive (read opposite of defensive) drivers out there are school bus, metro bus, and dump truck drives. YIKES!! They will pull out IN to you on your bike! :crap: I have had bus drivers see me, just as you described with direct eye contact, pull out into me as I collided with the side of the front of the bus, next to the driver, me pounding on the side and screaming - and I have confronted them at the next light asking, "Do you have a vision problem, did you not see me?!" Reply, "Oh yeah, Oh, I saaaw YOU."

09-27-2004, 10:27 AM
bus drivers are, without a doubt, the worst. they're bullies. by comparison, 18-wheelers are choirboys. :cool:

Too Tall
09-27-2004, 10:50 AM
Good gravy boy. Good thing you bounce well. Glad all your bits are OK. Quit fighting buses!!! Try VW's or sumthin.

09-27-2004, 10:58 AM
Hey Climb,
Sorry to hear about your close encounter with a BusBully. Glad your ok! I can empathize; Iíve had my share of run-ins with Tri-met bus drivers back in Portland. They rank up there with the spitting, bottle throwing rednecks. :argue:


Bruce K
09-27-2004, 11:09 AM

Glad to hear you are OK.

Did you manage to get the name of the bus company?

Do you carry a cell phone? I have heard the Concord Police are fairly pro-active and sympathetic to cyclist/car issues.

I guess this means we should think about a North SHore ride versus a western 'burbs ride.


Len J
09-27-2004, 11:29 AM
Glad you're around to tell the story.

Any ID on the Bus?


09-27-2004, 12:57 PM
only thing i remember about the bus was that it was white, big and metal. :rolleyes:

09-27-2004, 01:17 PM
The comedian Gallagher had a great soultion for this type of encounter. Everybody is given a little rubber stick em dart gun like you got when you were 5 years old. Whenever someone does something stupid (prime example being your encounter with the bus driver), you shoot them in the bumper with your dart gun. The dart has a little flag that says "stupid" on it. When an officer pulls behind a vehicle with about a dozen of these on the back, he pulls them over and gives them a ticket for being a FA !!!!!

Glad to hear your OK. I can't stand some drivers. I love the ones who blow their horn about 5 feet behind you. I think it is intended to say "Move over or I'm gonna hit ya - you've been warned". Fact is, we would move over if it wasn't for all the beer cans, mufflers, broken bottles, etc that you motorists put on the road in the first place.

I'm surprised someone on the bus didn't see you go down. I would have loved to been on that bus. I would have jumped up and started screaming, STOP !!! I think you killed him, STOP !!!! Can you just see all the blue hair leafies going crazy when you start screaming that on a tour bus.

Your story is the exact reason I seek out routes that are off the beaten path. Some of the places I ride have people coming out of the house saying "Look mom - It's one of them there 2 wheeled self propelled thingies."

09-27-2004, 01:48 PM
Yes, bus drivers can be bullies. A few months ago I was squeezed between a bus and a line of parked cars. It could have been really ugly. I pounded on the side of the bus too but I don't think he cared, or heard it. I know he saw me, he just did not want to budge an inch to go around me. He wanted to teach me a lesson as so many drivers do now days. In my surprise, fear and rage I failed to get the number of the bus. Dang it.

09-27-2004, 02:50 PM
Glad you are ok.

Hope that bastard has a heart attack from his lack of exercise. It will make the roads safer for all of us.

09-27-2004, 03:20 PM
Geeze, it seems that all sorts of folks who would never threaten anybody with a gun feel free to threaten and muscle you with their vehicles.

As for touch up: between layers go fine and go wet, use good light and take your time.

Bruce K
09-27-2004, 03:35 PM

Climb's CSI is a pearlescent white that is beautiful to behold. I believe he posted pictures in the recent past.

I don't think he'll be doing the touch-up himself except as a way to prevent rusting of the steel. I think this will have to be re-painted at the factory or by some other pro.

Climb, I hate to ask but, was this an Owner's Club bike? The crash protection will go a long way to restoring it's beauty if it was.

Again, glad to hear you are okay.


09-27-2004, 03:56 PM
bruce, nope, never did the owner's club. suddenly, it looks pretty good. :crap:

Bill Bove
09-27-2004, 05:30 PM
Climb, glad you're O.K. What happened to you happens so often it sometimes makes the dope smoking, peace sign waving, anti-violence, pinko-liberal in me think about carrying a small pistol with me when I ride. A couple of shots from a .22 into his rear bumper wouldn't pose much threat to anybody but it would sure make me feel better.

Giro keeps returning my letters sugesting a helmet mounted rocket launcher.

Bill, I just wanna ride my bike, why do you hate me so much?

09-27-2004, 06:31 PM
bill, i'm pretty non-violent, but if giro comes out with a 50 caliber helmet-mounted anti-motorized-idiot-equalizer, sign me up.

09-27-2004, 08:38 PM
Would you settle for a scandium framed, titanium cylinder 12oz, 5 shot .357 Magnum? If so, Smith and Wesson has them in the Model 342...

09-27-2004, 10:59 PM
Climb- I'm glad you are OK. Maybe Serotta can have as an option a single, armor piercing, 50 cal round that is fired from a barrel incorpoated into your top tube. Maybe make it an explosive round if that's possible. It might slow some buses once they pass too close. :banana:

09-28-2004, 07:33 AM

I am sorry to hear about your run-in with the bus, but I am glad to hear that you are ok.


09-28-2004, 08:16 AM
Glad you're okay Climb! Dang :argue: buses and rednecks...!! :crap:

Be safe!

09-28-2004, 09:39 AM
I have one mounted under the grill of my car and one pointing out the back...

09-28-2004, 09:57 AM
a paintball gun...brilliant!
...streamlined and fitted to the top tube??
i'd be willing to carry that extra weight around...
...now that would cause a resurgance
in cycling interest worldwide!!
imagine what lance could have
done this summer with one of those!

09-28-2004, 04:26 PM
Yeah, those bus drivers won't give you an inch. They have a special course in bus driver school, "Let's see how close we can come to the bicycle rider without hitting him-101."
What really scares the crap out of me are pickups & vans that are pulling a trailer or boat that is weaving down the road behind them. Just as the vehicle passes and you think it's clear, here comes the trailer at you. Never been hit but had some close calls. Always hesitate now and take a longer look in the mirror at approaching vehicles.

09-28-2004, 05:21 PM
If you think you could recognize the driver, spend a few mornings in the same area and track him down and get his bus number. Might be worth the trouble. It think it's worth filing a complaint of some kind.

09-28-2004, 06:41 PM
That is a good idea slow...