So, which lovely car would YOU like to be doored by?

It happened again. I narrowly escaped being doored in Inman Square. I was on my daily bicycling commute going at a leisurely 8-9 miles per hour just past Cambridge Hospital (convenient, eh?) when suddenly: A woman abruptly strides into the lane 3 feet ahead of me, and in a split second flings open the door of her Mercedes straight into my path. I swerve, stop, and give her a shocked glare. She starts to apologize, “Oh, I didn’t …” and then, as if a switch flicks on in her mind, she suddenly changes tone. “I came here first, you should have seen me!”. And then, without bothering to listen, she repeats this twice. For emphasis. Then, she enters the car and shuts the door.

Sigh. I tried to control myself and explain. She had walked into the lane without looking left or right, on a busy street during morning rush hour. No effect. Apparently, I was at fault. I should have stopped when I saw her materialize in my path from behind a parked van. In that epiphanic moment when she switched gears from apology to defense, she must have calculated that at a speed of 8.5 mph, I had a full 0.25 seconds to react. See? If only I had lightning fast reflexes and good peripheral vision, I could have stopped and allowed Lady Mercedes to open her door and drive leisurely away.

She had medical scrubs on. When the buzzing in my ears stopped, I wondered if she was having a bad day or something. Or, maybe she had been on medical call the night before and was sleep-deprived. Who knows? I just don’t want to be doored, and after three close shaves so far, I wonder how much longer my luck will hold.

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2 thoughts on “So, which lovely car would YOU like to be doored by?”

  1. Glad you didn’t get doored. I bike in terror of cars. I have several friends who have been hit by them while they were riding in bike lanes and one friend even ended up with a broken leg. I had a close call once at a top sign where both driver and I had stopped. I was there first, I had right of way, I looked at the driver, driver looked at me. I went and when I was in the middle of crossing they started to go and came within less than a foot of running into me. wtf? There is a campaign here called Share the Road but I think the only ones who pay attention to it are cyclists and the drivers remain oblivious. Sorry for the little rant. Safe riding to you.

    1. Stefanie, sorry to hear about your friends. One of my friends at work broke a bone in his hand in a dooring accident two years ago and has given up bicycling for good. People ought to do MRI studies to find out what it is about being in a car that brings out the worst in otherwise sensible people. I’ve seen it happen to myself as well: I’m not an aggressive driver, but I’ve caught myself muttering “Idiot!” behind the wheel, whereas on a bike I usually just shake my head and move on.

      Stay safe. (On a related note, I loved cycling around the UMN campus in Minneapolis when I was there ten years ago, and sometimes would cross from East to West bank just for the fun of it. Would have loved to cycle around downtown St. Paul.)

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