Quote Originally Posted by timbro View Post
I was riding home from work at 6 PM. It was dark with a steady rainfall. I was travelling my usual route, a 4 lane city arterial with curbs and sidewalks on each side; no shoulders or bike lanes.

I passed a city fire station and noticed the paramedics running out to their ambulance. The roadway has stoplights every 3-4 blocks. The ambulance pulled out behind me with visibar lights and traffic light strobe activated.

It was amazing, the traffic lights that always snared me now turned green in front of me as I stayed about 300 feet in front of the ambulance. Speed limit is 35 MPH but with the rainy conditions the ambulance was travelling between 40-45 MPH gradually closing the gap between us. I accelerated a little to maintain the gap and kept enjoying the traffic lights turning green in front of me as I sped along.

There was no traffic around me, but I could see some congestion about a 1/2 mile ahead. The urge to keep moving due to the rain and the sheer enjoyment of every traffic light "magically" turning green for me, thanks to the ambulance, overcame the smart move of pulling over, stopping, and allowing the ambulance to pass by.

As I approached the traffic traveling my direction, driver's were already showing the "jitters" of an emergency vehicle approaching them from the rear. Some brake lights were coming on, some turn signals were being activated, and some like me kept rolling along hoping the ambulance would turn off and not interrupt our cruise.

I was in the right lane and began passing a car on the right who was in the left lane. I saw his right turn signal activate,reflecting off his chrome bumper,and he began to slowly enter my lane with me still in it. He was attempting to pull to the right and stop to allow the ambulance to pass. With a curb immediately to my right, I accelerated to pull ahead. I was just entering an intersection where the road slopes down on the other side creating a partial blind spot. I was travelling about 40 MPH with a car merging into my lane from the left and lo and behold, about 50 feet in from of me is a stopped blue minivan, who had travelled through the instersection and then immediately stopped in the right lane to allow the ambulance to pass.

With only curb on my right, I instinctively tapped the brakes on my 91 K75RT and the rear wheel immediately locked and began to skid on the wet pavement. I released the brakes and knew the only way out of this mess, was to steer out of it. I was back on the throttle to finally clear the car to my left and swerved to the left and back to the right, missing the car on my left by several feet and the left rear corner of the stopped blue minivan by about a foot.

Nothing like the thrill of raw adrenelin rushing through your veins.

Epilog: Yes, I should have pulled over when I observed the ambulance behind me with emergency lights activated. I especially should have pulled over before entering traffic in front of me. WE were like chickens with our heads cut off all trying to decide if, when, and where to stop to allow the ambulance to pass.

The good thing was remembering my defensive driving training and the skill of steering out of trouble rather than locking the brakes, or worse, laying the bike down.

i think we need to come back to some of the original intent of this thread, which was not just sharing what happened, but analyzing why the crash happened, and what could have been done to prevent it. As AndyVH has posited in another Riding thread- a crash is (nearly) always OUR fault, regardless of what the other idiots(s) did.

in this case, attempting to pass cars on their wrong (right) side with the added distraction of an emergency vehicle rapidly approaching from behind was a foolish choice. best would have probably been to continue "leading" the ambulance until you reached the stopped/stopping traffic, and then pulling over and waiting for the entire mess to straighten itself out.
legal would have been pulling over as soon as you realized that the ambulance was coming up behind you.