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-   -   Thinking of no longer riding on roads (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1147615)

Marcus_Ti 06-25-18 05:18 PM


Originally Posted by squirtdad (Post 20412316)
Sir, I feel for you if this is your daily experience. My daily experience is much different. In the last 20 years or so, have been yelled at once (and an apple thrown) by some high school punks, and maybe been beeped at once or twice because a motorist had to wait. No swerves or purposeful close calls.

as for the sharks, the only way to avoid 100% is to not get in the ocean, but i choose not to do that. Just like if you want to be 100% sure you are not hit on the road is to not ride on the road, but I also choose not to do that...to me that is not living life. your choices and the OP's choices will differ depending on personal viewpoint

Close calls are daily. It is worse because out here red-necks drive pickups designed for pulling trailers so they have extended mirrors that stick out an additional 2 feet on either side...and cyclists get "mirrored" and the motorist drives on never knowing they hit and killed a cyclist simply with their mirrors. I think in the last 5 years half-a-dozen cyclist deaths near My Fair City are truck-mirror-strike hit-and-runs. Then there are the red necks that see a cyclist and will swerve just in front of you onto the shoulder to spray gravel at you.

Last month I was riding at 0500-0800 before work because of High Summer heat/humidity....on one rural state highway (all but otherwise deserted at that hour), at 0645 every morning I'd meet the same car going the opposite direction. He'd blare his horn yell and flip me the bird. Why? Because I'm on a bike.


Back a decade and a half ago cyclists around here would get greeted "HEY LANCE!" out the window...now it is "HEY F@G GET OFF THE ROAD!"....and that is the stuff I can say that will not earn an infraction. And the homophobic slurs are nothing compared to what the ladies have to deal with. For the politically inclined-rednecks also always assume cyclists are liberals, so that adds even more to the dumpster fire of hate levied in Red State Landia.


And that is before cellphone zombies come into it.

Juan Foote 06-25-18 05:27 PM

I have not been out on an "open road" ride since Nov of last year. I had several minor incidents in a row that just had me lose confidence that I would get back home uninjured/alive. It rather sucks because it has been piled onto the list of uncertainties and excuses that keep my off my bike and have me firmly planted back in Clyde world. It actually didn't help that we passed a 3 foot law and not one cop anywhere enforces it. Almost got run over (among those incidents) by a cop who had just watched me get mirror bumped by the car in front of them. Imagine my disquiet when I am trying to get his attention to write THEM a ticket and follows up by almost killing me himself. I was rather incredulous.

Now I try to ride, on the seldom case that I do, on cart paths, in a park/neighborhood, or on my trainer.

As to group rides? Yeah, about totally done with that non-sense. I quit riding with my club because of asshat shenanigans everyone wanted to pull like we were in some magical CAT6 race. I was doing some large social rides and between the mindless young liberals that populated the rides and the drunk folks that couldn't, I decided that probably wasn't safe either.

I have to say that in respect to riding I sure did enjoy when I was younger and more mindless to the inherent dangers.

jon c. 06-25-18 07:25 PM

I'm fortunate to have good roads and friendly drivers. Never occurs to me to have any fear. There have been couple of cyclists killed on area roads, but the roads are also dotted with crosses commemorating deaths in auto accidents and that doesn't worry me when I'm driving. I get a few horns and hollers, but it's rare. If I had to put up with nasty drivers on a daily basis, it would definitely take a lot of the fun out riding and I might feel differently.

Chris0516 06-25-18 11:27 PM

I don't have the option to avoid high-traffic roads. Because I live in a very congested region.

Greenhil 06-26-18 05:04 AM

I try to pick my spots. Here all the roads are rural roads, which I think helps - but that means people often drive too fast.

A few weeks ago I was thinking about riding to and from work, which would be about 26 miles each way, and on my drive home decided to scope out a route. Part of it was along a dirt road which was serving as a detour during road construction. No shoulder, obviously, lots of curves and too much traffic going too fast for that stretch of road. I decided it was too sketchy (and wouldn’t be much fun, anyway). Sadly, a few days later a cyclist was hit and seriously injured on that same stretch.

i try to avoid the busiest roads, highways without shoulders and those popular with rubbernecking tourists.

downhillmaster 06-26-18 05:35 AM


Originally Posted by salcedo (Post 20408446)
This. Cycling feels riskier than it is. Many activities that you do are riskier than they feel.

For example, living a sedentary life sitting on your couch all day is way more dangerous than being out on the road.

There it is.
The nonsensical and unsolicited comparison.
FYI, living a sedentary life sitting on your couch while eating a healthy diet is way safer than being out on the road and eating an unhealthy diet.
What’s your point?
Because it seems like you are trying to defend road cycling as not being dangerous and that is silly.
It is dangerous.

Daniel4 06-26-18 07:00 AM


Originally Posted by downhillmaster (Post 20412986)


Because it seems like you are trying to defend road cycling as not being dangerous and that is silly.
It is dangerous.

There's only one factor that makes cycling dangerous and it's not the bicycle, the cyclists nor pedestrians.

http://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.3557529

mcours2006 06-26-18 07:10 AM


Originally Posted by downhillmaster (Post 20412986)
Because it seems like you are trying to defend road cycling as not being dangerous and that is silly.
It is dangerous.

Cycling is more dangerous than some activities and less than other activities. To simply say that it's dangerous is silly.:rolleyes:

mcours2006 06-26-18 07:15 AM

This might be of interest:
Risk of dying and sporting activities

Milton Keynes 06-26-18 07:42 AM


Originally Posted by mcours2006 (Post 20413102)
This might be of interest:
Risk of dying and sporting activities

Honesly I want to know how someone dies from playing table tennis (ping pong). I mean, does the ball bounce off the table into the player's mouth and get stuck in his throat causing suffocation?

mcours2006 06-26-18 07:48 AM


Originally Posted by Milton Keynes (Post 20413156)
Honesly I want to know how someone dies from playing table tennis (ping pong). I mean, does the ball bounce off the table into the player's mouth and get stuck in his throat causing suffocation?

I wondered the same thing. Even running. I had no idea it was that dangerous.

Seriously, though, if the data is correct I am thinking maybe heart attack or stroke, or something similar.

Milton Keynes 06-26-18 07:53 AM

Well, with running, there's always the possibility of getting run over by a car. But table tennis?

And if the cause of death is heart attack or stroke, I'd attribute that to be the cause of death, not exercising. Maybe the exercise might be a factor, but not necessarily the cause of death.

downhillmaster 06-26-18 08:00 AM


Originally Posted by Daniel4 (Post 20413080)
There's only one factor that makes cycling dangerous and it's not the bicycle, the cyclists nor pedestrians.

http://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.3557529

Incorrect. As with anything, there are multiple factors. Of course in the case of cycling the single biggest factor by far would be motorists.
But I have seen plenty of cyclists swerve into traffic to avoid a pothole or road debris. Cyclists are not blameless.

mcours2006 06-26-18 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by downhillmaster (Post 20413186)

Incorrect. As with anything, there are multiple factors. Of course in the case of cycling the single biggest factor by far would be motorists.
But I have seen plenty of cyclists swerve into traffic to avoid a pothole or road debris. Cyclists are not blameless.

His point, and I get it, is that without cars cycling would be infinitely safer. No need to be pedantic about it.:rolleyes:

indyfabz 06-26-18 08:53 AM


Originally Posted by downhillmaster (Post 20413186)


But I have seen plenty of cyclists swerve into traffic to avoid a pothole or road debris. Cyclists are not blameless.

Shoot. I know of plenty of cyclists who have wiped out with no auto involvement whatsoever. During one club event a guy came down a hill too fast, lost control at an intersection and ended up dead in the parking lot of some farm supply business across the road. When I was touring out west two friends came off Togwotee Pass into DuBois, WY. One of them ride through a patch of sand on the shoulder and wiped out big time. Broke ribs, punctured a lung, etc. I heard the ambulance but didn't know what had happened. Ended up running into his buddy the following day in city park in Lander. He was camping there while their wives drove out from MN to pick them up. A few days later I was walking to get lunch in Jeffrey City when I saw a van with MN plates heading east. Two bikes were on the roof. One of them was seriously messed up. Must have been them. A few years ago, a friend of mine lost control, went off course and hit a tree with his face while taking a warm up lap before a CX race. He died right there.

Daniel4 06-26-18 09:56 AM


Originally Posted by downhillmaster (Post 20413186)

Incorrect. As with anything, there are multiple factors. Of course in the case of cycling the single biggest factor by far would be motorists.
But I have seen plenty of cyclists swerve into traffic to avoid a pothole or road debris. Cyclists are not blameless.

So how many people who has posted here and in the following article are thinking of giving up cycling or changing their route because of potholes or road debris? And you're also trying to pin blame for a cyclist trying to avoid pot holes and debris? How many motorists actually do the same?

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/06/14/for-torontos-cyclists-the-fear-is-real-and-its-holding-them-back.html

LanghamP 06-26-18 11:22 AM

[QUOTE=Daniel4;20413411]So how many people who has posted here and in the following article are thinking of giving up cycling or changing their route because of potholes or road debris? And you're also trying to pin blame for a cyclist trying to avoid pot holes and debris? How many motorists actually do the same?
/QUOTE]

"Swerving into traffic" implies the bicyclist was never accepted as traffic in the first place, but rather squeezed to the side until he needed to take evasive action.

Virtually 100% of my accidents have involved cars. Even the non auto accident I had eight years ago might be argued as car related because I took a convoluted route in order to avoid going across a narrow two lane bridge where I might have been hit by an impatient driver.

The biggest threat bicyclists have is being hit by drivers. From most to least effectiveness...
--Remove the threat.
--Isolate the threat.
--Training the threat not to hit you.
--Training yourself to deal with the threat that's about to hit you.
--Safety equipment when the threat hits you.

This is why I don't advocate helmets; they just don't do much good in avoiding the threat in the first place, or help much during a collision.

Dyskolos 06-26-18 11:37 AM

I had four injury/damage crashes prior to being hit by a car, all of which were self-inflicted and one of which resulted in greater physical injury and more more damage to the bike than being hit by the car. I didn't think of ceasing to ride roads because in each of the four self-inflicted crashes I knew what happened to cause the crash and the power to correct each condition lay solely with me. Being hit by the car, however, was entirely different. There was absolutely nothing I could have done differently to avoid it other than simply not being on the road, so that is what I choose. Statistics are comforting until you are the one . . .

squirtdad 06-26-18 12:13 PM


Originally Posted by downhillmaster (Post 20412986)

There it is.
The nonsensical and unsolicited comparison.
FYI, living a sedentary life sitting on your couch while eating a healthy diet is way safer than being out on the road and eating an unhealthy diet.
What’s your point?
Because it seems like you are trying to defend road cycling as not being dangerous and that is silly.
It is dangerous.

This presents it like riding on the road is a sure path to injury and death, which it is not. Scare mongering is not beneficial to advocacy.

There is is some risk to riding on the road, but it is not outrageous risk and it is a risk that can be mitigated by many simple things on the riders part

salcedo 06-27-18 07:57 AM


Originally Posted by downhillmaster (Post 20412986)

There it is.
The nonsensical and unsolicited comparison.
FYI, living a sedentary life sitting on your couch while eating a healthy diet is way safer than being out on the road and eating an unhealthy diet.
What’s your point?
Because it seems like you are trying to defend road cycling as not being dangerous and that is silly.
It is dangerous.

Of course it is not dangerous. Not really. Cycling in places like the US or Canada is only slightly more risky than driving in terms of serious accidents or death per time traveled. But it is still much safer than a lot of activities that people do on a regular basis. The health benefits from cycling exceed the health risks. (A good diet helps, but some physical activity is also important to live a healthy life).

And it depends on how you ride. The data includes recreational cyclists who like to do 50mph descents on curvy roads with moderate car traffic. And it includes bike messengers racing each other through the city disregarding traffic rules.

If you are worried about your safety, ride safely.

work4bike 06-27-18 10:17 AM

I've been cycling on roadways for over 30 years now and have been hit four times. You get used to it:injured::beer:

Paul Barnard 06-27-18 05:03 PM


Originally Posted by work4bike (Post 20415357)
I've been cycling on roadways for over 30 years now and have been hit four times. You get used to it:injured::beer:

This may seem like an inflammatory question, but that's not my intent. With the benefit of hindsight and the knowledge you have gained through the years, were any of them avoidable.

dennis336 06-28-18 05:23 AM

How we assess risk and respond to it is an interesting topic. There are certainly activities that are objectively/statistically more risky than others. I'm thinking that most of us don't know the risk statistics for all the activities we take part in throughout each day but our decisions to partake or avoid specific activities is a mix of personal experience, biases, and psychology. A common example is someone who is terrified of flying in an airplane but participates in many other activities that are statistically far more dangerous. I think this happens at a personal level in our decision making and at a societal level. Based on a whole host of historical, cultural, and other reasons we may respond quite differently to certain kinds of threats that are statically less a threat than others that actually are more costly in terms of threat and public safety.

Marcus_Ti 06-28-18 05:48 AM


Originally Posted by salcedo (Post 20415090)
Of course it is not dangerous. Not really. Cycling in places like the US or Canada is only slightly more risky than driving in terms of serious accidents or death per time traveled. But it is still much safer than a lot of activities that people do on a regular basis. The health benefits from cycling exceed the health risks. (A good diet helps, but some physical activity is also important to live a healthy life).

And it depends on how you ride. The data includes recreational cyclists who like to do 50mph descents on curvy roads with moderate car traffic. And it includes bike messengers racing each other through the city disregarding traffic rules.

If you are worried about your safety, ride safely.

The only way to "ride safely" and not be hit by a car, is to not ride among cars. That is it.


There is nothing as cyclists we can do about cellphone zombies and mid-afternoon drunks coming back from tailgating. Cyclists will still be hit and killed even after doing everything right WRT traffic law and street smarts.

MoAlpha 06-28-18 06:38 AM

Humans are notoriously terrible at estimating risk and act consistently on irrational inborn biases. We gamble away our savings, ignore massive threats to life and limb, and get all phobic about stupid stuff. Whole industries are built on this fact and our public policy and politics reflect it vividly.


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