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mcours2006 07-01-18 07:21 AM


Originally Posted by Rje58 (Post 20422214)
https://www.healthiq.com/life-insura...search-cyclist

This is interesting....

I ride on public roads all the time, mostly out in the country where there is not a huge amount of traffic, but at least one car will whiz around me on two-lane roads at 40-60 mph almost every time I ride. I still believe the health and other benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks. I rode over 260 miles in June - but only because I ride out of my driveway and I'm rolling. If I had to put my bike on the rack and drive 30+ minutes to the MUP and then load it and come home every time I ride, I probably wouldn't get 100 miles in a month....

I feel the same way. For me, cycling has become as much a mode of transportation for me as it is a form of exercise, and the fact that it is both is a huge bonus. If cycling were only the latter I might be inclined to not do it at all because of the risks. I've been a runner for many years, and running doesn't have any of the risks we talk about here that is associated with cycling.

Daniel4 07-01-18 07:30 PM


Originally Posted by LanghamP (Post 20419114)
There's also mortality tables/actuaries that attempt to predict a person's demise by extrapolating how you will probably die by how people like you died in the past.

Pick up a life insurance questionaire; the questions are quite interesting. Bicycling presumably lowers your risk of heart disease while increasing the chances of a collision. That's why you always see life insurance companies offer differing payouts with the accidental death separated from illness death.

You'll also see weird questions like, "how often do you go to the dentist to get your teeth cleaned?" Surprisingly, just doing that adds 2-5 years to your life, because not having clean teeth results in a low-level whole body infection that damages your cardiovascular system.

So actuaries ought to know that the risk of mortality would be higher for a motorist than a cyclist simply because there are so much more motorists on the road killing each other. Annually the US sees 36,000 road fatalities. 2016 was a high at 37,000. 6000 were pedestrians and 840 were cyclists. The rest (81%) being motorists and their passengers including motorcycles.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of those motorist and passenger deaths were due to the driver suffering a heart attack behind the wheel.

Myosmith 07-01-18 07:44 PM

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships were built for.

RubenAlonzo 07-02-18 11:33 AM


Originally Posted by wgscott (Post 20407918)
Gravel or mountain biking might give you a nice alternative.

Yup, I moved to mountain bikes because riding on the street is just too risky now with so many drivers being distracted.

stephr1 12-23-19 12:45 PM

Hey Neighbor (I'm over in Mountain View :)

I'm not sure the intent of the poster was to claim cycling was so outrageously dangerous (He/she can correct me if I'm making false assumptions). There are moments when anything you do is more dangerous than it might be at other times (i.e. using a hair dryer is inherently not all that dangerous. Using a hair dryer while in the bath or shower with the water running is asking for a cardiac arrest moment).

Cycling does have its dangerousness (is that a word?) about it. That danger can be minimized by:

1. Avoiding heavy traffic times and/or places known to be hazardous for cycling
2. Avoiding heavily traveled roads where there is no bike path
3. Avoiding wet leaves, sand and other surfaces that cold cause one's tires to slip
4. Being safe, smart and intelligent about how, when, where to ride

There are prob'ly others, but that would be TL;DR boring stuff.

Like others have said, everything we do in the course of our lives has varying levels of danger, some inherently more than others. All we can do is figure out how to best mitigate that danger and the unfortunate outcomes when it comes calling for us. Then we just hope for the best, expect the worst, and plan accordingly.

Cheers.....


Originally Posted by squirtdad (Post 20413722)
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


Marci 12-23-19 01:19 PM

Something that I saw on line may help with feeling a bit safer. My friends did a road ride last year and to feel safer and increase visibility they took pool noodles and tied them on the back of the bike so they stuck out about 2 feet into traffic. They said it did help with people driving too close.

I ride after dark in the winter and I find the battery operated Christmas lights are great, people slow down and then are thrilled with the light show. I get many who roll down the window and say cool bike as they go by. I even put a wreath on the front and a big sparkly bow on the back this Christmas. This year I also got bike lights that go on the wheels, they look amazing and people love them. But I will be getting rechargeable batteries. LOL

While there will always be the idiots on the road that just are plain old dicks about bikes, thankfully they are few and far between.

Jim from Boston 12-25-19 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by Marci (Post 21255898)
Something that I saw on line may help with feeling a bit safer. My friends did a road ride last year and to feel safer and increase visibility they took pool noodles and tied them on the back of the bike so they stuck out about 2 feet into traffic. They said it did help with people driving too close.

I ride after dark in the winter and I find the battery operated Christmas lights are great, people slow down and then are thrilled with the light show. I get many who roll down the window and say cool bike as they go by. I even put a wreath on the front and a big sparkly bow on the back this Christmas. This year I also got bike lights that go on the wheels, they look amazing and people love them. But I will be getting rechargeable batteries. LOL

While there will always be the idiots on the road that just are plain old dicks about bikes, thankfully they are few and far between.

FYA/FYI I have posted about pool noodles on a few threads, most comprehensively on this one, replete with quotes, mostly cons, with additional following posts on that thread.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 20945181)
"All hail the [pool] noodle"

I first read about a pool noodle on a thread from 2016, and commented later: I was surprised by all the worries about antagonizing drivers with a pool noodle, I just never thought of that concern in my travels here in civilized metro Boston.

There is also a current thread on the Touring Forum about pool noodles, "Why every cyclist needs a pool noodle on roads"That rant by @zweitesmal garnered four LIKES. :lol:

I guess the reason I never got one is that my safety practices (link) are more effective, and for the dork factor, though I still might try, even just for my commutes.:o


Leisesturm 12-25-19 03:18 PM


Originally Posted by mcours2006 (Post 20421888)
There are also many deaths involving children who may not be so skilled at bike-handling nor at navigating hazards on their route, whether it's riding on sidewalks or the road. Case in point: https://www.bikeforums.net/advocacy-...ding-bike.html

I'd also count people who ride at night without lights, salmons and ninjas, if you will, among the reckless.

Cycling probably feels more dangerous than it really is. I imagine it might be akin to something like sitting in a lawn chair on the side of a highway mere feet away from cars streaking past at 100+ kph; even if there was a concrete barrier between you and the cars it still might not feel very 'safe'.

Once you account for the fatalities involving children, and those who are 'reckless', for those take precautions to ride judiciously and with proper lighting, cycling is probably safer than driving. Probably.

I have been reading this forum regularly for a couple of years. In that time out of the numerous 'one and done' newswire postings of fatal bike crashes ONE has involved a minor. ZERO have involved a salmon and/or ninja cyclist. Fact: the MAJORITY of deceased cyclists were skilled or semi-skilled riders who were following prescribed road placements and behaviors! Cycling is about as dangerous as it feels. Cycling is NOT safer than driving! It is safer than BASE jumping, however. There is that. For cyclists AND motorists that want to increase their safety it is necessary to meet the rest of road users MORE than half-way. That's the true safety advantage. Do not barrel into that green light without checking for cross traffic! Do not barrel through that residential intersection even though a stop sign is holding cross traffic. 9x out of 10x your caution is just wasted momentum. That 10th time is the one that becomes 'breaking news'. FWIW.

I-Like-To-Bike 12-25-19 05:31 PM


Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 21258231)
I have been reading this forum regularly for a couple of years. In that time out of the numerous 'one and done' newswire postings of fatal bike crashes ONE has involved a minor. ZERO have involved a salmon and/or ninja cyclist. Fact: the MAJORITY of deceased cyclists were skilled or semi-skilled riders who were following prescribed road placements and behaviors! ...FWIW.

I would recommend withholding drawing a conclusion about so-called "Facts" concerning the actual skill level of the subset of bicyclists (in the U.S. or elsewhere) involved in fatal accidents or their following prescribed road placements and behaviors at the time of the fatal incidents, when the "facts" are based only on 'one and done' newswire postings found on A&S.

A&S posters of such newswire stuff are hardly an unbiased source of all the "facts" on this subject. The newswire postings often seem to be specifically selected to highlight those incidents that will instill fear and provoke outrage among the A&S readers who often post predictable knee jerk reactions to such so-called "facts", regardless if the actual circumstances of the fatal incident being vague or unknown.

livedarklions 12-27-19 06:06 AM


Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 21258231)
I have been reading this forum regularly for a couple of years. In that time out of the numerous 'one and done' newswire postings of fatal bike crashes ONE has involved a minor. ZERO have involved a salmon and/or ninja cyclist. Fact: the MAJORITY of deceased cyclists were skilled or semi-skilled riders who were following prescribed road placements and behaviors! Cycling is about as dangerous as it feels. Cycling is NOT safer than driving! It is safer than BASE jumping, however. There is that. For cyclists AND motorists that want to increase their safety it is necessary to meet the rest of road users MORE than half-way. That's the true safety advantage. Do not barrel into that green light without checking for cross traffic! Do not barrel through that residential intersection even though a stop sign is holding cross traffic. 9x out of 10x your caution is just wasted momentum. That 10th time is the one that becomes 'breaking news'. FWIW.

Not looking for an argument, but I think the issue isn't a 1 in 10 kind of thing, that would be too frequent for people to get complacent. The most dangerous things may be the things you can get away with 999 times out of 1000 because it's always tempting to play those odds. The barreling into a green light intersection may be the perfect example of that.

Leisesturm 12-27-19 07:39 PM


Originally Posted by livedarklions (Post 21259716)
Not looking for an argument, but I think the issue isn't a 1 in 10 kind of thing, that would be too frequent for people to get complacent. The most dangerous things may be the things you can get away with 999 times out of 1000 because it's always tempting to play those odds. The barreling into a green light intersection may be the perfect example of that.

You're right. I thought as much after the post was finished but figured everyone would be too full of Eggnog to notice or care about the overstatement.

livedarklions 12-27-19 09:58 PM


Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 21260463)
You're right. I thought as much after the post was finished but figured everyone would be too full of Eggnog to notice or care about the overstatement.


You were busted by a tea totaling Jew. Chinese food doesn't dull the overstatement detectors.

.Have a happy New Year. If you imbibe too much, can we expect posts warning us not to ride bicycles out of airplanes midair without a parachute?

Equinox 12-28-19 08:40 AM

Road cycling is dangerous. Most of us ignore the danger, which is fine. The decision to ride on the road is personal. I'm entering a "stage" where I'm deciding to ride less on the roads. I crashed , so, the danger s became manifest to me. For me, the number one issue in my area is road conditions. The absolutely take the fun out of riding because in order to be safe, you have to be hyper-vigilant about the surface on which you're riding. I got one of those year end reviews from Strava and noticed that I rode twice as many hours inside as I did outside. I am a huge fan of Zwift. The dirtiness of off road riding does not appeal to me.. However, all of these things are personal decisions, and for me are really not subject to criticism. Whatever you like, good for you.

Leisesturm 12-29-19 01:47 AM


Originally Posted by Daniel4 (Post 20423430)
So actuaries ought to know that the risk of mortality would be higher for a motorist than a cyclist simply because there are so much more motorists on the road killing each other.

I don't know that actuaries know any such thing. Yes there are many, many, many more motorists than cyclists and they are making many, many, many, many, many, many more trip miles than cyclists and when you think about it, 37,000, while unfortunate if you were one of them, when you think about the uncountable millions of actual trips taken in a car in a year in a country the size of the US ... ... 37,000 isn't all that high a death toll. There are vastly fewer cyclists riding, most only ride from July - Sept. only on weekends, only in parks or other protected areas. The road riding regulars are only a small fraction of the cycling world. To be proportional to motorists there ought to be a few dozen fatalities each year. There are hundreds. Cars protect their occupants extremely well. Bicycles, not so much. But as 'dangerous' as cycling is ... motorcycling is even more dangerous. I don't think motorcycle crashes are lumped in with car crashes. They have their own set of metrics and they are godawful. Don't let anyone you care about throw a leg over one. And I say that as someone who rode.

mcours2006 12-29-19 02:14 PM

Depends on when and where
 
I just finished a 30 mile ride with a buddy. Early Sunday morning on rural roads, most with a decent shoulder. It was sublime. We were passed by maybe a dozen, may two dozen, drivers, all of whom gave us a wide berth.

All depends on the time and location you're riding.

Drivers and their cars pose the biggest danger to cyclists. If your can minimize contact with them you minimize the risk of riding on the road.

JeffreyD 12-30-19 11:49 AM

I agree bicycling on the road is more dangerous today because of driver inattention to driving skills and the many distractions including cell phones and gps. Having been hit twice (1983 and 1988) and doing everything right at the time ... hit from the front the first time when a driver said he sneezed and pulled into four of us ... second time I was leading a ride and two of us got hit from behind in a bike lane because the driver was reaching for a cassette tape.
Stick with the trails and/or try RAGBRAI ... Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa ... 3rd week of July ... maybe 20,000 riders and we own the roads.Suggest up also learn better bicycle handling skills through a League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills class. I took a class after 40 years of biking and learned a few new things.

Jim from Boston 12-30-19 11:50 AM

Thinking of no longer riding on roads

Originally Posted by mcours2006 (Post 21262019)
Depends on when and where

I just finished a 30 mile ride with a buddy. Early Sunday morning on rural roads, most with a decent shoulder. It was sublime. We were passed by maybe a dozen, may two dozen, drivers, all of whom gave us a wide berth.

All depends on the time and location you're riding.

Drivers and their cars pose the biggest danger to cyclists. If your can minimize contact with them you minimize the risk of riding on the road.

I had previously posted to this recent thread, Giving up riding on the road.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 21252385)
All my cycling as a decades-long, year-round commuter and occasional centurian in Metro Boston ranges from dense urban, to suburban, to exurban, but no rural.

I'm goal-oriented, be it miles or destinations, so I take the Road as it comes, to satisfy my Goal.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 21251823)
Personally, I happily resumed cycling five months after a serious hit by a car, with six weeks acute and rehab hospital, and three months off work.

Perhaps I may sound devil-may-care, but I even touted to this recent thread.:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 21235251)
Best cycling city in USA?

I have posted about Boston:

:innocent:


Despite this stated bravado, just yesterday I saw a recumbent trike pass though my normally busy neighborhood of Kenmore Square, and had a change of heart.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston (Post 9907445)
…Kenmore has been likened to Boston's equivalent of Times Square, but it never descended to those depths. It is an intersection of three major thoroughfares as well as a point of convergence of three branches of the Green subway line (the (T)) before they emerge from underground to fan out westward.

Kenmore is the home of Fenway Park, so on game day, street and subway traffic is horrendous. It is also home to Boston University, so all-in-all is a lively place.

It was on a quiet Sunday during Christmas break for BU, so his safety was pretty well assured But I realized that perhaps someday to continue cycling, I may be riding a recumbent trike.

Hopefully by that time I will be retired, and will have the wherewithal in time and health to choose my times and routes with safety a paramount Goal. :50:

greatscott 01-05-20 03:42 PM

Without knowing where you live, you may have said in another post but there are far too many posts to read, but I've ridden on roads for over 40 years including while I lived in Los Angeles, and I will continue to ride on roads. Sure I have good bike path system where I live and I do use it but I always end up on roads on my rides.

You can't let fear run your life, so what if someone died riding their bike on some particular road, motorists die on roads to and I don't hear you screaming about wanting to stop driving, sure you say a car is different you have sheet metal around you, true, but you're also going a lot faster and therefore are subject to grave injuries. People die all the time due to all sorts of reasons, it's life, you can't let the fear of dying keep you from enjoying what you like to do. Now if you were tightrope walking between two skyscrapers I would say you have a point, but on a bike or walking or driving, etc, it's nonsense to get fearful about stuff that "might" happen to you. Of course that's not to say don't ride with skill and being aware at all times, but fear can actually cause you to make mistakes so you have to get past that fear and ride for enjoyment instead of worrying about everything that could go wrong.

debade 01-05-20 07:45 PM


Originally Posted by mcours2006 (Post 20413090)
Cycling is more dangerous than some activities and less than other activities. To simply say that it's dangerous is silly.:rolleyes:

Right!

jon c. 01-06-20 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by greatscott (Post 21271485)

You can't let fear run your life, so what if someone died riding their bike on some particular road, motorists die on roads to and I don't hear you screaming about wanting to stop driving, ...

On the roads I regularly ride, there's one memorial for a dead cyclist and at least 10 for dead auto drivers. I know it's not a valid comparison but it makes me feel better about my chances nonetheless.

Miele Man 01-07-20 07:43 PM

It must be awful to live in an area where one fears for their life if they dare to ride their bicycle on the roads. Around here, I've had more cloe calls and/or tumbles due to other idiot bicyclists on the rail-trails than I have had on the road.

In over 50 years of riding I've only had one on-road fall that was because of a motor vehicle. On the rail-trails I've had a number of falls after being struck by idiot bicyclists coming up from behind and trying to pass where the trail was too narrow to pass safely. I avoid the rail-trails and other trails here in summer.

Cheers

merlinextraligh 01-15-20 08:44 AM


Originally Posted by Leisesturm (Post 21258231)
I have been reading this forum regularly for a couple of years. In that time out of the numerous 'one and done' newswire postings of fatal bike crashes ONE has involved a minor. ZERO have involved a salmon and/or ninja cyclist. Fact: the MAJORITY of deceased cyclists were skilled or semi-skilled riders who were following prescribed road placements and behaviors! Cycling is about as dangerous as it feels. Cycling is NOT safer than driving! It is safer than BASE jumping, however. There is that. For cyclists AND motorists that want to increase their safety it is necessary to meet the rest of road users MORE than half-way. That's the true safety advantage. Do not barrel into that green light without checking for cross traffic! Do not barrel through that residential intersection even though a stop sign is holding cross traffic. 9x out of 10x your caution is just wasted momentum. That 10th time is the one that becomes 'breaking news'. FWIW.

Data is not the plural of anecdote.

If you look at the data, a very significant number of bicycle fatalities involve1) drunken cyclists, 2) unlighted night riding, 3) salmons and 4) children (although the latter is fewer than it used to be)

Alcohol alone accounts for about 30%.

it’s dangerous forming conclusions from one off news reports. And reading reports on Bike Forums definitely can skew perceptions of the dangers of cycling.

Daniel4 01-15-20 11:38 AM

How much more safe will driving be if there were no cyclists on the road? Or more importantly, how much more safe do you feel driving without any cyclists on the road?


Now compare. How much more safe will cycling be with no cars on the road? And how much more safe would you feel with no cars on the road?

Leisesturm 01-15-20 01:19 PM


Originally Posted by Daniel4 (Post 21285406)
How much more safe will driving be if there were no cyclists on the road? Or more importantly, how much more safe do you feel driving without any cyclists on the road?

I don't think it is an issue of 'safety'. Talk to some drivers. The ones I talk to tell me they hate being on the road with cyclists because cyclists are unpredictable and don't follow the rules and they are in constant fear of hitting one and getting in trouble for it. Many would be quite relieved if vehicular cycling was banned outright. I actually chatted with a young woman not long ago who said, "I know I should ride my bike because driving isn't good for the earth but I'm afraid of the cars. When I drive though, I'm afraid of hitting the crazy cyclists on the road. I don't know what to do". Yes she does. She drives anyway.

Leisesturm 01-15-20 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by jon c. (Post 21273319)
On the roads I regularly ride, there's one memorial for a dead cyclist and at least 10 for dead auto drivers. I know it's not a valid comparison but it makes me feel better about my chances nonetheless.

It shouldn't (make you feel any better). A 10:1 differential in the number of memorials doesn't come close to the true magnitude of difference. There should be NO memorial for a dead cyclist if there are only 10 for auto drivers. Why do we need to play mental games with ourselves to justify practical life choices? People think nothing of taking trips to the Middle East but they balk at riding in traffic. My earlier post was as much to say that even though cycling IS impacted by the number of distracted drivers on the road, a cyclist need not approach their commute with a sense of fatalism! There are steps the savvy cyclist can take to reduce the odds of being hit. When these steps are taken consistently, cycling need not be anymore dangerous than ... driving. Most people don't consider driving an especially hazardous activity.


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