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astrodust 06-22-18 06:38 PM

Thinking of no longer riding on roads
 
I've been building my confidence and skill on riding with traffic for a few years and wondering if it is sane to be on the road with cars

I do monthly rides and other group rides, and for the second year I've done g.o.b.a
(great Ohio bike adventure). Goba is a 7 day bike ride with 50 plus miles a day.
This year I experienced people passing (I believe intensionley) close to me and other riders. Drivers screaming, and one guy rolling coal as he passed rider after rider. I bailed out the last day. I Found out that the same day a 80 year old rider was killed by a pickup at a intersection. Not the first time someone has died during goba. My girlfriend rides too, and the thought of losing scares me
why do we do this??

raria 06-22-18 07:40 PM

I understand
 
I try to avoid roads and prefer mups. Mups have their own dangers but at least no pick ups.

wgscott 06-22-18 07:48 PM

Gravel or mountain biking might give you a nice alternative.

brianmcg123 06-22-18 08:17 PM

More people died from slipping in a bath tub than from being hit by a car riding a bike. Everything you do is a risk.

Rje58 06-22-18 08:42 PM

I try to avoid heavily trafficked roads, but almost all my riding is done on public roads. Fortunately, mostly on back country roads that don't have lots of traffic. There's no way I'd be able to ride nearly as much as I do if I have to load up the bike(s) on a rack and drive 30 minutes or more (each way) to get to a MUP.

As others have stated, everything in life is a risk, and while I want to minimize my risk, I'm not willing to give up riding on public roads.

eja_ bottecchia 06-22-18 08:54 PM

Do what you need to do. Ride where you want to ride.

But never stop riding.

BobbyG 06-22-18 09:05 PM


Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia (Post 20407988)
do what you need to do. Ride where you want to ride.

But never stop riding.

+1

OldTryGuy 06-23-18 12:13 AM

What ever floats one's boat. :D

In about 45 minutes I'm on the road. Hardly a car will be around.

debade 06-23-18 08:27 AM

I might be reading into your comment about the 80 year old that was killed at an intersection since it implied to me that you were surprised it was at an intersection. Intersections are among the most dangerous places for cyclists.
If you have not taken the time to study safe biking practices, I think it would be helpful. Learning where/how accidents happen, would be helpful to raise your awareness when reaching a high accident situation. Self teaching is on line with the Bike League. You can also take their LCI course or an online course with Cycle Savvy.. Just another thought, while I read research that colorful clothing is really not more noticeable, I have found (without data) that when I where a vest that says 3 foot passing is the law, seems to influence motorist driving practices. I purchased it from the Bicycling Federation of WI

As for the motorists who are jerks, they simply exist. Wish I had some thoughts about that.

salcedo 06-23-18 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by brianmcg123 (Post 20407950)
More people died from slipping in a bath tub than from being hit by a car riding a bike. Everything you do is a risk.

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.

jack k 06-23-18 02:13 PM


Originally Posted by astrodust (Post 20407828)
I've been building my confidence and skill on riding with traffic for a few years and wondering if it is sane to be on the road with cars

I do monthly rides and other group rides, and for the second year I've done g.o.b.a
(great Ohio bike adventure). Goba is a 7 day bike ride with 50 plus miles a day.
This year I experienced people passing (I believe intensionley) close to me and other riders. Drivers screaming, and one guy rolling coal as he passed rider after rider. I bailed out the last day. I Found out that the same day a 80 year old rider was killed by a pickup at a intersection. Not the first time someone has died during goba. My girlfriend rides too, and the thought of losing scares me
why do we do this??

Time of day matters, as does location. Until recently I was working 4pm-midnight; when I left the house at 3pm I would take either the trail or the neighborhoods to work whereas on the way back I would take the main arteries home. When traffic is heavy drivers tend to get competitive with each other which leads to unsafe driving practices; every incident/close call I have ever been a part of or witnessed happened during broad daylight with typical city traffic. When riding at midnight, however, people tended to pay closer attention, drove much nicer, and gave me plenty of room. I'm not saying that you should start driving at midnight, but rather just alter your rides and times to avoid the kind of traffic that is causing you problems. Trails and paths are great, but you can't go wide open and you lose variability. I generally stay on a rail-to-trial path to and from work - especially after an incident with a distracted driver that left me with a broken bone from which I am still recovering - but I sorely miss being able to mix up my rides, take the hills, and enjoy the city.

indyfabz 06-25-18 05:34 AM

Having done several supported tours like GOBA, I have to wonder whether motorist hostility may have been caused by pack mentality. I also have to wonder whether that 80 Y.O. man did something stupid. I once did something stupid at an intersection during a charity ride and almost got nailed by a pickup. 100% my fault.

MoAlpha 06-25-18 06:47 AM


Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 20410966)
Having done several supported tours like GOBA, I have to wonder whether motorist hostility may have been caused by pack mentality. I also have to wonder whether that 80 Y.O. man did something stupid. I once did something stupid at an intersection during a charity ride and almost got nailed by a pickup. 100% my fault.

I'm not about to stop riding on the roads after more than 50 years, but I won't ride in large training groups anymore because of the risks associated with pissing drivers off. I seem to do a good enough job of it on my own and the "pack mentality" breeds aggression. Too many idiots on both sides of the bumper.

Marcus_Ti 06-25-18 06:49 AM


Originally Posted by brianmcg123 (Post 20407950)
More people died from slipping in a bath tub than from being hit by a car riding a bike. Everything you do is a risk.


No one died here from slipping in a bath tub. 3 veteran cyclists were hit-and-run-and-killed in the last year alone near My Fair City on the roads. One was a racer, race organizer, and all around great guy.


Between increasingly incompetent drivers, dangerously distracted driving, outright unprovoked abuse, and the dangers....paved road riding is increasingly not fun anymore. Two year back I saw a soccer mom with a full-van of kids driving with her knees while her thumbs and eyes were staring into oblivion at the phone on her steering wheel. Didn't even care enough about her OWN KIDS (and probably others) to drive.

eja_ bottecchia 06-25-18 07:04 AM

Living is dangerous.

Dyskolos 06-25-18 08:39 AM

I came to that conclusion after being hit by a car last month. I was doing everything right, time of day, low traffic, very bright lights front and back, High-visibility clothing and shoes, mirror and rear radar, good lane position, etc. but it simply didn't matter. The driver changed lanes into me and "never saw me" as he was distracted by his phone.

I had ridden this same route at the same time-of-day over 350 times in the past four years without incident, but it simply didn't matter. In addition to the risk of injury, I had become very weary of the constant contention, so I am honoring my family's wishes and staying off of roads. We have a good greenway system in my area and I am taking advantage of it.

rumrunn6 06-25-18 08:49 AM

I think some parts of the US are worse than others

ptempel 06-25-18 01:33 PM

I unfortunately have not much choice in my North NJ to Manhattan (and vice-versa) commute. I have altered my route here and there. But some of the larger roads cannot be avoided entirely. If you feel more comfortable riding a MUP (if there is one) or even the sidewalk, then do so. For example, I still ride the sidewalk for two blocks on Polifly Rd in Hackensack, NJ right before (and under) the Rt 80 overpass. There's typically a lot of traffic there since cars and trucks are getting off of the highway and onto this road. It makes me feel more comfortable and I don't have to contend with the traffic there as much.

Milton Keynes 06-25-18 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia (Post 20411066)
Living is dangerous.

Nobody gets out alive.

squirtdad 06-25-18 02:52 PM

OP's choice, but a lot like people who won't go in the ocean because of sharks (waves and undertow are what people should worry about) but will drive a dangerous road to get to the sand to sit in the sun increasing their melanoma chances.

Dave Cutter 06-25-18 03:46 PM

Cycling is not for everyone. Sure... some people may find cycling happiness with a NON-road cycling sport.... and that's fine too. But an element of danger exists in virtually every sport, (and in everything actually). I don't know the exact amount of danger involved with road cycling... or even how to quantify specific levels of danger. I ride about 2000 miles a years with about 60% of those miles (1200) being in mostly city traffic. Rarely do I ever have what might be considered a "close call". And I haven't actually hit a car... since I was a kid (it was my fault).

I honestly don't know (or really care)… how my choice of sport (road cycling) compares in accident/injury rates as compared to other sport/activities normally pursued by old retired men my age. I do try to ride and behave responsibility. I have NO death wish. But I don't really care to impose some conjured-up safety bubble on myself either. After all, this is road cycling were discussing here. Not motorcycle racing, doing drugs, rodeo bull riding, base jumping, or fight club (because we wouldn't post about fight club).

eja_ bottecchia 06-25-18 03:59 PM


Originally Posted by Milton Keynes (Post 20412088)
Nobody gets out alive.

Yep.

eja_ bottecchia 06-25-18 04:00 PM


Originally Posted by squirtdad (Post 20412137)
OP's choice, but a lot like people who won't go in the ocean because of sharks (waves and undertow are what people should worry about) but will drive a dangerous road to get to the sand to sit in the sun increasing their melanoma chances.

There is that too.

Marcus_Ti 06-25-18 04:20 PM


Originally Posted by squirtdad (Post 20412137)
OP's choice, but a lot like people who won't go in the ocean because of sharks (waves and undertow are what people should worry about) but will drive a dangerous road to get to the sand to sit in the sun increasing their melanoma chances.


Difference being...you do things right and smart...no you won't get attacked by sharks, and no you (most likely) won't get melanoma.


You can, and do, do everything right cycling on paved roads (obeying the letter and spirit of the law)....you will get verbal abuse hurled at you on a daily basis, you will have your life threatened, and odds are if you get hurt/killed the perp will get away without punishment. By the gene lottery I'm fortunate being a guy--I get half the verbal abuse I know some women cyclists get hurled at them.

squirtdad 06-25-18 04:36 PM


Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti (Post 20412286)
Difference being...you do things right and smart...no you won't get attacked by sharks, and no you (most likely) won't get melanoma.


You can, and do, do everything right cycling on paved roads (obeying the letter and spirit of the law)....you will get verbal abuse hurled at you on a daily basis, you will have your life threatened, and odds are if you get hurt/killed the perp will get away without punishment. By the gene lottery I'm fortunate being a guy--I get half the verbal abuse I know some women cyclists get hurled at them.

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

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.


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