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Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road ...

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Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road ...

Old 08-05-19, 01:45 PM
  #126  
indyfabz
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Well, it sure beats dying on your couch from an infection of flesh-eating bacteria.
Pure speculation on your part.
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Old 08-05-19, 01:51 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Pure speculation on your part.
True, I haven't actually seen your couch.
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Old 08-05-19, 01:52 PM
  #128  
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Dangerous even without cars

I was in a serious accident caused by a road defect--fortunately no head trauma. But so much pain for so long....
When I was on a kid, a dog caused my dad to go over the bars and he suffered a serious TBI--which changed him for the worse. Then, 25 years later he was found by the side of the road in a coma. It could've been a dog--there was a big one on the loose in the area. It could've been a car. Or it could've been something else. He died three months later. In all cases, helmets were worn.
So be careful! I try to stick to paths and always wear a helmet. But still, sometimes there's nothing you can do.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:03 PM
  #129  
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This is an interesting thread. Biking for over 45 yrs and have been hit 5 times. I've had acquaintances die by car, a competitor in a road race I was competing die in a head-on collision with a truck, a friend get hit and 15 yrs on, still needing round the clock nursing care. Been hit on a tandem with a girlfriend, commuting, and during training. The last time was 5 yrs ago when sideswiped by a woman in an SUV who couldn't judge overtaking me. She never stopped. Luckily, it was 30 yds. from my home and my neighbor dragged me out of the road, before someone else could hit me. It resulted in a torn up knee, lots of road rash, a broken arm , bruise to the jaw and a concussion. I write this because after healing, I went through a time with thoughts similar to the OP. It was hard to get on the roads again with out that dreaded anxiety response.


So how did I get over it. Using a mirror, flashing tail light, never riding at night or in the rain, planning routes with the maximum number of bike lanes, incorporating off-road riding and Zwift (indoor training) into my workouts. I will pick up a Varia Radar as a poster above suggested and lastly, just riding defensively and communicating your intentions. Most car drivers don't WANT to hit you (yeah a few do), but letting everyone know what you are going to do allows everyone to react appropriately. Good luck and hope you get out there.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:03 PM
  #130  
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Use common sense, follow the laws, be safe, be seen and if it still happens and you get hit it was probably something that is meant to happen to teach you something. Many times things happen beyond our control, and you just have to live with it.
There are so many ways that one can be hurt or killed, or nearly killed and wish you were dead hurt it is impossible to list. Some of them doing things we do everyday and take for granted as safe. But sometimes **** happens.
But I am here to tell you, living to a ripe old age in a nursing home is not all its cut out to be. That last 20 years of life kinda sucks.
So suck up the fear, and the pain and get on with living. Enjoy life a little.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:17 PM
  #131  
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Your fears are justified. It's called WISDOM. If you are on a bicycle, and you are involved with ANY collision with a motor vehicle, YOU will lose! Period!
It's amazing how many of the responses on this thread say something like..."In X number of years, I've only been hit, Y number of times, and I'm not dead yet!"
Drivers make mistakes. Some drivers are under the influence of substances that impair their judgement or abilities. You are small, and not easily seen.
The facts, and odds, are not in your favor. Accidents happen, and if you are on a bicycle, your odds of injury are SIGNIFICANTLY greater.
If you have the ability to ride where motorized traffic is not involved, that is optimum. If you are riding on streets with motorized vehicles, you odds of injury (or worse) are OBVIOUSLY significantly greater.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:21 PM
  #132  
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I guess bad driving has become the acceptable norm that it's easier to convince all cyclists to stop than to improve driving behaviour and attitude.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:22 PM
  #133  
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Odds of dying on your couch from flesh-eating bacteria...VERY close to zero.
Odds of dying while riding your bike on streets with motor vehicle traffic MUCH greater than zero.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:26 PM
  #134  
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I am more concerned about a serious injury on the road than I am about dying because it's so much more likely. But that's probably less likely on calm streets than it is on trails and off-road.
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Old 08-05-19, 02:37 PM
  #135  
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"My biggest fear isn't crashing this bike at 85 miles per hour and losing my skin...it's sitting in a chair at 90 and thinking 'I wish I'd done more'".
-Graeme Obree, professional cyclist "The Flying Scotsman"
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Old 08-05-19, 03:24 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I feel pretty comfortable riding in traffic. But, if I was fearful, I wouldn't do it. How does fear enhance your ride?

At this point in life I have nothing left to prove.
Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
You should be scared.

It is dangerous.


That fear keeps you alert and keeps you alive. It makes you hyper aware of your surroundings so you see danger developing before it happens.

That fear is good.

But it should be a mild fear, not a paralyzing fear. The fear shouldn't overpower your enjoyment. But a little fear....it a very healthy thing.
Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
I have people tell me all the time to "be careful out there", and I always reply that I'm only about 10% of that equation (given that the threat is primarily behind me, largely unseen, and traveling at 50-60 mph.)
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Ive thought about this and while the idea of going out doing what you love sounds great, Ive also thought it may be horribly traumatic for a lot of others.

And though I wont be here to deal with that, I would want my passing to be as peaceful/'untraumatic' as possible for my loved ones
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I still have people tell me, "Be careful out there, it's a zoo," or "I'd be afraid somebody on their cell phone would kill me."

Now I have a perfect comeback. "According to my cardiologist, I'd be dead now if it wasn't for all the cycling I'd been doing before my heart attack…
Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Nobody gives a thought about dying in a car when they get into one. Not saying the risk is higher or lower than that of a bicycle but in the US, over 30,000 drivers and their passengers are killed each year.

And that's more than the people killed in airplane crashes and terrorism worldwide.
These posts bring up a concern for even the most comfortable cyclists:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
What do you say when...”
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
How do you respond to people who tell you, "I'm worried about you out there on a bike with all those crazy drivers and drunks?"…

My first thought was you don't have to say anything - it's none of their business and they don't know anything about it if it wasI settled on just shrug and say "works for me", and leave it at that unless they get obnoxious, although a snarky comeback is tempting.

How do you respond?
Since I was hit from behind with six weeks hospitalization three months off work, I’m a poster boy for those concerns, I have posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… I was also in a cycling accident three years ago, that kept me off work for three months and off the bike for five. I have pretty much recovered to a new normal, and work and family life are pretty comparable to as before.

I did have a lot of support in recovery, especially from my wife. I was particularly made aware of the toll it took on her when she gave a witness impact statement at the sentencing of the driver
Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
I just say "It's not as dangerous as it looks from the outside".
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...Of course I contend with their fears using many of those talking points as mentioned above ["Once again: Health VS Cycling Accidents" (link)]...

One soft argument I read on Bikeforums is that cycling in traffic really does look dangerous to car drivers ensconced in their vehicles. Personally I feel pretty safe, well-lit, with unlimited vision with mirrors, and pretty nimble on my bike.

Nonetheless, I’m totally attentive to the cars around me, and I have a number of safety aphorisms in my mind to keep me alert (e.g., “Like a weapon, consider every stopped car loaded, with an occupant ready to exit (from either side).”).

Once though, I was standing on a busy intersection (Massachusetts and Commonwealth Aves) one Saturday night watching some happy-go-lucky student-type cyclists on Hubway Bike Share bikes, no helmets, riding along and laughing in traffic, and I thought to myself that really does look dangerous.
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Old 08-05-19, 03:42 PM
  #137  
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Agree. I’ve had some close calls, i admit, but if you are an aware rider and always assume the car will not stop or follow his/her blinker you should be fine. It’s when we believe cars are on our side that problems occur.
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Old 08-05-19, 03:49 PM
  #138  
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"Pride cometh, just before a tragic hit and run incident."

always assume the car will not stop or follow his/her blinker you should be fine.
Great advice. Be confident on the roads, but not overconfident. Trust that they're not out to deliberately run you over, but be sure look behind as they're passing and verify that assumption.
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Old 08-05-19, 03:55 PM
  #139  
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I live in Miami - nuf said. Had two accidents: one was caused by another cyclist and the other caused by a pedestrian.
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Old 08-05-19, 04:01 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
These posts bring up a concern for even the most comfortable cyclists:
You quoted me, but I cant figure out why. All that text in your post and you only typed 1 sentence?
What concern does my post bring up?
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Old 08-05-19, 04:02 PM
  #141  
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let me pipe in

Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
I was a pretty serious cyclist from 2003 through 2010, and ended up switching to running for years. Trying to go back to cycling, but I find I am now convinced I'm going to be hit by a car and killed.

I know, statistics probably say better chance of getting hit by lightning or something, but it's always there, and it is almost paralyzing my motivation.

Anyone go through this? I did have one cycling acquaintance die on the road back in 2009, I think that has something to do with it. He seemed invincible.
Yes i have. After 40 years of riding i caught it. a very young driver turned into me and put me 10 feet into the air. we were traveling in the same direction. im devastated and dont even remember what happened but i was not out of control or out of the " bike lane." Yep i too have seen many who ignore rules of the road and NO they do NOT deserve to be hit as a poster offered up here. good god man! Will i ride again,, i dont know. I was on my way to the bike path when it happened but didnt make it there. its usually NOT the bikers its usually the drivers who create these death traps but remember. You are riding a 15 to 20 lb bike and they are driving a 3000 lb car. you have no reason to be aggressive or overconfident but plenty of reason to be remarkably careful.
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Old 08-05-19, 04:31 PM
  #142  
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Lower anxiety by being super visible.

Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
I was a pretty serious cyclist from 2003 through 2010, and ended up switching to running for years. Trying to go back to cycling, but I find I am now convinced I'm going to be hit by a car and killed.

I know, statistics probably say better chance of getting hit by lightning or something, but it's always there, and it is almost paralyzing my motivation.

Anyone go through this? I did have one cycling acquaintance die on the road back in 2009, I think that has something to do with it. He seemed invincible.
Most important is that drivers see you from as far away and as soon as possible. Wear bright reflective Safety vests and clothes that stand out and don't blend in with city or country back ground. Flashing lights front, back and side, day and night. Ride like you are invisible to the cars, expect them to do stupid unexpected things. Don't think you are safe because you are in a bike lane. Watch for doors opening on parked cars. Walk your bike when traffic conditions are out of the ordinary. In today's head up the ass texting while driving environment I would consider having a loud constant honking/beeping sound to get the attention of drivers approaching your bike. Watch out for morons speeding down sidewalks and across intersections on electric scooters. Keep your head on a swivel keep checking front, sides and mirrors. 2 years as bike messenger in major city and 9000 miles touring and living on a bike for years experience speaking.

Last edited by yukiinu; 08-05-19 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:08 PM
  #143  
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Wear bright reflective Safety vests and clothes that stand out and don't blend in with city or country back ground.
I've found that a wide variety of clothes that are normally highly visible are very hard to see under sunny conditions with some tree cover. The patterns of light and dark make almost everything else disappear.

There's no way to ensure visibilty.

Be careful out there.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:09 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
These posts bring up a concern for even the most comfortable cyclists:
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
You quoted me, but I cant figure out why. All that text in your post and you only typed 1 sentence?

What concern does my post bring up?
Thanks for reading my post, and it’s good to know that quoting a subscriber elicits a response. By nesting quote boxes, I indicate to the quoted subscriber(s) that I have read the post(s), reflected on the content, and extracted meaningful point(s), that I worked into a quote chain.

The quote chain allows me to quote a few subscribers on one topic in one post. As my signature line reads: "I use nested, sequential quotes (to be read in that order) to improvise an imaginary conversation. Anything outside a quote box is my contribution to the current 'conversation. "

The title of this thread is Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road...” and while I quoted
Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I feel pretty comfortable riding in traffic...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Personally I feel pretty safe, well-lit, with unlimited vision with mirrors, and pretty nimble on my bike.
you pointed out,
Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Ive thought about this and while the idea of going out doing what you love sounds great, Ive also thought it may be horribly traumatic for a lot of others.

And though I wont be here to deal with that, I would want my passing to be as peaceful/'untraumatic' as possible for my loved ones
Originally Posted by Brocephus View Post
…I have people tell me all the time to "be careful out there", and I always reply that I'm only about 10% of that equation…
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I still have people tell me, "Be careful out there, it's a zoo," or "I'd be afraid somebody on their cell phone would kill me."…
Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
How do you respond to people who tell you, "I'm worried about you out there on a bike with all those crazy drivers and drunks?".
. i.e. there are consequences to other victims besides the Rider.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…I did have a lot of support in recovery, especially from my wife. I was particularly made aware of the toll it took on her when she gave a witness impact statement at the sentencing of the driver.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
... The most antagonistic remarks though that I try to assuage are taunts about what it would do to the driver if they hit me, most often spoken on the Winter when streets are icy or narrowed by snowbanks…
Anyways, about half my post is written by me, mainly as quotes.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
So with my experiences in cycling, and my frequent posting over the years, if I have replied on a recurrent topic, written to my satisfaction, I’ll just quote it. A further challenge then becomes finding the post...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-05-19 at 05:45 PM. Reason: added quotes by Brocephalus,pdlamb, and wphamilton
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Old 08-05-19, 05:11 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by yukiinu View Post
Most important is that drivers see you from as far away and as soon as possible. Wear bright reflective Safety vests and clothes that stand out and don't blend in with city or country back ground. Flashing lights front, back and side, day and night. Ride like you are invisible to the cars, expect them to do stupid unexpected things. Don't think you are safe because you are in a bike lane. Watch for doors opening on parked cars. Walk your bike when traffic conditions are out of the ordinary. In today's head up the ass texting while driving environment I would consider having a loud constant honking/beeping sound to get the attention of drivers approaching your bike. Watch out for morons speeding down sidewalks and across intersections on electric scooters. Keep your head on a swivel keep checking front, sides and mirrors. 2 years as bike messenger in major city and 9000 miles touring and living on a bike for years experience speaking.
This. Although I've heard that drunk drivers are actually MORE likely to be attracted to flashing lights than normal!

I actually just heard about a new bike light that lights up the rider's own body. Every darn bike light now is the same and you only look like a tiny dot no matter how bright it is.

I'll try to find their webpage when I get a second.

edit: Here is it ShineOnBikes.com - 250 times more visible than before! Hah!
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Old 08-05-19, 05:36 PM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
It beats dying on the couch with a bowl of pork rinds next to you.
Which in turn beats dying on the couch without a bowl of pork rinds.
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Old 08-05-19, 05:50 PM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by movelo View Post
Which in turn beats dying on the couch without a bowl of pork rinds.
Not if you keep kosher.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:29 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
My brother lives in New Albany. He does weekend rides out through Westerville and the roads to the east of it. Many of them are lightly traveled by autos, and bicycles are a common part of the landscape out there. Read The Art of Cycling. Go enjoy those roads.
Those are the very roads I've ridden on for thousands of miles over the last 16 years or so. In fact if your brother ever participated in group rides from about 2003 to 2010, then I have assuredly ridden with him.

I should have clarified that the fear is only there until I'm on bike. Once I'm on, no big deal.
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Old 08-05-19, 06:38 PM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
I know, statistics probably say better chance of getting hit by lightning or something...

There’s your answer.
__________________

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Old 08-05-19, 06:47 PM
  #150  
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Hey All,

Some of these replies are serious and some not so much; so our recommendation is to use due diligence - ride when dry, clear and during daylight hours. Use caution when crossing intersections, especially at Stop signs. Use bicycle paths if available or become part of the traffic riding at a reasonable speed [I do 15 - 20 mph].

I don't ascribe to - "He[She] died doing something He[She] enjoyed doing." I do believe that a cautious bike rider who is aware of their immediate environment will never get hurt on the road or mountain. On streets and roadways be aware that many drivers are easily distracted so try to be seen by them using clothes and helmets with very bright yellows or reds; although black spandex looks very sexy. . . it is a lack of color that makes you "disappear" into the background.

Ride safe, enjoy the scenery, use caution and ride long.
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