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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, 06:57 PM
  #151  
movelo
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Einstrudenze, I wish I could tell you don't be scared. But you rode long enough. You know the score. I am sorry to hear about your acquaintance. Going out on the road is a personal choice we all make. You can do much to reduce the risk but you cannot get it to zero. Lots of good advice in this thread about becoming a safer rider, but nobody in this forum can guarantee anything. I respect your decision if you don't ride. I also respect the decision others make when they say they're willing to die doing something they love.

I've been hit by cars, including by a car in a funeral procession. Partially my fault, with hindsight I see how I should have avoided all of these incidents. I've come within a foot of being steamrollered by an oncoming truck after crashing at 30 mph. Within a few seconds of laying there watching traffic whoosh by, I realized I wanted to experience many other things in life before I risked it all by continuing to cycle. That was the point when I quit bike racing, the number one thing in my life at the time. Gave up my dream right then and there. The back injury slowed down my recovery enough that I had a lot of time to think about changing my my mind, coming back to riding. My racer friends wanted me to come back. I had a lot invested. But I left it all behind. No regrets about where life led after that. Well, maybe a few minor ones.

I have old man regrets about giving up racing too soon. ("I coulda been somebody. I coulda been a contender"). Epecially when I read biographies in which it seems every great cyclist has overcome serious injuries to make a comeback. It seems to be part of the sport. I knew personally of two racers back then, and more recently a third, who surely would've come back, but they were paralyzed.

I searched for something to replace bike racing. Something that I liked, that gave the same thrill, but was risk free. Looked into whitewater downriver racing. But if you look deeply enough, you can find accident reports that point to unavoidable (unanticipatable) risks that expose the most prepared, most experienced, most careful paddler. Same deal with rock climbing and caving. Seems like the forecast for thrills is always accompanied by a chance of spills.

Bike racing and bike riding gets into your blood. I missed it and eventually returned to riding (but not racing) in my 50's, after a heart attack. By then it felt like I had less to lose and more to gain. And the old knees sure liked it. I'm brave some days and scared to go out other days. It varies.

Do the thing you love but don't die doing it. That's the goal. How do you know if you're doing something you love ? If while you're at it, there is truly nothing else you'd rather be doing at that moment, and no place else you'd rather be. Does cycling take you to that place ? You rode for 7 or 8 years, and you're trying to get back into cycling, and you're posting on a bike forum. Maybe it does.
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Old 08-05-19, 07:29 PM
  #152  
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I'm 61 and ride regularly. I also ride with a Take-a-Look mirror attached to my sunglasses. I never ride without it. I can see the cars coming up behind me just by moving my eyes and not my head. If I take off without it, I go back and get it. It is that important. Is it bullet proof? No, but I can see if the driver is swerving or not paying attention and it gives me time to react accordingly.

I ride with my radar on and my head on a swivel because all of my riding is in the city. It's just part of the game. Get a Take-a-Look mirror and go ride!
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Old 08-05-19, 07:58 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by gshastings View Post
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.

Odds of dying while riding your bike on streets with no motor vehicle traffic, close to zero.

Odds of dying while being in a moving motor vehicle on streets with no other motor vehicle traffic, still greater than zero.

Odds of dying while being in a moving motor vehicle on streets with motor vehicle traffic, MUCH greater than zero.

Odds of dying while walking or standing on streets with motor vehicle traffic, MUCH greater than zero.

Odds of dying while walking or standing on streets with no motor vehicle traffic, close to zero.

Last edited by Daniel4; 08-05-19 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 08-05-19, 08:00 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by BigJonny View Post
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.
Who is our?
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Old 08-05-19, 08:11 PM
  #155  
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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.
I wish there was some gentle way to break this to you but the only thing I can predict with reasonable certainty is that some day you're going to die. Why not try to minimize the risks and spend life doing something you enjoy? Hiding under the bed until you're naming the dust bunnies isn't going to let you live forever, though it might quickly begin to feel that way.
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Old 08-05-19, 08:33 PM
  #156  
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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?
I don't know why Jim from Boston quoted me either. The "conversation" is what I'd call a "fabrication" instead. The "responses" to my post were not responding to my post, and there wasn't a clear chain of thought connecting them.

Sometimes I think this is either a bot or a shill with the purpose of generating memberships so real readers can ignore this poster. The long non sequiturs are a hassle to scroll past.
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Old 08-05-19, 09:46 PM
  #157  
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You should be scared

Not petrified but just enough to be constantly aware of everything around you as much as possible. Don't be obsessed so you can't have fun but expect the unexpected. Don't think others are going to do what they always should do. Plan to leave an out whenever possible. Maybe use alternate route if things get tight. I used to think it was better to go against traffic just to be able to see if someone is driving erratically and about that. I understand now that's not a good thing but even now there are times depending on the circumstances where I do that while being extra careful and abiding cars.
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Old 08-05-19, 10:24 PM
  #158  
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
There's no way to ensure visibilty.
True. Yet there are plenty of ways to increase it.


Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
I should have clarified that the fear is only there until I'm on bike. Once I'm on, no big deal.
This is interesting. Back when I first stepped up my riding in busy and higher speed traffic I could easily imagine all kinds of scenarios of being taken out by drivers. This would only happen when not actually on the bike, and could be especially overwhelming when I was safely lying awake in bed! Once I was actually up and riding I found dealing with the drivers who were near enough to be an immediate threat to be quite manageable. Now I find interacting safely with motor traffic to be quite satisfying.


Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I don't know why Jim from Boston quoted me either. The "conversation" is what I'd call a "fabrication" instead. The "responses" to my post were not responding to my post, and there wasn't a clear chain of thought connecting them.

Sometimes I think this is either a bot or a shill with the purpose of generating memberships so real readers can ignore this poster. The long non sequiturs are a hassle to scroll past.
A bit harsh. There's room here for everyone.
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Old 08-05-19, 11:38 PM
  #159  
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I don't know why Jim from Boston quoted me either. The "conversation" is what I'd call a "fabrication" instead. The "responses" to my post were not responding to my post, and there wasn't a clear chain of thought connecting them.

Sometimes I think this is either a bot or a shill with the purpose of generating memberships so real readers can ignore this poster. The long non sequiturs are a hassle to scroll past.
I usually just skip Jimís posts. Iím sure he means well but I find the jumbled quotes with multiple levels of emphasis distracting. I canít imagine having a discussion in a coffee shop or bar where someone continuously repeats snippets of other conversations.
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Old 08-06-19, 01:46 AM
  #160  
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I came across a cycling fatality a few years back, about halfway through a brevet. I didn't know him; he was one of the stronger riders so I'd never interacted with him. It was a straight, flat, empty country road. The sun was high, and he was struck from behind for no apparent reason. The driver, a 70+ yo man, claimed he saw the cyclist but couldn't do anything because of an oncoming car. A witness, a man out working in his yard, said there was no other car. Several people quit the ride, calling family or friends for a ride back. I was a few hundred miles from home, and didn't have anyone to call. The ride organizer came, with family contact info. The few of us remaining stood around a long time, then the police waved us through; we had to go right past the body, covered with a blanket. I rode the rest of the route back to my car, because it was the only thing I knew to do.

I thought I was done with randonneuring, maybe cycling.


Around this same time, my 42 yo nephew, who I'd known from the day he was born, was killed in an automobile accident. Drunk, he wrapped his truck around a tree. It's odd, knowing someone from the day they're born to the day they die.

Not much later, my mom died. She was 90, tough as they come. Suffering congestive heart failure, they had her on a CPAP machine cranked up high. She had clear instructions for no intrusive measures, but I guess a CPAP forcing air down her throat wasn't considered invasive. The nurse said quite loudly that our mom would die without the CPAP, that she (mom) was unaware of anything going on, and it was our choice what to do. My brother held our mom's hand and asked her to squeeze if she wanted the machine removed. She about broke his hand. She didn't go peacefully, fighting for the last breath. Knowing my mom, I expect she was motivated to prove that nurse wrong.

In the year or so prior, it was my habit to visit my mom weekly and talk. She'd tell me stories, or I'd tell her what was going on with my life. Just stuff like like mowing the grass or something at work or what mischief the kids had gotten into or a bike ride. One day, after she'd become bedridden, she rather forcefully told me I'd better enjoy being able to do all those things - the things she couldn't do any longer.

The next time a brevet came up, I signed up. I do the things I think mitigate the risk, but mainly I enjoy the ride. The lows of randonneuring can be brutally low, but the highs are exquisite. In less than two weeks, for the third time, I'll depart from outside Paris, headed for Brest and then back.

Life is to be lived. Don't be afraid of dying, be afraid of not living.

Last edited by downtube42; 08-06-19 at 01:52 AM.
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Old 08-06-19, 03:23 AM
  #161  
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
I usually just skip Jimís posts. Iím sure he means well but I find the jumbled quotes with multiple levels of emphasis distracting. I canít imagine having a discussion in a coffee shop or bar where someone continuously repeats snippets of other conversations.
This.
You have to assume that he is just projecting his own difficulties in following a thought/thread.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:37 AM
  #162  
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After reading all the comparisons between the safety of bicycle riding and bathtubs, I have come to one final conclusion:

Don't ride bikes in the bathtub.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:43 AM
  #163  
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The late Peter Tork may have benefited from this wisdom, but your advice came too late to save him.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Tork
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Old 08-06-19, 07:52 AM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
The late Peter Tork may have benefited from this wisdom, but your advice came too late to save him.
Mike Nesmith's mom invented Liquid Paper and sold it to 3M.
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Old 08-06-19, 07:59 AM
  #165  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Mike Nesmith's mom invented Liquid Paper and sold it to 3M.
Mike Nesmith invented figures that purported to show that the Monkees sold more records than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined in 1967 which still get published in articles to this day. He's quite open about the fact that he made it up completely and is proud of duping the media with this supposed "fact".
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Old 08-06-19, 08:14 AM
  #166  
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So Nesmith essentially changed the hierarchy from:

1. Beatles
2. JC
3. Monkees

to

1. Monkees
2. Beatles
3. JC.

I did not know that. (****)
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Old 08-06-19, 08:20 AM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
A bit harsh. There's room here for everyone.
Harsh but I think itís spot on. If JfB wants to create imaginary, fabricated conversations, thats his business. I just scroll past them, as I find them utterly incomprehensible.

But he should own them as his own imaginary conversation. Splicing to gather unrelated quotes from real posters to create the impression of a conversation that never actually happened is not cool, IMO.

Thankfully, he usually just uses his own posts.
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Old 08-06-19, 08:21 AM
  #168  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
So Nesmith essentially changed the hierarchy from:

1. Beatles
2. JC
3. Monkees

to

1. Monkees
2. Beatles
3. JC.

I did not know that. (****)

1967, btw, was the year Sgt. Pepper was released, and it was quickly the best-selling album ever up to that time.
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Old 08-06-19, 08:23 AM
  #169  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
The late Peter Tork may have benefited from this wisdom, but your advice came too late to save him.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Tork
Three of the four are clearly early adopters of the helmet. The zoom lens makes it impossible to know if they are FRAP, however.
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Old 08-06-19, 08:24 AM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by BigJonny View Post
I do believe that a cautious bike rider who is aware of their immediate environment will never get hurt on the road or mountain.
.
Is this a typo?
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Old 08-06-19, 08:25 AM
  #171  
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Originally Posted by philbob57 View Post
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 always ensure visibility.

Be careful out there.
First, fixed. And second, for every solution for cycling safety, there is a situation that can nullify it. I would think that after 7 pages of posts and counter posts everyone here would know that by now. If you want to be perfectly safe, stay away from sports and switch to board games.
Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
This.
You have to assume that he is just projecting his own difficulties in following a thought/thread.
JFB follows his own set of writing standards and rules. He is perfectly aware of the annoyance caused by his infinite mirror quotes.
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Old 08-06-19, 08:30 AM
  #172  
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Paul,

The word "our" used in my post is a possessive adjective used to denote a group belief; our vintage bike peloton rides the coastal and country roads of the Sun Coast of Florida. By the way - after decades of cycling, we've never had any issues with any traffic.

J
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Old 08-06-19, 08:30 AM
  #173  
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I scroll past JFB's musings. If you are reading this, quoting me is a waste of time.
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Old 08-06-19, 09:13 AM
  #174  
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Odds of serious injury or death if hit by motor vehicle while you are in a motor vehicle, fairly low.
Odds of serious injury or death in the same situation while you are on a bicycle, MUCH higher.
Simple physics.
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Old 08-06-19, 09:19 AM
  #175  
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Agreed. Even walking on the sidewalk, with your back to oncoming traffic, is stupid. Walk on the other side of the road, facing oncoming traffic (if sidewalks and other factors are conducive).
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