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Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.

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Old 09-14-05, 03:37 PM   #1
sbhikes
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I'm riding the MUP for a while, maybe the horse trail

I've read about too many deaths lately. One of them was someone I know. I feel a bit spooked. Maybe there is something in the air. I think I'm going to use the MUP for a while, and maybe even push my bike up the horse trail (we'll see if I can get up early enough to do that.)

I'm thinking that MUPs are a lot safer than traffic at this point. Maybe a higher chance I'll have an accident, but I'd rather hit some roller blader or a nice soft baby stroller or dog than a multi-ton hunk of metal going 50mph.
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Old 09-14-05, 03:41 PM   #2
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Hope it's just temporary, Diane.

Remember that accidents/deaths are wildly overreported. Try to keep them in the context of the millions of bike trips made safely every day.

Some guy (Tom Arnold?) once said, "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself. And weasels."
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Old 09-14-05, 03:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I'm thinking that MUPs are a lot safer than traffic at this point. Maybe a higher chance I'll have an accident, but I'd rather hit some roller blader or a nice soft baby stroller or dog than a multi-ton hunk of metal going 50mph.
You are misguided. You need to take a discerning look at the way the crashes happened. There are ways to avoid them. MUP is not the answer.
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Old 09-14-05, 03:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by barenakedbiker
You are misguided. You need to take a discerning look at the way the crashes happened. There are ways to avoid them. MUP is not the answer.
I disagree. One has to look at the particulars of any situation. If I remember correctly at least part of her riding is commuting. It would not surprise me at all to find that Santa Barbara is very much like Santa Monica. Some MUPs in Santa Monica that are dangerous on a weekend afternoon are vacant during rush hour, while roads that are fine on weekends are packed with people rushing to work while drinking coffee or talking on a cell phone during rush hour.

Where is safer depends a lot on when, and also taking the proper precautions for the route. E.g. some bikepaths, evenve single use ones have dangerous points. Just blowing through the entire path is quite dangerous. Making an adjustment at one or two points can make the same path very safe.
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Old 09-14-05, 04:30 PM   #5
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Nothing wrong with taking the MVP for a while if you want to. Just try not to hit too many babies. It's normal to get burned out sometimes, especially when faced by tragedy. You're a gung-ho rider, so you'll get over it. Cheer up kiddo, the roads are no more dangerous today than they were last week. You're a great cyclist and you can keep in shape on the trails too. Try alternative sports for a while to get your head right: hike, mountain bike, rent a rowboat, go bowling, whatever. Try to have some fun, tell some jokes, work it through.
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Old 09-14-05, 04:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Keith99
I disagree. One has to look at the particulars of any situation. If I remember correctly at least part of her riding is commuting. It would not surprise me at all to find that Santa Barbara is very much like Santa Monica. Some MUPs in Santa Monica that are dangerous on a weekend afternoon are vacant during rush hour, while roads that are fine on weekends are packed with people rushing to work while drinking coffee or talking on a cell phone during rush hour.

Where is safer depends a lot on when, and also taking the proper precautions for the route. E.g. some bikepaths, evenve single use ones have dangerous points. Just blowing through the entire path is quite dangerous. Making an adjustment at one or two points can make the same path very safe.
My bad. A more nuanced response.
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Old 09-14-05, 04:40 PM   #7
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Sometimes, if you feel up to it, going to the funeral or memorial service helps.
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Old 09-14-05, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbhikes
I've read about too many deaths lately. One of them was someone I know. I feel a bit spooked. Maybe there is something in the air. I think I'm going to use the MUP for a while, and maybe even push my bike up the horse trail (we'll see if I can get up early enough to do that.)

I'm thinking that MUPs are a lot safer than traffic at this point. Maybe a higher chance I'll have an accident, but I'd rather hit some roller blader or a nice soft baby stroller or dog than a multi-ton hunk of metal going 50mph.

Hey I don't blame you... I get far more exercise and far less stress when I ride the MUP then when I commute on the regular streets.

My close calls are with rabbits vice 4000 pound cars. I can jump out of the saddle and challenge myself to a new high speed or new best time anytime I want, without having to focus on whether the tires of the car a 1/4 block ahead of me moved slightly, indicating a potential need for an evasive move... or not.

When I commute, I watch traffic and act accordingly. When I ride the MUP, I zoom zoom zoom... and it is a blast. My biggest challenge is the hills and headwind, not some irate unpredictable motorist who may have spent the afternoon nursing beers.

I don't blame you...

Keep riding.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:19 AM   #9
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I also go out of my way to use the MUP. The one I use is dangerously narrow in spots, but I ride a mountain bike and have learned to dive off the trail if necessary. Mainly I love the water, the path follows a river for the six miles i'm on it. and its the best six miles of my commute. Some days I work hard and keep the pace high, other days I go easy and spend most of my time watching the water. I don't see many other people during the commute. As was pointed out before the MUP is crowded when other people _aren't_ commuting. So I take my time some days and clear my mind for work or from work.

As far as I'm concerned cars can have the roads. The pot holes are bottomless, the other drivers are homicidal, the busses and trucks stink, and the pedistrians/delivery people step out from between cars apparently for the sheer thrill of almost being clobbered by a large man on a mt bike.

The only part of the MUP I could do without is the shanty town on the most remote part of it. But I know its there so I sprint past it. If someone wants to mess with me there they'll have to deal with me at top speed.

I know i'm doing a disservice to bike commuters everywhere by not fighting for my right to the road. But I've weighed the options and for me the fight doesn't seem worth it.
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Old 09-15-05, 06:31 AM   #10
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sbhikes,

you ever thought of mountain biking. I primarily ride road but I notice a nice peace of mind when I am off alone on some mountain trail with nothing but the sounds of nature. No people, no cars, no strollers, no dog leash garrotes.
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Old 09-16-05, 07:06 AM   #11
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Populations are increasing, so will the accidents.

I too think that roads and drivers are a significant problem and that well designed MUPs
are great. Many MUPS are not though and many accidents do happen on the sidewalk involving cars and driveways.



I think that I read somewhere that Tampa has the most peds deaths and that it was due to high number of old drivers, old peds and lack of sidewalks. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 1994 one out of every eight Americans was age 65 or older. It is projected that by the year 2050, those aged 65 and over will be one out of every five Americans. It is to be expected that the number of individuals 65 and older who are still driving will follow that same trend.

I found this advice/signs that you are too old to drive particularly frightning:
• Avoid left turns-- make 3 right turns instead. <<<< Should you be driving, if you have this much of a problem making a left turn?

• Having a series of minor accidents or near misses.
• Having wandering thoughts or being unable to concentrate.
• Being unable to read ordinary road signs.
• Getting lost on familiar roads.
• Having other drivers honk at you frequently.
• Being spoken to about your driving by police, family, and friends.
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Old 09-16-05, 07:22 AM   #12
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I've had two accidents - one on the MUT and one on the road. I've also had more near misses with the horse people who insist on bringing their dogs along when they ride their horses. The dogs either chase bikes or they wander in front of the bike. Unlike horses, my bike doesn't step over them. The roads are no safer; they are just different.
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Old 09-16-05, 09:17 AM   #13
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sbhikes, be careful if riding on horse trails. In Norco, CA, the horse trails are for horses only, and marked as such, and you will be ticketed for riding a bike on them.
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