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  1. #1
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Road rage--scaring people off the roads?

    Could it be that people's experience with road rage while driving is one factor that keeps them from even considering getting on a bike in traffic?
    No worries

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    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Could it be that people's experience with road rage while driving is one factor that keeps them from even considering getting on a bike in traffic?
    That is one possibility. Another is that some people look at the realities of biking in the traffic/weather/cultural environment that they see and live in and decide that other transportation/recreation alternatives are preferable for them. A quite rational and sensible decision making process, despite the hysterical over-the-top hypotheses about phobias, fears, and irresponsibility that emanate from some bicycling advocates.

  3. #3
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    I don't know, I think everyone has a different idea of what scares them.

    Sometimes I think Advocacy has more than it's fair share of "worry warts" (for want of a better term) and intermediate cyclists that lack enough experience to realize there's just not that much too get overly concerned about.

    I think there is a large amount of experienced cyclists that don't even blink at everyday happenings on the road that some other more vocal riders get up in arms about.

    Time magazine is running a story this week about why people worry about the wrong things.
    Last edited by closetbiker; 12-06-06 at 11:55 AM.

  4. #4
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Could it be that people's experience with road rage while driving is one factor that keeps them from even considering getting on a bike in traffic?
    Quote Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
    That is one possibility. Another is that some people look at the realities of biking in the traffic/weather/cultural environment that they see and live in and decide that other transportation/recreation alternatives are preferable for them.
    Of course, that's another way to look at it. But what I have heard so often from people is their expressed fear of being "run over by a car." Then, when I see people drive on the freeway, I can see why they might feel that way.

    My view from a bicycle is that I am treated with much greater care than when I am driving. But I can't seem convince anyone else around me of that. They just look at me as if I had three heads (which isn't true, I had two removed.)
    No worries

  5. #5
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Time mentioned that after 9/11 people took to the roads instead of the air. For the next 3 months there were an additional 1,000 deaths per month above regular deaths on the roads.

  6. #6
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    I think there is a large amount of experienced cyclists that don't even blink at everyday happenings on the road that some other more vocal riders get up in arms about.
    I consider myself an experienced cyclist, and I think I've become more "up in arms" about everyday happenings since hanging out on bikeforums.

    When I started seriously riding - 7 years ago (man time flies) - it was in Florida, amongst some of the most clueless motorists the world has to offer, and it didn't seem to bother me nearly as much as it does now that I have a place to vent.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Could it be that people's experience with road rage while driving is one factor that keeps them from even considering getting on a bike in traffic?
    That could be, for some. here were the things that concerned me when I was getting ready to decide to bike commute to work in March:

    Distance and time-- could I do it?
    inconvenience
    getting hit by a car

    the distance is not that great-- 5+ miles-- but it seemed huge to me in the beginning.
    now it is no big deal to me, but had it been longer I might not have tried it.

    I found out it is not inconvenient at all, really.

    My fear of getting hit by a car or truck has dissipated over time, but I still have the occassional close call and I am very cautious. the times I get into trouble are when I forget that "They don't see you".

    plus I really enjoy it and look forward to it every day.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
    Could it be that people's experience with road rage while driving is one factor that keeps them from even considering getting on a bike in traffic?
    I rode a bike in traffic for many miles before attempting to commute. I put off starting my commute for a few months over concerns about the last road leading up to my workplace which is steep, narrow, and often very busy as it's used as a bypass for some more heavily trafficked roads. I had a few people in the commuting forum tell me not to bother as it sounded sketchy but I had others encourage me to try it and command the lane to protect my space. I eventually got the courage to try it and discovered that most people didn't care and were plenty cautious, and those who did care still went around just with more noise. There are still people at work who ask me about how dangerous it is to ride that road and I can honestly answer that it's not bad at all and happens to be one of the safer parts of commute (the road is so narrow and in such bad shape that people tend to go a little slower). The road rage that my own mind concocted is what held me back from starting to commute sooner.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bikedaddy's Avatar
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    I find that the average drivers reserve their road rage for the other drivers... not the one or two cyclists they encounter. Just have to look out the few wackos who are very anti-cyclists and be smart and predictable.

  10. #10
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    I consider myself an experienced cyclist, and I think I've become more "up in arms" about everyday happenings since hanging out on bikeforums.

    When I started seriously riding - 7 years ago (man time flies) - it was in Florida, amongst some of the most clueless motorists the world has to offer, and it didn't seem to bother me nearly as much as it does now that I have a place to vent.
    Yeah, sometimes people just need to vent. It's mostly hot air.

    In my province cyclists are involved in a disporpotionately small slice of traffic collisions; it's simply less likely to be hit by a car on a bike than in a car. Add to that the health benefits of riding into work and complaints about the safety or well being of cyclists goes out the window.

  11. #11
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I have the same fear of the last road to my work. Especially for the ride home. It's bad enough in a car, lots of stop and go traffic and last minute lane changers etc. Plus, the street is 50mph and that seems to be the minumum.

    I've seen a cyclist on that road but not sure i want to tackle it.

    I was hit by a car when i was younger and we rode everywhere. I have no idea what my average weekly mileage in High school was but it was high. I'm cautious and know tha accidents can happen. I didn't get hurt too bad when I was younger but I "aint any younger" now.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenomad
    I have the same fear of the last road to my work. Especially for the ride home. It's bad enough in a car, lots of stop and go traffic and last minute lane changers etc. Plus, the street is 50mph and that seems to be the minumum.

    I've seen a cyclist on that road but not sure i want to tackle it.

    I was hit by a car when i was younger and we rode everywhere. I have no idea what my average weekly mileage in High school was but it was high. I'm cautious and know tha accidents can happen. I didn't get hurt too bad when I was younger but I "aint any younger" now.
    It definitely took riding the road to realize that it was not nearly as bad as I thought it was. There's another nearby road that used to really bother me (even though I had little experience on it). It's a 2 lane each way, 45 mph road with narrow lanes and a high curb on the outside. For a while, I thought it had to be the worst road to ride on in the area, until I actually tried it (I had an eye doctor's appointment and without going miles out of the way, it was the only way to go). Turns out, motorists are very easy going on that road because of all the lights and they can easily see that they need to change lanes to go around me. The worst treatment I've received is a honk here and there (nothing like the road rage I've gotten for taking the lane to avoid a RTOL) and I ride that road quite often now. I'm not saying your road will be a piece of cake but it's probably easier than you imagine. For one, at 20mph, sudden stops aren't really that sudden unlike in a car at 50mph. People do know how to pass a slow moving vehicle when they want to although pointing out the path to take helps (indicate that there is a passing lane, I'm assuming there is on your road). They'll get the hint.

  13. #13
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    I don't think road rage is all that common, but it's scary so people can use it as an excuse.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

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    Junior Member ubernier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
    When I started seriously riding - 7 years ago (man time flies) - it was in Florida, amongst some of the most clueless motorists the world has to offer, and it didn't seem to bother me nearly as much as it does now that I have a place to vent.
    Let me just reassure you that they (clueless motorists) haven't moved out. I see them every time I am out...on 2 or 4 wheels.

  15. #15
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    I think the reasons most folks don't consider cycling as an option for transportation purposes are really pretty basic:

    1. It's not convenient
    2. It takes physical effort
    3. It exposes you to the elements
    4. It takes time (especially with our 'spread out' society in the US)
    5. Our roadways are perceived as too dangerous to drive on, let alone bike on, due to the speeds, congestion and lack of common courtesy.

    So, say we addressed #5 and everyone began driving slower, with the manners and courtesy of saints. 1-4 would still be enough of an excuse for most to not consider cycling as an option. We, the 'serious' cyclists (translation: fanatics) do it because we love it. We are the minority, period, and nothing short of a huge shift in not only our culture, but human nature itself, is gonna change that.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  16. #16
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I think the reasons most folks don't consider cycling as an option for transportation purposes are really pretty basic:...We, the ***** fanatics) do it because we love it. We are the minority, period, and nothing short of a huge shift in not only our culture, but human nature itself, is gonna change that.
    Yeah, I think so but I do also think some might look to another way to get to work if it takes longer in a car than on a bike.

  17. #17
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I think the reasons most folks don't consider cycling as an option for transportation purposes are really pretty basic:

    1. It's not convenient
    2. It takes physical effort
    3. It exposes you to the elements
    4. It takes time (especially with our 'spread out' society in the US)
    5. Our roadways are perceived as too dangerous to drive on, let alone bike on, due to the speeds, congestion and lack of common courtesy.

    So, say we addressed #5 and everyone began driving slower, with the manners and courtesy of saints. 1-4 would still be enough of an excuse for most to not consider cycling as an option. We, the 'serious' cyclists (translation: fanatics) do it because we love it. We are the minority, period, and nothing short of a huge shift in not only our culture, but human nature itself, is gonna change that.

    Man, that is exactly what Forester said.

    The flaw in that thinking however is that younger folks could take up cycling and ignore 1-4, if the conditions of 5 were conducive to comfortable cycling. Consider that many college students do bike commute, but often discontinue for a variety of reasons. If they were already doing it, then 1-4 must not have mattered that much, but 5 can even bother experienced cyclists. (just look at the rantings of cyclists here on BF)

    Of course #1 does seem to be the biggest excuse to not cycling.

  18. #18
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    YES, road rage scares some people into never bicycling, AND causes even some experienced, high mileage bicyclists to forego riding. Recently there was an article, in Adventure Cyclist? by a well known bike riding guru/author/columnist about how drivers in his town have caused him to GIVE UP BICYCLING. Rivendell printed the article in the riv reader, and i think there was a followup article by this rider in AC recently..... can't recall the guys name though.

    The streets, they ARE getting meaner out there.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  19. #19
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    Yeah, I think so but I do also think some might look to another way to get to work if it takes longer in a car than on a bike.
    Maybe, but it seems like folks are like electrons - always following the path of least resistance.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  20. #20
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Man, that is exactly what Forester said.

    The flaw in that thinking however is that younger folks could take up cycling and ignore 1-4, if the conditions of 5 were conducive to comfortable cycling. Consider that many college students do bike commute, but often discontinue for a variety of reasons. If they were already doing it, then 1-4 must not have mattered that much, but 5 can even bother experienced cyclists. (just look at the rantings of cyclists here on BF)

    Of course #1 does seem to be the biggest excuse to not cycling.
    Screw Forrester...his problem is that, while he makes fairly accurate observations, he then goes and twists them to support his own wacky agenda, which quite frankly I've never been able to figure out. One minute you think he's pro cycling...then the next you think he's against cycling.

    I think starting to ride as a kid is a biggie...since I am one of those who started very young and never really stopped. But I also remember what it was like when I first learned to drive...the bike was pretty much relegated to a backup role and the car became my 'baby'. It was the Marine Corps...specifically going overseas where I couldn't have a car, that 'saved' me from abandoning cycling. I think college kids see the bike as a means of transportation, but also as a means to an end, with the ultimate goal to graduate, get a good job and a nice car. I obviously have no data...but I'd bet if we interviewed a large cross-section of college kids who currently ride a bike rather than drive, a very tiny percentage of them would see themselves still riding a bike for transportation 5-10 years down the road. BF college kids are not a good cross section, since they are fanatics like the rest of us - but I bet even there we might find many who consider cycling for transportation as just a temporary condition and consider cycling to be more recreational in their future.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  21. #21
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    There is something about the roads and traffic now days that people perceive as unsafe. There are too many people buying big SUV’s just to feel safer on the road and you just can’t go from thinking like that to “Hey I think I’ll ride my bike on the same roads I drive my SUV on.” The whole trend on emphasizing “safe crashing” from seat belts, air bags and bike helmets has done very little to make the roads any safer and I think some people are starting to realize this and we will hopefully start to see a trend that will place more emphasis on safe driving over safe crashing.
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  22. #22
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom
    I think college kids see the bike as a means of transportation, but also as a means to an end, with the ultimate goal to graduate, get a good job and a nice car.


    http://www.trafficlife.com/page26.html
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    =()>()

  23. #23
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    Road rage and incompetent or anti-bike drivers keep me on a paved bike trail. Another reason is that if a driver wants to give me a hard time we are going to have a major confrontation right there. So, It's best I leave the streets alone. bk

  24. #24
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Human Car
    There is something about the roads and traffic now days that people perceive as unsafe...
    Yeah. In that Time magazine article, they have a nice graphic of what kills people each year and what we worry about, is often not what kills us.

    Accidents kill only 4% of people dying and motor vehicle accidents make up almost half of that total. Deaths on bicycles are a tiny slice (less than 1%) on par with falling out of bed and choking on food. Far more prevelant are choking on other objects (more people die choking on pens than crashing on bicycles here in Canada), dying in a fire, or falling down stairs.

    Much larger in the picture (almost half of all deaths) are from conditions cycling helps prevent, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.

    So people perceive one thing while reality paints a different picture.

    I think if other people getting mad at someone is going to prevent someone from doing something that can only help both of them, that's pretty sad.

  25. #25
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by closetbiker
    Accidents kill only 4% of people dying and motor vehicle accidents make up almost half of that total.
    ...
    Much larger in the picture (almost half of all deaths) are from conditions cycling helps prevent, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.
    But if you look at rates by age group, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for 5-24 year olds.
    All types of accidents are the number one cause of death for 1-44 year olds.

    http://www.disastercenter.com/cdc/

    Al

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