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Old 01-29-08, 02:01 PM   #1
Dominion
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Anyone Else scared to ride after reading these threads?

After reading these threads of so many accidents, it makes me scared to make my daily commute. The statistics show that deaths are infrequent, but it always comes up in my head "what if it was me?" Anyone else feel depressed after reading these treads? or am i just selfish for my own life?
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Old 01-29-08, 02:28 PM   #2
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I always ride "paranoid", in other words, I always assess the situation, assume that cars are trying to kill me and always have a plan so that I can escape the worst.

I always ride with a heightened sense of awareness, but it is not fear. The death threads are a reminder and become a mental exercise of how to avoid a collision.
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Old 01-29-08, 02:36 PM   #3
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Everything you do involves some level of risk; the major things are what are the risks, what you can do to lessen those risks, and what level of risk is acceptable/unacceptable to you. Having said that, I took a Motorcycle Safety class prior to and then the Advanced Riders course after I bought my motorcycle. Best thing ever. A lot of what I learned there applies to bicycling. The SIPDE process is really the best defense you have.
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Old 01-29-08, 02:42 PM   #4
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Having spnet some time where terrorists, snipers, and Scud missles are always a possibility, I have applied the lessons learned to my riding. Constantly look for threats and plan for evasion. Of course driving on the capital beltway from time to time helps, but bottom line is that if you are aware of your surroundings and always preparing to react to how they may change, your chances of survival without injury increase dramatically.
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Old 01-29-08, 02:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dominion View Post
After reading these threads of so many accidents, it makes me scared to make my daily commute. The statistics show that deaths are infrequent, but it always comes up in my head "what if it was me?" Anyone else feel depressed after reading these treads? or am i just selfish for my own life?
My advice: Fuggedaboutit.

Ignore the whining of posters who troll the Internet constantly for bicycling mishaps and incidents and then report their treasure on this forum. If someone is bent along the line of vicarious identification with every victim of an accident or incident he/she can find bad news about ANY activity happening somewhere.

My guess is their idea of advocacy is to whine on this forum about accidents and meanies in Timbuktu et al. in order to commiserate with a community made up of similar "oppressed victims."
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Old 01-29-08, 03:10 PM   #6
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haha actually yes.

However my friend dragged me on a ride, and I realized it's nothing like this forums portray, so I had fun, fear is gone, however I'm too much of a wuss to ride in the rain so I've been off my bike.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:21 PM   #7
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Pffft....get drunk, wrongway ride with a lightning rod in a storm while juggling blindfolded. Just take care of you and your ride, don't fret one iota about what gets posted here.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:41 PM   #8
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It's all "forum fever" so I ignore most of the scaremongering.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:46 PM   #9
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After reading these threads of so many accidents, it makes me scared to make my daily commute. The statistics show that deaths are infrequent, but it always comes up in my head "what if it was me?"
Someday it will be you. If not cycling then something else, but eventually you're going to bite it.

There.. Does that make you feel better?
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Old 01-29-08, 03:53 PM   #10
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Having spnet some time where terrorists, snipers, and Scud missles are always a possibility, I have applied the lessons learned to my riding. Constantly look for threats and plan for evasion. Of course driving on the capital beltway from time to time helps, but bottom line is that if you are aware of your surroundings and always preparing to react to how they may change, your chances of survival without injury increase dramatically.
Though my attitude toward risk is derived from a different war than yours, I agree with your approach. Ands, thanks for serving.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Dominion View Post
After reading these threads of so many accidents, it makes me scared to make my daily commute. The statistics show that deaths are infrequent, but it always comes up in my head "what if it was me?" Anyone else feel depressed after reading these treads? or am i just selfish for my own life?
Nope it's not just you. I've been riding for awhile now and often wonder what it is that i am doing out there on the bike. All of the accident stories and pics don't help either but it's been that way as long as i've been on these forums.

It just shows what can happen. Still i think cycling has a lot of upside and isn't ultimately fatal. I think that life is short and I hate to give up something i love because of fear.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:16 PM   #12
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Ive been commuting for years in three different states and Im terrified as of late.
I think what Im scared of is human nature here in S. Florida. People are
so angry and aggressive it is keeping me in a constant state of paranoia.
Anything prompts the Darwinian rejects down here to violenty act out.
Its almost funny when a blue haired fleabag in a Caddy honks and gives you the finger
for not stopping for her right hook or left turn across a divided hiway, but its definately
not funny when an angry redneck tries to run you off the road for the same stuff.
Just a daily commute here in Waste Palm.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:39 PM   #13
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Ive been commuting for years in three different states and Im terrified as of late.
I think what Im scared of is human nature here in S. Florida. People are
so angry and aggressive it is keeping me in a constant state of paranoia.
Anything prompts the Darwinian rejects down here to violenty act out.
Its almost funny when a blue haired fleabag in a Caddy honks and gives you the finger
for not stopping for her right hook or left turn across a divided hiway, but its definately
not funny when an angry redneck tries to run you off the road for the same stuff.
Just a daily commute here in Waste Palm.
Sounds like something in the water.
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Old 01-29-08, 05:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dominion View Post
After reading these threads of so many accidents, it makes me scared to make my daily commute. The statistics show that deaths are infrequent, but it always comes up in my head "what if it was me?" Anyone else feel depressed after reading these treads? or am i just selfish for my own life?
it depresses me that there are people out there who have no sense of context or understanding of how and why things happen. That critical thinking seems to be severly lacking in the posts. And then to think that these people are "advocates" depresses me more.

After going over the "helmets cramp my style" thread recently, it gives me incentive to throw away the helmet simply on the grounds of the poor arguments from those who insist the helmet should be a priority.

The fear spouted by these posters show a level of understanding that indicates a reasonable thing to do would be the opposite of what they post.

Last edited by closetbiker; 01-29-08 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:06 PM   #15
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It doesn't seem like "fear posting" to me and it doesn't depress me. If reading the crash stories makes you depressed, just keep things in perspective; for every wreck there are thousands of uneventful rides.

I consider accident accounts as a chance to learn how wrecks happen, and how best to avoid them. Knowledge is power. If you hide your head in the sand and avoid all crash posts, there is nothing to be learned. Many members who post here have a LOT of experience riding in traffic. We should be able to learn from them.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:56 PM   #16
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It doesn't seem like "fear posting" to me and it doesn't depress me. If reading the crash stories makes you depressed, just keep things in perspective; for every wreck there are thousands of uneventful rides.

I consider accident accounts as a chance to learn how wrecks happen, and how best to avoid them. Knowledge is power. If you hide your head in the sand and avoid all crash posts, there is nothing to be learned. Many members who post here have a LOT of experience riding in traffic. We should be able to learn from them.
Well, what have YOU "learned" from the fear mongering posts about accidents/incidents that happened somewhere at sometime? Or from the following ever predictable agenda driven speculation about the "cause" of the accident from the resident self appointed experts of BF?
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Old 01-29-08, 07:07 PM   #17
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Riding has some risks which I gladly accept and usually minimize though smart riding. I also drive cars, enjoy rare red meat, and even listen to the odd political discussion. Riding is likely one of my more sane choices.
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Old 01-29-08, 07:41 PM   #18
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I grew up before seat belt laws in the greater Los Angeles area. More than half the folks smoked, and even smoked indoors! Frankly, it's a wonder any of us are alive to tell the tale!

Human beings have a difficult time assessing risk when the likelihood of an event becomes rare. The dangers of traffic are in this category.

You can do a lot to make that small risk even smaller. Don't ride on the sidewalk, against traffic, or at night without lights for example. If you approach these forums as a primer to avoid common mistakes, you can get a lot of good from them.

Remember, these forums are visited by folks from every English speaking nation, and some that use English as a second language. (Like from Texas.) That is a wide area to draw from. Most cities have less than one bicycle fatality a year!

Take a deep breath, put it in perspective, and enjoy your ride!
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Old 01-29-08, 07:48 PM   #19
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Well, what have YOU "learned" from the fear mongering posts about accidents/incidents that happened somewhere at sometime? Or from the following ever predictable agenda driven speculation about the "cause" of the accident from the resident self appointed experts of BF?
LOL, I anticipated you would ask this question, and almost included an answer in my last post.

What I've learned depends on the situation of the crash. If I listed everything it would take me all night. If I listed one or two things you would discount them as trivial because they are things you probably take for granted, since you've learned them through many years and miles of experience. It's the riders like yourself, with such extensive experience, that can teach others the most in "crash" threads. but for some reason you usually prefer to ridicule others, rather than offer your guidance. Why do you find it so hard to believe that people can learn from the experiences (and follow up discussions) of others?
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Old 01-29-08, 08:07 PM   #20
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LOL, I anticipated you would ask this question, and almost included an answer in my last post.

[SNIP]Why do you find it so hard to believe that people can learn from the experiences (and follow up discussions) of others?
You haven't answered the question (What have you learned?) in this post either.

Maybe because these fear mongering posts on BF of the product of Google trolls for mayhem and misconduct offer no knowledge gained from experience and the following discussions (i.e. political and agenda driven rants and speculation) are the opposite of useful to anyone whether experienced or not. Especially useless are the "where was the bike lane," or "where was the helmet", or "I bet there was a cell phone involved" nattering; doubly dubious are the after the fact, Monday Morning Quarterbacking solutions offered up by the always-in-the-right-place-to-avoid-accidents experts- "here's what I would have done in that situation and avoided that accident."

Yes I consider experienced advice such as use lights at night, don't ride into intersections with your eyes closed, be careful, etc., quite trivial. If you find that kind of banal advice useful, good for you. I think it is stale after the first grade.

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Old 01-29-08, 08:10 PM   #21
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Life is filled with risks, and life is not fair. A person could give up cycling, and elect to drive everywhere, only to then die from a large rock thrown from an overpass onto the freeway traffic below, or succumb to an illness aggravated by a sedentary lifestyle. Better to say "life is a challenge" than to say "life sucks."
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Old 01-29-08, 08:40 PM   #22
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If I ever get any scared thoughts, it's definitely not from bicycling, my bicycling experiences were pretty tame compared some of the other things I did in my youth, and I count my good fortune to be able to have lived to the age I am now.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:03 PM   #23
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Those posts just remind me how lucky I am to ride in a city where the motorists are aware of cyclists, but I still try to keep myself aware of the motorists. There are plenty of agressive motorists but I only notice them when I am driving.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:17 PM   #24
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After reading these threads of so many accidents, it makes me scared to make my daily commute. The statistics show that deaths are infrequent, but it always comes up in my head "what if it was me?" Anyone else feel depressed after reading these treads? or am i just selfish for my own life?
What if you read just as many threads about people that lived great, healthy lives due to bicycling? Would that make you wonder, "what if it was me who benefited from that healthy lifestyle?"

My positive commuting memories are so plentiful that I think of those whenever I ride home. I love my bike.

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Old 01-29-08, 09:31 PM   #25
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Anyone else feel depressed after reading these treads?
Depressed? Yes. Angry? Yes. Scared? H3ll no!
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