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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-25-09, 08:46 PM   #1
Violet
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I'm no longer terrified; is this dangerous?

I've been cycle commuting for a while now, in various towns and cities. In the early days, it was nerve wracking stuff. Car paranoia, accelerating fretfully away so I don't get hit, constantly thinking this car or that car or that truck is going to run me over...

But now, I'm a lot more relaxed. I've road for so long with no accidents and barely any near misses that I just don't fear it. I've definitely let me gaurd down.

Is this dangerous? It's nice being able to relax and not stress on my daily commute, but I worry feeling this will bite me in the ass...
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Old 02-25-09, 08:49 PM   #2
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relaxed is good, paranoid and terrified, not so much.

You can be relaxed and still pay attention, right?
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Old 02-25-09, 08:51 PM   #3
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You grow a thicker skin toward the "dangers" or perceived dangers on the road. This doesn't mean you should grow complacent with those hazards, but basically expect them instead. Fear is based on the unknown a lot of the time, if you remove that unknown and just expect the worst, you can relax a bit more.

Experience/confidence grows the more you ride, don't worry about enjoying/relaxing - just don't grow complacent, always keep your wits about you and you'll be fine
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Old 02-25-09, 09:04 PM   #4
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relaxed is good, paranoid and terrified, not so much.

You can be relaxed and still pay attention, right?
I think you have just grown......ok sounds corny I know...... I think if you don't learn a little self confidence and overcome fears you will never leave the drive way.

I think you learn (to some extent) that you belong just like everyone else. As Chip put it, be relaxed and pay attention.
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Old 02-25-09, 09:06 PM   #5
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Thing is, I am complacent.

This may start a flamewar....but I find listening to loud music in my ear phones makes me sharpen up, because I can't hear anything
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Old 02-25-09, 09:08 PM   #6
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Thing is, I am complacent.

This may start a flamewar....but I find listening to loud music in my ear phones makes me sharpen up, because I can't hear anything
Dont wear a helmet and see what happens to you.
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Old 02-25-09, 09:14 PM   #7
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i found it similar to when you get proficient at driving a car on the road, when you can do it well without having to continuously worry and not having to think about everything you are doing, but yet not being complacent and hazardous.
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Old 02-25-09, 09:14 PM   #8
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Dont wear a helmet and see what happens to you.
Illegal to ride without a helmet where I live, and there's a lot of bored cops around.

Plus wearing a helmet is no big deal to me.
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Old 02-25-09, 10:17 PM   #9
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You've become used to the idea that people don't want to crash into you because it might damage their car or their insurance rates.
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Old 02-25-09, 10:36 PM   #10
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Being relaxed and confident tends to reduce your chances of getting injured for any given activity, as opposed to being scared and paranoid. If you're going to commute by bike any at all, you'll be safer if you're relaxed and confident. If you're going to drive a car at all, you'll be safer if you're relaxed and confident. Etc etc.
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Old 02-25-09, 11:55 PM   #11
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It's not dangerous at all. It just shows you've gotten over the baseless fears that are the reason people think you're crazy for riding a bike to work. You don't have to be scared but just don't start being reckless.
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Old 02-26-09, 12:15 AM   #12
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I think a certain amount of 'feeling easy with it' is, in fact, much safer. If you're not freaking out at every car that goes by, it's easier to scan everything around you. I'm always looking all around, but in a kind of 'automatic pilot' sort of way. That way, the things that jump out are the unusual ones--erratic driving behavior, excesssive speed, slower than normal speeds, vehicles in distress, emergency vehicles, etc.

Being comfortable with it should not mean being complacent, though, by any means. It's still your ass out there, and you don't have the luxury of most of a ton of metal and plastic to cover your mistakes.

And for commuting in the suburban hell I ride in, I would not feel comfortable listening to music at all. I LOVE music, but I also love my tookus in a healthy condition. I gather as much 'data' from around me with my ears as I do with my eyes. But that's just me...
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Old 02-26-09, 12:17 AM   #13
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No longer terrified is a good thing. Growing too complacent is a bad thing. Be alert the world needs more lerts.
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Old 02-26-09, 12:28 AM   #14
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sounds good Man!

Or woman.

You sound fine to me. If you're too complacent you will know it, with close calls. If you're where you need to be you will have no problems on the road. Exept maybe an angry motorist. Can't please everybody.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-26-09, 12:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
Thing is, I am complacent.

This may start a flamewar....but I find listening to loud music in my ear phones makes me sharpen up, because I can't hear anything
Being more relaxed just means you've gained enough experience to know the difference between real danger and paranoia. I'd definitely lose the earphones & music while riding, though; that's just stupid, much worse than not wearing a helmet.
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Old 02-26-09, 02:30 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
Thing is, I am complacent.

This may start a flamewar....but I find listening to loud music in my ear phones makes me sharpen up, because I can't hear anything
This kind of comment won't start a flame war but it will cause some to show concern and voice their opinion of why you should not use ear buds or head phones. I am one of those.

May I suggest this as an alternative?;
http://www.cyclesound.net/
or this;
http://www.gadgetbottle.com/
or this;
http://www.amazon.com/iHome-Beach-Sp.../dp/B000OCRCKA

If you're innovative and can figure out a way to mount them you could use these, (I use these and love them);
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SRS-A27-D.../dp/B000068MGO

The music is loud enough as my speakers have a built in battery power supply, on/off switch and adjustable volume control.
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Old 02-26-09, 02:32 AM   #17
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Illegal to ride without a helmet where I live, and there's a lot of bored cops around.

Plus wearing a helmet is no big deal to me.
Where do you live? By the way HELMET LAWS SUCK!!!
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Old 02-26-09, 02:56 AM   #18
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I am in the military and I am required to wear helmet while on a bike wherever I am at. I am not paranoid but I do pay attention. Just today, if I wasn't paying attention, I would have been taking out by a Honda Odyssey.
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Old 02-26-09, 07:04 AM   #19
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It's a bike ride. Not a big deal at all. Music can be soothing. Then again, there is music that makes us want to bank our heads against a wall.
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Old 02-26-09, 08:33 AM   #20
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It's not dangerous at all. It just shows you've gotten over the baseless fears that are the reason people think you're crazy for riding a bike to work. You don't have to be scared but just don't start being reckless.
+1. Well said at every point.
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Old 02-26-09, 09:00 AM   #21
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Being relaxed and confident is much safer. A lot of bad situations I've been on a bike happened when I was green and nervous and trying to accelerate or swerve away from an imagined danger, which then put me into an actual, real danger.
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Old 02-26-09, 09:11 AM   #22
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Confident, competent, and relaxed = good. Complacent = bad.
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Old 02-26-09, 09:31 AM   #23
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It's not dangerous at all. It just shows you've gotten over the baseless fears that are the reason people think you're crazy for riding a bike to work. You don't have to be scared but just don't start being reckless.
Of course it can be dangerous! Stuff happens. Many people do have baseless fears of riding a bicycle to work but to say that it's not dangerous at all is too simplistic. Don't ride like a frightened rabbit but don't ride like you are invincible either. Just being aware of what's going on around you is 9/10s of the battle.
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Old 02-26-09, 10:45 AM   #24
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I struggle with this too. Sometimes it makes me think I am going to get hit. Then for a while I am careful again. Then I get complacent. Rinse Repeat. Anyway the thing to remember is that although you may have gone thousands of miles without incident and you may have been on the road with thousands of cars it only takes one crazy/drunk/impaired driver to take you out. So you have to be more careful than is necessary on average. Because the average isn't what is going to smash you up. Its the extreme. Anyway I am preaching at myself as much as anybody.
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Old 02-26-09, 10:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Thing is, I am complacent.
Ok, so you're complacent, so you know you have a problem. Wny are you asking us if there's a problem, then? Stop being complacent, problem solved. Note also that there's a lot of room between "terrified" and "complacent".
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