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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 11-18-12, 05:38 PM   #1
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Dangerous world - sometimes not far away.....

Rode over to the Richmond Hills subdivision this afternoon - site of the horrible home explosion a week ago - to see exactly where it was and what there was to see.
A bit more than 4 miles from my house, as the crow flies. Wasn't able to see anything because - for very good reasons - police were keeping out anyone without a proper reason to enter. My being curious and looking for photo opportunities was not a good reason. Rode on without talking with the cops.
We were in Northern Michigan visiting relatives last Sunday when we heard news of the catastrophe on the '...southside of Indianapolis.' Which is where we live. Didn't take long to find that it was not our 'hood, or near it.

Driving home from MI Monday evening, we were surprised to see a car in front of us drift over to the shoulder and run right into the back of a Budget rental truck parked on the side of the road. At 50+ mph. We stopped in front of the collision, my wife called 911 and I went back to the car. The car had stopped so that the right rear corner of the cargo box was just shy of the driver. Her door was jammed, I was able to get in to check on her from the passenger side (no passengers). Didn't know what I would find; she was breathing but unconscious with no obvious/visible major injuries. Steering wheel was jammed against her upper thighs/lower abdomen trapping her where she was. She woke up after a few minutes - was able to tell me her name but didn't believe me that she had been in an accident. Trying to keep her from thrashing around to get out, keeping her head still and away from the shattered windshield a few inches from her face, making sure she was still breathing/heart beating, kept me busy until police and EMS arrived. We left with the crew working on stabilizing her and preparing to get her out.


Riding home from Richmond Hills today, spied a big hawk of some sort resting on a street light. Dangerous world for chipmunks, too.
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Old 11-18-12, 06:14 PM   #2
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Jan, great that you were able to help out. I wonder whether she was conscious when she hit the truck? 'Reads like it may be a medical emergency that initiated this accident.

How do you like your Rans Screamer? I'm thinking of getting a tandem for my wife and me to ride together.

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Old 11-18-12, 06:17 PM   #3
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The driver must have fallen asleep at the wheel?
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Old 11-18-12, 06:19 PM   #4
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You must live really close to me, I live close to the mall.
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Old 11-18-12, 06:22 PM   #5
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The driver must have fallen asleep at the wheel?
My brother is a cop. He tells me how at night some drivers drift into the side of the road and hit stopped vehicles. Somehow even if they are not DUI or asleep, they are drawn to lights like moths. More than once he has come to getting hit while on the side of the road issuing a citation or helping out a stranded motorist.

It is a dangerous world indeed.

Be safe.
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Old 11-18-12, 06:23 PM   #6
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You must live really close to me, I live close to the mall.
Not far from Southport/Bluff roads intersection.

My son heard the explosion from inside our home.
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Old 11-18-12, 06:32 PM   #7
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Jan, great that you were able to help out. I wonder whether she was conscious when she hit the truck? 'Reads like it may be a medical emergency that initiated this accident.

How do you like your Rans Screamer? I'm thinking of getting a tandem for my wife and me to ride together.
Couldn't smell alcohol. Driver could have been sleepy, medical emergency, medicated, or just not paying attention.

Love the Screamer. Just finished our second season on it. (Stoker not fond of cold weather riding.) Previously rode a flat bar KHS tandem for a decade. The Screamer is much more comfortable. 800 miles this year, which was a bit more than last year. I had been riding 'bents for 5 years prior to this bike. No major issues getting used to it. Some small issues in dialing in our technique for start-ups.
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Old 11-18-12, 06:42 PM   #8
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Yes that is pretty close.
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Not far from Southport/Bluff roads intersection.

My son heard the explosion from inside our home.
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Old 11-18-12, 08:12 PM   #9
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snip... He tells me how at night some drivers drift into the side of the road and hit stopped vehicles. Somehow even if they are not DUI or asleep, they are drawn to lights like moths. ...snip

It is a dangerous world indeed.

Be safe.
It is called "Target Fixation" Pilots have to learn not to do this or else make a hole in the ground.

Bill
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Old 11-18-12, 08:59 PM   #10
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My brother is a cop. He tells me how at night some drivers drift into the side of the road and hit stopped vehicles. Somehow even if they are not DUI or asleep, they are drawn to lights like moths...
I was a volunteer firefighter/medic for about 10 years, and we saw crashes apparently like this every year or two. If the drivers survived, their excuse was that they were following traffic--they didn't realize they'd switched their attention to a stopped car. Fatigue was often involved
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Old 11-19-12, 05:16 AM   #11
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Actually, it isn't a dangerous world. It is remarkably safe. At age 60, in America, a man has only a 0.0114 chance of dying in the next twelve months. Women do even better. Surprisingly, one has to reach the grand old age of 106 before one has a less than even chance of reaching one's next birthday. Actuarial tables here: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html
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Old 11-19-12, 05:34 AM   #12
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Actually, it isn't a dangerous world. It is remarkably safe. At age 60, in America, a man has only a 0.0114 chance of dying in the next twelve months. Women do even better. Surprisingly, one has to reach the grand old age of 106 before one has a less than even chance of reaching one's next birthday. Actuarial tables here: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html
Death wouldn't be the only criteria I'd use to measure danger.
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Old 11-19-12, 07:01 AM   #13
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It is called "Target Fixation" Pilots have to learn not to do this or else make a hole in the ground.

Bill
The question then becomes: what happens to us, as riders, when we are riding on a dark stretch of road with only a blinking (or steady as the case might be) red light. Do we become targets too?
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Old 11-19-12, 07:30 AM   #14
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Actually, it isn't a dangerous world. It is remarkably safe. At age 60, in America, a man has only a 0.0114 chance of dying in the next twelve months. Women do even better. Surprisingly, one has to reach the grand old age of 106 before one has a less than even chance of reaching one's next birthday. Actuarial tables here: http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/STATS/table4c6.html
And if you are 119 years old, you have a 6 months window until the grim reaper hits. I don't know anyone 119 years old. Does anyone? I think those actuarial tables can be easily misinterpreted and misused.

But, a google search shows a couple, both dead:

[TABLE="class: wikitable"]
[TR]
[TD]Jeanne Calment[/TD]
[TD="align: center"]F[/TD]
[TD]21 February 1875[/TD]
[TD]4 August 1997[/TD]
[TD]122 years, 164 days[/TD]
[TD]France[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]2[/TD]
[TD]Sarah Knauss[/TD]
[TD="align: center"]F[/TD]
[TD]24 September 1880[/TD]
[TD]30 December 1999[/TD]
[TD]119 years, 97 days[/TD]
[TD]United States[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]

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Old 11-19-12, 07:55 AM   #15
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One of the old guys down at the legion was 100 in Jan this year. Comes in about every day for a scotch and water, unless he is out with the ladies.
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Old 11-19-12, 10:58 AM   #16
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And if you are 119 years old, you have a 6 months window until the grim reaper hits. I don't know anyone 119 years old. Does anyone? I think those actuarial tables can be easily misinterpreted and misused.
They are often misunderstood, certainly. But the data is good. There have been people who lived to 119. Not many, and some of them made it to 120. Hence the figures.

Anyway, our life expectancy at age 60 is pretty impressive, I think, and argues for our world being a fairly benign rather than dangerous place.
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Old 11-19-12, 11:07 AM   #17
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They are often misunderstood, certainly. But the data is good. There have been people who lived to 119. Not many, and some of them made it to 120. Hence the figures.

Anyway, our life expectancy at age 60 is pretty impressive, I think, and argues for our world being a fairly benign rather than dangerous place.
Yes, my life expectancy at 73 (12 more years) sort of scares me!! And, being in pretty good shape may even add a couple of years - who knows?

OTOH, I see my friends and others dropping like flies at 70+ and that scares me, also. Every single high school male "buddy" but one (and even a younger fellow I worked with fighting fires) is now dead. Diabetes, falling off a roof, the big C, "multiple systems failure," etc. Pancreatic cancer keeps creeping in to the conversations!!

I think in your 70's is when you really realize that you don't have many years left.

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Old 11-19-12, 11:30 AM   #18
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Yes, my life expectancy at 73 (12 more years) sort of scares me!! And, being in pretty good shape may even add a couple of years - who knows?

OTOH, I see my friends and others dropping like flies at 70+ and that scares me, also. Every single high school male "buddy" but one (and even a younger fellow I worked with fighting fires) is now dead. Diabetes, falling off a roof, the big C, etc. Pancreatic cancer keeps creeping in to the conversations!!

I think in your 70's is when you really realize that you don't have many years left.
I'll watch out for that. But look on the bright side. When you were born, the idea of the average 73 year-old living another 12 years would have seemed fantastic.

And you are fit and active. Being fat is far more dangerous than riding one's bike, despite all the scare stories about casualties. And my general point, really, is that focussing too much on the (relatively) rare dangers leads too many people to lead overcautious, fearful lives; which in terms of their general health and prospects, is probably not a wise choice.
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Old 11-19-12, 11:45 AM   #19
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Rode over to the Richmond Hills subdivision this afternoon - site of the horrible home explosion a week ago - to see exactly where it was and what there was to see.
A bit more than 4 miles from my house, as the crow flies. Wasn't able to see anything because - for very good reasons - police were keeping out anyone without a proper reason to enter. My being curious and looking for photo opportunities was not a good reason. Rode on without talking with the cops.
We were in Northern Michigan visiting relatives last Sunday when we heard news of the catastrophe on the '...southside of Indianapolis.' Which is where we live. Didn't take long to find that it was not our 'hood, or near it.

Driving home from MI Monday evening, we were surprised to see a car in front of us drift over to the shoulder and run right into the back of a Budget rental truck parked on the side of the road. At 50+ mph. We stopped in front of the collision, my wife called 911 and I went back to the car. The car had stopped so that the right rear corner of the cargo box was just shy of the driver. Her door was jammed, I was able to get in to check on her from the passenger side (no passengers). Didn't know what I would find; she was breathing but unconscious with no obvious/visible major injuries. Steering wheel was jammed against her upper thighs/lower abdomen trapping her where she was. She woke up after a few minutes - was able to tell me her name but didn't believe me that she had been in an accident. Trying to keep her from thrashing around to get out, keeping her head still and away from the shattered windshield a few inches from her face, making sure she was still breathing/heart beating, kept me busy until police and EMS arrived. We left with the crew working on stabilizing her and preparing to get her out.


Riding home from Richmond Hills today, spied a big hawk of some sort resting on a street light. Dangerous world for chipmunks, too.
Good for you to help when you could and get out of the way when the professionals took over. My family was in an accident when I was a teenager and I still remember with great affection the men who helped me keep from drowning in the stream she landed in and I also remember with great anger the idiots who stopped to gawk!
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Old 11-19-12, 12:05 PM   #20
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Perhaps the thought of dying is like "target fixation". Personally, I avoid it at all costs. Realistic attitude? Guess not. But the quality of my life seems to ebb and flow depending upon how much I fixate on living or dying. Quality living wins every time for me.
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Old 11-19-12, 12:55 PM   #21
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I plan on living forever. So far, so good.

To the OP, what RedC said. Good you were able to lend some assistance.
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Old 11-19-12, 07:20 PM   #22
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Good for you to help when you could and get out of the way when the professionals took over. My family was in an accident when I was a teenager and I still remember with great affection the men who helped me keep from drowning in the stream she landed in and I also remember with great anger the idiots who stopped to gawk!
Glad that I didn't have to attempt CPR - have been part of code blue resuscitation efforts on patients in hospital beds but never in the real world in the front seat of a smashed-up car. Hats off to EMS guys and gals. And Fire rescue, police, all first responders.
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Old 11-19-12, 07:27 PM   #23
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Now they are investigating the home explosion as a homicide.
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