No More Daily Rides
I've decided to give up my daily ride because it has become less enjoyable and more stressful. After having two serious accidents with cars this past year, one ending up with me on the trunk of a car that cut me off, I'm giving it up and going to the gym instead. Drivers on cellphones, no respect for bicyclists, commuters late for work are too much for me to handle. I'm always wondering whether the driver coming from behind will see me even though I wear a safety vest and have a taillight flashing. I'll reserve my riding for weekends when there's less traffic and more bikes and group rides. So sad.
I don't ride on roads -- partly because I fear them and partly because I have excellent Rails-to-Trails close at hand. Plus, the scenery is better on the trail.
But I do not find riding (or driving) on the weekends any better. Actually I usually find it worse as the weekend warriors are out in full force both on the roads and on the trails...
So, while off-road riding may not be for you, perhaps looking for alternatives would be in order: Perhaps taking a jaunt out into the country or sticking to residential streets would be safer?
I feel strongly that biking is very very good for you -- unless you run into something or something runs into you or you fall off -- then it ain't. I think the best is to ride lots and (find a way) to ride safe....
I ride on roads but avoid heavier traffic. I also enjoy bike paths and will link together friendly streets and paths on most rides.
You might have to drive to or use train travel to access good locations with bike friendly roads. Just avoid streets that have higher speed limits, roads that lack a safe shoulder and avoid rush hour.
Yea its rough out there.I plan my route to be away from traffic as much as possible. parks,office parks on weekends and take the bike on the car 45 mins away just for a less congested area.How bad is my area 2 walkers and one cyclist killed by auto within 200 yards of my house.Tried biking to work but it was a death wish,I even caught my wife drinking coffee and putting on makeup on her way to work,we are about a mile apart.The best part of mountain biking no cars,try it!
I don't think I could bike on roads in an area with no breaks in traffic. I never "take control" of lanes, but instead, I stop and make sure there are NO CARS, before doing anything involving intersections. I never get cut off that way, but it takes zen-like patience to just wait things out the way I do. Even driving, I've taken to the "I'm not in any hurry at all" school of cautious (paranoid) driving, since impatience never gains you any significant fraction of time, while greatly increasing your chances of getting into an accident. Since I live in the suburbs (though the "urbs" are slowly encroaching on our territory), I don't have to deal with the kind of traffic that would force me to use "take control of the lane", for which I am quite thankful. I must add this thought to my "thanks-giving" list!
Country roads are less stressful, traffic-wise, yet I find that the dogs more than make up the difference in providing adequate levels of stress... :)
Frankfast, I'm sorry to hear about your cycling stress. It's supposed to be enjoyable and rewarding. When riding becomes stressful, you have to make a change (and only you can know this). I hope that you are able to ride regularly again one day. Maybe you'll leave the city?
Unfortunately where I'm working there is only one road to ride. Although it is very scenic, parallels a beach, there is no shoulder and the speeds are high. While most drivers are considerate and take a wide swing around you, some come too close and if you don't keep a steady line, you will be in trouble. There is little margin for error. I've decided worrying about it takes the joy out of it. On weekends it's easier to catch a group and I feel much safer. Drivers also realize that there are many more bikes on the road. I'll give up the solo rides.
Originally Posted by Phil_gretz
Yeah, I hear yah, nary a week goes by that I don't get caught by something stupid like what you mention. I jus take extra precaution and hope for the best.
Now the turn back from daylight saving time is what REALLY sucks and prevents me from riding, I wish they would just leave it as is and have the longer evenings all year long. I leave for work in the dark and arrive home dang near dusk. I hope for good weather on the weekends.
I know exactly how you feel, and it's no fun having to worry about getting run over by someone who is in a hurry and not paying attention, which with most everyone owning a cell phone, your chances of getting run over are pretty high.
Usually Sunday mornings is the best time for me to take to the roads, but after around 10:00 a.m. the traffic begins to pick up. I'm thankful that I have several bike trails that I can ride 7 days a week, and I don't have to deal with the traffic or I wouldn't be able to ride either.
Usually Sunday mornings is the best time for me to take to the roads, but after around 10:00 a.m. the traffic begins to pick up. I'm thankful that I have several bike trails that I can ride 7 days a week, and I don't have to deal with the traffic or I wouldn't be able to ride either.[/QUOTE]
I'm working in San Juan, Puerto Rico and my ride takes me 23 miles along the beach east of the city. Sunday mornings is the best time to ride and it's best to get out by 7:00AM and get back by 9:00AM. Biking is big here on the weekends and there are many group rides with riders on the latest gear and colorful apparel. They take it seriously and it's great. I feel safe at that time and to a lesser degree on Saturday mornings. But they disappear during the week except for an occasional solo rider and I've been warned by my co-workers that it's a dangerous habit. Apparently there are numerous incidents of riders getting killed here. It's too bad because you can ride all year round here. I'll resume my daily rides when I return to New York next year. There are many roads near my home where there is not much traffic and very scenic. The only problem being there are a lot more hills.:)
You don't have to be riding in Puerto Rico to be told by non-cyclists that cycling is dangerous. BUt they are almost always mistaken. If I were you I'd check the stats rather than be frightened out of an activity whose health benefits outweigh its risks by a very wide margin. It is quite likely that your co-workers don't know what they are talking about and are influenced, as many people are, by the fact that accidents get publicised; unlike the many millions of miles that are cycled without incident.
Originally Posted by Frankfast
It is truly unfortunate that you've had two incidents in such a short time. We each make the decisions we think are best. I trust when you think it safe to leave the gym, you'll know. In the meantime, enjoy getting your exercise indoors (I find that especially hard to do, but there are many who have just the opposite experience.).
I play a game called 'I am Invisible'
I also ride a Motcycle,,Imma two wheel junkie..
I ride human powered and gasoline two wheelers in traffic and never seem to have close calls,,,ever..
Is it skill or luck ? who knows.
The cagers(Cars) go where they will and they never see me so I ride like that,,,I am where they are not !
Never in a blind spot,
NEVER EVER without a 'Way Out'
A scenario :
Your Bookin down the road and deeply focused on the ride, all aspects of it, Your stuff is tight an your on top of things.
Something happens out infront of you, a car's sudden no signal lane change, a sudden brain fart by another driver a car, truck, or bike,,whatever. You react correctly, you had your front brake coverd with two fingers right? You were ready with a "way out", a speed adjustment,,again,,,what ever, Hazard avoided, everything is cool,,,
NOW at this instant you are in danger. Maybe your pissed or your shoulders are tense,,or you wanna flip somebody off. DON'T Do It.
You need to make an Immediate "Threat Scan".
You Must check your six and more.
Combat soldiers are taught this, As soon as a threat is Iliminated they Must make an quick precise scan of the area, all directions.
They are taught to swing their head from side to side,,to "Take It all in"
Don't forget to check your Six,,Thats look behind you.
While you were focused on the problem everything changed all arround you.
People who are involved in a deadly encounter, Police,,civilians who ever get "Tunnel vision".
It has been proven that your field of View, your Peripheral vision can be reduced to as little as 1 or 2 degress.
Thats like looking through a 2 inch pipe, you see nothing to the sides.
Your brain has temporarily been denied road input, You MUST update all visual information ASAP.
Ride on,,and on,,
Thanks. Worked up a good sweat today on the treadmill and the elliptical. My Ipod will help me get through it. Also there is a huge unused swimming pool right next to the machines. All of this within the grounds of my condo. It couldn't be more convenient. And I can now look forward to the weekend rides.
Originally Posted by NOS88
Did a ride with a friend last summer, part of which took us onto a narrow two lane road. We both just missed being clipped by the mirror of a small RV. Dangerously close, I'd say he missed us by inches. There was subsequently a chance to get onto a bike path and so we did. Riding the road never used to bother me but lately it really does. Cellphone use, texting, and an aging population only adds to my trepidation.