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  1. #1
    Senior Member RamahX's Avatar
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    Somber...

    Just getting back into cycling, have been an avid roadie before, and went full bore again - Lemond/105 bike, full kit, clipless pedals etc.

    The news is whats bugging me.

    Here in Atlanta we had a cager viciously and violently run down an experienced cyclist, and a second incident this week where a distracted SUV ran off the road striking a girl. She only suffered a severe leg injury, but it was caught on video and looked horrifying.

    A year ago up here in Dahlonega an experienced cyclist was hit head on and killed by another distracted driver at Neels Gap, where I plan to start my Gap training soon. She was the sister-in-law of a someone I went to school with.

    I got out of cycling in 2009 after retiring from the Coast Guard and moving to N.GA - some cagers opened their door clipping me intentionally while descending a steep hill at over 28mph. Kid was hanging out the open door flipping me off as they drove off.

    I got the bike I now have because I'm tired of sitting here rotting, I hate exercise, and love to ride. When I ride this new (old Lemond) bike, I have it all dialed in and I feel like I'm sailing. I live closer to Dahlonega now, and so far no cagers, which I've heard for some reason they just leave you alone compared to the next town down.

    At 50, am I the only one here that thinks about this?
    Last edited by RamahX; 06-12-14 at 08:48 PM.
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    Senior Member climberguy's Avatar
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    Sorry, I don't know the term. I take it that "cagers" are not people who live in cages, although from your description, maybe they should.

    But yes, many of us are concerned about being hit by drivers who are either inattentive or malicious.
    And I did it all clean.

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    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    RamahX, I like your bike.

    I ride my bike not to worry. But then, my experiences have not been harrowing by any stretch.

    Post a pic of your LeMond!
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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    I know how you feel. Once you remove all the distracted drivers, along with the inept and the malicious ones, it seems that there aren't many left anymore. I'm starting to think that the best answer here may be very early morning.

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    Senior Member RamahX's Avatar
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    2001 Lemond Buenos Aires. Feels like I'm sailing.

    Seat is higher than picture, but not riding aggressively anymore all wadded up like I used to. It's a 59, prolly too big for me at 6'0' but every 58 I've ever had felt cramped. I'm a lanky large/tall type.
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    Last edited by RamahX; 06-12-14 at 09:20 PM.
    "Well once again we find that clowning and anarchy don't mix..." ~the TICK!
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    Senior Member RamahX's Avatar
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    Cagers must be an old school term, because I got it from cycling news boards of yesteryorn. I think its very apt and a little funny if some of them were not so deadly. It refers to drivers who HATE cyclist, easily get enraged at us, don't think we should be allowed on the road, and yell, buzz, or attack us.
    "Well once again we find that clowning and anarchy don't mix..." ~the TICK!
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    Fortunately I live in an area where I have great choice of relatively low volume, low speed streets from which to choose and rarely have issues. Every once in awhile just have to get out on major thoroughway to reach a destination and I think about those things from the second I enter that road to the second I get off. I've been agressively streered off the road once. I think about all the people I know that have been rear ended at least once in their vehicles, no reason that can't happen to me on my bike. Must always be alert in traffic.

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    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    Cagers is an old motorcycle term meaning those that are not fortunate enough to ride a motorcycle.

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    You picked a lousy place to retire to. I visited Atlanta twice. It was a while ago and I was there for training sessions about 10 miles north of the last stop on MARTA. The area was growing fast and the roads had not kept up with the population. I took one look at the narrow streets and the incessant traffic and thought, "what a hell of a place to ride a bike". I noticed on my way to classes in the morning and back to the hotel in the afternoon that I could walk nearly as fast as the traffic was moving. I've always considered traffic as one of the things to consider wherever I chose to live. If you can't drive a car with ease, you sure can't ride a bike either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
    ... I noticed on my way to classes in the morning and back to the hotel in the afternoon that I could walk nearly as fast as the traffic was moving. I've always considered traffic as one of the things to consider wherever I chose to live. If you can't drive a car with ease, you sure can't ride a bike either.
    I've usually found bicycling to be quite pleasant when the traffic is so congested that it hardly moves. Kind of nice to be passing everyone although one does have to be a little careful about people suddenly switching lanes. And bicycling has been on the rise for years in places like downtown NYC and SF precisely because one can't drive (or park) a car with ease in those cities.

    I've taken my Bike Friday folder to Atlanta a few times when I had business trips and found the area to be rather nice for biking as long as the humidity/heat index was tolerable.

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    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamahX View Post
    2001 Lemond Buenos Aires. Feels like I'm sailing.

    Seat is higher than picture, but not riding aggressively anymore all wadded up like I used to. It's a 59, prolly too big for me at 6'0' but every 58 I've ever had felt cramped. I'm a lanky large/tall type.
    Nice! I almost bought an Alpe de Huez but already had a Trek 460 with similar tubing, the only diff was the campy group. Instead, I built a Cannondale Criterium Series from an '88 Pro Comp. Very light.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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    Frankly, I haven't experienced any more reckless or murderous drivers on my bike than in my vehicle. Lots both places. But the overwhelming majority of the vehicles I meet, motor or pedal, are courteous and easy to get along with.

    Admittedly riding a bicycle next to or in vehicle traffic can be intimidating and lead to paranoia. At the same time there are days when I'm forced to do a lot driving that I could swear they are out to kill me.

    Fact is there are a lot of mentally disturbed and/or limited people out and about. My goal is not to become one of them.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Deal4Fuji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbeachgary View Post
    Cagers is an old motorcycle term meaning those that are not fortunate enough to ride a motorcycle.
    Cager is also also a sports reporter term for basketball players

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Love your/my bike - a Lemond Buenos Aires 105 which I bought December 12, 1998. I have been considering buying another bike, but, I keep coming up with a question. Why?

    Cagers is used frequently in the Advocacy and Safety sub-forum of BFN to refer to those who drive automobiles.

    As to safety and nutty drivers, I haven't experienced that here in Colorado. But, long ago, I did the most comprehensive study I could do regarding relative safety of MUPS and riding on roads, and came to the conclusions that, while MUPS have more minor accidents, you generally don't get seriously injured or killed on MUPS, while the less frequent accidents on the highway/streets are generally much more serious and deadly.

    And, remember, it depends. We have hundreds of miles of MUPS in the Denver metro area, with few, if any, "street crossings" (I can ride 50 - 100 miles and never encounter a street crossing) and, during the week, there is low usage and beautiful scenery and trails - well kept up, generally. Many don't have these advantages.

    Just how I figured things out for my area. YMMV

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    As HawkOwl said, there are plenty of nutty people around. I don't know for certain but recently was browsing a book that claimed that 1 in 20 people are psychopaths, incapable of empathy, remorse and are aggressively antisocial. Then there are people who who just are not paying attention. As cyclists, what one chooses to do about it is an individual decision but It is worthwhile to put a good bit of thought into it. Myself, I find the quiet country roads with little traffic and scrupulously avoid busy roads with no shoulder.

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    blt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
    Cager is also also a sports reporter term for basketball players
    Don't recall seeing any sports reporters referring to basketball players as "cagers" for a long time, but it certainly used to be very common, due to the early days of pro basketball being played in cages. There was a good Sports Illustrated article on the subject back in 1991. See In the early days of pro basketball, the players were - 11.11.91 - SI Vault for more than you ever wanted to know about the history of basketball played in cages by cagers.

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    Motorcyclists refer to people in cars as Cagers all the time. Also refer to cars as Cages. Have heard it for years. Not surprised to see the term on a bicycle forum at all.

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    Senior Member RamahX's Avatar
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    Maybe I should just stop reading these, but am I the only +50 who may be getting cold feet as a roadie?
    Sandy Springs fistfight: a cyclist bites back | www.ajc.com and this weekend Baltimore Woman Cycling Cross-Country To Benefit Cancer Killed By Truck CBS Baltimore

    It's not really the story that irritates me, its the attitude of the commenters on the AJC article, and there are alot. All sharing the thought that we roadies don't belong. So far, riding on 9 here in Dahlonega/Dawsonville Georgia I haven't had any trouble... I'm using a flashing front and rear light and ride respectfully. It's just that more and more stories of cyclist killed, injured, or attacked are making mainstream media now.

    I just got my bike a couple of weeks ago and working up to 20 mile rides. I really enjoy it, and chose this route rather than a mountain bike. Wondering if I made the right choice now...
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    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Wow ... sounds like you've had a career of bad luck in a short time.

    To be honest, the horn beepers and other arseholes are an irritation, but the ones I truly fear are the distracted motorists ... and they are getting more common all the time. I had the distinct displeasure on RAW of seeing how bad that can be first hand, and no, I am not kidding.

    Is it enough to get me off the road? God help me, no. Not even close.

    Instead what I do is this: The best I can to avoid injury. For me, that means cycling in places with reasonable shoulders and escape routes. It means using a rear view mirror and checking it frequently. It means analyzing crashes to try to figure out what went wrong, so I can avoid the same fate.

    And even with that, I recognize that I cannot avoid injury or death in every possible situation ... it's always lurking around the corner. But then again, it's always lurking around the corner, whether I'm cycling or not. The way I look at it, cycling adds so much to my life, I'd be a fool to give it up.
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    Senior Member RamahX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
    Is it enough to get me off the road? God help me, no. Not even close.

    Instead what I do is this: The best I can to avoid injury. For me, that means cycling in places with reasonable shoulders and escape routes. It means using a rear view mirror and checking it frequently. It means analyzing crashes to try to figure out what went wrong, so I can avoid the same fate.

    And even with that, I recognize that I cannot avoid injury or death in every possible situation ... it's always lurking around the corner. But then again, it's always lurking around the corner, whether I'm cycling or not. The way I look at it, cycling adds so much to my life, I'd be a fool to give it up.
    That picked me up. I guess after 3 years of unemployment (retired Military but still want to work, but can't get an interview...) I've become a news junky. Got the bike to get out of that, and fell into the snare of what you said, reading the cycling incidents to learn from them... but it started dragging me down. I LOVE road cycling, and like I stated, on that Lemond I feel like I'm sailing (us Coasties need to sail somehow )

    Not giving it up, which is why I started this thread, to reach out. Just got done watching my 3yo Granddaughter who just energizes me and resets my frame of reference on alot of things. This +50 forum helps do that also.
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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Yes, there are people out there who don't play nice. I usually average one per ride but I've just learned to accept and ignore them. You live in as good an area for riding as there is and they shouldn't keep you from doing what you really enjoy doing. That bike is begging to be ridden. Go get you some Neel, Woody, Hogpen etc. Even Brasstown once you get in peak shape. You are in an area where you can do some incredible loops and not get tired of the same scenary. Some really nice climbs with some even shaded. Are you planning to sign up for 3 or 6 Gaps?
    Ride your Ride!!

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    Senior Member RamahX's Avatar
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    jppe, yes. Was planning to go see what Neels Gap is all about, heard it was the rookie Gap. Thinking of at least the Valley Ride, but prefer to get in enough shape for the 3 Gap. Just need to get used to those fast descents - any advice on good brake pads?

    Plus the guy who used to run the now (sadly) defunct Dawsonville Cycling Club told me he'd ride with me, just call. Looking for some others to ride with that won't drop me. Don't know how to plug in and find peeps to ride with that are patient with us +Fiftys getting back into it - not into dealing with the young competitive/impatient crowd anymore.

    Another group I'm interested in, as I've heard they are in shape but not bratty about it, is the Cumming-Dahlonega group I always see on Saturday Mornings. They come up past my house like a freight train
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    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamahX View Post
    Maybe I should just stop reading these, but am I the only +50 who may be getting cold feet as a roadie?
    Sandy Springs fistfight: a cyclist bites back | www.ajc.com and this weekend Baltimore Woman Cycling Cross-Country To Benefit Cancer Killed By Truck CBS Baltimore

    It's not really the story that irritates me, its the attitude of the commenters on the AJC article, and there are alot. ...
    I don't let it bother me. There are a lot of drivers and bicycling in this area and only a few stories, so an incident like this is improbable.

    As for the commentary, there's something about the comment section on news stories that compels morons to expose their ignorance. It's not worth reading, and even less worthy of your concern.

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    Senior Member slorollin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    I don't let it bother me. There are a lot of drivers and bicycling in this area and only a few stories, so an incident like this is improbable.

    As for the commentary, there's something about the comment section on news stories that compels morons to expose their ignorance. It's not worth reading, and even less worthy of your concern.
    I love the comments! It shows the great variance that exists in this "yeast" of life. It is fun to read the moronic ramblings of yeasts other than myself.
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    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamahX View Post
    ..... I got out of cycling in 2009 after retiring from the Coast Guard and moving to N.GA - some cagers opened their door clipping me intentionally while descending a steep hill at over 28mph. Kid was hanging out the open door flipping me off as they drove off. ....
    Cagers? Is that some southern term used to describe some race... or group... of people in some discriminating way? Do you belong to the KKK or LAW or some other group well know for there anti-American activities?

    However.... it does sound as if those cager-people may be "after" you. Maybe you should avoid cycling altogether.

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