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Old 09-23-10, 10:55 PM   #1
Velo Dog
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How much do you worry about crashing/getting hit REALLY?

I've been hanging around this and another forum for years, and I'm frequently surprised by all the variations of the "How dangerous is cycling?" post. People worry about falls, about getting hit by a car, about all kinds of things.
I've been riding since college, and I've had what I assume is an average number of crashes and injuries, though nothing more serious than a separated shoulder. I'm more careful now than I used to be, but I'm 65. I'm not as strong or flexible as I was, and I heal a lot more slowly. An injury I used to ride through might keep me off the bike for days or weeks. Fitness goes fast these days, so I try not to miss many.
Still, I never start on a ride thinking I might get hurt, or trying to figure ways not to crash. Barring the very occasional run-in with a lame driver, I literally never think about, and certainly don't worry about, crashing. Am I living in a fantasy world, or are the worriers just worriers? How much does it worry you?
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Old 09-23-10, 11:14 PM   #2
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I worry about crashing when turning. And thats only on my new bike. It is a road bike that I use as a commuter. I was previously on the LHT. The light nimbleness is something I am still getting used to. I am getting used to it though. Now I only worry about falling on right turns.

Getting hit. Yeah thats a weird one. I worry about getting hit during the day. I ride home at night on a regular basis, frequently around or past midnight, usually on the weekends, and I dont worry about getting hit at all. But when I ride during the day, I am worried, not about being rear-ended but getting sideswiped by someone trying to scare me off the road.

To help combat that, I recently order a minicam and am going to record my rides. When it happens, I am going to take that footage to a police station and try to have the driver cited.
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Old 09-23-10, 11:25 PM   #3
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I don't worry unless it is raining. If I worry, it is about sliding cars behind me or me sliding into one. Luckily it doesn't rain often here for me to be bothered.
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Old 09-23-10, 11:38 PM   #4
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I think about it at intersections, but dont worry about it.
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Old 09-23-10, 11:52 PM   #5
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I don't worry about getting hit too much, so long as I avoid the 4-way at Lake and Detroit. I've nearly been hit there twice. Once by a woman who didn't see me, until I was almost past her, and once by an idiot too busy beboping around in his car to whatever music he was listening to, to pay attention.
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Old 09-24-10, 12:32 AM   #6
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No more than I would if driving a car, or crossing the street as a pedestrian. So I'd have to say not much.
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Old 09-24-10, 12:53 AM   #7
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Barring the very occasional run-in with a lame driver, I literally never think about, and certainly don't worry about, crashing. Am I living in a fantasy world, or are the worriers just worriers? How much does it worry you?
The worriers are just worriers, yes. Of course accidents happen, of course cycling in traffic demands care and attention to keep yourself safe, but the statistics are on your side - serious injury is rare and cycling is remarkably safe. I'd go further and suggest that the more nervous are more likely to have accidents. They'll tend not to take the lane, thus finding themselves on the inside of large vehicles making turns, for example. Confident, visible cyclists are almost always OK.

So no, you aren't living in a fantasy world. I don't worry about it at all, and I spent years commuting by bike through central London, supposedly the most dangerous cycling environment in the UK, with no problems.
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Old 09-24-10, 01:07 AM   #8
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Old 09-24-10, 01:08 AM   #9
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I compare it to the 7 years I spent working in the theatre. There is always apprehension and nervousness leading up to the performance where you think about all the things that could happen, but ultimately, when the curtain is raised, there is nothing you can do but let that fear go and perform. I always think of "what-ifs" before my commute home from work, but as soon as I get in the saddle, I only think about riding.
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Old 09-24-10, 01:11 AM   #10
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Sometimes I do, especially when I'm near a busy intersection or when I hear a car behind me that is going super fast.

I worry about not clipping out in time...
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Old 09-24-10, 02:47 AM   #11
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I used to worry before I decided that it was worth riding slower to guarantee I could be safe. Now I feel I am pretty safe. The only time I get goose bumps is when some knucklehead passes me with three inches of clearance. I also try to avoid door zones but sometimes I forget.
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Old 09-24-10, 04:28 AM   #12
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I only worry, when like last night on my ride, some moron trying to prove his manhood purposefully swerves towards me in his pick up truck.
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Old 09-24-10, 05:03 AM   #13
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Big truck passed me Wed, up a hill about 150 yards long, double yellow line, in a curve, could not see over the hill. If he had met another car the ditch did not look very good. I was leaving work and I guess he was on his way home also, One day he will get behind me when I an in my truck, I can go very slow.
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Old 09-24-10, 05:53 AM   #14
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What, me worry?

Though there are some sections of road I try to avoid because they make me more nervous. But I still ride 'em once in a while.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:12 AM   #15
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Not much.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:51 AM   #16
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Every once in awhile the thought will creep into my head..."maybe this will be the day I get hit". However, once I get riding I don't think about it.

My main criteria for a successful ride is how safe was it. Not how fast or how far did I go. When something does occur I try to learn from it and incorporate the lesson into future rides.
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Old 09-24-10, 07:53 AM   #17
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I think many people have to get hit once to fully understand the danger.

The benefit from that is a heightened awareness that might make you worry more but also makes you safer. You're more likely to consider the dangers and avoid dangerous situations, especially the one that got you hit.

Eventually, the knowledge that you are more aware and therefore safer, gives you some comfort but you can never go back to blissful ignorance, nor should you.
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Old 09-24-10, 08:48 AM   #18
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Not much. Every activity has its risks, both real and imaginary (or should that be "irrationally hyped by the media"?). The biggest issue I have is drivers pulling out of the ubiquitous housing tracts in my suburban neighborhood; they're pulling out onto major streets and seem to think obeying a stop sign is necessary only if a car is coming down the major street and there's no way they can avoid it other than actually stopping. I just expect any vehicle coming out of a housing tract not to stop, and always prepare to brake at those spots.
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Old 09-24-10, 09:15 AM   #19
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I worry more about getting hit crossing the street to get my mail. Seriously, cycling is much, much safer in my situation. Blind corner about 20 yards away and people fly down this road. I take my life in my hands each time I cross the street there.
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Old 09-24-10, 11:04 AM   #20
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I've been hit twice by mirrors,Once in the shoulder,once in the back of my head.No big deal,a headache and some bruising.

I've crashed twice.Somebody strung a chain across a bike path late at night,over the bars,almost landed on my feet.Scratched headtube and a sore ass.

Ran over a 10ft piece of 1/2 pipe in the middle of a turn early one morning,I ALMOST saved it,not quite.
That's my worst injuries on a bicycle.I hit my cheekbone on the curb,fractured my jaw and had 1 ear the size of a softball and a few "street pizzas". Scratched frame and tiny dent in top tube.

35 years and over 300,000 miles, No worries,acceptable damages.

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Old 09-24-10, 12:25 PM   #21
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I just turned 66 and don't worry about it at all.
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Old 09-24-10, 12:42 PM   #22
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I don't
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Old 09-24-10, 04:43 PM   #23
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Every once in awhile the thought will creep into my head..."maybe this will be the day I get hit". However, once I get riding I don't think about it.

My main criteria for a successful ride is how safe was it. Not how fast or how far did I go. When something does occur I try to learn from it and incorporate the lesson into future rides.
Un huh. I didn't spend a lot of time worrying - till my bike got into an altercation with a car. It changes the perspective a bit.
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Old 09-24-10, 04:56 PM   #24
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All it takes is one crash, imo. Then every time you go out.
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Old 09-24-10, 05:06 PM   #25
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I don't really think to much about getting hit by a car but I do keep an eye on my mirror, I do think about wiping out going around a turn though, I don't know why turns worry me so much.
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