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Old 04-07-08, 07:00 AM   #1
jashgtp
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Florida Cyclist

Need a little help.

Im looking for more information on why cycling in Florida appears to be dangerous.

Just looking into the reasons why and also why there are so many fatalities from cycling there.

Thanks in advance,

Jash
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Old 04-07-08, 09:15 AM   #2
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What are you looking for? experiences or facts and figures?
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Old 04-07-08, 12:55 PM   #3
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sure.

Looking for anything really. Just getting some background information first.

Any local news articles. Any facts and figures, Any person opinions.

All are welcome.

Thanks.
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Old 04-07-08, 06:04 PM   #4
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I moved here from Vermont so this is quite a culture shock
for me. Im astounded by how mean people are here.
Just mean. In the store, walking.....everywhere. Its only
a logical extension of the S. Fl. mindset to take the meaness
to the 'acting out' level when afforded the anonymity a car
does.
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Old 04-07-08, 10:46 PM   #5
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Personal opinion: Having grown up in South Florida, Lake Worth be to be exact, I had a paper route that I rode on my bike and the old people driving were the biggest danger I had then. The last time I was down there, 2 yrs ago, it seems that the population has increased about 30% and there are more foreign drivers as well as more retirees that should have long ago retired the drivers licenses.

I think North Florida, currently where I reside, is a little bit safer, in that we do not have the population issues that the central and southern areas of the state have, thus few cars to deal with, however we have a bigger population of rednecks in trucks that like to hurl bottles at you.

My biggest belief truly is the age of the drivers. Many to old and many to young with to many horsepower in their cars. Its a bad situation.
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Old 04-08-08, 11:03 AM   #6
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From my experiences, people are just hostile towards cyclists. I was born and raised in south Florida and have had a few run ins with angry motorists who think we are slowing them down and not riding on the sidewalks like they think we should. Also the state is full of a lot of just plain bad drivers, this all boils down to education. The more we as cyclists can educate motorists as to the laws the better off and safer everyone will be. The 3 foot law hasn't hurt but not enough people know about it yet, especially tourists that are visiting from other states and providences.

PS I forgot to add the sun as a contributing factor, we don't have any mountains or hills for the sun to hide behind and since most roads are north to south ,east to west you get a blinding early morning or late afternoon sun that has been the cause of a lot of accidents where the driver couldn't see the cyclist.

Last edited by jdec42; 04-28-08 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Sunshine in my eyes
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Old 04-08-08, 12:04 PM   #7
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I have lived and cycled in Chicago (30yrs), San Fransisco (10yrs) and now S. Fl. (4yrs) I don't really find that attitudes are any worse in FL than anywhere else (never been to VT). I think that FL may seem more dangerous via stats because you can ride more often than many other places with worse weather, more opportunity to be a statistic.

I do believe that drivers tend to be less skilled probably due to laxer licensing rules, more tourists, old people and immigrants than in other areas. Also in S. Fl bike lanes don't exists in many places and you are forced to share pretty crowded roads.

My biggest problem is drivers on cell phones, primarily women in SUVs. They seem oblivious to the world around them. I don't think this is unique to Fl though.
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Old 04-08-08, 07:30 PM   #8
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I've been a "roadie" in north central Florida since the early 1980's. Before that I roamed the rural roads around Champaign, IL. I've known a number of fellow cyclists that have been killed on the road. I've known lots more that have been hit and seriously injured. It is dangerous out there and not only in Florida. I also rode in the Austin, Texas area in the summer of 1982. It was the same there as well. Ditto for Yellow Springs, OH in the summer of 1988 and Ithaca, NY, for the summer of 1985.

Having said that I find that I find the road to be MUCH safer now than it was 25 years ago. Back then it was not only before Lance, it was before Greg Lemond. Back then whenever I rode out in the country either alone or with a group it was expected to have some sort of ugly encounter with a person driving a motorized vehicle. Now I find it to be a rare occurrence. Now I find people usually giving me a thumbs up, instead of the middle finger. For this I thank the media machine that has promoted Lance to the US masses.

That is not to say that there aren't motorized vehicle drivers out there that will f*ck with you. They are still around. It's just that there are a whole lot less of them than there used to be.
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Old 04-10-08, 07:20 AM   #9
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I commute 24.8 miles R/T daily in SW FL, and usually ride anywhere from a 40 mile to an 80 mile run on either Saturday or Sunday......I just don't have significant driver problems....the few times I have had issues, they have been drivers with cell phones...some of this I attribute to the flashing Dinotte tailight....they know where I am when they are a long way off.

Lee County is doing a pretty good job in promoting cycling...
http://www.mpo-swfl.org/content/Maps/bikemap_front.pdf

as this map attests to.
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Old 04-10-08, 08:20 AM   #10
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I have two points to add.

1. From my time living in Florida (Orlando), I quickly learned there are two types of drivers in Central Florida - 1. Locals that are late & driving like the last lap of the Daytona 500 & 2. Tourists that are lost & figure the best way to get found is drive in the left lane at 10 mph less than the speed limit. Neither situation makes it safe for motorists let alone cyclists.

2. The other thing I agree with is the amount of retired people down there. I was almost hit while running on the sidewalk in New Smyrna Beach by a walnut that was pushing 90.

I think anywhere in the country, there is a chance of an accident. But the more the community is aware of it the more careful members of the community are.
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Old 04-11-08, 08:46 PM   #11
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Here in Tampa Bay,most of our fatalaties are people with DUIs who are riding at night,on streets with no bike lanes...wearing dark clothes,no lights and lit like a Christmas Tree(hic...)-also,seniors crossing streets very slowly get nailed,too...
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Old 04-11-08, 10:38 PM   #12
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Too many snowbirds, aged retirees that shouldn't be driving, drunks, just those that shouldn't be driving. The lack of bike paths, or those that aren't in good enough shape to stay on, always cause additional problems. Overall though, I believe the state's vastly improved over the past 2-3 years. Many people are working to increase awareness of cyclists on the streets.
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Old 04-11-08, 10:58 PM   #13
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I think most have touched on the biggest points here. A lot of stupid people driving in very stupid ways, too many old people that should not be out alone, much less DRIVING, bad roads that force you more into the lane rather than the shoulder, endless amounts of rednecks in gigantic trucks, too much drinking and drunk driving (must be a southern thing!), too many people from other countries that are now forced to drive when they were barely able to walk in their country of origin, bad attitudes and ignorance, too many hauling boat trailers and motor homes/RV that can barely drive a small Yugo, much less these monstruosities, etc.. You name it. It is all a bad combo!
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Old 04-14-08, 04:32 PM   #14
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There is a big difference between south Florida and northwest Florida. Up here the drivers seem to be very tolerant of cyclists. Most of the roads have a wide shoulder / bike lane. And, most importantly, there are fewer retirees.

YMMV
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Old 04-21-08, 06:52 AM   #15
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thanks guys this has been very valuble to my project.

i really appreciate it
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Old 04-23-08, 03:17 PM   #16
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I live in Jacksonville, FL and the traffic where I live isn't bad when I ride - at 5:00 A.M. During the day though it's near impossible to do riding in some parts of this town.
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Old 05-16-08, 02:50 PM   #17
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IMHO.......its the majority of old drivers AND people not giving a crud about a red light, running it
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Old 05-19-08, 06:16 AM   #18
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An update

Well a south Florida update, there are three main road clubs in my area, Memorial, Weston Flyers and South Broward Wheelers, I'm a member of the latter and former ride director. In the last week we have had one member put in the hospital by a hit and run driver that left him for dead and nearly succeeded and yesterday an irate driver went into a rage with our group which came close to fists flying but thankfully not. It's getting hotter and tempers are flaring, we've just been voted the worst area for road rage in the country and the cyclist is the easiest target, guess we'll have to live with it.
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Old 05-19-08, 08:04 PM   #19
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Jdec, I really feel for you folks down there. I grew up in Palm Beach area, but I have no desire to ever move back. Stay safe.
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Old 05-20-08, 07:33 PM   #20
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After reading this thread, I hope the two cyclists I saw, about 6.30-6.45pm at the intersection of US-192 and I-95, are OK. They had black road bikes, and wore red-blue and/or orange-blue jerseys with black cycling shorts. This was in Melbourne, FL. I've seen crazier people driving there in one afternoon (technically, around 12 noon and also at 6pm) than I have seen in my 10 years in Tampa. Ok, I exaggerate a wee bit.
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Old 05-20-08, 08:10 PM   #21
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^^^ That is a nasty area and people are nuts there. I try and avoid it when I am down there and use Wickham Rd. interchange instead.
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Old 05-21-08, 05:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jashgtp View Post
Need a little help.

Im looking for more information on why cycling in Florida appears to be dangerous.

Just looking into the reasons why and also why there are so many fatalities from cycling there.

Thanks in advance,

Jash
Because motorists in Florida are oblivious.

Here's proof.
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Old 05-22-08, 05:21 PM   #23
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bro they have too much blue hair and pick-ups
imho cheers
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Old 05-24-08, 03:30 PM   #24
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I have grown up here in West Palm beach (Palm beach County) and I must say that the problem lies with the older generation and their poor ability to drive. Then there are the immigrants who have NEVER had proper training on how to drive (like the DMV really has a test that works...lol).

You also have to consider that most "rich" people come down here and look at cyclists as "lower grade scum who can't afford cars". When in reality I hate driving and feel guilty about the consumption of natural resources. I also like how my body looks and the health I am in.

There are parks and other recreational areas that are nice to explore; however, these are not as fun as doing long raod trips. But the downfall, you have morons behind the wheel.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:26 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdec42 View Post
Well a south Florida update, there are three main road clubs in my area, Memorial, Weston Flyers and South Broward Wheelers, I'm a member of the latter and former ride director. In the last week we have had one member put in the hospital by a hit and run driver that left him for dead and nearly succeeded and yesterday an irate driver went into a rage with our group which came close to fists flying but thankfully not. It's getting hotter and tempers are flaring, we've just been voted the worst area for road rage in the country and the cyclist is the easiest target, guess we'll have to live with it.
Sorry to hear about the rider that was hit, I heard about it. It happens quite regularly in fact WSVN in SE FL had a report on this about 6 months ago when a couple, mid 50's were struck and left on the curb.

I think now that this thread actually took off, it needs to be said FL is big, it is not defineable to one type of driver. What we have are old FL, Retirees, relocated ex-pat Canadians, general tourism, immigrants, illegal drivers even American ones, SUV's SUV's and more SUV's and of course hot rods (Vettes, Mustangs, Lambos, Ferraris, BMW's, Jap rockets etc...). The general feel while driving a car differs greatly throughout the state, but SEFL is by far the most aggressive and probably most dangerous for cyclists.

Much like a previous post last year I commuted 25 miles each way and then I decided this was too dangerous (scars to prove it). Now I do early and late rides in quiet rural or dirt roads or even stick to markham, Oleta and Amelia Earhart parks.

Be safe and be careful on Miami's mountain the Key Biscayne bridge!!! Many a riders downfall.
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