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Have you ever considered giving up cycling for safety reasons?

Advocacy & Safety Cyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Discuss your bicycle advocacy and safety concerns here.
View Poll Results: Have you ever considered giving up cycling for safety reasons?
No, never crossed my mind.
61.54%
Yes, but only as a passing thought.
25.00%
Yes, I have considered it.
13.46%
Voters: 104. You may not vote on this poll

Have you ever considered giving up cycling for safety reasons?

Old 02-09-06, 05:23 PM
  #26  
atbman
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Originally Posted by thdave
I gave up commuting for about 5 yrs. in the early 90's.

I was very upset because of a traffic death caused, inadvertently, by a cyclist. I was convinced that cyclists are a menace to traffic.

A cyclist was coming up a hill slowly and was passed by a car who crossed over the yellow line (by a foot or so) to pass. A 20 yr. old woman driver came over the hill and down, saw the car coming in her lane, and went off the road into a ravine and died. Very tragic. There was a lot of yelling at the scene and the driver of the car at fault blamed it on the cyclist. I work with the cyclist.

Since then a bike path has been installed and a rail put in to prevent cars from going in the ravine.

I was quite torn over this but eventually got back on the bike and commute now more than ever.
Yet another case of the driver blaming the cyclist for his manoeuvre. What was the cyclist doing wrong? Simply cycling slowly up a hill is not bad cycling. Depending on the width of the oncoming lane, either the deceased driver was overreacting to a perceived, but non-existent danger, or the overtaking driver should not have been overtaking approaching the brow of a hill.
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Old 02-09-06, 05:26 PM
  #27  
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PS I've been knocked off once (very minor injuries) and scared a few times. Fortunately, I have very little imagination and a profound understanding of other road users' intentions. I am, therefore, immune to their behaviour and will live forever. Unless I die first.
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Old 02-09-06, 06:09 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by atbman
Yet another case of the driver blaming the cyclist for his manoeuvre. What was the cyclist doing wrong? Simply cycling slowly up a hill is not bad cycling. Depending on the width of the oncoming lane, either the deceased driver was overreacting to a perceived, but non-existent danger, or the overtaking driver should not have been overtaking approaching the brow of a hill.
True.

Gee, that might mean that a motorist would have to GASP slow down and wait for a cyclist eh?

Passing on a hill... recall that from driving 101... that and passing on a blind curve... both as big DON'T.
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Old 02-09-06, 06:10 PM
  #29  
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YES !

I was run over from behind last august by a hit and run driver going an estimated 50 mph. I was lucky that it wasn't a direct hit from behind ... he just caught me with the right hand corner of the car, there were tire marks on the (bent) left seat stay and on my helmet (shattered). I suffered a concussion, busted bladder, and fractured pelvis, spent 2 weeks in the hospital, had a horrible case of poison ivy from landing in a farmer's field of it that has damaged the lymph drainage in my left leg, lost 3 months from work, and at 6 months out from the crash, I am just down to mild bone discomfort and walk with a slight limp.

I swore I would never ride again (after 25 years in the sport, including 11 years racing) ... I was fed up with 99.9 % of the drivers. I had escaped death once and I wasn't going to tempt fate again. However, as I healed up, got back to work, I got the urge to ride again and changed my attitude that I wasn't going to let the SCUM of the earth determine how I was going to live my life. I started riding my MTB on bike paths, graduated to cemetaries, and still now, spend as little time in any traffic as possible. I am not frightened by lousy drivers as many had predicted, but my temper is very short. I have gone BALLISTIC at drivers who roll stop signs near me and I'm not looking forward to any real close encounters I may have with any drivers, because I will chase them down ! I carry a cell phone and am not afraid to call 911 on anyone driving dangerously.

We'll see how traffic is this summer, I may change my mind again yet.

jw
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Old 02-09-06, 10:22 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by thdave
I gave up commuting for about 5 yrs. in the early 90's.

I was very upset because of a traffic death caused, inadvertently, by a cyclist. I was convinced that cyclists are a menace to traffic.

A cyclist was coming up a hill slowly and was passed by a car who crossed over the yellow line (by a foot or so) to pass. A 20 yr. old woman driver came over the hill and down, saw the car coming in her lane, and went off the road into a ravine and died. Very tragic. There was a lot of yelling at the scene and the driver of the car at fault blamed it on the cyclist. I work with the cyclist.

Since then a bike path has been installed and a rail put in to prevent cars from going in the ravine.

I was quite torn over this but eventually got back on the bike and commute now more than ever.
Let me get this strait...

Slow moving vehicle (cyclist) on right side of road. Car overtaking cyclist passes over a hill with insufficient sight line to assure a safe pass. Car headed the other way crests hill, sees oncoming car in her lane, takes evasive action, runs off road an dies. That is indeed tragic.

Please explain to me how that is the cyclist's fault - 'inadvertently' or otherwise???
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Old 02-09-06, 11:09 PM
  #31  
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LIVE FAST, DIE HARD

We're all gonna die someday - might as well die doing what you enjoy!


(As you married people can tell, I'm single w/ no responsibilities. )
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Old 02-09-06, 11:33 PM
  #32  
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As I have gotten older I have become a bit more cautious and I don't
ride at night on public roads anymore. I don't feel the need to mix it up on busy roads at rush hour anymore if there is an alternative. I don't pissed off at every motorist that cuts me off or crowds me. I have no thoughts of quiting just riding smarter.
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Old 02-10-06, 12:30 AM
  #33  
John Wilke
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Originally Posted by mac
LIVE FAST, DIE HARD

We're all gonna die someday - might as well die doing what you enjoy!


(As you married people can tell, I'm single w/ no responsibilities. )
Just because you get run over, doesn't mean you die. Sometimes death is the easy way out.

jw
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Old 02-10-06, 12:46 AM
  #34  
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Wanting to abandon ship isn't an unnatural emotion, it's a pretty normal response to dangerous conditions.

John, I'm glad to hear you got back in the saddle. I have a lot of anger towards bad drivers, but it gets tempered with time. I've certainely had my share of crashes in my 3 and a half decades riding.
I got hit from behind by a taxicab about 6 years ago that took me out for a month and a half. I was cautious getting back on the ride, and a little hesitant, but back to it, with a renewed vigorous anger towards bad drivers.

This last summer, I had a high speed collision with a Jeep Cherokee that left me lying in a heap by the side of the road with a broken hip after I crushed the windshield with my head.
Life altering, and thankful to be alive. The desire to ride this time was strong, and came back a lot easier. I've found I'm now more tolerant of traffic generally (I wave at more good drivers for example) but still get my dander up about bad or aggressive, threatening drivers.

Last edited by Bekologist; 02-10-06 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 02-10-06, 01:56 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
...
I've certainely had my share of crashes in my 3 and a half decades riding.
I got hit from behind by a taxicab about 6 years ago that took me out for a month and a half.
...
This last summer, I had a high speed collision with a Jeep Cherokee that left me lying in a heap by the side of the road with a broken hip after I crushed the windshield with my head.
Have you considered learning to improve your traffic riding skills, Bek?

Let me guess, it wasn't your fault, and there was nothing you could have done to avoid these crashes.
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Old 02-10-06, 07:02 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Have you considered learning to improve your traffic riding skills, Bek?

Let me guess, it wasn't your fault, and there was nothing you could have done to avoid these crashes.
Thanks for your valuable contributation to the thread.

To all others, I appreciate your replies. It's interesting that, like some of you, I don't have any doubts about cycling while I am on the bike. I have never been in a collision or even had any really close calls. It is more when I read about the deaths of respected and/or professional cyclists (or the recent death of a gentleman in my hometown).

Oh well, I hope that as life goes on and I grow more comfortable with the higher responsiblity that comes with having a young family, these feelings will fade.

To all of you who have been in a serious crash and have gotten back on the bike, you have my respect.

Jalopy
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Old 02-10-06, 07:28 AM
  #37  
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The driver who passed the cyclist was at fault and was cited, despite his dispensing of the blame to others. The driver who was killed over-reacted. She was a 20 yr. old and this was a tough situation. She would have had room to stay in her lane, or should have just hit the other driver. I'm sure she felt she would just drive on the side of the road.

They weren't going that fast (speed limit 25).

Regardless of the cyclists innocence, there is no doubt the existance of a cyclist on the road creates a more difficult situation that can lead to accidents. I don't pretend otherwise.

That doesn't mean we don't have the right to the road or that we are at fault when drivers violate traffic laws and cause accidents. I never said that.
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Old 02-10-06, 07:59 AM
  #38  
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No way.

Life is 100% fatal.

I want to live before I die.
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Old 02-10-06, 12:26 PM
  #39  
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NEVER

There are some roads I will not ride on, but I will not quit riding. I've instead decided to become part of the change, to work for better roads, level enforcement of vehicle laws, education of all users of the roads, equal consideration of all legal users of the roads. There are also some roads I ride on mainly to set a good example, to show motorists that a cyclist can share the road with them.

To echo the feelings of others, we are all born to die, we come into this world with a death sentence on our heads. It's what you do with the time between those two points that counts.
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Old 02-10-06, 02:29 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser
I've thought about it, until I have to go somewhere in my car. After being a motorist for a day I can't wait to get back to the safety of my bike.
But... If you drove your car as careful as you do your bike and drove the same routes as you bike, why would being in a car be more dangerous?

Al
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Old 02-10-06, 02:39 PM
  #41  
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My car can't follow the same routes as I ride on a bike.
No cars on MUPs, cutting through parking lots is more annoying, etc.
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Old 02-10-06, 02:40 PM
  #42  
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I moved closer to work so I wouldn't need to travel down one of the only 2 roads that lead into the city from the north. I did quit riding down that road for a while out of safety concerns. Now that I live in a place where there are more options to travel on roads that aren't packed with cars going 45 MPH, I bike almost every day.
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Old 02-10-06, 03:09 PM
  #43  
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I have never considered giving up cycling completely, but I definitely ride less than I used to, and much less than I would otherwise like to, primarily out of fear of inattentive, inebriated, and/or incompetent motorists. I have had one close encounter of the wrong kind with a motor vehicle (left-hook across my path), almost 30 years ago, plus a few random not-too-injurious spills over the ensuing years. My lifetime cumulative road distance is probably close to 150k km / 100k mi, but I currently rack up only about 1000 mi or 1500 km per year. I am extremely selective about the routes I take, days and times of travel, weather conditions, etc.

Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Have you considered learning to improve your traffic riding skills, Bek?

Let me guess, it wasn't your fault, and there was nothing you could have done to avoid these crashes.
Serge, I wish you had stated this more tactfully and constructively. I do concur in part, i.e., we can and should cycle (and drive, walk, jog, etc.) defensively, but I honestly believe you would be dead today, had you been unfortunate enough to be in Ken Kifer's, "Sydney's," CeCe Krone's, or Larry Mahr's situation.
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Old 02-10-06, 04:38 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by DataJunkie
My car can't follow the same routes as I ride on a bike.
No cars on MUPs, cutting through parking lots is more annoying, etc.
For me I have a 90% freeway route/10% arterial route to work or a 95% arterials/5% residential. I use the later when cycling. I can use the later when driving too, but don't usually. I think the freeway route is safer by car as the most common accident here occurs at arterial intersections. With the exception of urban freeways there is no where I drive that I can't or don't cycle.

I also drive with extreme caution, never speed, never run lights/stops, use all DD practices, etc.

Al
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Old 02-10-06, 07:17 PM
  #45  
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Let me add something else about my past accidents:


College freshman - got right hooked going 33 mph. The car's mirror punctured my arm and I got a concussion

College senior - riding my BMX on the sidewalk going back to my apt when a car pulls out of the alley and broadsides me. My handlebars twisted upwards and punctured my chest.


In both cases, I can't think of a time ever thought about giving up cycling. I was focused on getting healed so I could get a new bike and go riding again. Now that I'm older - and wiser - I wish I had known about VC from my 1st accident, and know about watching out for alleys in the 2nd. I do that now, even when jogging on the sidewalk since cars just pull out.
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Old 02-11-06, 12:43 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
But... If you drove your car as careful as you do your bike and drove the same routes as you bike, why would being in a car be more dangerous?

Al
Because cars go faster and they have all kinds of nasty steel and glass things that hurt you if you stop real fast. Thank goodness people never stopped to think about how dangerous cars really are, or everybody would quit driving and our economy would grind to a halt.
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Old 02-11-06, 03:43 PM
  #47  
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In both cases, I can't think of a time ever thought about giving up cycling. I was focused on getting healed so I could get a new bike and go riding again. Now that I'm older - and wiser - I wish I had known about VC from my 1st accident, and know about watching out for alleys in the 2nd. I do that now, even when jogging on the sidewalk since cars just pull out.
Waaiiiiiiiit. I vaguely remember Mac being quite anti-VC just a month or so ago? I might be mistaken though.
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Old 02-11-06, 03:45 PM
  #48  
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Yeah, it's crossed my mind from time to time over the last thirty years, give or take a little. I generally dismiss it.
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Old 02-13-06, 12:22 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
With the exception of urban freeways there is no where I drive that I can't or don't cycle.

Al
I actually bike on the same freeway I drive on... Thus elminating all my exceptions.
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Old 02-13-06, 12:29 PM
  #50  
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After getting married, I switched to trail riding (mostly because I had a car). Then I had a child. I was worried that I might get killed riding in traffic and felt that I had too much to lose. However, I now see that the risk of not getting enough excercise is probably greater than the risk of riding safely (with safety gear, lights, reflective vest, etc). in traffic. Cycling is my favourite sport; always has been, so I'm rebuilding my road bike for the specific purpose of commuting.
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