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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, 12:49 PM
  #1  
Jalopy
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Have you ever considered giving up cycling for safety reasons?

In the past, usually immediately aftyer getting buzzed or cut off, I have had split-second thoughts of "I'm gonna get killed one of these days" but never really thought much about the danger of cycling with motor vehicle traffic.

However, having moved to a bigger and busier city, with a wife and daughter and another child on the way, I have had lingering doubts about the wisdom of cycling. Don't get me wrong, I am an avid cyclist who enjoys merging with traffic during my commute almost as much as tackling some righteous single track in the woods. I don't plan on giving up cycling but I often can't get these thoughts out of my head.

Anyone else? Any remedies?

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Old 02-09-06, 12:59 PM
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Everyone has their own point of fear. My wife's is walking outside alone in the dark. Mine is walking outside along in the dark, in Forest Lawn. Some people won't get on an airplane, some people won't drive on highways, won't leave their own house.

Before I got studded tires, I have passed on days where I thought the snow and ice presented more risk than reward. Now that I'm studded, no worries.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:01 PM
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Can't say I have. All the places I have lived for any period of time have never offered a good reason to do so. The worst thing that's happened to me is a couple of peopel yelling at me like drunks. I dismissed that as some hooligan idjit who wanted some fun.

My mom always tells me to be really careful when I go out, so I never provoke anyone to bash me.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:12 PM
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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.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:13 PM
  #5  
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I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

I believe Hank could have easily been talking about cycling.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:30 PM
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Yeah, with increased motorist speeds and me slowing down over the years and the density of idiot motorists on the road... it crosses my mind from time to time.

My wife did ask me to stop pedaling just before our son was born... and for a while after. But later (after I ballooned up) she urged me to go back riding.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:33 PM
  #7  
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While I was recovering from a bad accident I briefly thought about giving it up. Then my stepson and our best friend were in a horrible car accident. I rode my bike to see them in the hospital and I haven't gotten off since (so to speak). I really do consider riding in a car to be more dangerous than cycling.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:34 PM
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I just received my latest Rivendell Reader (#37). On the last page is an article by non-other than
Maynard Hershon. He's had it with hostile traffic, almost getting killed for the sake of riding and he's announced his abandonment of riding. Saddest thing I've read in a long time. He's asking for recommendations on where to move to. Someplace kind to cyclists. I'm afraid I haven't got anyplace in mind.
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Old 02-09-06, 01:36 PM
  #9  
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I gave up riding a motorcycle because of stupid drivers years ago, but if I stopped riding my bikes my health would suffer. That's a safety issue for me. I will give up my bike when they pry my cold dead feet out of the clips...
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Old 02-09-06, 01:39 PM
  #10  
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No.

But sometimes I think about sections of my afternoon commute that I'd probably be better off giving up.

I also don't like to think of a future road rash incident or other mild injury. I have over road 20k miles in life (10k in last 2.5yrs) and have never once crashed, not even mildly. I know every cyclist will get road rash at some point and my time will come... It isn't fear, just the non-desire to have massive wound->scabs.

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Old 02-09-06, 01:46 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by noisebeam
No.

But sometimes I think about sections of my afternoon commute that I'd probably be better off giving up.

I also don't like to think of a future road rash incident or other mild injury. I have over road 20k miles in life (10k in last 2.5yrs) and have never once crashed, not even mildly. I know every cyclist will get road rash at some point and my time will come... It isn't fear, just the non-desire to have massive wound->scabs.


Al
Maybe I've crashed enough times so that your time will never come.

as long as it's jus road rash and bruises, you kind of get used to crashes and they're not much of a setback. Those bad ones with multiple injuries OTOH. . . .

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Old 02-09-06, 02:16 PM
  #12  
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Nah . I would re-locate first. Well, just maybe we did.

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Old 02-09-06, 02:25 PM
  #13  
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Sure, I've considered it. Usually as a result of hearing about somebody else's serious or multiple accidents.

But like ghettocruiser above, I feel pretty unsafe in the car. And like gene I have to get some kind of exercise to maintain the weight. Plus I ride a motorcycle (a Vespa, really) and if I really was concerned I would stop by giving that up first.
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Old 02-09-06, 02:39 PM
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No. Too darn stubborn.

I've had close calls. Either I change my route or get over it.
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Old 02-09-06, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Cassave
I just received my latest Rivendell Reader (#37). On the last page is an article by non-other than
Maynard Hershon. He's had it with hostile traffic, almost getting killed for the sake of riding and he's announced his abandonment of riding. Saddest thing I've read in a long time. He's asking for recommendations on where to move to. Someplace kind to cyclists. I'm afraid I haven't got anyplace in mind.
I used to live in Davis, CA. That was 'the' bicycle haven, solely because everyone rides a bike. UCD students make up most of the population, and what's left have been around long enough to know that bikes rule the roads.

That was an awesome place to live.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:18 PM
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I give it a passing though now and then, but usually something really good happens to make me change my mind. Like that hawk that took off and flew right in front and over me the other day....

No, I've never given it more than a moment's consideration. But my wife...now SHE'S considered me giving it up completely. Especially after my last accident in December. And there wasn't even another vehicle involved!
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Old 02-09-06, 03:18 PM
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No. Never.

BUT I do think that traffic can be unsafe, and I accept that some fool can run me down and end my life. But we're all on a path, and it's not like we can do something to change it. (yeah, corny sounding, but that's how I view life)

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Old 02-09-06, 03:31 PM
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Not corny sounding at all. We are all on a path to death. Some just take longer than others. Since you read the last two sentences many people just died. So we must accept it to a degree however, I do believe parts of cycling to be dangerous.

In fact I have very strong second thoughts from time to time. After sydney's death, i thought about it especially. But I'm better when i ride. I'm happier and generally feel better. So it becomes a quality of life issue i suppose. Give up everything you love to try and live for ever and then slip and crack your head on the bathtub and die?

No thanks. I'm gonna live while I am alive.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:40 PM
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i couldn't ever give it up completely. but i could give up certain things such as riding across town in rush hour or late at night. worse comes to worse, i would cut out everything except sunday morning rides in the park or in the country. i couldn't imagine not doing at least that.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:42 PM
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Off topic
Ranger, you need a new avatar. That one is getting quite old.

On topic,
Take a look at the latest statistics on highway death, and cycling is about 2x safer than it was 10 years ago. Are there deaths? sure. Do we hear about them a lot? yes. Are improved death rates too high? yes.

Do we get a tax credit for cyclocommuting? NO
Does Congress dare to pass a law to increase mpg on all vehicles? NO
Does Congress dare to pass a law to make SUV trucks meet CAFE mpg of cars? NO

Does this annoy you? Yes.
Does this make you give up cycling? no
Does traffic annoy you? yes
Does traffic make you give up cycling? no
Do you consider giving up cycling for safety reasons? yes
Why, uncontrolled big dogs off leash.

Are you still riding? yes.

Remedies:
Select 2 of your most nervous spots of your regular riding and describe in detail the situation and what makes you nervous about it.
Maybe someone has an idea that will increase your comfort level.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:50 PM
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I have rejected routes or travel times based on safety and comfort, but have never entertained quitting.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:54 PM
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Rather then actually give up cycling... I have considered shifting to off road rather than road cycling. There may even be enough trails in my area to get to work.

I need a good off road bike to fully check it out though.

But certainly going off road has merits higher than quitting cycling all together.
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Old 02-09-06, 03:57 PM
  #23  
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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.
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Old 02-09-06, 04:09 PM
  #24  
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There are places I fear to ride my bike, but then there are places I fear to drive my car - such as certain freeway interchanges and badly designed left turns on arterials. I just work around, and always get where I need to go. Statistics and anecdotal news reports on the dangers of cycling are inconclusive, so far as I've seen. IMO, the bicycle is no more dangerous than the car, and so I indulge my preference.
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Old 02-09-06, 05:06 PM
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Living in a big city like NYC helps me. There are so many things that can happen to you in this city (get run over when walking across the street, get killed in mugging, shooting, terrorism, fire, burglary, anthrax, dirty hot dogs), you can't dwell too much on the risks involved in cycling.
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