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Safer biking than walking

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Safer biking than walking

Old 03-26-17, 09:51 AM
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linberl
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Safer biking than walking

I'm 67 and in the last couple years I've been falling down a lot ( maybe 2-3 times a year). Sometimes it's my bad ankle giving out and rolling under, sometimes it's my klutzyness, sometimes I just don't know. I've skinned my hands so many times I wear my bike gloves now when I walk the dog, lol. Never had a fall or even a near fall on my bike. Just wondering if anyone else finds being on the bike more stable and steady than being on 2 legs...maybe it's just me.
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Old 03-26-17, 11:10 AM
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Hmmm, I never thought about it that way, but there may be a natural stability on a bicycle. Less stumbling.

But, you still are at risk hitting something, or being hit by something. Just be careful.
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Old 03-26-17, 11:17 AM
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For me Three Wheels now safer than walking.

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Old 03-26-17, 11:18 AM
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I was thinking it was a balance issue but cycling is all about balance. I'm very comfortable turning and flipping my bike around. Maybe I'm just more alert and aware of what I'm doing on the bike. I do tend to zone out when I am walking but never when I bike. I just think it is odd that I feel more secure on the bike than my two legs.
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Old 03-26-17, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I was thinking it was a balance issue but cycling is all about balance. I'm very comfortable turning and flipping my bike around. Maybe I'm just more alert and aware of what I'm doing on the bike. I do tend to zone out when I am walking but never when I bike. I just think it is odd that I feel more secure on the bike than my two legs.
Hope you use the widest tires that fit on you rims.

I had a 16 MPH Head crash on 700 X 23 Tires.
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Old 03-26-17, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Hope you use the widest tires that fit on you rims.

I had a 16 MPH Head crash on 700 X 23 Tires.
I seem to not crash on my bike, never had a close call even (gosh, I should not have said that!). But jinxing aside, maybe the fact that I ride a 20" Bike Friday with a lower center of gravity helps.
I love the "sunscreen" on that recumbent. I've never tried a recumbent because I'm very happy on my BF, but maybe someday...
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Old 03-26-17, 12:20 PM
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Lived in Manhattan for a decade and always felt safer (from muggings) on wheels - bicycle or rollerblades - at odd hours and in sketchy neighborhoods. Just maintain a little personal space and there's not much that can catch a bicyclist or good skater in the City.
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Old 03-26-17, 01:24 PM
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I got street crampons, because when there is ice on the road, the trying to walk was sketchier
than the studded tired bicycle..
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Old 03-26-17, 02:22 PM
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One must ask - going to start wearing a helmet when you walk...?

I almost never fall when riding my bike, I won't walk normally with a walking stick (tends to be slick inside the properties)
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Old 03-26-17, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I seem to not crash on my bike, never had a close call even (gosh, I should not have said that!). But jinxing aside, maybe the fact that I ride a 20" Bike Friday with a lower center of gravity helps.
I love the "sunscreen" on that recumbent. I've never tried a recumbent because I'm very happy on my BF, but maybe someday...
You might want to look into some off-the-bike exercise routines aimed at strength and balance maintenance/improvement.
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Old 03-26-17, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
One must ask - going to start wearing a helmet when you walk...?

I almost never fall when riding my bike, I won't walk normally with a walking stick (tends to be slick inside the properties)
Lol, I never hit my head. I seem to have perfected the "rub all the skin off your palms" technique to stop. I could blame the dog, as it always happens when I'm walking her, but I don't really think it is all her fault ;-).
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Old 03-26-17, 06:48 PM
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I thought this was a thread about safety.

FYI the 2016 stats for Toronto is 44 pedestrian fatalities vs 2 cyclist fatalities. (I think motorist including passengers is 31.)
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Old 03-26-17, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by crtreedude View Post
One must ask - going to start wearing a helmet when you walk...?

...
As I understand, the standards for bicycle helmets are actually only good for pedestrians who land at the top of their heads. Bike helmets are the results of the automobile lobby to give the impression that cycling is dangerous. If car driving helmets were legislated to be worn, car sales would drop.
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Old 03-26-17, 06:52 PM
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In my youth, when I was still immortal, I discovered that it was easier to ride a bike than to walk while fairly drunk. On a bike there's only two directions to fall, the the bike offers quite a bit of help, while footbound, I' all on my own and able to fall in any direction.

That said, you have to think about why you're falling, because if there's an underlying balance issue, you don't want it to crop up at speed.
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Old 03-26-17, 07:02 PM
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It's probably just inattentiveness (other than the bad ankle-caused falls), but routinely falling while walking isn't quite normal, so perhaps a consultation with your physician is in order.

I recall seeing a video from some Nordic nation that showed a man with Parkinson's who had a great deal of difficulty walking, but could get on his bike and roll just fine. Perhaps you have some beginning-stage thing going on that is best dealt with early.
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Old 03-26-17, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
I'm 67 and in the last couple years I've been falling down a lot ( maybe 2-3 times a year). Sometimes it's my bad ankle giving out and rolling under, sometimes it's my klutzyness, sometimes I just don't know. I've skinned my hands so many times I wear my bike gloves now when I walk the dog, lol. Never had a fall or even a near fall on my bike. Just wondering if anyone else finds being on the bike more stable and steady than being on 2 legs...maybe it's just me.
I'm right there with you. No fear of falling while riding. Walking, however, not so much. I'm 61, legs shot due to spinal cord damage and arthritic knees. I have fallen down enough to learn how to do it right Seriously, you should learn to resist your natural instinct to extend your hands out when falling, you are risking one or two broken wrists. If you extend your arms up over your head and try to turn sideways before impact, your torso can absorb much more shock than your hands. This can be verified and practiced if you have a physical therapist. Good luck falling down
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Old 03-26-17, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by FBOATSB View Post
I'm right there with you. No fear of falling while riding. Walking, however, not so much. I'm 61, legs shot due to spinal cord damage and arthritic knees. I have fallen down enough to learn how to do it right Seriously, you should learn to resist your natural instinct to extend your hands out when falling, you are risking one or two broken wrists. If you extend your arms up over your head and try to turn sideways before impact, your torso can absorb much more shock than your hands. This can be verified and practiced if you have a physical therapist. Good luck falling down
That's actual a good tip and idea. I do not have any idea on how to fall properly, it is all just reaction. Wouldn't hurt to know just in case on the bike as well. My son suggested some basic martial arts classes, which might help if it is balance issues and with learning to fall.

My doc says there is nothing physically wrong other than the usual aging issues with knees, back, etc. She did suggest getting my prescription checked - I wear progressive lenses and apparently they can mess with your depth perception if they are off too much.

Another reason to love biking - none of this is an issue. I don't wear glasses when I ride (distance is fine) and I don't fall, my knees and ankle and back do not hurt. Wheel implants maybe?? Lolz.
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Old 03-26-17, 11:34 PM
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The reason I got back into riding was that one day when I was 50, I stumbled on the way to the mailbox. Stumbling is not part of my self image. That week, my wife and I bought bikes and started riding. A little later, we joined a gym and have been members ever since. 21 years later, I haven't stumbled since. We did a nice hilly 32 miles today on our tandem, in the rain. De Nile is not just a river in Egypt.
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Old 03-27-17, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I got street crampons, because when there is ice on the road, the trying to walk was sketchier
than the studded tired bicycle..
I will look these up. Icy streets are a big worry for me. No matter how careful you are your feet can go out from under you. I never used to worry about it before but approaching 69 I don't want to up my chances for a fall. I was careless last summer and crashed the bike resulting in a broken hip. Now I am ultra vigilant. If I find myself having balance issues or light hotheadedness I will move to a trike.
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Old 03-27-17, 07:29 AM
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Don't feel too bad, you could be me, lol. I had a major knee reconstruction done back in 2000, when I was in my late 30s. I got an infection in the O.R., which really slowed the whole healing process, and the whole ordeal really messed with my leg strength & balance. I used a cane for several years, and rediscovered bicycles, as good physical therapy. My legs eventually got a lot stronger, but still nowhere near "right". I can ride a lot better than I can walk (with a limp, usually), and it's far less painful. The biggest problem is, getting on the bike while wearing winter clothes, I've fallen over a few times like that. Fortunately, the only thing I've hurt was my pride, lol, and it seems to only happen on fairly busy streets, with plenty of witnesses. ☹ 😉
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Old 03-27-17, 08:40 AM
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I worked part-time at a bike shop while pursuing my master's degree at UCLA. You guys remind me of one of our customers, who walked with an obvious limp, but told me, "I have trouble walking or running, but I can ride like hell." One of our mutual cycling friends subsequently confirmed this.
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Old 03-27-17, 09:02 AM
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I'm sure you've all seen this.

I have no idea why this is possible, but perhaps similar factors are involved?


In any case, see a doc about the falling. It might be a balance issue that can be remedied. Falling is no bueno.
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Old 03-27-17, 09:35 AM
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Maybe it's part of aging as I think more about falling or getting knocked down when I'm walking (silly skateboarders). I feel close to invincible on my bike (aside from cars). Anyway I appreciate the replies.
The plan is to get my eyes rechecked and the PT recommended a bosu ball to use at home for balance training. My ankle is always going to be an issue, the docs don't think surgery would help, and I've rolled it so many times over the years I think it's hanging by a thread. I'm also going to try a few classes at the local dojo - they have some senior programs. I talked to the owner and he said they can work with me on learning a better way to fall and roll. Fortunately it is not neurological - I recently had a kidney stone removed and the docs piled on the pre-op tests to save me later co-pays so I'm pretty well checked out.
I've warned the dog that next time I'm falling on her!!!
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Old 03-27-17, 12:03 PM
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Whatever you do, please don't start walking your dog while you bike. I've seen people do it here and I think it's cruel to the dog. (And, I've said something a couple of times.) It also makes the owner look like a completely lazy bum. Sorry.
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Old 03-27-17, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by hiller View Post
Whatever you do, please don't start walking your dog while you bike. I've seen people do it here and I think it's cruel to the dog. (And, I've said something a couple of times.) It also makes the owner look like a completely lazy bum. Sorry.
Not a chance. My dog is a hunting breed and if she sees a squirrel, I have to hang on. She's caught and killed two, unfortunately, in our yard. I sometimes see folks riding with their dog on a bungy like attachment and it makes sense for well-trained dogs that need a lot of running exercise (I see a greyhound out with a guy on a recumbent sometimes) that the owner maybe cannot provide otherwise. But it's a risky deal and I wouldn't do it.
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