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Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road ...

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Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road ...

Old 09-09-19, 03:59 AM
  #251  
Newspaper_Nick
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You should always be scared. That fear will prevent you from doing stupid mistakes. And it will save your life. But then again, you can not prevent other people from making mistakes, so if it is your unlucky day, there is not much you can do about it.

Basically, it is life.
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Old 09-09-19, 04:31 AM
  #252  
Jim from Boston
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Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road....
Originally Posted by Newspaper_Nick View Post
You should always be scared. That fear will prevent you from doing stupid mistakes. And it will save your life. But then again, you can not prevent other people from making mistakes, so if it is your unlucky day, there is not much you can do about it.

Basically, it is life.
Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
Be more hysterical.
That’s a pretty fatalistic outlook. I have recurrently posted, including earlier on this thread:
Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
In all fairness, I don't think there's anyone who's been riding for a long time, who hasn't at some time (or many times) ridden in that zone where the only thing separating us from disaster is favorable alignment of the stars. (Note the "us" rather than "him")

We all take chances and make mistakes, but fortunately life is"organized" with plenty of forgiveness. In my experience the difference between disaster and "whew, that was close" is millimeters and microseconds, and not anything we can take credit for.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I try to keep safe with certain aphorisms in my head that come to mind to alert me when I encounter a situation where unseen dangers may lurk, such as “Like a weapon, assume every stopped car is loaded, with an occupant ready to exit from either side.” or“Don’t ride over an area (such as puddles or leaves) when you can’t see the road surface"

…I was hit from behind by a “distracted” (? inebriated) hit and run driver on an otherwise seemingly safe and peaceful route. By good fortune, I’m alive and relatively unimpaired.

Over the past few months I have come to realize that my safety aphorisms (link), collected over the years by personal or vicarious experience, are my way of actively aligning the stars in my favor, to anticipate those unseen and otherwise unanticipated dangers.

FWIW, for my own information at least, my other aphorisms beside those above [see the link: total of nine (9)]...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Those are all I remember for now, and they all pop-up in my mind as I encounter the situation.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
(from a now-closed thread) A "whimsical" suggestion, how about a Crash subforum, where the old and young could share their cycling disasters?
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Wow, RF, sorry to hear about this. It sounds like a “major” crash, especially with such damage. I won’t ask “what happened?,” but posting details for me at least gives me renewed attention to such situations on the road....
kind of a "cycling post-mortem."
As noted above one can always improve their luck by paying attention.
Originally Posted by birds01 View Post
Riding is freedom. If you are scared pick roads or paths with little or no traffic. I figure we all have to go some day/ if it’s on the bike the. So be it.

Again, be as careful as you can. That’s all you can control.
Originally Posted by Louis Pasteur
Chance favors the prepared mind.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-10-19 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 09-09-19, 04:39 AM
  #253  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road....Thatís a pretty fatalistic outlook. I have recurrently posted, including earlier on this thread:As noted above one can always improve their luck by paying attention.
I think you are being hysterical.
Usually I see people who read too much media and Social Media believe that everyone is ut to kill you.
You statistically have far more chance of being killed in or on a motor vehicle.
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Old 09-09-19, 04:43 AM
  #254  
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
I think you are being hysterical.
Usually I see people who read too much media and Social Media believe that everyone is ut to kill you.
You statistically have far more chance of being killed in or on a motor vehicle.
Re-read the posts. Jim is not the one afraid of riding in traffic.
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Old 09-09-19, 04:47 AM
  #255  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Re-read the posts. Jim is not the one afraid of riding in traffic.
So he is not the only one who reads too much media and social media.
Plenty of people the same where I live too.
Definitely a correlation between social media harassment and people's fear of riding on the road from what I have seen.
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Old 09-09-19, 05:06 AM
  #256  
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
I think you [Jim from Boston] are being hysterical.
Usually I see people who read too much media and Social Media believe that everyone is ut to kill you.
You statistically have far more chance of being killed in or on a motor vehicle.
Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Re-read the posts. Jim is not the one afraid of riding in traffic.
Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
So he is not the only one who reads too much media and social media.
Plenty of people the same where I live too.

Definitely a correlation between social media harassment and people's fear of riding on the road from what I have seen.
Thanks for the affirmation @AlmostTrick.

BTW, the only social media I read are Bike Forums, and a dry Listserv for my deskbound profession.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...For myself, I work at preparing reports depending on careful detailed analyses...(and I don't have to worry about a car plowing into my desk).
Originally Posted by Stun View Post
My experience is that people drive differently in every city and treat cyclists very differently. The best advice often comes from cyclists that live the closest to youÖ

The exception here would also be Jim from Boston--anyone that can successfully commute around Boston has my full respect and probably knows how to deal with about every intersection imaginable!
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Old 09-11-19, 12:44 AM
  #257  
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Riding a bike is something which unfortunately can lead to a deadly situation.
Not depending on the place and or traffic. It can happen everywhere, and everytime we ride a bike.

I had 20 years ago a very serious accident riding a motorbike into a city , at a bicycle low speed , and I almost got killed (about one year hospital, very long therapy, ...).
It was a situation everybody would think it could not happen, but it happened to me.
I have been hit by a fire department truck on the side when crossing a crossroads. The signal was green for me, red for the truck, and he was coming hidden from behind a building without the normal siren in such situation.
We see, everything can happen and there was not a lot of things I could do. I never felt guilty for something I could have done to avoid this. It happened, that's all.

I could be scared, but I am not. The fact is that I am alive and healthy again. I was just on the wrong place on the exact wrong moment.
But it makes me very concentrate on my driving when driving, and I pay a lot of attention to security aspect when riding bike, snowboard or ski, ....
I think I respect a lot more the other people when driving.
something which should be normal for everybody from the beginning.

Regarding your situation, I just would say that there is already something very positive in your question.
You should not be really scared to ride a bike on the road, but it is very important to pay attention to details and be aware of what is happening around you. All details (a kid with a ball ? he will cross the road. A pet crossing the street ? he will turn back, etc...)
And being "afraid" rises your level attention.

Also, after reading your question I am pretty sure that you can ride "relax" (as I do ) because you are already aware of the potential risk, which is very important.
You don't have to be scared. Just concentrate on doing well what you can control, and ignore the rest. You can not change what you can not control, and you will never know if it will happen or not.
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Old 09-12-19, 03:49 PM
  #258  
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Originally Posted by dharring67 View Post
I have been riding in Atlanta for 25 yrs (urban). Never hit. This year, hit 3x. Worst was last week and it put me in emergency room with serious injuries. NOT riding on the road anymore. Switching back to MTB, where my level of danger/risk is controlled more by myself. I am done with riding on the road.
Well, you certainly had a spate of bad luck. But in general more people are injured on off-road MTB rides than on road rides.

Again, think of the numbers - 40,000 car deaths each and every year vs. 700 bicyclists. Many people have told me that "those bicycles are dangerous." They have never been in a car accident and the odds are FAR FAR greater for that than from a bicycle accident. What do these guys say? "If you're careful you don't get in accidents." Why wouldn't that apply equally to riding a bike?

It is your choice but when you start concentrating on the dangers and not the advantages where does it stop? My brother fell down in his driveway and is going to stop riding. He says that he can get just as much exercise in the gym. OK - a friend caught some sort of weird disease in a gym that has symptoms similar to polio. He has been paralyzed for over 6 months and I just got word that he was finally able to stand up by himself for the first time. And this guy over 50 is a Cat 3 racer.

I hurt my arm around the beginning of the year and the physical therapist they assigned me to is also a cyclist. He and a friend were descending Mt. Diablo and his friend caught his front wheel in a large crack, fell and became a quadriplegic. The therapist will no longer descend hills. That's right, he gets off and walks down all of the hills. Even weirder, 6 months before that accident I was descending the North Gate Rd. as he had been doing, caught my wheel in that same crack and managed to ride it out without falling. The point of all of this is that there are dangers you'd never think of out there. You cannot live your life afraid of everything.
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Old 09-12-19, 04:04 PM
  #259  
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Since I wrote that, I have cycled 15 more times. I stopped commuting for a week and was soooo depressed. I have switched up routes time and have found that going at 615 with 2 lights (f&r) feels a lot safer. Much less traffic and people see my flashing lights. Plus no school traffic. That is crazy dangerous around in here and in most places I am sure.

Those stories really do underline the danger that is everywhere and nowhere. Thanks for mentioning them.
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Old 09-12-19, 05:26 PM
  #260  
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
It is your choice but when you start concentrating on the dangers and not the advantages where does it stop? My brother fell down in his driveway and is going to stop riding. He says that he can get just as much exercise in the gym. OK - a friend caught some sort of weird disease in a gym that has symptoms similar to polio. He has been paralyzed for over 6 months and I just got word that he was finally able to stand up by himself for the first time. And this guy over 50 is a Cat 3 racer.

I hurt my arm around the beginning of the year and the physical therapist they assigned me to is also a cyclist. He and a friend were descending Mt. Diablo and his friend caught his front wheel in a large crack, fell and became a quadriplegic. The therapist will no longer descend hills. That's right, he gets off and walks down all of the hills. Even weirder, 6 months before that accident I was descending the North Gate Rd. as he had been doing, caught my wheel in that same crack and managed to ride it out without falling. The point of all of this is that there are dangers you'd never think of out there. You cannot live your life afraid of everything.
This whole conversation reminds me of people who seem convinced of the propaganda of imminent death if you do not wear a helmet in ALL circumstances despite the actual facts that show that you are far more likely to have a head injury from most other pursuits.

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Old 09-13-19, 11:24 AM
  #261  
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Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
I was a pretty serious cyclist from 2003 through 2010, and ended up switching to running for years. Trying to go back to cycling, but I find I am now convinced I'm going to be hit by a car and killed.

I know, statistics probably say better chance of getting hit by lightning or something, but it's always there, and it is almost paralyzing my motivation.

Anyone go through this? I did have one cycling acquaintance die on the road back in 2009, I think that has something to do with it. He seemed invincible.
Because if you are you won't.
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Old 09-13-19, 11:27 AM
  #262  
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Originally Posted by Newspaper_Nick View Post
You should always be scared. That fear will prevent you from doing stupid mistakes. And it will save your life. But then again, you can not prevent other people from making mistakes, so if it is your unlucky day, there is not much you can do about it.

Basically, it is life.
Fear will not prevent mistakes.
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Old 09-13-19, 12:15 PM
  #263  
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
Fear will not prevent mistakes.
It keeps you alert.
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Old 09-16-19, 02:25 AM
  #264  
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Originally Posted by birds01 View Post
Riding is freedom. If you are scared pick roads or paths with little or no traffic. I figure we all have to go some day/ if itís on the bike the. So be it.

Again, be as careful as you can. Thatís all you can control.
Years ago a friend of mine had a front wheel blow out at freeway speed on his motorcycle. He picked up a nasty set of bruises and road rash. A couple months later he slipped getting out of the shower, broke three ribs and punctured a lung. He nearly died. While he no longer rides a motorcycle he still showers on a regular basis. Go figure...
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Old 09-16-19, 05:06 AM
  #265  
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
This whole conversation reminds me of people who seem convinced of the propaganda of imminent death if you do not wear a helmet in ALL circumstances despite the actual facts that show that you are far more likely to have a head injury from most other pursuits.

Graphic rings true for me. In 50 years of riding, I think my head is about the only body part I have that has NOT been injured by a bike, either riding it or working it. But I have definitely injured my head while walking, many times.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:24 PM
  #266  
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Originally Posted by JoeKahno View Post
Years ago a friend of mine had a front wheel blow out at freeway speed on his motorcycle. He picked up a nasty set of bruises and road rash. A couple months later he slipped getting out of the shower, broke three ribs and punctured a lung. He nearly died. While he no longer rides a motorcycle he still showers on a regular basis. Go figure...
My point exactly. Love your story. Thanks!
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Old 09-16-19, 03:24 PM
  #267  
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Originally Posted by birds01 View Post
My point exactly. Love your story. Thanks!
Thanks. Had another friend that was into drag racing. A rail is basically a roll cage with wheels and one bad mother of an engine bolted to it. Properly constructed, you can do endo's at 200mph and still have a good chance of walking away from the pieces. One weekend, after returning from the track, he was playing around in the parking lot before putting it away. Unfortunately, during the trip home the air scoop had cracked. It dropped down jamming the throttle linkage. On the way through the back wall of the garage he caught a cinder block in the face, breaking his neck.

Driving what he often called the safest car he owned, he got turned into a quad... while putting it in the garage. Made a huge change in his lifestyle though he did go on to start a new company.

https://quadjoy.io/enabling-life/our-story/
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Old 09-16-19, 03:44 PM
  #268  
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Originally Posted by JoeKahno View Post
Years ago a friend of mine had a front wheel blow out at freeway speed on his motorcycle. He picked up a nasty set of bruises and road rash. A couple months later he slipped getting out of the shower, broke three ribs and punctured a lung. He nearly died. While he no longer rides a motorcycle he still showers on a regular basis. Go figure...
Is it wrong that i smiled a little bit
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Old 09-17-19, 04:52 PM
  #269  
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
This whole conversation reminds me of people who seem convinced of the propaganda of imminent death if you do not wear a helmet in ALL circumstances despite the actual facts that show that you are far more likely to have a head injury from most other pursuits.

I agree enough with you but cycling is different. MOST people have walked their entire lives and they have driven most of their lives. They haven't had any serious accidents so they discount there being danger from the most common of activities. But cycling is new to most and they feel exposed. This is how the bicycle helmet got to be so popular - they give you confidence (however false) that you have SOME protection. Some mindless woman roared though a stop light without even looking and nearly got me today. Fat lot of good a helmet would have done. Then she roared around me and acted as if it were my fault. Most of the cycling dangers today are from the CAR being treated as King of the Road. Unsafe speed limits are everywhere from narrow back roads to highways. What the hell good does a speed limit on a freeway do if you are unwilling to enforce it? If you start issuing EXPENSIVE citations and seizing cars people's driving habits would change in short order.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:05 PM
  #270  
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Well I don't know about kids today but I spent a lot of my youth on a bicycle. Even when I got my first car and drive to school during my university years, I still rode my bike to my summer jobs. It's only when I had kids, I stopped riding for a long time until they grew up and I started bike commuting.

My kids also learned to ride at an early age but now use public transit more than anything.

The history of the bicycle helmet, I have read, has to do with the automotive industry trying to give the impression that cycling is dangerous. There's also a story on the internet or youtube that in the 1980s the driving helmet was introduced but never caught on.

And finally, serious crackdown on bad driving with expensive fines get political. Sitting politicians who introduce this will be deposed by opposition politicians campaigning that high fines are a cash-grab as if they are some sort of fee for driving instead of a penalty for violation.

Last edited by Daniel4; 09-17-19 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 09-17-19, 08:25 PM
  #271  
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I don't live in Portland Oregon though (sadly) and all of the bike paths I have seen in various small towns in California are of the former variety.[/QUOTE]

I agree about this, but I have seen a couple shining examples of great bike paths in California that let you avoid heavy and fast small town traffic. Paradise and Chico have really nice paths. Redding too.
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Old 09-18-19, 03:58 PM
  #272  
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Fear

Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
I was a pretty serious cyclist from 2003 through 2010, and ended up switching to running for years. Trying to go back to cycling, but I find I am now convinced I'm going to be hit by a car and killed.

I know, statistics probably say better chance of getting hit by lightning or something, but it's always there, and it is almost paralyzing my motivation.

Anyone go through this? I did have one cycling acquaintance die on the road back in 2009, I think that has something to do with it. He seemed invincible.
Yes, I do as well. Your concern is real and quite deserved. I have the same fear/anxiety. It's dangerous out there, no doubt about that, but I am reminded of a saying which I pretty much live by these days:

"A little fear keeps us alive... too much fear keeps us from living." ~ Author Unknown

I absolutely despise riding in/around traffic, but I do not let it keep me from riding. Fortunately my hometown has numerous areas to ride with little to no motorized traffic. However, those rides require packing the bike up and driving to get to those areas, so I find myself mustering the courage to get through the traffic on heavily traveled roadways. I refuse to allow fear from keeping me from doing the things I enjoy. It's interesting to note that when I was younger, I did not have reservations/fears or anxiety over these types of situations...

Remember, a little fear is a good thing... too much fear is paralyzing.

Ride Safe!

~Jon

Last edited by Jd512k; 09-18-19 at 03:59 PM. Reason: type
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Old 09-19-19, 04:51 AM
  #273  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Graphic rings true for me. In 50 years of riding, I think my head is about the only body part I have that has NOT been injured by a bike, either riding it or working it. But I have definitely injured my head while walking, many times.
It almost seems like you are advocating against helmets because you seem unable to walk without injuring your head
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Old 09-19-19, 05:51 AM
  #274  
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It almost seems like you just like insulting people.
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Old 09-19-19, 07:03 AM
  #275  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
The history of the bicycle helmet, I have read, has to do with the automotive industry trying to give the impression that cycling is dangerous.
Where did you read that tidbit?
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