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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 08-08-19, 03:43 AM
  #201  
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The first homeowners violated the HOA gardening clause, got kicked out of town and one of their kids killed the other, it's all downhill from there.
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Old 08-08-19, 06:40 PM
  #202  
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I've often heard it said that, "Nobody lives forever". That doesn't mean it's Ok to be stupid. It's simply an acknowledgement that while there are things you can do to tip the odds in your favor, you quickly reach a point of diminishing returns.

Number one for me is a situation I've mentally tagged as the "meat grinder". If there is much more than a 15 mph spread between your velocity and the rest of traffic, you need to pick some better traffic. Lower relative velocity not only gives you more time to notice a developing problem, it greatly improves your odds of finding a way to deal with it. If you don't want to become sausage, stay out of the meat grinder.

Second and almost as important is to get your rig set up for the riding you do. Both of my bikes right now are Japan surplus mama-chari. They are a pretty good fit as-is because most of my runs are short trip in city traffic. Both have 3 spd IGH that offer a wide enough ratio to cover how I ride but the range needs to be adjusted downward. Simply having the ability to shift while stopped is priceless in heavy traffic but I need a lower first more than an open road high. The two things most likely to save my butt are better braking and reserve acceleration. Chances of serious injury increase as the square of the impact velocity. Slowing down even a little bit improves things a whole lot. The best thing though is not to be at the scene of the accident. Having the ability to deliver a sudden burst of speed can get you out from between two vehicles under your own power, rather than getting squeezed out like a watermelon seed.
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Old 08-08-19, 07:27 PM
  #203  
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Getting up in the morning and facing the day is dangerous. Safety is an illusion. In my opinion, fearing death is pretty much senseless. It happens to everyone at some point.
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Old 08-08-19, 10:30 PM
  #204  
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Originally Posted by JoeKahno View Post
I've often heard it said that, "Nobody lives forever". That doesn't mean it's Ok to be stupid. It's simply an acknowledgement that while there are things you can do to tip the odds in your favor, you quickly reach a point of diminishing returns....
I have freqently quoted this post about Stupidity, written in the context of winter riding, but a general maxim:
Originally Posted by StephenH View Post
"When does Hardcore bbecome Stupid"

Hardcore becomes stupid when it becomes dangerous.

Hardcore becomes stupid when anything going wrong becomes a safety problem instead of an inconvenience. ...

Hardcore becomes stupid when minor errors in judgment become safety issues....

In each case, it's not just the weather [traffic] that makes it hardcore or stupid, it's the degree of preparation and knowledge used...

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-08-19 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 08-09-19, 02:31 AM
  #205  
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You're afraid of death in general. Nobody really relishes it (at least it's not sane), but it will happen and you're just going to to have to find a way to get past this and accept that there is nothing you can do about it, no matter how it occurs.

I used to have panic attacks about it before going to sleep and I still have some trepidation about it...I have faced near-death a few times in my life and I fought against it. Still, you have to continue to live, be vigilant and realize that it will happen, but why let it rule your life?

Take each day and make it yours.
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Old 08-09-19, 06:48 AM
  #206  
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Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
There's no way in hell I'm riding on bike paths! What I love(d) about cycling was the exploration, the speed, the remoteness of country roads. And yes, we are all going to die, and it's not something I'm worried about, except here (but I still have ridden a bit this year and enjoyed it).
What's wrong with bike paths? I ask as someone who lives in an area with very few bike paths.

As far as exploring remote areas, I live not far from a rail trail which is fun to ride, and you do go through some very remote areas. The great thing is that, except where it intersects a road or a street here or there, you don't have to worry about traffic.
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Old 08-09-19, 06:52 AM
  #207  
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
What's wrong with bike paths?
In a nutshell, they're not much different than riding on the sidewalk, with its perils, annoyances, and inherent limitations. If you like riding on sidewalks, you'll LOVE bike paths. Safety-wise, I'll take the shoulder of a freeway any day over a bike path.
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Old 08-09-19, 07:12 AM
  #208  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
In a nutshell, they're not much different than riding on the sidewalk, with its perils, annoyances, and inherent limitations. If you like riding on sidewalks, you'll LOVE bike paths. Safety-wise, I'll take the shoulder of a freeway any day over a bike path.

That varies wildly from path to path. My evening ride after work is a 24.5 mile round trip on a local MUP which I average 19+ mph solo on (with a timer that doesn't auto-pause for the 8 or so intersections each way). I'm hitting speeds in the high 20s, and I'll go for several miles without seeing another human (deer, turkeys, turtles, pheasants, aggressive groundhogs, OTOH). Try doing that on a sidewalk. I, like you, love riding on the shoulder of a highway because of the long uninterrupted high speeds, but this path ride basically gives me the same thing in a location close to the office.

Now if you take the Charles River Greenway through Waltham and Watertown, I wouldn't ride that again on a bet. I feel rude riding anything over 13 mph on that path.

If you're going point-to-point in a major metro area, you also have to consider what the alternative to the path is. If the roads around the path have a bunch of buses and stoplights and stop signs at busy intersections, frankly the road riding might seem more like sidewalk riding to me than riding on a MUP where at least I can maintain a steady pace.

My sense is that the people who automatically turn their noses up at all paths miss out on a lot of really good riding.
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Old 08-09-19, 07:39 AM
  #209  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
But life is pain. So fear life?



(sorry, couldn't resist)

That varies wildly from path to path. My evening ride after work is a 24.5 mile round trip on a local MUP which I average 19+ mph solo on (with a timer that doesn't auto-pause for the 8 or so intersections each way). I'm hitting speeds in the high 20s, and I'll go for several miles without seeing another human (deer, turkeys, turtles, pheasants, aggressive groundhogs, OTOH). Try doing that on a sidewalk. I, like you, love riding on the shoulder of a highway because of the long uninterrupted high speeds, but this path ride basically gives me the same thing in a location close to the office.

Now if you take the Charles River Greenway through Waltham and Watertown, I wouldn't ride that again on a bet. I feel rude riding anything over 13 mph on that path.

If you're going point-to-point in a major metro area, you also have to consider what the alternative to the path is. If the roads around the path have a bunch of buses and stoplights and stop signs at busy intersections, frankly the road riding might seem more like sidewalk riding to me than riding on a MUP where at least I can maintain a steady pace.

My sense is that the people who automatically turn their noses up at all paths miss out on a lot of really good riding.
Could be a "rural vs. urban" thing. When a small town of 30,000 people decides to build a bike path, it's gonna be a poorly-thought out joke, built mainly to use up extra money at the end of the fiscal year and for PR purposes. But when Portland Oregon spends millions on a 73 mile path along the Columbia River Gorge, that's a little different.



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.
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Old 08-09-19, 07:47 AM
  #210  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
In a nutshell, they're not much different than riding on the sidewalk, with its perils, annoyances, and inherent limitations. If you like riding on sidewalks, you'll LOVE bike paths. Safety-wise, I'll take the shoulder of a freeway any day over a bike path.
Sounds like you need to ride some different bike paths. Most of the ones I ride are nothing even remotely close to riding on a sidewalk.
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Old 08-09-19, 10:21 AM
  #211  
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post


(sorry, couldn't resist)



Could be a "rural vs. urban" thing. When a small town of 30,000 people decides to build a bike path, it's gonna be a poorly-thought out joke, built mainly to use up extra money at the end of the fiscal year and for PR purposes. But when Portland Oregon spends millions on a 73 mile path along the Columbia River Gorge, that's a little different.



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.
In Mass., NH and RI, the long paths are mostly rail trails between towns and cities. The Minuteman Bikeway between Belmont and Cambridge, MA is an 11 mile suburban route that is one of the most used paths in the U.S. It is also significantly faster than riding on parallel streets. There's a lot of speeding up and slowing down, but it beats the heck out of stoplights, trucks and buses.

Really rural paths are often unpaved, so that can be a whole other kettle of fish, but it also is nothing like riding on a sidewalk.
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Old 08-09-19, 11:22 AM
  #212  
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Frankly, if someone built a long, paved bike path around here, I'd be happy to "ride on a sidewalk." But that's not going to happen. Best we've got is the rail trail which is hard packed limestone. And the closest end of that is about an hour's drive from my house.
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Old 08-09-19, 11:49 AM
  #213  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
But life is pain. So fear life?
HUGE points for the Princess Bride ref.
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Old 08-10-19, 04:11 AM
  #214  
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Originally Posted by einstruzende View Post
There's no way in hell I'm riding on bike paths! What I love(d) about cycling was the exploration, the speed, the remoteness of country roads.

And yes, we are all going to die, and it's not something I'm worried about, except here (but I still have ridden a bit this year and enjoyed it)
Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
What's wrong with bike paths? I ask as someone who lives in an area with very few bike paths.

As far as exploring remote areas, I live not far from a rail trail which is fun to ride, and you do go through some very remote areas. The great thing is that, except where it intersects a road or a street here or there, you don't have to worry about traffic.
Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
In a nutshell, they're not much different than riding on the sidewalk, with its perils, annoyances, and inherent limitations. If you like riding on sidewalks, you'll LOVE bike paths.

Safety-wise, I'll take the shoulder of a freeway any day over a bike path.
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
That varies wildly from path to path. My evening ride after work is a 24.5 mile round trip on a local MUP which I average 19+ mph solo ...Try doing that on a sidewalk

I, like you, love riding on the shoulder of a highway because of the long uninterrupted high speeds, but this path ride basically gives me the same thing in a location close to the office...

If you're going point-to-point in a major metro area, you also have to consider what the alternative to the path is

My sense is that the people who automatically turn their noses up at all paths miss out on a lot of really good riding.
.
From a utilitarian view, as a cycle commuter, I have posted:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
All my cycling as a decades-long, year-round commuter and occasional centurian in Metro Boston ranges from dense urban, to suburban, to exurban, but no rural.

I'm goal-oriented, be it miles or destinations, so I take the Road as it comes, to satisfy my Goal.
Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
many of the segregationists have been making their public case by convincing everyone that cycling is too dangerous to be done anywhere except on a segregated facility.

Not surprisingly, this has an impact in terms of how many people are willing to even try riding a bike since there is no way to get anywhere in the US without riding on a road
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…Last week I visited the family in Macomb County. IMO, that is some of the nastiest road riding I have ever encountered.

The main roads, to get anywhere, are six lane concrete slabs with bumps about every 20 feet, and many cracks and potholes especially on the right, with no shoulders, and heavy, zooming traffic with little patience for (slow) cyclists.

Even as an experienced urban commuter, I will often flee to the sidewalks, little used by pedestrians out in suburbia...

Now actually those suburban counties like Macomb and Oakland have developed some nice, long MUPS, but the prevailing attitude seems to be that bikes are not ”real” transportation, so one usually drives to a MUP to ride the bike; and the MUPS are though rural countryside, with no defined, or non-recreational [utilitarian "useful"] destination...
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Boston as a compact East Coast urban environment has a nice set of bikepaths that connect the downtown area through the midtown as it were, and out to the residential neighborhoods and inner suburbs, providing utilitarian byways for cycle commuting or recreation, though these paths are not completely connected…

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 08-10-19 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 08-10-19, 08:34 AM
  #215  
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I ride 50 miles a day, bike paths are out. I'm not dodging dogs and fixing flats from broken glass. I live about eight miles from the city and ride in the opposite direction on rural roads. I do have to ride on some highways with widely paved breakdown lanes. I'm worried about what comes from behind even though I have good mirrors on all my bikes. I don't really dwell on it because when your number is up it's up.

I'm trying to find Go Pro cameras with chips that will restart the cycle after the time runs out. I need cameras that last 3 hours plus. At least then my wife will know what took me out.
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Old 08-10-19, 09:17 AM
  #216  
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Personally, I try to stay off the roads, especially around where I live. But I do see riders on them (usually groups-so safer). I live in a semi-rural area, 2 lane roads, often little to no shoulder, tree lined (so lots of shadows), with a fair amount of curves with vehicles traveling 45-55MPH. I've never seen a rider hit (nor would I want to), but I have witnessed some vehicles passing what I would consider too close for comfort. If I were to ride on these roads (I won't), it would have to be with a group, and then I'd be wary. But then again, I'm not the youngest rider, so my risk acceptance is down from what it used to be!
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Old 08-10-19, 12:26 PM
  #217  
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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.
You are scared because you are not all wrapped up in denial like many here. You see a potential problem, think about it without bias, and make your choices. This is normal human problem solving. Congratulations!

Pickup trucks are larger than ever, phones and other distractions are the norm these days, and everybody is drunk, smoking pot, or hooked on opiates behind the wheel - depending on where you live. OF COURSE you should be concerned. The only question now is "What are you going to do about it?" This is an individual decision only YOU can make. If you are young, single, and care-free your thought process might be different than if you have a wife and a few small children to care for. So many factors to consider.

Your options fall somewhere between throwing caution to the wind, or no cycling on roadways ever again. Or stick to paths and off road maybe.

Caution to the wind -------- everything in between ------- never cycle on a roadway.

In my early 30s I biked across the USA five times fully self contained. I would have preferred dying to staying home. When I hit 60 my mindset changed and I sold nearly all the bikes and got a new job one mile from my house, in a large park, that I generally skate or walk to. My bike is for nasty weather only and a few errands. I never ride a bike for fun - only necessity (I do not own a car). I do my best to use roadways that have some room to spare when forced to cycle around traffic.

Would you dive into a pool full of well fed sharks that happen to be distracted, blind, and stupid? Enjoy Russian roulette much? It's really up to you. I have lived at both ends of the spectrum and was happy at those times with my decisions. Obviously I lived to talk about it.

Good luck! I am not voting on what you should do. Just spreading experiences.
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Old 08-10-19, 01:17 PM
  #218  
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I can accept that the oceans are full of sharks and the forests are full of wild animals.

But the streets are filled with what we hope are civilized human-beings who have all taken driving lessons. Why do we also accept that they are comparable to wild animals?
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Old 08-11-19, 08:27 AM
  #219  
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So much fear over an activity that statistics not only show is relatively safe, but actually adds years to our lives.
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Old 08-11-19, 10:30 AM
  #220  
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
So much fear over an activity that statistics not only show is relatively safe, but actually adds years to our lives.
And its also bad luck to talk about it. For forty years, I rode a motorcycle. I've always been on two wheels. I've ridden my motorcycles all over North America, UK, Europe, and Northern Africa. Never had even a close call because my policy was to always ride like I was invisible, and NEVER tempt fate by talking about crashes. Bad juju. Then, in 2007 I had a crash which broke 13 bones, and gave me traumatic brain injury. I suppose it all caught up to me. I still do not talk about crashing or dying or w t f - ever. Its a waste of time and only incites anxiety and fear of the unknown. People need to nut up.
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Old 08-11-19, 10:46 AM
  #221  
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On a happier note, I did my usual 30-40 miles today, and nobody flew past me, nearly taking the skin off my elbow, revving their engine and spraying me with exhaust, or shouting obscenities at me !
"So I got that going for me! "
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Old 08-11-19, 01:08 PM
  #222  
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Mostly good ride yesterday. Ready, at the intersection, to make a left turn, signaled... car in front of me signaled his left intention. I was ready when the gashole behind him pulled around and gunned it across the intersection. So, instead of being plowed by a selfish twit; I modified and he got an earful of Airzound and verbage!

You gotta drive for them too....
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Old 08-11-19, 02:28 PM
  #223  
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Ii stick to the paved bike trail because a noticeable percentage of the drivers around here have a real attitude. Unfortunately, I have one too. So, avoiding city streets makes everything better. bk
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Old 08-11-19, 04:35 PM
  #224  
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Originally Posted by Princess_Allez View Post
Garmin Varia Radar
Cannot leave my house without it, too bad I am now stuck with ****ty Garmin headunits
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Old 08-11-19, 09:57 PM
  #225  
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Originally Posted by Chi_Z View Post
Cannot leave my house without it, too bad I am now stuck with ****ty Garmin headunits
My exact sentiment. If it wasn't for the radar, I wouldn't use Garmin.
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