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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 08-01-19, 07:17 PM
  #1  
einstruzende
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Tell me why I shouldn't be scared of dying on the road ...

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.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:28 PM
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Lemond1985
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In 50 years of riding I have never been hit, and only witnessed one other person get hit, and he was clipped on the hand by a mirror of a Mazda mini truck that passed too close to a group ride on a narrow road. And I've seen hundreds of people who absolutely DESERVED to get hit, but somehow escaped without a scratch.

If the roads were as dangerous as a lot of people think they are, I should have seen dozens of people get hit in five decades.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:39 PM
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in all the years i've been riding in the streets of some pretty big cities and rural towns alike, mixing it up with traffic, definitely pushing my luck - i've only been hit once, while i was riding on an off street multi-use path.

a street ran parallel to the path and had an intersection where a road crossed the path, a guy came ripping around the corner and took me out.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:47 PM
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Fear is for the weak. Be aware and cautious but don't let the fear manifest itself in to reality.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:50 PM
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50 yrs on the road and I’ve been hit by cars at least three times, with innumerable close calls. Never been so hurt seriously, thank, God. It’s risky, but it’s freakin’ fun. I also race small sailboats hundreds of miles out on the ocean, where scary things happen fairly regularly. Fear is man’s best friend. I listen to it carefully and it’s kept me safe so far.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:51 PM
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Change your mindset. You're not "in traffic." You are traffic. Act accordingly, and the cars around you will tend to do the same.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:53 PM
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You're far more likely to fall and break your neck in the shower than you are to be hit by a car.

To get by the fear, you could always go the "safer in numbers" route-- find a local club, try riding with them a few times. At the very least, it should help with your confidence.
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Old 08-01-19, 08:12 PM
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The reason not to be scared? Simple. If you are terrified while riding, you aren't really living. If you go out with the attitude "this may be my last day on Earth so I am going to enjoy it to the max" you are fully alive. I do my best to be fully alive for the days I have left.

Ben
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Old 08-01-19, 08:20 PM
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Old 08-01-19, 08:25 PM
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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.
A bunch of randos on the internet wont actually talk you out of this fear- you will need to move past it on your own.

In the meantime, looks like you have an extensive trail network around you- use it. Why ride with cars if you don't enjoy it?
Related note- try gravel. It's like a 25' wide bike path. Quieter, actually. Less traffic on gravel roads than on paved trails.
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Old 08-01-19, 08:27 PM
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Guess I'm an optimist because I don't think I'll ever get hit unless it's my own fault. A little fear is probably healthy as long as it doesn't paralyze you or prevents you from enjoying riding. If you don't enjoy it best to find something else to do.

Last edited by gregf83; 08-02-19 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 08-01-19, 08:28 PM
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Statistically, you are going to die.

Alternate answer: STOP IT, Karen
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Old 08-01-19, 08:34 PM
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einstruzende
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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).
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Old 08-01-19, 09:01 PM
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You should be scared. That is what keeps you on your toes. But don't let it rule your life. Go out and enjoy it.

I think about it from time to time Scares me a bit. I get most scared when I see a car pass, look up and they are staring down at their cell phone. I know they didn't see me. It was just luck that they did not veer into me. But I get over it and enjoy the rest of the ride.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:03 PM
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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).
The thing worse than dying is getting hit so badly, you live but just barely. I think I would rather just be killed in the accident.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:31 PM
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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).
Try gravel.

Hardly any cars on gravel.

-Tim-
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Old 08-01-19, 09:41 PM
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I've been riding for over fifty years, and I've never been hit, but I have hit a car. I was commuting to school (Pitt) on packed snow and the car in front of me stopped and I slid right into his bumper and ended up in his trunk. No biggie.

It's the things you don't worry about that take you out.
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Old 08-01-19, 09:42 PM
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I think ( spinnaker ) said it best.
That is rubbish about falling in the tub......sure you can slip in the tub.....more likely in a hotel tub or as a guest in somebody's home than at your home BUT YOU MAY BE INJURED, a broken wrist, arm, rib, concussion or maybe a clavicle BUT YOU AREN'T LIKELY TO HAVE FATAL INJURIES FROM Slipin in the tub.
The potential for a fatal injury for a bicyclist rises exponentially with the quantity of vehicle traffic and the increased average speed of that vehicle traffic.

Yes, as those television ads for various Lawyers often state, "if you're in an accident with one of these big rigs (LAWYER is on top of the tractor trailer 18 wheeler talking to the camera) you're gonna get hurt..." Call us today if you've been injured or to bring a wrongful death suit.......we will make them pay for your suffering or for the untimely death of your loved one".................

Hey, sometimes you just have to ask yourself, is there perhaps a better route to be riding on than this one.
Is there a better time of day to be riding this road.
Yes, you should be able to go on whatever roadway permits bicycles but you know the potential risk increases because you have idiot, impatient, distracted, speeding motorists that may not have the "Share The Road" mentality.......................they may be of the mindset of hey you dumb--- bicycle rider why don't you get a decent job and buy a car, or get off this roadway....
I'm just saying that competing with morons that are running late for work, speeding, distracted, chemically impaired, drowsy, old & see like Mr Magoo, or else 16 years old with a month's experience of driving behind the wheel, ---THE PROBABILITY OF A BAD OUTCOME SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASES.
Yes there are laws and a cyclist is within those laws to exercise his/her right to navigate those roads/streets but just as there TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS between cars, there certainly could be a collision with a bicycle rider. Just as the Municipality and Dept of Transportation has yearly and monthly UPDATED data on those locations/intersections with the most accidents etc, and those areas with the most fatal accidents,..............................YOU CANNOT JUST BLINDLY SAY Well Ollie, Oh Golly Gee, I'm Gonna Be Fine Riding Down MONTGOMERY BOULEVARD (or whatever notorious street in your area..).
You should be scared and you should in such cases, possibly consider an alternate route. This is just my opinion. In a perfect world, you'd have nothing to worry about but as we all know.....
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Old 08-01-19, 09:47 PM
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We are all going to die, no one gets out alive.

I’d much rather die on the road, while doing what I love, than to die on my bed from feeble old age.

Just go out and ride your bike and stop worrying about the rest.
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Old 08-01-19, 10:04 PM
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I have had that experience- as a teenager I went through a period where I was afraid to get in a car for fear that

I would die in a crash. Got over it eventually.

Have also watched a team member fall off & die in the mountains, & cyclist acquaintances have bad crashes, but that did not make me afraid to climb or ride,

so they're different things.
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Old 08-01-19, 10:10 PM
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Every time, I think; this might be risky, I say to myself; better to die doing something you love rather than slipping in the bath tub or hit by a falling piano
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Old 08-01-19, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Try gravel.

Hardly any cars on gravel.

-Tim-
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Old 08-01-19, 11:11 PM
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Here's something to consider about statistics. Motorcycles, statistics say, are very dangerous. You are (iirc) 7 times more likely to be killed in a crash if you are riding a motorcycle rather than driving a car. But if you dig into the statistics on motorcycle crashes, you will find that a very large percentage involve alcohol and a very large percentage happen on Friday and Saturday night... and reckless driving is also usually a factor, and single vehicle crashes (ie riding off the road) are usually unreported unless an ambulance has to come. If you set off into traffic on Tuesday morning on your Honda 250, you are still 7x more likely to get killed if you get into a crash, but your chances of that happening are really slim. If you are taking your liter crotch rocket from the second bar to the third, well...

So don't ride your bicycle on un-remodeled arteries at rush hour.

And if you are out at 1pm on a residential street on a Sunday and you can't stop thinking about getting killed, well...

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Old 08-02-19, 12:46 AM
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The safest time to ride is when there is an NFL game on television. However, the period before the game starts is dangerous because everyone is rushing to get beer, chips dip, and more beer, and the period after the game when everyone is drunk.


There are dangers now that didn't exist twenty years ago, because of people being distracted by their phones. Even the trees and telephone poles aren't safe.


Another thing that has changed is the fact that there is more traffic on back roads and side streets because these apps like Waze are directing trffic onto them to avoid jams.


And there are simply more cars on the road. Be careful.
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Old 08-02-19, 01:46 AM
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I've hit cars, cars have hit me. I once clipped a transit bus. I once had a car hit me while leaving a vigil for a girl who got killed on a bike, by a car. I say eff it. If I die, I die.
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