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Giving up riding on the road

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Giving up riding on the road

Old 12-24-19, 03:49 PM
  #101  
spinconn
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Two factors for me, control and numbers. When young I enjoyed a number of activities considered dangerous but they were safe if one kept his head and had the requisite skill. One had control of the risk. Not safe if insufficient skill or a skittish disposition. We have no control whatsoever over the skill, sobriety, prudence or criminality of the drivers around us.

That is where numbers come in. I had no control over drivers in prior years either, but the numbers of cars, their size, their speed and the percentage of drivers distracted by technology were vastly smaller so I figured the odds were acceptable. No longer acceptable on my local roads.
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Old 12-24-19, 10:55 PM
  #102  
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I do not ride on the roads.

I ride literally thousands of miles a year. I use my bike for everything, Inc commuting, shopping, school run.. it has a trailer. It's a tandem. It's electric. And it's the best-kept secret I've held.

But so is my town. Milton Keynes was designed and built from scratch with a complete bonafide MUP system called the 'Redway'. I can ride from any place to any place, and never use a road (other than tiny residential avenues and car parks for access).

Unfortunately this is a rare set up. The option to go road-free isn't so easy elsewhere. But you must push for it, and use your numbers to create the demand for more footpaths to be converted, and new developments to include the segregation of road and cycling. If you want it.

And I can tell you, for all ages, it's well worth having.

Last edited by MikeyMK; 12-24-19 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 12-25-19, 06:03 AM
  #103  
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Looks like you have other options so that is great. I've not completely given up road riding, but if need to go somewhere I put together more MUPs than road, even if longer. I also pick my road riding times to be less traffic times. Lastly, I now ride in the right tire track, as opposed to hugging the right stripe. It took some getting used to, but it does work.
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Old 12-25-19, 07:02 AM
  #104  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
So if youíre charged with something you should not be able to prove your innocence?
I'm for this but "convicted" would be my preference.
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Old 12-25-19, 07:43 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post

And I can tell you, for all ages, it's well worth having.
Yet limiting to those of us who like to explore other places by bicycle. I like to get out of the fishbowl.
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Old 12-25-19, 07:50 AM
  #106  
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I have decided to now limit the TT bike to limited areas. Twice yesterday Iím going 25+ and a vehicle thinks Iím on a granny Dutch going 5mph and left turns or goes straight across me.

The brakes and upright visibility of the roadie is just superior in my area.
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Old 12-25-19, 08:15 AM
  #107  
Jim from Boston
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Giving up riding on the road
Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
I do not ride on the roads.

I ride literally thousands of miles a year. I use my bike for everything, Inc commuting, shopping, school run.. it has a trailer. It's a tandem. It's electric. And it's the best-kept secret I've held.

But so is my town. Milton Keynes was designed and built from scratch with a complete bonafide MUP system called the 'Redway'. I can ride from any place to any place, and never use a road (other than tiny residential avenues and car parks for access).

Unfortunately this is a rare set up. The option to go road-free isn't so easy elsewhere. But you must push for it, and use your numbers to create the demand for more footpaths to be converted, and new developments to include the segregation of road and cycling. If you want it.

And I can tell you, for all ages, it's well worth having.
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yet limiting to those of us who like to explore other places by bicycle. I like to get out of the fishbowl.
Milton Keynes sounds like a mecca for truly Car Free Living. Not so much for Road Cycling if that is you inclination. Here in the First World, I have described Boston as a good compromise between those premises.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Boston is probably one of the most Car-free cities in the world, and having a car is often detrimental. We live near the transportation hub of Kenmore Square. Our easily accessible Car-free / Car-light modalities at home and work are:
  • subway and Commuter Rail
  • taxis and Uber
  • car rentals, including Zipcar
  • shopping and personal services within walking distances
  • a convenient place to stay overnight at work
  • my cycle commutes are on pleasant routes in the reverse of the usual commuting direction.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Personally. I'm very happy cycling in Metro Boston, and have posted an informal Cycling Guide to Metro Boston (link) that would make a nice hub and spoke tour of nine days

It may seem parochial, but I think the cycling around here is great. One can be in scenic countryside within about one hour from downtown, while passing through an interesting, compact urban and suburban scene. Furthermore you can extend your range with a convenient Commuter Rail that allows fully-assembled bikes during off-peak hours. In Spring through Fall it’s a temperate climate

Besides the cycling, Boston is such a popular tourist [and residential] destination that there will always be something interesting to do off the bike…culture, nightlife, sports and so forth.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 12-25-19 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 12-25-19, 09:08 AM
  #108  
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Going 16mph on a wide road feels slower than going 13mph on a narrow one. Get wide tires, raise your bars, find a decent saddle, and enjoy the ride.

I had this same reckoning myself when I was a teenager and saw a bad crash on a group ride. I realized a few things: road biking is much more dangerous than mountain biking, it's often boring, you never fully relax because of the cars. I don't have anywhere near me that is an alternative to roads, so I took up mountain biking.
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Old 12-25-19, 10:26 AM
  #109  
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In America's class war (yes, I used the dirty "C" word we're taught doesn't exist), Cars and Cash rule over Bikes and Bravery....

Still, I am someone... just like the owner of the pretentious pos suv, luxury car, or "all-american" pick up truck, and pay my taxes just the same. Today my choice is to drive the roads I pay for on a human-propelled vehicle, non-polluting, and almost exclusively below the safe speed LIMITS! WITHIN THE LAW.

And, yet, I/we are stigmatized for not serving the overt, aggressive, oil-consuming, polluting, convienence buying, insurance enabling paradigm paraded as "success"....

I observe limits on my behavior, to the benefits of myself and 99% of others.... I would argue that it is 100% of others, but the 1% (and their witting/unwitting minions) see it otherwise....
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Old 12-25-19, 10:55 AM
  #110  
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Milton Keynes, England, I presume. Sounds pretty cool. I know there are some cities in the US that are more bike friendly, but cars are still king here. I think itís time we take our roads back. Letís start by taking down the king of corruption. Itís time to give our planet priority over corporate greed.
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Old 12-25-19, 05:33 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yet limiting to those of us who like to explore other places by bicycle. I like to get out of the fishbowl.
England's particularly bad for this. There are 1/3 of a million people here in my town, i have all i need, but if i do wanna venture beyond the boarder i'm not doing it on a bike - the roads available offer me nothing but a choice of how quickly i want to die.

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Milton Keynes sounds like a mecca for truly Car Free Living. Not so much for Road Cycling if that is you inclination.
This is true. I have balloon tyres and air suspension, yet it can still be a challenging ride. You can't see tarmac for wet leaves atm, floods, and the tree-root damage makes moon craters look small.
1'' tyres would be at risk of pinch flats every third road crossing, you're not getting a quarter mile without some serious cornering, and don't get me started on manhole covers, school kids, dogs...

It's an absolute halcyon. I love it - when there are no cars, 'roading' becomes an irrelevant genre.
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Old 12-25-19, 07:47 PM
  #112  
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It is a personal call. I moved from an area where most of my riding was on rural county roads to an urban area with many miles of trails. I prefer the trails. They also have dangers but the heavier traffic worries me. I may hit the roads again in organized rides. Biking is something I might give up if I overthink it. I try to take a rational view of the risks and hope I can continue to ride for many years. Good luck to us all.
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Old 12-25-19, 08:37 PM
  #113  
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I cannot imagine giving up riding roads. Too many cool ones out there. Going to the Sun comes immediately to mind.
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Old 12-25-19, 08:56 PM
  #114  
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Nope.
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Old 12-26-19, 06:07 AM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
England's particularly bad for this. There are 1/3 of a million people here in my town, i have all i need, but if i do wanna venture beyond the boarder i'm not doing it on a bike - the roads available offer me nothing but a choice of how quickly i want to die.
I live with 1.5 million other people. You make it sound like cyclists are dying in droves. Thousands upon thousands every day. As if it's a certainty. Sad mindset if you ask me.

And there are other countries.
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Old 12-26-19, 10:19 AM
  #116  
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How safe is flying?

"...

There are a range of estimates out there, but based on its analysis of US Census data, it puts the odds of dying as a plane passenger at 1 in 205,552. That compares with odds of 1 in 4,050 for dying as a cyclist; 1 in 1,086 for drowning, and 1 in 102 for a car crash."

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/how-safe...statistics-say
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Old 12-26-19, 10:38 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I cannot imagine giving up riding roads. Too many cool ones out there. Going to the Sun comes immediately to mind.
I agree....The only way to get anywhere on a bicycle is to use roads...The alternative is to live in a safety bubble....Anything that's worthwhile doing is going to involve some degree of risk.
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Old 12-27-19, 08:28 AM
  #118  
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Thanks for the informed and reasonable discussion here.

I've had some time to read what people have posted here, talk about things with friends and family and think things through over the holidays. I'm, if anything, more certain I want to significantly scale back or stop riding in the road next year.

Just to clarify a few things:

I ride entirely for fitness, I don't ride for transportation. I ride only with groups on the road, I gave up riding alone on the road years ago. I'm an ex-racer myself. The groups I ride in are typically the "A" groups of local clubs: ex or current road racers, a few masters guys, a few cat 3s, a few mountain or cross racers getting in some road miles, a few ultra-distance guys. I have been cutting back significantly on road in recent years regardless, especially as I've returned to more singletrack mountain biking.

I live in the suburbs of a very large midwestern city, you guess which one (I think many people I know personally post here, they know who I am, lol). Around here, there's a ton of traffic, no shoulders and limited options for good roads to ride on around here. Any riding usually needs to be done in the dark in the very early morning hours or on weekends. I grew up in a much more rural area. I can appreciate that if I still lived in a rural area with better roads, I would not be having these thoughts. My wife and I are planning to move to a different area of the country in the next few years, we're considering several possibilities. Cycling will play a role in that decision.

One last point: my wife has never directly told me that she wants me to stop, she knows I love cycling and she's far too kind to lay down the law like that. It's more subtle indications she's given me.

Thanks again for sharing your own opinions and experiences here.
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Old 12-27-19, 08:33 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
And motor vehicles are not the only hazardous traffic on roads.


Those are some big doggies. I wonder what their sprint speed is and how hard it is to outrun them?
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Old 12-27-19, 08:45 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Those are some big doggies. I wonder what their sprint speed is and how hard it is to outrun them?
I was riding towards them. Wasn't going to take any chances. Pulled over to the other side of the road. The cowboy was really cool. He asked me about my route. I told him, then he doffed his hat and said "Sounds like a plan."

That was just outside the "center" of Wise River, MT. The place is known to have large cattle drives from time to time. There must have been one relatively recently because there were a lot of cow pie remnants in the road closer to town that looked they had been mostly washed away by rain.
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Old 12-27-19, 10:59 AM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Source of this graph, please. Curious how the data was gathered for total kilometers traveled on roads by bicyclists in each country.
It appears to originate from this, and the article is totally uninformative as to where the miles ridden numbers came from:

https://streets.mn/2014/07/01/bicycling-relative-safe/
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Old 12-27-19, 11:16 AM
  #122  
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I tend to think these stats which are based on mileage are less meaningful than if they were based on time. It seems to me the more hours you are exposed to risk gives a greater assessment than the number of miles. I tried to google bike fatalities based on hours as compared to other forms of travel and didn't get much information, so I don't know, but I have a hunch that a per hour comparison might turn out more favorable for bikes.
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Old 12-27-19, 12:10 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
I tend to think these stats which are based on mileage are less meaningful than if they were based on time. It seems to me the more hours you are exposed to risk gives a greater assessment than the number of miles. I tried to google bike fatalities based on hours as compared to other forms of travel and didn't get much information, so I don't know, but I have a hunch that a per hour comparison might turn out more favorable for bikes.
I suspect that one of the effects of having relatively poorly-developed cycling infrastructure is that it's much harder to get an accurate count of miles traveled, so some of this discrepancy with other countries may in part be a statistical artifact of the fact that it's harder to count riders if you don't know where they're riding.
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Old 12-27-19, 02:10 PM
  #124  
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There are more cars and even if the proportion of jerks driving them is stable, there are more of them , and then add in the cocooning and distractions.

I am an urban rider and have to avoid a car running a stop sign or going the wrong way, or rolling into an intersection or bike path at least ONCE A MILE.

The MUP's here are a hazard from the distracted, and from dog walkers where the fleas are the smartest member of the team. I love dogs, they also need protection.

I ride like I'm James Bond. Everybody in the movie is trying to kill me. My job is to make it hard for them.

Last edited by bikebikebike; 12-29-19 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 12-27-19, 02:19 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by spinconn View Post
I tend to think these stats which are based on mileage are less meaningful than if they were based on time. It seems to me the more hours you are exposed to risk gives a greater assessment than the number of miles. I tried to google bike fatalities based on hours as compared to other forms of travel and didn't get much information, so I don't know, but I have a hunch that a per hour comparison might turn out more favorable for bikes.
That makes a little more sense but it still doesn't differentiate between the roads that are heavily travelled with cars and quiet streets or bike trails that many forum members here recommend.

One can stand at a bike trail all day and all night and nothing traffic related will happen to him. But doing the same thing on a busy street, eventually some car is going to jump the curb and hit you. And that's not uncommon.

I still contend that it's the number of cars you encounter during a ride that determines its safety.

If I make a blanket statement that bike trails and quiet streets with no cars are safer than riding on busy urban arterial roads, I suppose a lot of people would agree. But I won't be at all surprised if 50% of people will still disagree.

Last edited by Daniel4; 12-27-19 at 02:32 PM.
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