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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Too often I see use of the words dangerous or hazardous associated with cycling. There is a thread that has been revitialized that has the word dangerous all over it.

A new word or terminology needs to be used.

Why?

Well because when using the words dangerous or hazardous it gives those who oppose cycling or oppose path or sidewalk riding ammunition to furhter their cause in banning bicycles from roadways or paths and walks, depending on what side you're on.

Granted cycling is not with out risk, but it is NOT dangerous or hazardous. If anything is dangerous or hazardous it is driving a motor vehicle.

Discuss.
 

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So, you're saying that cycling is never dangerous? So, this is merely a lower level of "safe?"

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWf2JyIKrN4]YouTube - NYC Bike Messenger Race[/ame]
 

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Words?

Too often I see use of the words dangerous or hazardous associated with cycling. There is a thread that has been revitialized that has the word dangerous all over it.

A new word or terminology needs to be used.

Why?

Well because when using the words dangerous or hazardous it gives those who oppose cycling or oppose path or sidewalk riding ammunition to furhter their cause in banning bicycles from roadways or paths and walks, depending on what side you're on.

Granted cycling is not with out risk, but it is NOT dangerous or hazardous. If anything is dangerous or hazardous it is driving a motor vehicle.

Discuss.
How about ... breakneck, chancy, dicey, dodgy, insidious, life-threatening, mordacious, perilous, precarious, risky, suicidal, treacherous?

Caution! Using a different word, that means the same thing, will only make you feel better ... if you don't know what it means. = "Ignorance is bliss!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
How about ... breakneck, chancy, dicey, dodgy, insidious, life-threatening, mordacious, perilous, precarious, risky, suicidal, treacherous?

Caution! Using a different word, that means the same thing, will only make you feel better ... if you don't know what it means. = "Ignorance is bliss!"
I think I'm going to start calling you john forester. You remind me a lot of him. Your insults are just like his. Hi john, how you been? Remember me from another forum?
 

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VR 40 Rider you really have no way to back the claim that cycling is safer than driving and if you do I would welcome the opportunity to be educated with numbers. At best it would be a guess, but there are just so many variables to compare as to make the comparison invalid. It's like asking who is hotter, the blonde or the brunette when they are both super models. Unless you are Tom Brady, most likely it doesn't matter.

First where I am riding on sidewalks is illegal. Now I see it all the time. Most of the time they are totally free of people when I see people riding on them, but that doesn't change anything. It also is a good way to get hit by a car coming out of a driveway. People expect you in the street not the sidewalk.

Fact is cycling can be dangerous. You can get hurt and it can happen through no fault of your own. People instinctively know that. That doesn't mean the risks can not be managed, but if you think cycling is perfectly safe, that is the same type of thinking at the opposite swing of the pendulum. It's far more likely to get you hurt than being scared on a bike.

How are you going to factor in all the drunk drivers into the stats of automobile users? How many kids that are unsupervised that skew the cycling stats up? How many times have you crashed only to get home, heal and not say anything to anyone? How are you going to compare the vastly different times of exposure to the different risks? I contend you can't.

I answered this type question in another profession many many times over the years. How safe is cycling??? I think the same answer should apply. It's as safe as we make it, but it can't be full proof. I bet most of the riders here have had near misses with a right cross or left hook. Often its our own alertness and a little luck that lets us escape, but some reading this can likely tell us first hand what its like to feel the impact of a car. One thing is for sure. A cyclist will never win a disagreement with a car.

Now I am as against a mandatory helmet law as much as you seem to be, but I won't leave home without one. That is a choice every rider should make for themselves and live with the results. It's a personal decision by the rider or in the case of a child, the child's parents.
 

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Too often I see use of the words dangerous or hazardous associated with cycling. There is a thread that has been revitialized that has the word dangerous all over it.

A new word or terminology needs to be used. ...
"Danger" is everywhere!

I feel the dangers should be pointed out. "Hiding" dangers - hazards does not make them go away, it causes them to be more dangerous!

How can you prepare to deal with a hazard, if you don't know about it?

Hiding, or ignoring, a "danger" might make you feel better, but only until you are forcefully confronted with it. Example: You might feel great, flying down a hill, until you are forced to realize, you have no brakes.

In other words:
I prefer "informed confidence" over "ignorant bliss".
 

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Danger (and safety really) depend on one thing and one thing only, the operator of the "dangerous" equipment. There's an old saying in aviation, "Airplanes don't crash, pilots crash airplanes." The same basic principle is there for cycling, it's only as safe as you make it. If you ride salmon, at night, with no lights, no helmet and in the middle of the vehicle lane, it's pretty freaking dangerous. But if you ride in the daytime, with a helmet, obeying laws and wearing a bright yellow shirt the risk is greatly reduced.

I'm not saying that this will keep you from getting in an accident or whatever, there are a lot of factors that simply are not under our control, which is where the risk comes in. But a lot of the things that make cycling dangerous have been eliminated.

You can't reduce danger, only risk.
 

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Actually airplanes can and do crash due to no fault of the pilots. Lost more than one friend in situations like that and though it seems like a long time ago, I spent 16 good years teaching people to fly. There are some risks you have to accept to get on any piece of machinery. You can manage risk, but you can't eliminate it. Unless you manage risk, it manages you. Yet some risk you can not eliminate. Lost a friend in an airplane in which he had more time in that make and model than anyone else in the world. An unknown design flaw left him with an airplane that simply could not be flown. In the accident investigation they put several other pilots with nearly as much experience and gave them the same failure in a sim. NONE of them, even knowing the failure was coming was able to find a way to keep the airplane under control with that failure. Ended up with a modification to the airplane. Mark did not die in vain.

What riding a bike adds to my life, is worth the risks I accept when I get on a bike. When my health allowed me to fly, I made the same decision with airplanes. My flying days are long over, but if it happens to me on a bike, so be it. I have lived a full life with no regrets.
 

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Danger! Danger! Will robinson !!

OK granted there is a pretty good chance that you are going to have an accident on a bike. Since I moved to the suburbs I have been hit by cars three times. On the other hand, because I ride my bike a few miles a day(less than five) I am still alive.

I am a old diabetic and have had it for over forty years. I still have all of my fingers and toes and my kidneys are functioning at one hundred percent. Most of the kids I went to diabetic camp with as a kid are dead. I think there has to be a reason. A buddy of mine who also is a diabetic, does not ride his bike and is in real trouble. He has had four of his toes amputated and he has had to have quadruple bypass surgery and he has had it for half as long as I had. I think there must be some correlation somewhere.

I went to a diabetic conference about twenty years ago and even then there was only one person there who had it longer than me and she was on dialysis and she had both of her legs amputated below the knee.

The say that once your hooked up to dialysis you have about six years and then the machine kills you. So I make sure I ride my bike!

I recently was running down the stairs and BANG! hit my foot hard. Because of that I lost two toe nails(black and blue first, OOOwww!!) and guess what? they are growing back! I know that does not sound like much to the average guy but to me its very affirming.

My dad is seventy eight and he still rides his bike a good fourteen miles a day during the week. He still runs a electronic instrument business and he is still going strong. I think that if you keep riding your bike you will keep your hart and lungs and your other parts going better for a lot longer.

It helps that he is a bit of a tea totaler and he does not smoke (he stopped smoking because they raised the price of cigarettes by fifteen cents because of taxes) is also reasons he is still going strong.

To my way of thinking we are physical creatures and we need to exercise if we want to keep breathing on a regular basis. Where I'm living right now, the folks I am sharing the neighborhood with look more like the before pictures you see for Weight Watchers. Everybody's driving everywhere and most folks the only walking they do it is from the car to the store. In a lot of cases they don't even get out of the car.

It's been said that over 40,000 people die every year in this country (the USA) in traffic accidents. I can assure you that a huge majority of those folks were driving cars. That's thirteen 911s every year. Tell me, doesn't that sound a little dangerous to you?

mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
There's an old saying in aviation, "Airplanes don't crash, pilots crash airplanes."
You should really google United Flight 232 Sioux City, Iowa before you make a comment like this again. That plane crash was NO fault of the pilots. If anything the flight crew were nothing short of hero's for keeping the plane under control, helping to prevent more people from being killed than not. In this disaster more people survived than were killed, a very rare occurrence in an airplane crash.

And what about terrorists hijacking planes? And I am talking about more than what happened 10 years ago this Sunday.
 

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Once met Denny Fitch. He was the extra captain that handled the throttles on 232. Very nice man and thanks to the crew its a miracle anyone survived.. They were so so close to everyone making it.
 

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Some folks prefer to do nothing different and be as safe as possible, others are willing to try anything.

The way I see it, live your life as if every day is your last day. None of us know when we are going to die, and we are definitely going to die one day, so do what you want to do.

I would rather die doing something I enjoy, be it riding a bicycle or motorcycle, hiking, traveling, or making love to a beautiful woman, rather than wasting away on a deathbed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Once met Denny Fitch. He was the extra captain that handled the throttles on 232. Very nice man and thanks to the crew its a miracle anyone survived.. They were so so close to everyone making it.
If you ever make it to Sioux City be sure to visit the Flight 232 Memorial next to the Anderson Dance Pavillion on the river front as well as the aviation and transportation museum near the airport. It has a very good exhibit about Flight 232.

Denny Fitch and Captain Hayes were both hero's that day. The way they controlled the plane was basically powering the engines down and back up again one at a time to keep control after losing both the hydraulics and the redundant cable systems. Unfortunately just after the plane touched down there was a surge of power and a gust of wind and it did a cart wheel down the runway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If you ride salmon, at night, with no lights, no helmet and in the middle of the vehicle lane, it's pretty freaking dangerous. But if you ride in the daytime, with a helmet, obeying laws and wearing a bright yellow shirt the risk is greatly reduced.
What is salmon, other than a fish that migrates?

How does wearing a helmet or not affect or impact safe riding skills? Do you really think wearing a helmet helps in any way with bike handling skills? I know the answer, I just want to see what you have to say.

How is riding in the middle of a vehicle lane dangerous? What is your definition of the middle of the vehicle lane?

Ok, I'll give you the one about not using lights at night being a bad idea.

I don't buy that obeying traffic laws or wearing bright colors keeps cyclists safe from the so called dangers of the road though. Please explain how, especially wearing bright colors.

In my state a cyclists is LEGALLY allowed to ride in one half of the travel lane on ANY roadway where bicycles are not specifically excluded. If a bicycle is excluded from riding on a roadway signage has to be posted stating such. What this means is I can ride on the left side of the left half of the left lane of a 4 lane road, near the center painted dividing line on a busy roadway called Riverside Blvd, which is essentially the middle of the vehicle lane. The posted speed limit is 40 mph. I have done this many times, some of those times were at night and I NEVER felt that I was in any sort of danger!

My helmet has NEVER done anything to affect my ability to safely control my bike. Has yours?

Wearing bright colors, at night or during the day has not done anything to help motorists see me better. A lot if not most of them are on a cell phone, either talking or texting, doing their makeup, reading the newspaper, messing with the radio or what ever electronic device they have built into their dashboard, eating or doing something else that causes them to take their eyes off of the road.

If anything bright colors make cyclists an easier target for the motorists who really want to do us harm. wearing bright colors is like tagging us with a laser so the guided missile can find us.

How is riding at night with proper lighting any more dangerous than riding during the day? Are you afraid of riding at night, even with proper lighting? I'm not and have done so many times. I don't feel any more or less in danger or that it is any more or less risky or hazardous than riding in the daytime.
 

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I am not sure I would call them hero's, but understand that logic. They were 3 men that were trying to do a job, and even in the worst situation, did it the best they could. Had they not kept control of the airplane as long as they did, no one would have survived. Not all the crew did. The original flight engineer that let the extra captain on board, Denny, take over the throttles didn't make it.

No your helmet will not affect your ability to control your bike, but just like that bad day, bad things happen. That helmet may be the difference between a headache and a fatal. Wearing bright colors can help, as they do make you more visible. The texting driver is a risk beyond your control.

Don't know the number on a bike, but unless its changed (and it could have I haven't been involved for a long time) but the accident rate at night for airplanes is SEVEN TIMES HIGHER at night than it is during the daytime. That risk was there whether I felt uncomfortable or not. Just because you feel safe, doesn't mean you ARE safe. Now with the added risk, is it a risk level you are willing to accept. That is the real question. Some are and some are not.
 

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Bicycle Safety - The Math of Speed

I'm not saying that this will keep you from getting in an accident or whatever, there are a lot of factors that simply are not under our control, which is where the risk comes in. But a lot of the things that make cycling dangerous have been eliminated.

You can't reduce danger, only risk.
It is possible, to numerically reduce danger.
Bicycle Safety - The Math of Speed
SUX VR40 Rider, however, seems to have no comprehension of percentage of risk, or even basic math, so it is difficult-pointless to try "reasoning" with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It is possible, to numerically reduce danger.
Bicycle Safety - The Math of Speed
SUX VR40 Rider, however, seems to have no comprehension of percentage of risk, or even basic math, so it is difficult-pointless to try "reasoning" with him.
What's up john forester. Long time no see. You still forcing your idealism of vehicular cycling down people's throats? I see you still like to insult people instead of engaging in logical and civil debate.

Did I ever tell you I burned the copy of the book you wrote, essential cycling? When I purchased it, it was something like $80 or $90. After I figured out what you're really about and your approach to cycling and why you think all cyclists should be vehicular cyclists and that no community should have trails or bike lanes, so basically your nasty attitude toward the matter I decided to get rid of the book. I did not want to donate it for fear of someone else being exposed to your nastiness so I put it in my charcoal grill, doused it with lighter fluid just to make sure it would light and burned it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok let me set the record straight as simply as I can. Is cycling risky? Yes it is or can be. Is it dangerous? No it is not. I do think driving or riding in a motor vehicle is more risky than cycling.
 
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