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Discussion Starter #1
Was out with my brother the other evening - he rides, but distance stuff vs. my commuting. He told me that he thinks a lot of what we both do is, in part, because of the dangers motorists provide on our morning ride, that there is a bit of a thrill to it.

I denied this - strongly. In the morning's when I'm gearing up, I listen to the roar of traffic on the nearby artery I've got to cross. And I find myself thinking (like an infantryman in the trenches) "Jezus, don't kill my ass today". I've had some mornings when I almost turned around and went back in to change into my kitted clothing. But I still pressed into it.

But then again, there are those times when someone sees the bike in the office, or hears the snick of its gears as I roll it in or out, and they asked me (in awe) "You ride? To work? Really? Isn't it dangerous?" And I get to do that "Shucks, it's really no danger IF you know what you're doing", the lion-tamer's reply. And I think of when I'm back in the carport, pulling the bags off and feeling good about having run the gauntlet again.

So the question - does the danger posed by cars factor into our street riding?
 

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Two skinny J's
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So the question - does the danger posed by cars factor into our street riding?
YES!!!! I plan rides early in the morning and out in the country to avoid as much traffic as possible! I ride with an iPod ( solo rides only, never on a group ride) cuz if death is near I don't wanna hear it coming ( downing flame suit)! Course there are other issues to deal with in the kuntree
 

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You use an iPod? How irresponsible! LOL!

Traffic poses no more a threat than when I drive. The trick to safety is being seen and being aware of where everyone on the road is. Claim your lane. Have blinkies front and back even daytime. Wear a bright jacket. Use a mirror.
 

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Two skinny J's
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I have just about as much fear of getting getting doored in my little town on Main St. as much or more than anything. As a general rule we don''t have to many issues here. My other major concern is tourist with their 35' diesel pusher RV's pulling cars, boats, etc. They don't or wont move in the summer out by Thousand Trails - Getaways

I do not like or enjoy traffic or ridding in a city environment. That's as much of a product of where I live and how I live as much as anything. I've never lived in a city or even close to one.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Down here in the swamp it is Banjo music we fear, that will make you ride faster than a Pit Bull chaseing you. 20 ton 30 ton dumps rool on by, no sholder most give you room. Some times when I crest the hill I think I wonder if that truck comming up sean me befor I get out of site over the hill. Lots of truck trafic around here we have a fue sand washes not many roads.
 

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If you don't consider the risks, the risks are managing you not you managing the risks. IF you don't think about it, you are asking for trouble and if it makes you that uncomfortable its something you probably ought to think twice about doing. There are urban areas Id be scared to ride, but rarely would I be overly concerned about riding in the country. Dump trucks are a pain, literally. Not necessarily because they might hit you but the gravel that always seems to find their way off the back hurts like you know what. That is better than garbage trucks. There was a time when a garbage truck considered that everything that blew off was that much they didn't have to unload at the dump. Nothing like seeing a diaper come off the back of the truck.

Wild you worry about banjo music, but it can be worse. Where I come from if you go far enough back you can find banjo music being produce by a banjo player that has had more to drink in the last hour than W.C. Fields could drink in a year. There is banjo music and then there is drunk banjo music.
 

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Bicycle Safety - The Math of Speed!

One of the primary factors, under your control, is your speed!
A nice summery of how speed influences, possibility of vehicle interaction, is available -
Bicycle Safety - The Math of Speed!
(% lists too!)

While, some, in that thread, get hung up on some kind of "need" for an all-inclusive "bible" of traffic situations, if you simply follow the basic principles, it is easy to recognize the safety advantages available from the "judicious application of speed!"

It is a wide ranging thread, with nice tips on bicycle safety, bike gear, personal gear ... some humor too!

Like most any thread, there is a bit of ... unreasoning ... "static".
 

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Not this again.. Can't you let it go??? Your logic only factor one aspect of a problem, without any consideration for many other situations where the extra speed would be a big negative. Closure rate is not impact and really has very little to do with the crash dynamics once control is lost. Can you maintain control after a car hits your rear wheel? I think the operative phrase would be, "Hey ya'll come look at this." No there is quite a few people that understand the logic is totally flawed from outset. It also assumes that getting passed is a danger, which many would argue with in the first place.

The most important things you can do to improve safety is to 1. be aware of your surroundings 2. wear a helmet. 3 expect the unexpected (such as a car that is supposed to stay stopped pulling out in front of you ) and most importantly 4. use your common sense. Granted common sense ain't so common, and the long I live the more I realize Will was right.
 

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I personally recognize the danger but as a young cyclist I think danger is cool, I don't commute as such but every day, at least once a day I ride on very busy roads and I enjoy the challenge of moving with the traffic and making moves to reach my destination quicker. I've had a few issues with crashes but not quite life threatening.
 

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But the percentage only means anything when it considers all the risk factors. You could probably find someone that could give you a percentage of a decreased risk of an injury as a result of fire in a car crash by not wearing your seat belt. But if you consider that as the only risk, find a sticker and write temporary on it and attach it to your drivers license because not wearing a belt is a good way to get to a quick check out.

Not everything can be put in percentages. Many times the data just isn't there to do completely assess all the different dynamics. Even if you think you know all the risks, people often suffer from a lack of imagination. Things no one could possibly think of going wrong can go wrong and drastically affect any number of calculations. Those numbers you counted on to make a decision, may not even be close and you bet your life on its accuracy.

Instead of a thinking in percentages, I think in terms of outs. What can I do to keep risk A to an absolute minimum? What can I do if this happens? How can I handle this problem? Now two people can look at the same situation and come up with different answers, but those are usually better than counting on numbers. Simply doing a calculation does not mean you have considered out. I have spent my time sticking my neck on the line, I have seen people I know pay the ultimate price. Tears and time teach you better than trying to come up with a number.
 

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Instead of a thinking in percentages, I think in terms of outs. What can I do to keep risk A to an absolute minimum?
Sorry? ... When you "What can I do to keep risk A to an absolute minimum?", are you not figuring the lowest percentage of risk?

You seem to be directly contradicting yourself!
1st, you propose that you should not think in percentages...
Then you "think" of how to keep risk to an absolute minimum ... which is the lowest percentage of risk.

Really ...
absolute minimum of risk
and
lowest percentage of risk
sound identical ... to me ???
 

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No you are not doing a single mathematical equation. You are not computing stats. Anyone with a flip can make stats say whatever you want. There are lies, d*&% lies, and statistics. Some times the stat man will even ask what you want the numbers to say, knowing full well he can make them say whatever he wants.

No what I was referring to is actions. As I approach an intersection, it doesn't matter what the percentage of times a car does not stop and pulls out in front of a cyclist. Even if that percentage is only .1% for that .1% its 100%. What matters as you approach and intersection is where you can go, how quickly can you stop (and speed makes both of those more difficult) how can you crash with the least damage and injury if there are no other options (again speed is not your friend) , and what can I bring to make be better prepared for the mess. (like wearing my road ID) All of those are actions that are within my physical control. They are based on common sense, planning and foresight. No math involved at all.

The Apollo program may have been one of the greatest engineering accomplishments the world will ever see, and almost certainly will be the greatest in my lifetime. They figured percentages for everything. They put a number on all the risks. Yet when the Apollo 1 caught fire, they realized so much of what they had been getting away with for so many years was flawed logic that eventually caught up with them. The ironic and tragic part was the crew could have escaped had they not changed the command module design. One of the Mercury flights had trouble with the bolts that held the hatch, and when the hatch opened prematurely they lost the Mercury capsule (Liberty Bell IIRC) and nearly lost Gus Grissom by drowning.

No one believed him when he said the hatch just opened. They thought he had hit the wrong switch by mistake, but later they found that Gus had no bruise in the spot where every other Mercury astronaut had received a bruise when they hit the switch. He couldn't have hit the switch by accident and not received the bruise. The door really did fail, so they redesigned it. That redesign cost Gus his life in the Apollo 1 fire. They had figured all the numbers but it was a failure of imagination. They figured all the numbers for Apollo 13 as well, but who could have expected such damage and still bring the crew back. It wasn't numbers that got them back. It was this is the problem, and how can I fix it mentality.
 

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. What matters as you approach and intersection is where you can go, how quickly can you stop (and speed makes both of those more difficult) how can you crash with the least damage and injury if there are no other options .
Once again ... "where you can go" = directions that offer the greatest percentage of safety.
"how can you crash with the least damage and injury" = planning for a crash with the least percentage of damage and injury!

You seem do be attacking the use of percentages ... but then ... you keep giving examples of how you would use them???
 

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Two skinny J's
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Thank god for the ignore list option...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I agree that there are controllable risks and uncontrollable risks. Every time I come to ruin (or near-ruin) I try to put that into my bag of tricks. Like the time I plowed headon into a mormon who came around a blind turn (we were on the sidewalk - its the only part of my run on sidewalks). Now, I'm up on the pedals, looking over that hedge as I come down it.

But, aside from the statistics, I'm wondering why anyone really commutes by bike to work. Nobody is about to pin a medal on us (motorists generally hate us, even when we don't cost them an easily recoverable second or two). Why?

Achivement?
Ecology?
Health?
Danger-rush?
Savings?

Those are the only benifits I can think of. If I were to rate my reasons (they seem to flux back and forth), I'd have to put it at...

Achivement - 30%
Ecology -30%
Health -30%
Danger-rush - 10%
Savings - 0%

That feels about right for me. Anyone else want to put up their score?
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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When I first started rideing again, I was going out 8:00 8:30 traffic was realy bad so I thaught if I go out at 9:00 thay will be at work and I will have the road to my self. Wrong at 9:00 thay drive realy crazy because thay are realy late for work .;)
 

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In 2008, when gas hit $4/gal, for the 1st time, I invested in an eaBike, (electric assist Bike), about $300.
My reasons were for vehicle-gas savings and to help my failing health.
I tried a pedal bike but feared for my ability to get home after becoming exhausted.

I do pedal constantly, and apply additional motor assist , as needed, or wanted.
Original speed and range were about 16 mph and 8 miles, without pedal assist.
As my health improved, I modded the bike for higher speed and range.

Now ...
I get anywhere in city as fast, or faster, than by car.
No parking problems, padlock is a heavy coiled item that stretches, locks, then retracts to bike.
I get as much, or as little exercise as I need-want.
Lost almost 30lb.
Blood pressure dropped from 170, to 125.
Went from totally exhausted, pushing a bike at 10 mph, to, mile long enthusiastic ... "spurts" of 20 mph, on a heavy, ballooned tired, bike, without motor assist.
Each 30-40 mile "fill-up" is about $.06 of clean-green electricity (hydro).


Achievement- 10%
Ecology - 30%
Health -35%
Danger-rush - 5%
Savings - 20%
 

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I have just about as much fear of getting getting doored in my little town on Main St. as much or more than anything. As a general rule we don''t have to many issues here. My other major concern is tourist with their 35' diesel pusher RV's pulling cars, boats, etc. They don't or wont move in the summer out by Thousand Trails - Getaways

I do not like or enjoy traffic or ridding in a city environment. That's as much of a product of where I live and how I live as much as anything. I've never lived in a city or even close to one.
I had a friend who was doored. Most of the damage was done to her face, I do not know how, but she made a full recovery and you can't even notice that there was a point in her life when she had a massive black eye, torn skin on the forehead and a huge lip. I always look in car windows when I am approaching, it's rather strenuous.
 
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