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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How many of you have family who fear your entanglement with automobiles? I am fairly new to road-biking, coming out of the MTB world, and my wife is highly concerned about me getting killed, or something worse. Probably most of us have gone to the website http://bicyclesafe.com/

I am sure there are people here who have clocked tens of thousands or more miles on their bikes. For those of you with much experience, can the risk of being hit by a car be reasonably dealt with? Or, are we faced with the horrible outlook of some thoughtless teen swerving in in/out of a lane; an oblivious texter catapulting us into the life hereafter that no amount of bike safety can account for? Well if you are reading this you have survived whatever. I suppose a good start on the discussion would be to analyse accidents to see how preventable they were. What do I do right now to void being hit?

1) a flashing light w a blinker on the back.
2) donning a yellow vest.
3) abide by the 10 tips on bicyclesafe.com
 

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Forever a Student
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Never been to that website and never plan on going there, not clicking that link.

Yes, the risk can be reasonably dealt with, we all have our own approach.

If you ride like I do, the chances of someone not seeing you and hitting you are way below 1%.

What do you do? What you're comfortable with. What I do others won't/can't do, what makes me comfortable others can't handle and vice versa.

There's plenty of folks that ride with earphones in, stay to the right of the road always and just mind their own business. They don't interact with cars, they just do their own thing. There's many professionals like this. I couldn't do it. I'm the opposite.

I interact with almost every car I see. I refuse to ride with music, I need my ears on full alert. I ride in the center of my lane, not to the right of the road. In the center of the lane people can always see me as they approach me. As they approach, I move over to the right. If there's a blind hill or turn coming, I stay in the middle of the road, blocking it. If I can see a car around a turn or hill or something coming on-coming that the car behind me can't see, I gesture for the car behind me not to pass. I tell them to wait. Also if the road is clear ahead and I can see it before them I gesture for them to pass me now. I constantly communicate with cars. I even give a head nod to almost every car coming the on-coming direction.


First and foremost I want the cars coming to see me. Putting myself dead in the center of their lane helps this a lot. I pay attention to when I'm about to crest a hill or make a turn and keep in mind that cars behind can't see over a blind hill or around a blind turn and I put myself in the safest place accordingly. Once a car can see me, it's then my top priority to get them around me asap. No car should ever have to wait more than 30 seconds to pass me, if so I'll just pull over.


As for safety features, I use what I can. I wear bright colors but never a vest or anything not aerodynamic. I put reflective vinyl on my bike, helmet, anywhere I can. It's on my pedals, shoes, all over the back of my bike, everywhere. I use the industrial stuff used on 18-wheelers where I can. Always a blinking back light, but with a built in camera. Fly 6. Get one. You want a video if something happens, trust me.


So TLDR:

Being seen early is top priority
Getting out of the way of cars and getting them passed is second priority
I use a lot of communication to do this
I also use lights, bright colors, cameras and reflective vinyl
 

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What do I do right now to void being hit?

1) a flashing light w a blinker on the back.
2) donning a yellow vest.
3) abide by the 10 tips on bicyclesafe.com
Add a front flasher if you're looking for maximum visibility. Maybe you're already doing this but your statement is not clear. Behave like a vehicle when on the road.

Just for reference, the fatality rate per hour on the road in a passenger car is 2X that of bicycling. And many of the bicycle fatalities are "urban ninja" riders without lights at night. A number more are riders who are DUI. For us regular roadies the risk is actually pretty low but that doesn't alter the fear.
 

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Oh, and there's also rules I follow about when to ride and where.

Where: never on a busy road if I can avoid it. The less traffic the better. So country type roads are most preffered.

When: never during rush hour or when the sun is low if I can avoid it. Rush hours are going to and from work/school hours, self explainatory. Low sun is when you're driving and it's too low for your visor to help. If drivers can't see what's in front of them, they will hit you and kill you. The vast majority of road bike deaths I see happen between 6 and 7 it seems or when the sun is low.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
"If you ride like I do, the chances of someone not seeing you and hitting you are way below 1%."

That's good. The guys in the 8th air-force over Europe had a 95% survival rate per sorty. Problem was they had to complete 25 missions. After a while the odds take on an inevitable:mad2: toll under those circumstances.
 

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I'll be honest and say that yes, it does scare the crap out of me. A few years ago, I had a small accident (non-bike related) that altered the trajectory of my life in a fairly significant manner...While everything has been resolved from that, I'm still combatting some mental blocks.

What I find helpful is to act predictably and consistently. Take the approach that every car on the road is out to get you, but assert your place on the road and act confidently. At tricky intersections, I'll take the center of the lane...as soon as I'm out, I move back to the right side. Constantly riding in the center of the lane does nothing but piss cars off.
 

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How many of you have family who fear your entanglement with automobiles? I am fairly new to road-biking, coming out of the MTB world, and my wife is highly concerned about me getting killed, or something worse. Probably most of us have gone to the website http://bicyclesafe.com/

I am sure there are people here who have clocked tens of thousands or more miles on their bikes. For those of you with much experience, can the risk of being hit by a car be reasonably dealt with? Or, are we faced with the horrible outlook of some thoughtless teen swerving in in/out of a lane; an oblivious texter catapulting us into the life hereafter that no amount of bike safety can account for? Well if you are reading this you have survived whatever. I suppose a good start on the discussion would be to analyse accidents to see how preventable they were. What do I do right now to void being hit?

1) a flashing light w a blinker on the back.
2) donning a yellow vest.
3) abide by the 10 tips on bicyclesafe.com
Unfortunately, it's not possible to reduce the risk to zero. The best thing I can add is never assume a driver can see you and think about what evasive action you can take if he pulls out in front of you or turns in front of you, etc. I always try to make eye contact with drivers at intersections and turns. Blinky lights help.
 

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When your number is up, there is nothing you can do about it.

Between idiots texting, Pokemon hunters, drunk drivers and just the sheer amount of motorized vehicles on the road, there is plenty opportunities to die out there.

Just pay attention when you ride and say a prayer before going out.
 

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When your number is up, there is nothing you can do about it.

Between idiots texting, Pokemon hunters, drunk drivers and just the sheer amount of motorized vehicles on the road, there is plenty opportunities to die out there.

Just pay attention when you ride and say a prayer before going out.
Originally I was in the camp of "well, at least it's getting people outside." But now? Holy f---, they're an oblivious lot!

To the OP, best advice I can give you (as a relatively new cyclist) is to really take on road cycling like it's a job to a degree. Know how things work, why, and learn to recognize potential pitfalls before they happen. Really, it's like someone said early, treat it like driving.
 

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I don't have the kind of mileage statistics of some of the guys around here, but I've been riding road bikes since 1972, and I'm sure I've ridden more than 100,000 miles. The vast majority of that riding has been on public roads. I've never been in accident involving a car -- a few caused by cyclists and pedestrians.

I take lots of precautions -- mirrors, lights, bright clothing, lots of signalling and communication. I don't ride timidly, but I don't assert my rights for their own sake, but rather when it makes sense for safety. For example, I ride to the right if the lane plus shoulder is wide enough for a safe pass, otherwise I take the lane.

Common sense, good technique and good skills can reduce the apparent risks greatly. Sure, something could happen that's beyond your control, but I don't on the whole consider this a dangerous activity.

The language in your posts suggests you are taking a very alarmist view, perhaps of everything. Maybe it's not the sport for you if it freaks you out that badly.
 

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It's a choice you make based on data. Many of us have ridden for years and never had so much as a brush with annoying, a few others have had bad luck.
The you look at what successful riders do, you will see many of the same traits. Not riding at rush hour, taking the less traveled roads even if they are longer, general level of awareness when dealing with cars (i.e. Not listening to music).
Of course you can get hurt or die in any sport, Mtn biking included. But if you do a good risk analysis of your road choices you should be fine.
As for me I'm a 30 year rider. Yes I've migrated off the road into more Mtn and RTT and trail running. But that's more because I really enjoy the woods and the peace and quiet.
But don't let the alarmist keep you from living and enjoying your life.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalksdazxvy
 

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I ride in the right tire track\rut of the motorized vehicles. It's swept clean by the larger vehicles tires so fewer flats and it's far enough out to be seen with enough room for evasive action if needed. At intersections I will move over to the left tire track\rut making myself more visible. But if there is a vehicle in front of me and we are stopped by a red light I will move far enough to the left that I can see the driver in front of me face in his side view mirror and see the drivers in the oncoming traffic. My thought there is, if I can see them they can see me. I use hand signals when able and ride in a predictable manor.

I don't ride in the center of the lane because of the debris that can be found there. Oil drips accumulate, and most often drip from the central portion of the vehicle and, like I mentioned, the tires of those vehicles sweep the road clean and that means that the debris is in the shoulder or the middle of the lane. That's flat tires possibly hazardous conditions.

Anything can happen out there, but I have found that more drivers have no problem with me being there than drivers that don't want me there. The thing is, the bungholes and careless drivers are more memorable.
 

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I've only been hit by a car once. But I was walking. And my wife was the driver. Serious chick.

There is so much great content here it should be a sticky. JCavilla and MMsRepBike are so spot on, along with others. If there's one point I'd push in what they write it's communication. MMs really nails it. I communicate with drivers almost constantly when around them. I'll stop rather than cross in front of a car at a stop sign if I can't confirm some kind of contact with them. I do ride rush hour with lots of cars. I choose my route to minimize the amount of time I'm on busier roads. Again, MMs, beware of the setting or rising sun when it's level with the horizon. Just don't ride at all in those conditions. MTB is far from risk-free, but I hear you. I have people say to me all the time they'd never road ride, they are too afraid of cars. Nothing wrong with that, albeit I sometimes think it's more about control than safety....
 

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"If you ride like I do, the chances of someone not seeing you and hitting you are way below 1%."

That's good. The guys in the 8th air-force over Europe had a 95% survival rate per sorty. Problem was they had to complete 25 missions. After a while the odds take on an inevitable:mad2: toll under those circumstances.
Really.....you are comparing the risk taken by WWII pilots to road cycling?

That's just asinine.

Over 30 years of road riding (without flashing lights or reflective vests) and I'm still here. That is coming from someone who lives in a major metropolitan area with zero regard for cars and most traffic laws. I've had run ins with cars but my worst injuries have been caused by other riders.
 

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What, Me Worry??

I've been hit by cars a few times. The last time it was very profitable.

Some people die once. Some people die a little every day.
 

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What, Me Worry??

I've been hit by cars a few times. The last time it was very profitable.

Some people die once. Some people die a little every day.
Like the immortal words of Bigfoot: "some people are here for a good time, not a long time."
 

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in 45 years / 100K miles, been hit 3 times.

don't use lights, reflectors, vest...but don't ride at nite either.

currently up ~$22K in insurance settlements.
 
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