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I was riding on the flats when I was passed by a dump truck that was dragging about 15 feet of thick "tie-down" chain behind it at 65++ mph.

I was lucky that I was holding the right hand side of a wide shoulder, if I had been within 2 feet of the rumble strips the dragging chain would have hit me...

I spent the rest of the ride just thinking about what would have happened if I had been hit by that chain dragging on the ground at that speed? I have been road biking now for just a few weeks, I love it, my MTB is beginning to gather dust. Thus far I have about 300 miles including a terrific 60 mile ride this weekend up and over a colorado mounatin pass; however, this is now my 2nd close call (first was a car that pulled out in front of me, no signal, and actually didn't have the room despite the fact that I was there...).

I guess there is really nothing you can do, but man, I was scared...

just venting,...
 

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There are hazards in everything.

After years of riding you will be more able to deal with bad situations. Nothing against novice riders, but it is like flat tires (you will get more in your first year than any subsequent year I bet....in spite of the fact that you know every tip and trick that people can share on flat prevention). There is just something about real world experience that makes you less of a candidate for mishaps with motorists (and flat tires)...notice I said *less* of a candidate?

There is no amount of experience that will save you from all danger, but I PROMISE you will become more in tune with the ridiculous stunts that motorist will pull (and better able to survive them).

The chain you almost experienced sounds scary...you got lucky. I had a similar experience once with a driver that apparently drove off with a gas pump hose hanging out of the tank (it missed my head by inches). It agitated me pretty good, but I decided that life was too short to live in fear...or anger.

Keep rolling it is good for you!
 

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You just have to be defensive as possible. The chain thing does sound scary. I just had a chick going to opposite direction pull into a drive in front of me today on the way to work because she didn’t see me or didn’t want to wait for me to pass. It was one of those pull-ins where they slow down real slow so they don’t drag the bottom of the car as they cross the bike lane into the parking lot :mad2: . I was doing 27 but paying attention so I avoided the issue but I did think how screwed I would have been if I hit her for the next few miles. I about turned around to tell her how screwed she would have been had I hit her but I didn’t think it would do any good.
 

· Bacon!
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That thought has run through my mind as far as dragging cables or metal tie downs flapping in the wind alongside a speeding truck ever since my train engineer friend had one of his steel load cables snap and hit a car at a crossing. Killed the driver of the car. But, what you saw was probably the only time you'll see it for the rest of your life.
 

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I think Unit is right. The longer you ride, the more experience you have the better you'll be able to deal unexpected situations. Certainly incidents like the dragging chain scenario can't be anticipated by anyone.

Speaking only for myself, after nearly 50 years of riding, I'm certainly a much better rider now than when I was younger. I'm not as fast or as strong, but my bike handling skills, anticipatory skills, and dare I say 6th sense are much better. In short, I think I'm a safer rider now. That's not just because I'm not racing any more, or because I never do stupid things. I do. Just maybe less of them that I used to. IMO/IME more experience teaches you to subconsciously "see" things develop before they actually happen. I believe that this is a huge advantage in managing the risks of an inherently dangerous sport.
 

· Cannot bench own weight
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Dajianshan said:
Your eye is faster than your brain. With experience you can react to situations on the subconscious level. I can usually tell what a driver is going to do seconds before they do it.
Except that the brain has to process the signal from the eye. You might be spiderman.
 

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Einstruzende said:
Except that the brain has to process the signal from the eye. You might be spiderman.
Not so much. Maybe this is just me, but I think that anyone who's ever driven in the city, and anyone who's ever ridden in the city, can look at a given scenario and be able to give an educated guess about what the cars are going to do. People as a species are not that advanced. And when they're behind the wheel, they're usually trying to get somewhere.

The herd usually follows the path of least resistance. Failing that, they usually do something stupid. No one is that patient... including many cyclists! I mean, really... who wants to have to build their momentum back up again? F!cking cage drivers and their f!cking inattentive blah blah blah... Why don't they observe my legal right to... Pish-tosh, all of it.

"If I was in that car, with my wheels pointed that way, I think I'd be trying to go that way. I bet he's going to... Oh, I shouldn't go there. Think I'll slow up a bit and take the path behind him once he's pulled out." Bikes have brakes for a reason, and if you take off just enough speed to let whatever's about to happen, happen... then you don't have to stop, and you can pass through the empty air behind the cars that are doing what they do best... act like dumb animals.

Flying chains on the other hand... that sounds like an unholy terror. I'd definitely stay the hell away from that. Getting the heebies just thinking about it.
 

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Fear and risk rarely correlate. Fear is an emotional reaction, hard-wired in our primitive brains to keep us alive. Hence, many people fear snakes that pose no risk to them, but think nothing of eating a BBQ burger filled with carcinogens. Your fear of getting struck down by flying chains is an emotion, but if you think about your real risk of such, your fear is almost entirely misplaced. There's probably a 1 in 1 million chance of getting hit by flying chains, so forget about it.

Statistically, cycling is a relatively dangerous sport, according to the CPSC (http://www.moneychump.org/2008/03/11/15-most-dangerous-sports/). But I would bet that this data lumps together road cycling, mountain biking and kids jumping ramps on their BMX bikes, so the data may not apply directly to road cycling.

In fact, as dangerous as even mountain biking can be, there is evidence that hiking is even more dangerous. Who'da thunk it? http://media.www.westerncourier.com...Named.Most.Dangerous.Sport.6408-3383134.shtml
 

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uber-stupid said:
Not so much. Maybe this is just me, but I think that anyone who's ever driven in the city, and anyone who's ever ridden in the city, can look at a given scenario and be able to give an educated guess about what the cars are going to do. People as a species are not that advanced. And when they're behind the wheel, they're usually trying to get somewhere.

The herd usually follows the path of least resistance. Failing that, they usually do something stupid. No one is that patient... including many cyclists! I mean, really... who wants to have to build their momentum back up again? F!cking cage drivers and their f!cking inattentive blah blah blah... Why don't they observe my legal right to... Pish-tosh, all of it.

"If I was in that car, with my wheels pointed that way, I think I'd be trying to go that way. I bet he's going to... Oh, I shouldn't go there. Think I'll slow up a bit and take the path behind him once he's pulled out." Bikes have brakes for a reason, and if you take off just enough speed to let whatever's about to happen, happen... then you don't have to stop, and you can pass through the empty air behind the cars that are doing what they do best... act like dumb animals.

Flying chains on the other hand... that sounds like an unholy terror. I'd definitely stay the hell away from that. Getting the heebies just thinking about it.
My reply was only directed at the "eye is faster than the brain comment." There is no doubt that a bit of experience makes all the difference in the world. I too like to think I have "sixth sense", but it's not because the eye is faster than the brain (they are plenty fast enough, reflex is the problem point for some). Experience makes all the difference (and paying attention).
 

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Ah, ok. I thought you were picking on their "spider sense." :)

Yeah, the eye is fast... the brain is fast. But reflexes are slow sometimes. Unfortunately, the best teacher is still road rash and fear.

I think the thing that really slows people down the most is the disconnect between what they're seeing, and what they really want it to be. I think this shows up a lot in the "I was lawfully riding in the..." threads. The law does dictate that we have the right to the road. It just doesn't dictate that the people in their cars will be awake, attentive, or courteous. Once those illusions are gone, and you're used to looking for trouble spots and bad drivers, it's a lot easier to react in a timely manner to the truth as it plays out in front of you.

Not to say that there aren't a lot of really tragic accidents out there, and I'm not saying that it doesn't suck to hear or see that people get hurt on a regular basis. I know I get preachy, sometimes. I see so many people get really pissed off and frustrated over very predictable incidents, simply because they were technically right in the eyes of the law. Bad drivers are everywhere. But so are bad cyclists. And no one wants to acknowledge that the road can be a barely moderated form of anarchy.

So, sorry if I went overboard.
 

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Although there is undoubtably a greater chance of sustaining injuries while
mountain biking than road riding, I would submit that the degree of those
injuries be less severe in general. Certainly there are more fatalities on
the road, barring bear attacks, etc. I actually feel safer on my mountain bike.
The speeds are lower, the ground is not (generally) as hard as pavement
and two-ton steel vehicles hurtling towards you. The bikes are also much more
capable of dealing with surface irregularities and have better brakes.
 

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Bianchi Nuovo Alloro, Lemond Etape
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lots of i actually got killed stories

http://www.dave911.com/2005/04/officer-jason-eckes.html

that link notes the death of my old ultimate buddy, 'x' short for eckes.

i would be fearful of the chain deal. two links could get hung up, then suddenly release. or a link could snag on some piece of rebar exposed in a pothole. it is just like crack the whip - or jumping on the trampoline with another person - eventualy two oscillations are gonna come in sync.

another friend, in another place and time, saw a trailer pulled behind a truck take a weird hop, and come around sideways to the truck.

another guy i know saw his work buddy cut wide open, and die, when a cable, that was a line from a barge ship to a dock, snapped as the barge was just easing into place.

these events are low-frequency, but i wouldn't quite say one-in-a-million, don't-worry-about-it.

i will say: plan the route to be as safe as you can, and keep an eye open.

and don't listen to an ipod.
 

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phoehn9111 said:
Although there is undoubtably a greater chance of sustaining injuries while
mountain biking than road riding, I would submit that the degree of those
injuries be less severe in general. Certainly there are more fatalities on
the road, barring bear attacks, etc. I actually feel safer on my mountain bike.
The speeds are lower, the ground is not (generally) as hard as pavement
and two-ton steel vehicles hurtling towards you. The bikes are also much more
capable of dealing with surface irregularities and have better brakes.
Greater chance on an MTB? I think that depends on the road. Out in the boonies, the roads are probably pretty safe. Here in the city, it's a lot more chaotic. People get doored every day, or thumped, bumped, cut off, or otherwise mistreated. Happens all the time. Some of them are experienced. Some of them are, well... becoming experienced. It's really something else. And I really have a hard time feeling happy if I have anything less than 7" disc brakes. You just never know.

I saw a kid wipe out the other day and break his arm. Riding in the rain, something slipped, and down he went. He was definitely a rank amateur... less, really, just a teenaged kid... but down he went. (I stopped right there until he got out of traffic, and then pulled of to dial 911)

Plenty of ways to get injured in the city.
 
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