Cycling is not dangerous

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by EuanB, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. EuanB

    EuanB New Member

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    This weekend I had the pleasure of being part of my brother-in-law's marraige, and hence met quite a few new people.

    Throughout the course of the weekend it became known that I ride to work. Not only that, I ride to work on the roads. The most common reaction was one of surprise, as in why would anyone want to do that? The most common question was isn't it dangerous?

    Cycling is not a particularly dangerous activity. It does have its dangers but if you know what you're doing it's as safe, and indeed safer, than any other other form of transport. Why do people assume it's dangerous?

    I feel that in some part we've only ourselves to blame. How many of us have vented frustration at the antics of other road users which have `put us in danger?' How many of us come in to work complaining about the hoon who abused us on the road?

    How many of us blow out of proportion incidents we suffer? How many of us charcacerise road selfishness as road violence?

    Cycling is not dangerous, it's a pleasure. I feel that those of us more concerned about road safety sometimes forget that and communicate negatively about cycling without intending to.
     
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  2. SuzieB

    SuzieB New Member

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    It was a strange weekend. I had a number of conversations with people about Euan riding to work. I think people are impressed but also think 2 hours in the saddle each day is a little nuts until I point out the financial and health benefits.

    The other thing I discovered is that my mum has been telling everyone that I am doing triathlons so I am now a "triathlete". Well, wannabe is more like it but I now have quite a reputation to live up to so I guess I had better keep training! :D
     
  3. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    A observation, you're commenting with an informed adult perspective. You know the territory and therefore it's relatively simple for you to make articulate comments. It's up to all of us, cyclists, non-cyclists, martians, whatever, to influence our cycling environment. Whether that's by personal behaviour or further involvement via advocacy et al.

    I first rode a bike at three, and happily continued up until the age of twelve. A crappy combination of events, like increasing popularily in the 70's of huge 10-speed frames, and an aggressive tailgating MTT bus driver, literally forced me to stop riding. I received SFA support from my family and friends, cycling was perceived as too dangerous, unfashionable and impractical. It was a family rite of passage to get your first car at seventeen. But I didn't aspire ownership of a car, and didn't bloody like them either! Not until 27 via a Malvern Star retrieved from the local tip, did I again happily return to cycling. And again had to confront a pile of shitty assumptions.

    The point I'm trying to make is cycling IS fun, but unfortunately it's beholden to a pile of stereotypes. The vast majority of cycling trips are altercation free - but neither should we allow ourselves to become complacent. Now I've got some errands to do. ;)
     
  4. MikeyOz

    MikeyOz New Member

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    I actually reckon it is more dangerous riding to work on Bike paths..... and bicycle lanes on the roads.... the safest I feel riding is when I am riding on a normal road with no descernable bike lane.
     
  5. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    I suppose the perception of cycing being dangerous comes from the fact that when something goes wrong the rider usually comes off alittle 2nd hand. Little accidents in cars usually just takes some paint or loosens abit of trim.

    For example, this morning I was dropping the partners car of for a sevice & had the commuter in the back to ride home. On the way home jumping a curb the chain was thrown (a singlespeed with chain tensioner) & I hit the pavement in a pretty definate manner. It was a minor event at low speed & was then on my way quicksmart, but shorts & a T-shirt does not amount to much when you do a graceful over the 'bars body roll on concrete. I sit here now with bark off both knees & elbows which looks graphic but doesn't have that brusing & aching so it's more of an inconvenance.

    Having the day off today I'm shooting around doing stuff & calling in at my grandma's, I can already imagine the conversation we'll be having.

    Saying cycling is not dangerous is like a driver saying driving will protect you from all injury in the event of an accident. I believe cycling has a greater likelihood of injury than driving, but there isa a level of acceptable risk that you make with all activities you do.
    Of course alot relates to how you approach your cycling, many will never come off but I feel that in life, personal saftey will always come into question when there's a story to tell.
     
  6. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    I suppose the perception of cycing being dangerous comes from the fact that when something goes wrong the rider usually comes off alittle 2nd hand. Little accidents in cars usually just takes some paint or loosens abit of trim.

    For example, this morning I was dropping the partners car of for a sevice & had the commuter in the back to ride home. On the way home jumping a curb the chain was thrown (a singlespeed with chain tensioner) & I hit the pavement in a pretty definate manner. It was a minor event at low speed & was then on my way quicksmart, but shorts & a T-shirt does not amount to much when you do a graceful over the 'bars body roll on concrete. I sit here now with bark off both knees & elbows which looks graphic but doesn't have that brusing & aching so it's more of an inconvenance.

    Having the day off today I'm shooting around doing stuff & calling in at my grandma's, I can already imagine the conversation we'll be having.

    Saying cycling is not dangerous is like a driver saying driving will protect you from all injury in the event of an accident. I believe cycling has a greater likelihood of injury than driving, but there isa a level of acceptable risk that you make with all activities you do.
    Of course alot relates to how you approach your cycling, many will never come off but I feel that in life, personal saftey will always come into question when there's a story to tell.
     
  7. GPLama

    GPLama Guest

    "EuanB" wrote in message...
    >
    > I feel that in some part we've only ourselves to blame. How many of
    > us have vented frustration at the antics of other road users which have
    > `put us in danger?' How many of us come in to work complaining about
    > the hoon who abused us on the road?
    >


    On a similar note, when I was 'back home' a few weeks ago, a few rellys knew
    I rode up from where we were staying.. someone mentioned not seeing me out
    on the main highway at 8am hoping to get there by mid afternoon.. (side
    note: it was only 85kms).. my aunt then said 'well if you saw him, you
    should have ran him off the road'.. and they all laughed..

    Now, I'm not much of a family person (xmas is the only time I see/talk to
    most of them) and my default stance is 'be nice'.. so I held my tongue and
    said something like "yeah, that'd be helpful"...

    Riding home the next day, I was thinking of what I should have said...
    something along the lines of... "good one, and how about I blow your brains
    out with a .22 next time you are out on the golf course enjoying your
    sport.." along with a few "you stupid ute driving Shannon noll listening
    rum pig sticker motherfcukers" thrown in.... grrrrrrrrrr


    cheers,
    GPL
     
  8. GPLama

    GPLama Guest

    "EuanB" wrote in message...
    >
    > I feel that in some part we've only ourselves to blame. How many of
    > us have vented frustration at the antics of other road users which have
    > `put us in danger?' How many of us come in to work complaining about
    > the hoon who abused us on the road?
    >


    On a similar note, when I was 'back home' a few weeks ago, a few rellys knew
    I rode up from where we were staying.. someone mentioned not seeing me out
    on the main highway at 8am hoping to get there by mid afternoon.. (side
    note: it was only 85kms).. my aunt then said 'well if you saw him, you
    should have ran him off the road'.. and they all laughed..

    Now, I'm not much of a family person (xmas is the only time I see/talk to
    most of them) and my default stance is 'be nice'.. so I held my tongue and
    said something like "yeah, that'd be helpful"...

    Riding home the next day, I was thinking of what I should have said...
    something along the lines of... "good one, and how about I blow your brains
    out with a .22 next time you are out on the golf course enjoying your
    sport.." along with a few "you stupid ute driving Shannon noll listening
    rum pig sticker motherfcukers" thrown in.... grrrrrrrrrr


    cheers,
    GPL
     
  9. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    EuanB wrote:
    > This weekend I had the pleasure of being part of my brother-in-law's
    > marraige, and hence met quite a few new people.
    >
    > Throughout the course of the weekend it became known that I ride to
    > work. Not only that, I ride to work on the roads. The most common
    > reaction was one of surprise, as in why would anyone want to do that?
    > The most common question was isn't it dangerous?


    I get that all the time too. Especially when I arrive on my bike :)

    > Cycling is not a particularly dangerous activity. It does have its
    > dangers but if you know what you're doing it's as safe, and indeed
    > safer, than any other other form of transport. Why do people assume
    > it's dangerous?


    Because it is.

    But, it's no more dangerous than driving a car. It's probably less
    dangerous in terms of overall health risks. I don't know the stats.
    There'll be stuff on the BV website about it probably.

    Most people don't have a clue about statistics or risk. They watch
    TV shows aimed at idiots (ACA, TT etc), they read the pictures in the
    stun-herald and they don't stop and think much. They're the ones who
    say when you mention you go SCUBA diving that they'd be afraid of being
    eaten by a shark.

    I have a new coaching client who is *shitscared* of riding on the road.
    I'm not sure yet how to deal with this aprehension he has. At least
    he's prepared to give it a go though. But, as a road rider I get my
    fair share of close calls (and I choose where I ride pretty carefully!)
    and I can more than understand the perception of danger. It *is*
    dangerous being unarmoured near cars traveling at speed such that if
    they hit you, if you're lucky you get away with major injuries.

    The world's full of people who sit on the couch and watch idiot TV,
    buying the image of the car breezing through a country road in the
    adverts, and then sit in their car and watch the traffic jam grow
    around them and whine about how the government should fix the roads and
    make petrol cheaper.

    Bugger them, ride yer bike!
     
  10. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    EuanB wrote:
    > This weekend I had the pleasure of being part of my brother-in-law's
    > marraige, and hence met quite a few new people.
    >
    > Throughout the course of the weekend it became known that I ride to
    > work. Not only that, I ride to work on the roads. The most common
    > reaction was one of surprise, as in why would anyone want to do that?
    > The most common question was isn't it dangerous?


    I get that all the time too. Especially when I arrive on my bike :)

    > Cycling is not a particularly dangerous activity. It does have its
    > dangers but if you know what you're doing it's as safe, and indeed
    > safer, than any other other form of transport. Why do people assume
    > it's dangerous?


    Because it is.

    But, it's no more dangerous than driving a car. It's probably less
    dangerous in terms of overall health risks. I don't know the stats.
    There'll be stuff on the BV website about it probably.

    Most people don't have a clue about statistics or risk. They watch
    TV shows aimed at idiots (ACA, TT etc), they read the pictures in the
    stun-herald and they don't stop and think much. They're the ones who
    say when you mention you go SCUBA diving that they'd be afraid of being
    eaten by a shark.

    I have a new coaching client who is *shitscared* of riding on the road.
    I'm not sure yet how to deal with this aprehension he has. At least
    he's prepared to give it a go though. But, as a road rider I get my
    fair share of close calls (and I choose where I ride pretty carefully!)
    and I can more than understand the perception of danger. It *is*
    dangerous being unarmoured near cars traveling at speed such that if
    they hit you, if you're lucky you get away with major injuries.

    The world's full of people who sit on the couch and watch idiot TV,
    buying the image of the car breezing through a country road in the
    adverts, and then sit in their car and watch the traffic jam grow
    around them and whine about how the government should fix the roads and
    make petrol cheaper.

    Bugger them, ride yer bike!
     
  11. GPLama

    GPLama Guest

    "Bleve" wrote in message ...
    >
    > I have a new coaching client who is *shitscared* of riding on the road.
    > I'm not sure yet how to deal with this aprehension he has.


    Sounds like me after doing my first 'tour de burbs' the other week in the
    dark... great hill ride, appalling route to do at that time of day..


    cheers,
    GPL
     
  12. GPLama

    GPLama Guest

    "Bleve" wrote in message ...
    >
    > I have a new coaching client who is *shitscared* of riding on the road.
    > I'm not sure yet how to deal with this aprehension he has.


    Sounds like me after doing my first 'tour de burbs' the other week in the
    dark... great hill ride, appalling route to do at that time of day..


    cheers,
    GPL
     
  13. DaveB

    DaveB Guest

    SuzieB wrote:
    >
    > The other thing I discovered is that my mum has been telling everyone
    > that I am doing triathlons so I am now a "triathlete". Well, wannabe is
    > more like it but I now have quite a reputation to live up to so I guess
    > I had better keep training! :D
    >


    Yes I've been there. People who don't do much sport assume you have to
    be some kind of super athlete to do them, regardless of the distance you
    are doing. But don't tell them the truth, you need that misjudged
    admiration to make up for the crap you'll get from cyclists ;)

    DaveB
     
  14. DaveB

    DaveB Guest

    SuzieB wrote:
    >
    > The other thing I discovered is that my mum has been telling everyone
    > that I am doing triathlons so I am now a "triathlete". Well, wannabe is
    > more like it but I now have quite a reputation to live up to so I guess
    > I had better keep training! :D
    >


    Yes I've been there. People who don't do much sport assume you have to
    be some kind of super athlete to do them, regardless of the distance you
    are doing. But don't tell them the truth, you need that misjudged
    admiration to make up for the crap you'll get from cyclists ;)

    DaveB
     
  15. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    DaveB wrote:
    >
    > SuzieB wrote:
    > >
    > > The other thing I discovered is that my mum has been telling everyone
    > > that I am doing triathlons so I am now a "triathlete". Well, wannabe is
    > > more like it but I now have quite a reputation to live up to so I guess
    > > I had better keep training! :D
    > >

    >
    > Yes I've been there. People who don't do much sport assume you have to
    > be some kind of super athlete to do them, regardless of the distance you
    > are doing. But don't tell them the truth, you need that misjudged
    > admiration to make up for the crap you'll get from cyclists ;)
    >
    > DaveB


    It's the worst when you end up entered in your work sporting
    carnivals... everyone thinks because you do triathlons, you'll win all
    the running events and all the swimming events...

    Tam
     
  16. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    DaveB wrote:
    >
    > SuzieB wrote:
    > >
    > > The other thing I discovered is that my mum has been telling everyone
    > > that I am doing triathlons so I am now a "triathlete". Well, wannabe is
    > > more like it but I now have quite a reputation to live up to so I guess
    > > I had better keep training! :D
    > >

    >
    > Yes I've been there. People who don't do much sport assume you have to
    > be some kind of super athlete to do them, regardless of the distance you
    > are doing. But don't tell them the truth, you need that misjudged
    > admiration to make up for the crap you'll get from cyclists ;)
    >
    > DaveB


    It's the worst when you end up entered in your work sporting
    carnivals... everyone thinks because you do triathlons, you'll win all
    the running events and all the swimming events...

    Tam
     
  17. Peka

    Peka New Member

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    I wouldn't have been so nice.

    When my boss at my previous employer found out I ride a motorbike he made some typical d!ckhead comment. I said (in front of half a dozen people who also reported to him) "motorcyclists wouldn't get killed if there weren't so many fsckwits like you on the road". I was hoping to get a meeting with the HR manager but he just shut up :)
     
  18. Peka

    Peka New Member

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    I wouldn't have been so nice.

    When my boss at my previous employer found out I ride a motorbike he made some typical d!ckhead comment. I said (in front of half a dozen people who also reported to him) "motorcyclists wouldn't get killed if there weren't so many fsckwits like you on the road". I was hoping to get a meeting with the HR manager but he just shut up :)
     
  19. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Peka wrote:
    >
    > GPLama Wrote:
    > > On a similar note, when I was 'back home' a few weeks ago, a few rellys
    > > knew I rode up from where we were staying.. someone mentioned not
    > > seeing me out on the main highway at 8am hoping to get there by mid
    > > afternoon.. (side note: it was only 85kms).. my aunt then said 'well if
    > > you saw him, you should have ran him off the road'.. and they all
    > > laughed..
    > >
    > > Now, I'm not much of a family person (xmas is the only time I see/talk
    > > to
    > > most of them) and my default stance is 'be nice'.. so I held my tongue
    > > and
    > > said something like "yeah, that'd be helpful"...I wouldn't have been so nice.

    >
    > When my boss at my previous employer found out I ride a motorbike he
    > made some typical d!ckhead comment. I said (in front of half a dozen
    > people who also reported to him) "motorcyclists wouldn't get killed if
    > there weren't so many fsckwits like you on the road". I was hoping to
    > get a meeting with the HR manager but he just shut up :)
    >
    > --
    > Peka


    Let me guess, it was one of those "temporary Australian" comments. I
    copped one of those while on course a few weeks ago... it was a story
    about a couple, and the mrs was calling the mr a 'TA' because he rides a
    motorbike... yet she's a cyclist. And I argued that at least on a
    motorbike you had a chance of getting out of situations, and copped
    attitude. I've given up on giving a f'ck. I agree, "yeah, I'm suicidally
    self destructive, but drugs and alcohol were too damn expensive so I
    took up cycling."

    T
     
  20. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Peka wrote:
    >
    > GPLama Wrote:
    > > On a similar note, when I was 'back home' a few weeks ago, a few rellys
    > > knew I rode up from where we were staying.. someone mentioned not
    > > seeing me out on the main highway at 8am hoping to get there by mid
    > > afternoon.. (side note: it was only 85kms).. my aunt then said 'well if
    > > you saw him, you should have ran him off the road'.. and they all
    > > laughed..
    > >
    > > Now, I'm not much of a family person (xmas is the only time I see/talk
    > > to
    > > most of them) and my default stance is 'be nice'.. so I held my tongue
    > > and
    > > said something like "yeah, that'd be helpful"...I wouldn't have been so nice.

    >
    > When my boss at my previous employer found out I ride a motorbike he
    > made some typical d!ckhead comment. I said (in front of half a dozen
    > people who also reported to him) "motorcyclists wouldn't get killed if
    > there weren't so many fsckwits like you on the road". I was hoping to
    > get a meeting with the HR manager but he just shut up :)
    >
    > --
    > Peka


    Let me guess, it was one of those "temporary Australian" comments. I
    copped one of those while on course a few weeks ago... it was a story
    about a couple, and the mrs was calling the mr a 'TA' because he rides a
    motorbike... yet she's a cyclist. And I argued that at least on a
    motorbike you had a chance of getting out of situations, and copped
    attitude. I've given up on giving a f'ck. I agree, "yeah, I'm suicidally
    self destructive, but drugs and alcohol were too damn expensive so I
    took up cycling."

    T
     
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