How dangerous is road cycling, for real?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Serjio, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Serjio

    Serjio New Member

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    Hello everyone,,
    I biked about 500 miles this summer before I crashed (totally my fault) and broke my ankle. Had a blast doing it. I'm still really interested and plan to keep riding, but nearly every day I see a post on here or in bicycling about yet another cyclist who has died after being hit by a car or something like that.

    It makes me hesitant to want to keep riding. Is it actually worth the risk, or does the risk just seem inflated in cycling communities online?
     
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  2. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Risk isn’t either-or, but a sliding scale. Bicycling is more dangerous than some activities and safer than others. Also keep in mind that cycling communities tend to concentrate the enthusiasts. The all-weather, high-mileage riders. The more hours you spend riding, the more risk exposure you get.
    Me, I’m not overly concerned. I - and likely you too - are by far more likely to die in some heart-related event than in a bicycle accident. And it’s not like twice as likely, but rather hundreds of times more likely. If not more.
    So sure, feel free to pick your routes, days and times. There’s no point in deliberately courting danger. But overall giving up cycling is to ignore statistics. And no one is going to thank you for that.
     
  3. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    You see postings about deaths not because they are common but because it is what people are afraid of. The actual facts are that bicycling is much safer than walking and a HELL of a lot safer than driving a car. Of course this is with the understanding that anything is only how safe as you make it. If you fall off and break something that is very much your fault and inevitably could have been prevented though there is always a learning curve in which you discover what to do and what to not do.

    I have had one car hit me at a four way intersection and it was an old woman who rolled through the stop sign without paying attention. It was a slow speed strike and the bike was pretty much screwed up and I had a large toenail mashed which still hasn't grown back fully several years later. Scratches and bruises that lasted a week. All of my other crashes were single bicycle crashes with about 10% of them equipment failures - flats and the like on turns without enough room to save it. But you learn from that as well. I only use top grade road tires such as Gatorskins which are nearly flat-proof and I have developed the habit of taking every turn like a racer which always puts me in a curve which gives me the largest amount of room possible to try to save the bike from a blow out or normal flat.

    Today with bike lanes you must always be alert because cars turning right will turn directly in front of a bike in the bike lane. But in general if you are polite to drivers they are polite to you. There is always the stupid punks who delight in taking a close pass at you to try to scare you but these aren't very dangerous since they know you're there and you need only keep your course. And there are women who will try to miss you by staring at you. This causes them to pass very close but again, since they are trying to miss you they always do. It's just a bit unnerving.

    You stay to the right whenever you have room and you take the lane when there isn't room. When you come to a place where cars can pass you let them. Don't purposely block traffic. With the large increase in cycling, most people either ride a bike or have friend and relatives who do so they understand the problems.
     
  4. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    I lived in a cycling friendly area. It was great as drivers knew you are on the road.

    But I myself see things other cyclists do that might get them hurt. Like riding into the sunset wearing dark colors, no lights, nothing that allows them to be seen. To be honest, even bright colors look dark to a driver heading into the sunset.

    For my own protection, I ride North and South up into the foothills. No sun glare and not as much traffic. I see a gang of cyclists heading east and west to avoid the climbing. Me myself, I'd rather climb if it means lessening the risk.

    Get lights, front and rear. Use them even in the daylight.

    I love to ride at night as well. I've read so many comments by cyclists who say it is totally dangerous. I'm guessing they are too scared to try because riding at night is a wonderful thing. Not as blind as they think, not as dangerous and you can definitely be seen with lights flashing.

    Another thing is we have highly FAST SPEED roads with hardly a shoulder at all. Seems cyclists like to ride on these roads claiming it's their right. I know it is our right but there are roads 1 block away that are very wide with big shoulders that I would rather ride. Wide shoulder with 35 mph traffic or narrow high speed road? Tough decision I guess.

    But my decision is I don't have anything to prove to a car doing 70 mph proving that I have cycling rights and NOT end up dead or in a wheelchair. As mentioned before, choose your path wisely.
     
  5. Serjio

    Serjio New Member

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    Thank you my issue has been solved,...
     
  6. ACyclingRooster

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    I have been road cycling now for some 60 years (I am now pushing the door of 75 years young) and giving some serious thought to reluctantly ceasing riding my one and now only steed - a 50cm Flat-bar Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Road Hybrid.
    I sadly parted company with my 50cm Steve Goff last year because of ongoing arthritis in my right shoulder.
    generally the roads are far more crowded than they were even 10 years ago and motorist are far less tolerant of each other and seem to have little respect or consideration towards cyclist;that said I live in open rural countryside where the week end fantasy peloton including the older boy racers in their Lycra thunder through often 4 and 5 abreast in their rather drab and most definitely not visible kit.

    Very few drivers pass cyclists with sufficient room for allowing for for an emergency manoeuvre to avoid potholes - the ones that car drivers don't feel could cause a serious frame failure never mind buckled wheels.
    The Chelsea Tractor brigade are in my experience the worst of the lot followed by those towing long caravans and often with a Chelsea Tractor.

    As for my part;I always wear bright coloured cycle jerseys in dry weather and carry and or use Hi-Viz Green/Yellow jackets on not so good days. Steve Goff (13).JPG DSCF4321.JPG
     
  7. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Sorry about your crash.

    Bike danger is only as dangerous as fear makes you ride! When you start to fear something you over think, and in that process you are subconsciously creating a dangerous environment around you, fear immobilizes your brain from thinking rationally.

    Accidents happen, did you consider the danger of walking when you were a baby for the first time and fell and got a nice bump on your head or bloodied your nose? And you did that a bunch of times, but fear never entered into the equation, you kept getting up and kept trying to walk till you mastered walking. Did you stop driving a car after the first accident you had? did you stop driving after reading about all the people dying in car crashes? OF COURSE YOU DIDN'T!!! and you shouldn't quit riding your bike either.

    A lot of people are in fear today because they read all the negativity in the news, the media thrives on pushing fear tactics on us, they'll lie and or twist the facts to make it sound worse than something really is, Covid 19 is a prime example. So now you read about all the accidents on bikes and fear is grabbing at you, is reading this stuff bothers you then I got one word of advice for you:

    STOP!

    That's right, stop reading that crap, just stop. And yes, on a forum that sort of stuff is condensed, and they come from people all over the world. Of course accidents happen, the longer you live the more chances you will have in being in an accident, an accident of any sort, except accidental drug death. In fact you would not want to live to be 900 years old because the statistics of you dying in an accident goes up exponentially to where at about 400 years out you have a one in 10 chances of dying in an accident vs one in 572 till 80 years. Accidental drug death is weird, it's like one in 68 in your lifetime, which means you would probably never make it 400 years old because you would have died due to an accidental drug usage of some nature before you got that old .

    Ok so now you survived, and you said the accident was your fault, so I assume you know how to avoid that from happening in the future. So here is a website I found for you, you probably already know some of not most of this stuff, but it's worth reading and you might learn something you never thought of before:

    http://bicyclesafe.com/


    If you study collision type 6 real close you need to note the riders position, and they do mention this but it's worth repeating, TAKE THE LANE, don't let a car come along side of you, and the effect is 100 times worse with a large profile vehicle.

    Also due to today's distracted driving you need to make sure you are using a bright strobe light on the front that puts out 400 lumens (all you need in the day for strobing), and a bright 300 lumens tail light (anything much less than 300 lumens and the sun simply washes out the red color).

    The other thing, keep your eyes and ears open, always be looking at least a block ahead of you while constantly scanning for cars at intersections and driveways, look ahead of the car in front of you and at the car in front of it so you can see if that car puts on its brakes you will be prepared faster than waiting for the car in front of you to respond the car in front of them. Always be scanning, when your eyes scan constantly it eliminates tunnel vision, if you lock your gaze in one area for more than 5 seconds tunnel vision starts to creep in, which means fall out of the habit that most cyclists do, and that's to stare about 3 feet in front of their front wheel. What's funny when I ask people why they stare at the road 3 feet in front of their front wheel their reply is: "I'm watch for stuff on the road so I don't get a flat"! Ok you didn't get a flat but you missed that car that turned out in front of you and you died, well lets see...flat or death? Man that's a tough decision! Get into a habit of scanning, and to practice scanning more practice it while driving your car, it will become a habit after awhile and you will be a safer rider and driver for doing it. When driving a car you need to look even further than a block because you're going faster, but again in both situations your scanning left to right, far to near, all mirrors, gauges, and repeat, and never spend more than 5 seconds at each scan unless something is happening on the road that needs your undivided attention.

    If you notice at the beginning of the above paragraph I mentioned ears, I know I'll catch flak for this but I'm use to it! Do not ride with buds and music going on in your ears, your ears are another line of defense, you can hear a car accelerating behind you as you approach an intersection or a driveway, why? because the moron is wanting to turn before you get there, and they'll turn right in front of you and you go bouncing off the side of the car while they take off! If you can hear that engine suddenly throttle up, it's time to be alert and slow down.

    Anyway happy riding and I'm glad you healed up fine.
     
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  8. ACyclingRooster

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    Hi Froze. This is my signature and always has been but especially since the technology balmy idiots out there became so easily parted from their money :-- Your ears are your rear end defenders,don't clutter them with modern technology.
    Riding with no hands whilst selecting the track from a music album that could become your funeral send-off track especially on our pothole riddled roads is also a NO NO.
     
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  9. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    Broken femur.

    Broken collarbone with possible cracked ribs and a possible concussion.

    Been hit by cars 3 times - all their fault with nothing I could do. Luckily I escaped all of those with bruises and minor cuts and scrapes.

    Three broken helmets...with only one occurring from the above.

    Had a motorcycle pull in front and then brake check me. Just missed him as I took evasive action.

    Had another motorcycle cross the road to drive straight at me until I bailed out. He clipped me with his side mirror as he went by.

    Bumped from behind by a taxi who didn't like me on the road in front of him at a traffic light.

    Bounced my face off the road in a crash once and got scraped up good. Nothing broken that time though as the helmet hit the ground just before my face and took the brunt of the collision.

    So many close calls with cars I can't even remember them all.

    Is cycling dangerous - I think it is. So much so that as I get older I am becoming more and more wary of riding.
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Wow Yojimbo, that's crazy all the crashes you've had. I've been riding since I was a kid really, but when I got serious about riding in the mid 70's I got involved in racing, not pro mind you, I never got past Cat 3, anyway for some odd reason I never crashed while racing, or training, I did have 3 crashes in the last 40 years all while riding on the streets and all involving cars.

    I even rode for years all over the city streets of Los Angeles and only had one crash that dislocated my shoulder and turned my bike into a pretzel, that crash I was fairly young and inexperienced to the street and I should have taken the lane but instead I was riding to the right and a car turned right in front of me and I bounced of the side of her car, fortunately she stopped.

    The next accident some guy past me while I had taken lane, and we were crossing a 6 lane intersection, he turns right at the very last lane before the divider, his mirror caught my arm and stayed connected, so as he turned the bike slide sideways slamming against his truck, I'm still connected to his mirror and struggling to keep the bike upright so I wouldn't be tossed onto the ground and get ran over by his truck. I'm yelling at the guy to stop instead he speeds up and we're doing 50 mph for 2 blocks! LOL! He decides to slow down so I can get my arm off, and as soon as I did he took off. I got off the side of the road and checked myself over and the bike and no damage, I get on the bike and continue to ride to work. I pass a parking lot and spotted the dudes truck, his mirror is dangling partially, and there are circular scratch marks on his door from my pedals, so rode over to the truck but he wasn't inside, so I wrote down his license plate and tore his mirror off and left a note with my work address so he could come get his mirror...he never came and I never reported it since I wasn't hurt and the bike was fine. I damaged his vehicle a lot more than he what he did to me! LOL!

    That was the last accident I had for 25 years till last fall when I was on my touring bike riding home after work and some guy came along my left side to close, hit my hand which twisted the handlebar to the right which threw me into a curve at 20 mph, I flipped over the bike with bike partially connected to my one foot flew over a 4 foot section of grass and rolled with my knees hitting first then tumbling over and landed on my back on a sidewalk...my back where I had fusion surgery! but thankfully I didn't hurt that area at all, in fact all I got out of the crash was scrapped up knees and a very badly bruised shoulder. The bike didn't fare as well, my nearly mint condition 85 Schwinn Le Tour Luxe got it's fork bent and it cannot be bent back, so it's toast. That driver took off.

    So I guess I've been very blessed not to have been in more accidents, and accidents that really didn't hurt me seriously. I've always been blessed like that, I had a car accident back in 78 at 150 mph hitting an embankment that just tore the car up and then flipped it over crushing the top down below the level of the dash, I crawled out of the car through the passenger side door area, the door had been ripped off...I got NO injuries from that, and you should have seen the looks on the first responders faces when they saw I was alive walking around with no injuries!! Then about 9 years ago I had a crash at 55 to 60 mph T-boning a drunk driver that ran a stop sign, that guy died instantly, again my car was smashed up severely and all I got out of was that last 2 lower vertebrae had to be fused, not bad considering it took the fire department 45 minutes to cut me out of the car! At the time I didn't think I was hurt, my back was a bit sore but no real pain, but the paramedics put me on a backboard to be safe, the hospital found out I had an issue, which later resulted in the fusion.

    I had a lot of weird stuff that happened to me over the years that should have killed me.

    Ok, Covid 19 has bored me so I was banging on the keyboard, sorry.
     
  11. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Wow, wonder why motorcycles would intentionally target you for no reason?

    Crashed twice on MTB at 30 MPH. Separated shoulder once. Lots of scrapes on the other. My fault, no excuses.

    56 on a downhill on the road. Too fast, bike was solid but the helmet and glasses chattering. No need to go that fast. Not worth the risk for a hobby. If I were stupid enough to continue doing that speed on several rides and something happened, I'd feel stupid knowing I could have avoided it. Do not put myself in danger.

    Used to ride crit training rides with a group of 30. Did a few then realized they had noting on me and stopped doing the group crit rides as there are too many stupid riders taking unnecessary risks instead of just falling behind the stronger riders. Don't need that madness.

    Never had a problem on the road and 99% of drivers I encounter are very courteous. The other 1% don't affect me.
     
  12. dabac

    dabac Well-Known Member

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    Some people don’t need a reason to be nasty.
    Or perhaps they think that the mere existence of someone who isn’t ”them” is reason enough.
    There’s a country road hereabouts that just happens to create a suitably long loop.
    And no heavy traffic on weekends.
    Unfortunately, motorcyclists like it too.
    And I swear, either the majority of them has some uncontrollable muscle spasms in their hands, or they’re a-holes.
    Whatever the reason, right as they get alongside, they’ll downshift and go to full throttle. Quite intentional. The ones not using full-face helmets tend to turn their heads and smile as my eardrums try to meet in the middle.
    And, of course, this behaviour ALSO coincides with the ”loud pipes saves lives” opinion.
    More than once, as soon as my ears have stopped ringing, I’ve thought that if I’d had a shotgun, I’d be sorely tempted to show them MY ”loud pipes”...
     
  13. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    That's crazy! The mountain road I have been riding over the last 22 years is also a place where motorcycles like to frequent (Glendora Ridge Road). It's a 21 mile climb with a ton of switchbacks. I've read a gang of reports by local cyclists on local forums complaining that motorcycles buzz them and or scare them on the ride.

    Hmm, maybe they like me because in my 22 years, I've had one guy come close. I wouldn't quite call it a buzz but close enough to tell he was going fast.

    Guess I'm just lucky.
     
    steve likes this.
  14. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Active Member

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    Crazy stories Froze. Sounds like you're lucky to still be here.

    Sometime when I'm out with a bunch of cyclists I know fairly well I'll ask everyone who has not broken a bone while cycling and/or who has not been hit by a car to put up their hand. Very few people have avoided those things.

    What with winter ending and the virus thing I haven't been out riding this season. Couldn't stomach the bike trainer either this winter so my fitness (such as it was) is gone. I miss the fresh air and riding with my ride friends but I'm getting fearful of more crashes.....65 now and don't heal so well.
     
    #14 Yojimbo_, Apr 25, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I just wonder Yojimbo, are you wearing a jersey that says in bold large print Made in China? and are those motorcycles by chance all Harleys? See, Harley riders don't care much for Chinese stuff, their all about American steel etc. I once on a fishing trip with some friends and we stopped to have breakfast at a cafe in the mountains of California. A group of about a dozen Harley riders came there to eat breakfast. So this one section of group was sitting right in front of us, and outside in the parking lot was Japanese cars and a few Japanese motorcycles, so these guys were talking rather loudly about anti Japanese cars and motorcycles and those people were taking our jobs away, blah blah blah stuff. One of the guys looked at our table and said loudly "American Steel all the way!" I said back, "right on dude American Steel all the Way!" Little did he know my friend was driving a Isuzu till we left! All my friends were laughing when we left, not sure what the Harley riders thought, but I think I have clue.
     
  16. Bruce_VOmax

    Bruce_VOmax New Member

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    Hey mate! I completely understand your concern but obviously can't miss our passion like. The only way out is to 'Ride Safe' Being seen by drivers is a cyclist’s first line of defense and you can do that by increasing your visibility. I ride with the Breitz collection by Vomax. They have some amazing bright color jerseys, having huge signs printed all over. You can check them out here- https://vomax.com/collections/breitzwear and maybe that can help you.

    Help drivers see you – and do it in style!
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    A bit off the subject but I did mention I crashed my touring bike about 6 months ago so here's an update for you all to read if your bored due to the virus! LOL.

    I just picked up my new touring bike last week, after 6 months of thinking I finally settled on the Masi Giramondo 700c touring bike, it came with fantastically strong steel Tubus Tara front and rear racks. It's a bit heavier than I wanted but I also didn't want to spend over $2,500 to get something significantly lighter. Some of the weight I can reduce by taking off the front steel pannier rack since I won't be needing to carry panniers on the front, and then the Kenda Drumlin 700x45c tires are 1,400 grams A PIECE! so I'll use them till I need to go on a long distance trip and then switch to much lighter and a lot less rolling resistant tire with the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme that weigh 1000 grams LESS each! Plus their the 3rd fastest rolling tire in the touring tire market; and I think I may get 700x40c tires instead since almost all of my touring will be on roads, and if I can handle gravel and packed dirt on 23c tires I'm sure I won't have a problem with 40c tires. I might also, when I get ready to go for the cross country tour, is switch out the fork to a carbon fiber touring fork, that one is still up in the air but I am contemplating it, it might be worth the $350 or so to lose about 3 pounds of weight. Changing all of that stuff would get me close to the weight of a $2,500 plus bike for less money! In the mean time I'm beginning to train with the heavier equipped stuff, and later will add fully loaded panniers to get my legs built up.

    The bike is extremely comfortable riding, the bike shop included a free $150 pro fit but because of the virus they can't do it till restrictions are lifted. The only real issue with the bike is the saddle it came with which I wasn't surprise by that since most saddles that come with bikes are crappy anyway. The only other bike after eliminations that I considered was the Kona Sutra which came with a Brooks B17, but I would have to change a lot more stuff on it to get it similar to all the stuff I wanted that the Masi came with, so that would have cost me more money to upgrade than the cost of just a saddle.

    Biggest issue with these new bikes is they come with disk brakes these days, I don't know squat about them! So now I have to figure out how to adjust and replace pads and rotors so I can do it on the road if necessary while touring.

    Anyway, that's what I got.
     
  18. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Obviously you're just here to sell but $80 for a bright jersey? You kidding? I can get "known" brands online for $30 and less in bright colors and much nicer graphics.

    2 posts, 2 ads for your product.;)

    I do have to say those are some funky patters though. Couldn't pay me to wear them! :D:D:D
     
  19. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Mr Beanz, and the rest of the forum members; don't go on those websites posted by some new forum member, I went on from here about a survey supposedly some college kid was doing for a study and got a trojan horse of the deal. I even got a blackmail letter saying they were going to tell my family that I was doing the jerk on the computer and wanted 250 bitcoins to go away or they would tell my family with photos and lock my computer up. Out of curiosity I looked up 250 bitcoin value, it was somewhere around $1.8 million dollars! LOL!!! Like I care if they send pictures they don't have! I don't even care if they locked my computer up because a new computer is A LOT cheaper than 1.8 million. I ran couple virus scans, malware and spybot and found the trojan horse and was killed without having to get a new computer.

    So anyway don't go to any website being posted by a new forum member unless you like nasty surprises that will test your knowledge of computers and viruses. Problem is once they get in to your computer they could steal other stuff like passwords etc and that might not be good.
     
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  20. Mr. Beanz

    Mr. Beanz Well-Known Member

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    Ah see, I do it the smart way! Well OK, the safe way from what I was told.

    I NEVER EVER click on links. :mad:

    I had a friend (God rest his soul) that was a computer IT tech dude. He said if I run my cursor (desk top computer) over the link posted, it shows up at the very bottom left corner of my screen. Small letters that will read where the actual website is coming from. So if it is a tamale website, if the little readout at the bottom does not match, then it's not good!

    That was the first trick. The second is that instead of clicking on the link, copy it then paste it in your browser. Then hit enter and it will take you to the link. That way you avoid getting the whammy when you click on the link.

    Believe it or not, I rarely click on a link. I do it this way to avoid computer problems. :)

    Also, I never click on links buddies send me email, facebook etc. Too many hackers and scammers.

    But believe it or not, once I was looking up bicycles Lance A rode in the TDF and one link in the search sent me a message red page warning. .

    Ah, btw, my buddy said if you ever get a warning after clicking on a link, that says "WARNING, VIRUS IS DETECTED, PRESS HERE TO ELIMINATE THE THREAT", don't ever, evah, everrrr click that button because that is the culprit that will load it into your computer.

    He said to ignore everything, shut down the computer asap, then run the scan or protection program. I use webroot which has been great for me over the last 3 years!

    So heck no, I never click on links posted in forums! :D:p:D

    Thanks for the warning though! Something me, you, and everyone else here needs to know because there are a lot of fakes, hackers, whatever you call them on this site. Great info sharing for all of us! :cool:

    BTW, whenever I see a thread by a spammer etc, I report it. I may leave a nasty response to their post but I report it anyway. Hate them people!
     
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