Is road cycling dangerous?



CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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Make that 773, 819 or whatever the number is for 2017.

Read the thread I put up in this sub-forum about my coach dying from simply grabbing too much brake.

'Safe' is a relative term that can not always be defined by numbers. They don't tell the whole story. Get on Zwift and read the stories posted about riders that were injured so badly they will never ride outside in the real world again.
 

cyclintom

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Jan 15, 2011
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Bob, are you suggesting that riding a bike is more dangerous than driving a car or riding a motorcycle? Or even being a truck driver?
 

dabac

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Sep 16, 2003
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Bob, are you suggesting that riding a bike is more dangerous than driving a car or riding a motorcycle? Or even being a truck driver?
Depends on how you define dangerous.
And don’t forget that only because something is true doesn’t guarantee that it’s important.
Regardless how many miles you ride, your most likely cause of death - by orders of magnitude - is some sort of heart failure.
But there’s only so much you can do to avoid that.
Riding OTOH is fairly easy to give up.

Then there’s question of what you measure against.
Deaths by miles?
Deaths by hours?
Deaths by rides/drives?
Bikes are fairly slow compared to motorized traffic, so is likely to have more deaths-per-mile than, say truckers.
 

cyclintom

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Depends on how you define dangerous.
And don’t forget that only because something is true doesn’t guarantee that it’s important.
Regardless how many miles you ride, your most likely cause of death - by orders of magnitude - is some sort of heart failure.
But there’s only so much you can do to avoid that.
Riding OTOH is fairly easy to give up.

Then there’s question of what you measure against.
Deaths by miles?
Deaths by hours?
Deaths by rides/drives?
Bikes are fairly slow compared to motorized traffic, so is likely to have more deaths-per-mile than, say truckers.

That certainly did not sound right to me so I went to the CDC for statistics. Your chance of dying from heart disease which includes a heart attack is only 26% over your lifetime. You actually have almost the same chance of dying from cancer.

Now you're correct that you have 4 1/2 more chance of dying of heart disease than ALL accidents combined, a fatal bicycle accident is so small as to be invisible. Of course when you're riding in stupid driver traffic it doesn't feel that way.
 

CAMPYBOB

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For those that have not heard, Brian Toone, STRAVA athlete extrordinaire, state road racing champion and 4th place finisher in this year's RAAM and first American to finish...he was hit by a car back in November while out training and was severely injured. He is now back on the bike, but nothing like what he was prior to the car hitting him.

https://www.facebook.com/RAAMraces/posts/10159834335165093
 
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CAMPYBOB

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cyclintom

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I can't remember if I gave you guys the statistics of bicycle deaths so let me repeat it:

Virtually all bicycle fatalities involve automobiles. But this is only about 2 bicycle deaths per day vs. 15 per day of pedestrians and 102 or so drivers.

On the other hand some 45,000 bicyclists are injured each year almost all in single vehicle accidents - be more careful dummies.

Pedestrian deaths have grown at approximately twice the rate of bicyclists deaths. This is no doubt because bicycles are faster - this makes the closing speed from vehicles approaching from behind slower and giving the drunk drivers more time to correct. From in front cyclists tend to be a whole lot warier of autos than other autos are and ride more carefully around cross traffic etc.

Though not a lot of people realize it the use of bicycles as regular transportation is increasing at a rapid rate because of the vastly over-priced autos these days. In urban areas with public transportation riding the transportation to points closest to work and pedaling the remaining way if becoming a lot more common. I can actually ride my bicycle from San Leandro to Palo Alto faster during commute hours than to drive it. And this is 25 miles by bike and 30 by car.

Does bicycling with the increasing traffic FEEL safer? No, quite to the contrary. But nevertheless it is safer.
 

dhk2

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Aug 8, 2006
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cycling tom, your statistics on the general population don't give me any comfort, because so few of the US population of adults ride bikes. Using actual active riders and commuters as the denominator, the odds of getting hit by a car are much higher. I personally knew two local riders killed by negligent drivers. Also know a couple of others who've been hit by cars but got away with minor injuries. And one who suffered a permanent disability after being hit.

Bob mentioned Brian Toone from my state. Riders like him are especially vulnerable because of the volume of exposure to traffic year after year. Believe he holds some kind of Strava record for most vertical feet climbed in a year and raced in the RAAM last year. For people like Brian, getting hit by a car isn't that unusual. A lot of racers, pro or otherwise, get hit by cars in training.

Suggest you look at the rate of cycling fatalities by miles or hours of exposure. I bet you'll find the lifetime risk, say over 50K or 100K miles, is not trivial at all.
 

dhk2

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Actually just remembered two more riders I know who were hit by cars, both had "minor" injuries. And as far as single-bike accidents, they are a real risk as well. You might think you're the most careful and skillful rider out there, but as they say, **** happens. I know a few guys, skilled riders who've crashed by over-cooking turns on descents on club rides or Century events. Seems dumb, but as you know pro's do the same thing. And animals....how about being taken out by a dog, or deer, or woodchuck? I can tell you about experienced riders who've been victims of these critters.

Not saying that we shouldn't be riding, but I think we need to be realistic as well. I've put in a fair amount of miles on both motorcycles and bikes, and have never really been hurt in a crash. But I know it could happen on next Saturdays ride.
 

CAMPYBOB

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This was Brian Toone's THIRD serious crash injury. He broke his jaw in 3 places in one of his crashes.

In one of his less serious crashes a stick took him down. Injured and could not make it home. Because of...a stick.
branch-sm.jpg
 

CAMPYBOB

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Every other day on Zwift there a pic of a broken rider posted. This one was yesterday's. Neck broken in two places in a cycling fall.
26814651_10155969576705070_2096702810598887730_n.jpg
 

CAMPYBOB

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Another gal posted her tale of a badly broken neck. She's riding 5,000 miles per year.
26734339_1994584297534215_9026266223989973633_n.jpg
 

JB Fernandez

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Feb 3, 2018
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I know this question is subject to some variables, but I want to know if road cycling is dangerous if you follow the rules. My mom thinks it is quite dangerous, and has come up with all sorts of things that could happen, such as getting attacked by bears or wolves, getting knocked off the road by the wind coming off of a semi(I don't think that is very likely), getting hit by a drunk driver, or getting hit by someone who isn't paying attention and is on the wrong side of the road. Do you think that any of these things is very likely? All of her concerns are valid except probably the part about the wind of a semi knocking me off the road, but drunk drivers are rare around here, and I don't see either wolves or bears attacking me, and I have never seen anyone driving on the wrong side of the road badly enough to hit me. The only thing I saw that was very dangerous was someone driving down a hill in the middle of the road pulling a piece of farm equipment that took up the entire road, but that is quite rare. Do you guys think that road cycling is dangerous enough that I shouldn't do it at all?


Nathan
If you would refrain yourself from doing things you love because there's a danger accompanied to it, you might end up wandering for the rest of your life. Stop being so cautious and live your life to it's full potential. Just enjoy your ride.
 
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Feb 4, 2018
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I guess it depends, there are a lot of variables to consider to conclude whether cycling is dangerous. One of the factors is the number of vehicles that are passing on where you wish to ride your bicycle. If the road is full of cars I would suggest that you transfer to another place. Another is that cycling alone without any companion is not really advisable especially if you are going to an isolated place.
 

CAMPYBOB

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https://www.usatoday.com/story/spor...er-injured-in-tour-de-palm-springs/110304412/

Video at the above link.


636538947950734209-cyclists-crash-021018-2.jpg


Cyclist killed, 2 others injured in Tour de Palm Springs
Sherry Barkas, The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert SunPublished 7:30 p.m. ET Feb. 10, 2018 | Updated 9:36 p.m. ET Feb. 10, 2018

INDIO HILLS, Calif. — One person was killed and two others injured Saturday in a collision involving bicyclists and a car that witnesses said was moving as fast as 100 mph along the route for California's Tour de Palm Springs.

Numerous bicyclists participating in the Tour de Palm Springs were traveling eastbound on Dillon Road near Indio Hills, Calif., as the vehicle, a sedan, came from behind and veered into the westbound lane and then went off the roadway onto the dirt shoulder where the driver lost control, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Isaiah Kee said.

The vehicle then veered back across the roadway into the eastbound lane, struck two bicyclists, and continued over a dirt berm and rolled.

One cyclist died at the scene. A second cyclist was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries and the driver of the car was taken by ambulance to an area hospital for moderate injuries, Kee said.

Several of the cyclists told investigators the car was traveling at more than 100 mph, he added.

The roadway is mostly straight but with a lot of hills. The posted speed limit is 50 mph.

Speed may have prevented the driver from seeing the cyclists early enough to slow down and avoid hitting them, Kee said.

“There were so many participants that it was easy to see that there were bicyclists coming ... not like you’re traveling down the road and all of a sudden encounter a few bicyclists,” Kee said.

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A California Highway Patrol officer investigates the scene of a cyclist crash during the Tour de Palm Springs near Indio Hills, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. (Photo: Omar Ornelas, The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun)

The crash occurred as cyclists in the “tail end” of that portion of the race passed through the area, Kee said, adding that he didn’t believe officials rerouted other cyclists.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and no other information about the deceased or injured cyclist and driver was immediately available. Whether drugs or alcohol were involved is still under investigation, Kee said.

Michael Stearns, a spokesman for the Tour de Palm Springs, said later Saturday that the group was still collecting information and didn’t have enough details to comment on the crash.

The area where the crash occurred is part of the Tour de Palm Springs’ 100-mile ride route.

Beginning at 6:30 a.m., cyclists headed north out of downtown Palm Springs and gradually made their way to Worsley Road in North Palm Springs. From there, they turned east on Dillon and were supposed to make their way to Indio and then Thermal before returning west through other Coachella Valley cities.

This is at least the second time a fatality occurred during the Tour de Palm Springs. In 2014, an Alta Loma, Calif., woman was killed when she was hit by a pickup in Thermal, Calif.

Authorities said Lavonne Koester, 55, who was at mile 67 of the 100-mile route, rode into the path of a Dodge truck and was thrown from her bike. She died at a hospital.

Investigators in the 2014 crash said Koester ran a stop sign and the pickup’s driver was not at fault.
 

ZekeLee

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Feb 9, 2018
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There are a lot of factors to be considered, like the road you will be taking, the bike you will be using, safety equipments like helmet, light, reflectors etc. As a cyclist you must always be prepared and alert. Know your capabilities. Well driving a car is also dangerous. I think it would also depend on the habit and behavior of the cyclist.
 

timothypangilinan

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Feb 12, 2018
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The danger of road cycling depends upon your safety awareness, your enacted behavior towards cycling and your place of residence. It's not that predictable to tell how hazardous or safe is road cycling. But, you have to consider your own risks and act responsibly.
Road cycling can be dangerous.
 

Henrywrites

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Feb 12, 2018
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I clearly understand the fear that many of us might be having as regards road cycling, but to me, I see nothing wrong with it as long as we try as much as we can to be careful when we ride. On the part of risk, I see risk in many things that we do in the world and there is nothing we can say about life and living that does not involve risk as well. So, cycling makes me happy and I chose to ride, though in a safe way, anytime that I like.