Losing my nerve?

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by [XAP]Bob »

Stradageek wrote: 22 Sep 2021, 8:47am
simonineaston wrote: 20 Sep 2021, 5:52pm more & more & more cars on roads that are pretty much the same size - see here, RAC research. Depressing to recall that the UK's economy is tightly integrated with the vehicle industry, less so from manufacturing these days but collossal amouts of finance invested and a ton of tax / excise income. Any sort of change will have to overcome very stiff opposition...
Spot on!

I recall pondering the governments disdain of cycling as a Range Rover passed on the other side of the road whilst I was cycling to work.

I mentally totted up what he was contributing to the tax man in VAT from the purchase, upkeep, and fueling of the car (assuming he's not calling it a company van and cheating) plus VED and IPT. I then compared this to the 20% VAT I pay on £50 of spares for my second hand bikes every year.

There's your answer :(
Which completely ignores the massive costs that are racked up for the government by said vehicle owners.
Of course the current government has no idea how to add up, so they won’t see this.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.
mattheus
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by mattheus »

Mike Sales wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 6:16pm It's funny, we are frequently told that our roads are the safest in Europe, or the world even, and getting steadily safer!
Perhaps the trend towards off road riding has helped make the roads "safer" since safety is measured by the absolute death rate.
I believe the statistics show an overall improvement year-on-year; but sadly the rate for vulnerable road users is going up (quite slowly).

I attribute this to improved passive safety on vehicles (i.e. airbags, crumple zones etc), but drivers aren't taking any more care. Possilby less care, because they feel so safe.

Cycling is still NOT a dangerous activity, if you compare it to the risks inherent to just living a normal life. The Fear is quite understandable, but its rather like a fear of flying - bad things can happen, but statistically you are not in danger!
robing
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by robing »

Good point about the larger vehicles that are so prevalent on our roads now. How many times have you been overtaken by a 4x4 which then immediately comes to a halt at the next parked car, which you could easily get through?

I ride assertively but not aggressively (most of the time!) but I just think things have got worse post pandemic. As one poster said it just gets mentally tiring having to constantly expect to have to anticipate every stupid/dangerous mistake that a driver will make.
Last edited by robing on 24 Sep 2021, 12:11pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jdsk
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by Jdsk »

mattheus wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:02pmCycling is still NOT a dangerous activity, if you compare it to the risks inherent to just living a normal life. The Fear is quite understandable, but its rather like a fear of flying - bad things can happen, but statistically you are not in danger!
And the health benefits are much greater than the harms.

But I don't know how to turn that into supportive advice for someone who is "losing their nerve".

Jonathan
mattheus
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by mattheus »

Jdsk wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:11pm
mattheus wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:02pmCycling is still NOT a dangerous activity, if you compare it to the risks inherent to just living a normal life. The Fear is quite understandable, but its rather like a fear of flying - bad things can happen, but statistically you are not in danger!
And the health benefits are much greater than the harms.

But I don't know how to turn that into supportive advice for someone who is "losing their nerve".

Jonathan
Bear in mind that my post (quoted by you) was addressing Mike's comment; it wasn't directly intended as advice to our OP.

(Fortunately I think he/she has had quite a lot of supportive/positive posts).
Mike Sales
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by Mike Sales »

mattheus wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:02pm
Mike Sales wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 6:16pm It's funny, we are frequently told that our roads are the safest in Europe, or the world even, and getting steadily safer!
Perhaps the trend towards off road riding has helped make the roads "safer" since safety is measured by the absolute death rate.
I believe the statistics show an overall improvement year-on-year; but sadly the rate for vulnerable road users is going up (quite slowly).

I attribute this to improved passive safety on vehicles (i.e. airbags, crumple zones etc), but drivers aren't taking any more care. Possilby less care, because they feel so safe.

Cycling is still NOT a dangerous activity, if you compare it to the risks inherent to just living a normal life. The Fear is quite understandable, but its rather like a fear of flying - bad things can happen, but statistically you are not in danger!
It is not just cyclists who are withdrawing from the roads, or changing their routes, and, as others have commented in this thread, taking more care to avoid suffering from dangerous driving, but other vulnerable road users have too. A book was published about the progressive restrictions on childrens' freedoms because of traffic danger.
One False Move Hillman, Adams and Whiteleg.
It is this continuing adaptation to increasing road danger which the raw figures of deaths per head of population ignores.
I know the argument in your last paragraph, but it is plainly not how most people see the dangers of road cycling. Many cyclists now think that they need to wear hiviz and helmets, whereas years ago these were unknown and would have been conspicuous. I tend to think these are largely ineffective, and but they do represent attempts to miitigate what must be seen as increasing danger.
The often discussed in this forum subject of close passes may seldom produce deaths, but it causes quite rational fear and deters many from cycling. It has occured to me that that is the motive; to show cyclists that they are in the way, unwanted, and should stop riding; after all, the road is for motors!
Jdsk
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by Jdsk »

mattheus wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:22pm
Jdsk wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:11pm
mattheus wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:02pmCycling is still NOT a dangerous activity, if you compare it to the risks inherent to just living a normal life. The Fear is quite understandable, but its rather like a fear of flying - bad things can happen, but statistically you are not in danger!
And the health benefits are much greater than the harms.

But I don't know how to turn that into supportive advice for someone who is "losing their nerve".
Bear in mind that my post (quoted by you) was addressing Mike's comment; it wasn't directly intended as advice to our OP.

(Fortunately I think he/she has had quite a lot of supportive/positive posts).
I'm sorry if my quotation made it look as if I was criticising. It wasn't intended that way.

I agree with the point that you made.

Jonathan
mattheus
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by mattheus »

Jdsk wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:44pm
mattheus wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:22pm
Jdsk wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:11pm
And the health benefits are much greater than the harms.

But I don't know how to turn that into supportive advice for someone who is "losing their nerve".
Bear in mind that my post (quoted by you) was addressing Mike's comment; it wasn't directly intended as advice to our OP.

(Fortunately I think he/she has had quite a lot of supportive/positive posts).
I'm sorry if my quotation made it look as if I was criticising. It wasn't intended that way.

I agree with the point that you made.

Jonathan
Thanks.

And I do agree with most of what Mike is saying - I just take a subtly different view on some of it.

(I certainly agree that vulnerable road users are being steadily pushed off many of our roads. Partly by the reality of driver numbers/behaviour, and partly by a negative circle of helmets+hi-viz + peer_pressure + loved_ones_pressure ... repeat, reinforce ...
thirdcrank
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by thirdcrank »

I do wonder if one of the biggest .... er .... drivers, in getting people out of the road is preparing that road for driverless vehicles.
Vorpal
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by Vorpal »

Mike Sales wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 6:16pm
simonhill wrote: 21 Sep 2021, 6:10pm

Re losing my nerve, age is obviously a factor, but I think the much larger cars on the roads nowadays may have something to do with it. The roads feel much fuller, even when there are lowish traffic levels.
It's funny, we are frequently told that our roads are the safest in Europe, or the world even, and getting steadily safer!
Perhaps the trend towards off road riding has helped make the roads "safer" since safety is measured by the absolute death rate.
We need to measure safety differently. Scaring away vulnerable users shouldn't make things look better.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom
mattheus
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by mattheus »

robing wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 12:10pm
I ride assertively but not aggressively (most of the time!) but I just think things have got worse post pandemic. As one poster said it just gets mentally tiring having to constantly expect to have to anticipate every stupid/dangerous mistake that a driver will make.
I've cycle-commuted every day for the last 3 years. Drivers aren't perfect, but I'm aware that overall risks are low (I did have to attend A&E 5 years ago, so hopefully have a realistic view of things!)

I think traffic levels are still lower than 3 years ago, but the reality is they've increased faster since winter than at any time in my life: perhaps THAT is why you are feeling more fear/stress than ever before?
Perhaps your natural instincts will settle down in a few months?

My advice is to keep riding sensibly (i.e. as you are) and try to tough it out (much as I hate that phrase!), because I believe you will benefit in the long term.
Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by Mike Sales »

Vorpal wrote: 24 Sep 2021, 1:19pm

We need to measure safety differently. Scaring away vulnerable users shouldn't make things look better.
The book I mentioned discusses this in its early chapters.
It then looks at the way childrens' independent movement (which is so important in their development) has diminished over time in Britain, and varies between Germany and Britain.
An interesting snippet:-
In 1988 the road accident death rate in West Germany was 40% higher than in England, but for child pedestrians was 33% lower.

The book can be downloaded at http://john-adams.co.uk/wp-content/uplo ... 20move.pdf


[
How safe are our children? One answer to this question is provided
by a recent government road safety campaign poster. It depicts a child about to step off the kerb into the street. Superimposed on the picture
is the message:
'One false move and you're dead.'
The message is deliberately stark and frightening, and honest. On
today's heavily trafficked streets, impetuousness, lapses of
concentration, carelessness, misjudgments - the sorts of behaviour
characteristic of children - can be, and all too often are, punished by
death.
The government offers a second, more reassuring answer.
'Over the last quarter of a century, Britain's roads have become much
safer. Road accidents have fallen by almost 20% since the
mid-1960's; die number of deaths is down by one third'. 1
This encouraging view is also taken by the police. A secretary to
the safety committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers,
commenting on Britain's road accident record, observed that
"This is now the safest country... in Europe'.
Those responsible for the formulation and implementation of road
safety policy are saying apparently contradictory things. On the one
hand, they offer encouragement and reassurance, claiming that
impressive progress has been made; Britain's roads are now safer than
those of any other country in Europe. On the other hand, they depict
a Britain that is terrifyingly dangerous. How can these contrasting
views be reconciled?
robing
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Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by robing »

Thanks for replies. I'm not looking for support or reassurance - though I know it's well intended. I have no intention of stopping or reducing cycling, it was just my perception about how things are now. If I'm feeling like this as an experienced cyclist, it's no wonder more newbies are being put off.
robing
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Joined: 7 Sep 2014, 9:11am

Re: Losing my nerve?

Post by robing »

There was certainly a lot less traffic on the roads today than the previous Saturday :D
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