Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

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liamba
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Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby liamba » 11 Jun 2020, 9:27pm

I’ve been cycling ever since I was a kid and never thought about the consequences of being knocked off. In the last few weeks two cyclists died when hit from behind on a road I cycled not three weeks ago (https://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/1 ... r-wycombe/), I’ve just found out a friend of a friend died on his bike when hit from behind yesterday (https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/readi ... h-18394630) and browsing Cycling Weekly I see a gentlemen has died when hit from behind when cycling in Yorkshire (https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/late ... own-457658).

All of a sudden, something that has never played on my mind is starting to cause some concerns. Are incidents on the rise or is this just an unfortunate run of tragedies?

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mjr
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby mjr » 11 Jun 2020, 11:11pm

liamba wrote:Are incidents on the rise or is this just an unfortunate run of tragedies?

We won't know for a while. There is a rise, but is it more or less than the rise in cycling?

Being hit from behind on a rural 60mph is disappointingly deadly, but it is still reassuringly rare. There have been suggestions on here that some idiots have been taking advantage of the lockdown-reduced traffic levels to try to drive even faster than usual, which might explain some of the increase in deaths. We may see that some collisions have increased in severity recently.

Ultimately, cycling is basically safe and you still extend your expected life by cycling. It's a numbers game and cyclists win, overall.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby mjr » 11 Jun 2020, 11:13pm

Briefly on the title question: I try to consider the worst that can happen by leaving myself some space to swerve left or jump towards the verge if I hear/see it coming. On quieter rural roads, I find that the manner of approach when I look behind and sometimes the engine and tyre noises can hint at whether the motorist is about to make a close pass.

If I don't hear it coming.... well, at least I'll have left this world doing something I enjoy!
Last edited by mjr on 11 Jun 2020, 11:38pm, edited 1 time in total.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

peetee
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby peetee » 11 Jun 2020, 11:35pm

Every day I walk, trot or even run downstairs and don’t think about the possible consequences of loosing my footing. In addition there is the long held belief that if you think you’re going to hurt yourself doing something you probably will.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.

99.9%certain
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby 99.9%certain » 12 Jun 2020, 12:39am

I try not to think about it.
There are endless possibilities of what can happen doing practically anything so I’m not going to let it worry me.
It could end up ruining your cycling if you let it get in the way.

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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 12 Jun 2020, 1:36am

Hi,
It will not me stop cycling although I have modified my stance on using a road (fast 50mph) against a poor on pavement cycle path,
After I have been targeted by one car driver several times with a deliberate close pass inches from my handlebar :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: and a few trucks blaring their horns plus other cars doing the same, because they think that if they intimidate me (scare a poor vulnerable cyclist) I will get off the road and use the poor DANGEROUS to exit cycle path........................

I don't think it won't happen but I don't worry as its just fate.
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You'll Still Find Me At The Top Of A Hill
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andrewwillans49
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby andrewwillans49 » 12 Jun 2020, 7:10am

Similar to previous posts, I do consider the worst that can happen, but also am aware that cycling ia good for my wellbeing and the odds are in my favour overall. Choosing a route makes a difference. If I head west the roads are more heavily trafficked and the roads have long straight stretches so being hit from behind by a car travelling at high speed is something I'm constantly aware of and I listen to engine sounds to assess my risk. Heading east, the roads are more rural, twisty lanes, less traffic and moving more slowly. Some vehicles cut corner and are too fast, and again I listen to the sound of approaching cars. Most of my cycling is solo, for many reasons one of them is so I can choose safer routes. Occasionally I cycle along a tree lined bridleway as fast as I can, there are times when if I had a bad fall I'd not be found potentially for hours and I think of my vulnerability then. The difference is, I'm controlling the circumstances not car drivers.
I don't time trial anymore. Batting along Bedford bypass with a 44 tonne Eddie Stobart lorry thundering past just doesn't cut it anymore.

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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby Oldjohnw » 12 Jun 2020, 7:18am

It's called 'Risk Assessment'. We all do it all the time to some degree, formally or informally. You see a cycle path: you quickly evaluate its condition and relative safety compared with the road we are on, and make a decision. You look at a route and might decide on speed over business or scenery or whatever.
John

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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 12 Jun 2020, 9:14am

Dying: not so scared of that
Scared of surviving seriously injured, in care for decades, unable to cycle, read, go out
Entertainer, intellectual, idealist, PoB
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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reohn2
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby reohn2 » 12 Jun 2020, 10:24am

In answer to the thread title,yes I do consider it,more so when riding on the road and one of the reasons my cycling in recent years has become predominetly off road.
As an example,yesterday I was skimmed past with only about 30cm(1ft)to spare with a speed differential of 20mph,then Mr RichardheadinaQuashqai does a U turn 200m up the road and parks on the opposite side.I stop opposite his car and as he gets out inform him his overtake wasn't safe for me and that a misjudgement by him could've resulted in my injury or worse.
His response was "I'm sorry but I didn't see you"(I was wearing a bright yellow hiviz top),I replied, "you didn't see me?Perhaps you should go to SpecsSavers".
To which he replied "perhaps you should be riding in the gutter"
I said "wait a minute,you just said you didn't see me.Now it's me that's at fault for your bad eyesight and bad driving,I don't ride in the gutter because that's where all the debris and potholes are"
I didn't wait for a response,as evidently I was talking to a moron.

The bottom line is there's an element of drivers who don't know or care of the effects close overtakes have on others not protected by a metal box.
This state of affairs is due to there being NO effective police force,and the criminals know it some actually taking delight in frightening cyclists.
Frankly the country went to the dogs some years ago and personally unless there's a complete overhaul of the way traffic is managed and policed it'll only get worse.
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I cycle therefore I am.

Jdsk
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby Jdsk » 12 Jun 2020, 10:37am

Yes.
mjr wrote:Ultimately, cycling is basically safe and you still extend your expected life by cycling. It's a numbers game and cyclists win, overall.

And remembering that is one of my countermeasures.

Jonathan

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 12 Jun 2020, 10:39am

One might assert that the war is won, but countless battles are lost
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hamster
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby hamster » 12 Jun 2020, 1:16pm

OK, so firstly on average (in terms of life expectancy) you are better off cycling than sitting on the sofa watching Sky and eating crisps.

I got left hooked at a roundabout two years ago. When I then thought it through, I had ridden around 100,000 miles since the previous incident.
In that time in a similar mileage I had one car written off by somebody turning right across me. Yes, there were close passes on the bike, also some hairy moments in the car (like watching the car in front spin in rain on the motorway).

I think it's important to keep things in proportion.

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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby Vorpal » 12 Jun 2020, 1:22pm

I don't usually consider the worst that can happen because the worst is exceedingly rare. What I do consider is what the risk is of going somewhere, at any given moment of one thing or another happening, etc. and try to mitigate it. I do that by route selection, how I ride (e.g. road position), paying attention, and assuming every driver is clueless and careless.

Will it keep someone from running me over from behind? Of course not, but cycling is still a relatively safe activity, on a par with walking, and safer than something like football. There are, of course other modes of exercise and transport. Cycling is efficient because it is both.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Vantage
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Re: Do you ever consider the worse that can happen?

Postby Vantage » 12 Jun 2020, 1:35pm

I'm no more likely to stop cycling to avoid the risk of being squished than I am to stay indoors forever because I'm on the shielding list.
I don't take unnecessary risks, but I'm not going to spend my last few days on this world regretting things I didn't do when I should have.
Life's too short to wrap yourself up in cotton wool.
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