Salty Dog Cycling

a healthy lust for cycling…

don’t fear the reaper, cycling and crashing

with one comment

Those who say that cycling is a not a contact sport or is low impact clearly don’t get the whole picture.  In general terms cycling is great, because the main point of cycling isn’t to go around smashing into other riders and it is easier on the joints than say running.  Yet, cycling can become very high impact and very hard contact in a millisecond.  As a demonstration, please see the popular youtube video below:

Having a healthy respect for the dangers of cycling is a damn good thing, but please don’t fear the reaper!  What I mean is don’t be held back by a fear of crashing.  Don’t let that fear prevent you from getting out there on your bike, just prepare and beware. 

My Tips:

  • Suck less:  the better rider you become, the less you’ll slip up and fall. 
  • Slow down at intersections:  Face it, you’re not Lance.  You really don’t need to blow through that intersection at 25mph on your ride home from work.
  • Join a cycling club, they’ll help you prepare for group rides and get more comfortable drafting and such.  No one wants cause a massive group crash (don’t be that guy/girl).
  • Make that extra stop:  use your good judgement, don’t push it.  Be polite when you can and let a driver go or make a full stop, it makes a difference.  We all represent all cyclists when we’re on the road.
  • Be fair with the shoulder distance:  it’s best to ride as far to the right as you feel reasonably safe.  But, don’t take this too far (riding 3 across with your crew while talking on your cell – I’ve seen it).  If you can give drivers more room, do it!  Yet, Don’t forget the door zone!
  • Finally, when you can ride with others.  There is a critical mass, in that the more cyclists that are together, the safer you are.  Plus, your buddy can always write down the license plate of the dude that just blasted your ass as he’s driving away. j/k, but not really.

Crashing from time to time is just part of the cycling life, much like tripping from time to time happens to the best of us.  Just be reasonable and fair out there.  At the same time, know that there are jerks out there, just as with any other thing.  Here’s a link to a good article from TreeHugger on 6 Ways to Defuse Anti-Cycling Road Rage

I like this one (#6)

6. Remember, biking has a bell curve.

“Most of your bike experiences are statistically likely to be good ones, without road rage or other incidents. For every million hours of biking, the mortality rate is just 0.3 – that’s better than driving’s 0.5. To put it another way, Canadian study says the risk of dying in a bike crash are about the same as dying in an SUV crash. It seems then self-evident to do what you can – arm yourself with a smile to deflect rage, the right amount of lighting, and yes, even a mirror. Female cyclists will likely be subject to a higher incidence of cat-calling and wolf-whistling (some cities are worse than others). But does getting mad solve anything? To paraphrase Dori the fish from Finding Nemo: just keep riding.”


Written by yellow fork

September 25, 2009 at 7:42 pm

One Response

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  1. Thats a great post, luckily I have only ever had accidents were I have came off ok. A few broken bones and thats it.

    I love cycling and its worth the risk to me




    September 26, 2009 at 3:03 pm

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