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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cyclist vs Car - Is it inevitable?

I may be in the minority here, but I kinda like riding my bike on the trainer.  It has allowed me to use my bike so much more than I would have otherwise during this time of year.  Sure, it's not the same as being out on the open road, but it's a great substitute.  Plus, it allows me more flexibility in my day-to-day schedule.  To actually go ride for an hour or two outside, I have to tack on another 30 minutes to an hour at least just to get to somewhere that I feel relatively safe riding.  Oklahoma isn't the mecca for bike riding.  We have a lot of wide open spaces if you get out of OKC, but even there people don't respect bikers.  We just had another cyclist hit yesterday at NW 39th and Council which is only a few miles from my house.  I really don't feel safe riding in the inner city.  I see people do it, but it's just not worth it in my opinion.  The trainer has allowed me to get on my bike and get in those essential base-building workouts that I seem to have neglected over the past year.  The trainer also keeps me safe.  I'm not going to get hit by an unaware motorist riding in my living room.  If I do, then it was obviously my time to go.

A few of my friends commented on a post on Facebook that they almost feel it's inevitable to be hit by a car while riding their bike.  It was alarming, but made me think.  Is it really inevitable that we'll all have an encounter with a motorist at some point in our cycling life?  I tend to disagree, but it is something to think about as we all get ready for the spring and summer riding season.  We will all be out on the roads for hours on end as we train for our races of choice.  This will definitely be my most bike intensive year, but then again, I've only owned a bike for one year.  Last year I spent a lot of time on trail systems in the OKC area that only have cyclist and pedestrian traffic.  I never really felt in danger because vehicular traffic wasn't around to make me nervous.  This year I won't have that luxury.  The 6-7 hour rides will require me to get out on the roads.  I'll have to go east of OKC to find the hills and terrain necessary to prepare for Louisville.  I'm a bit concerned, but I'll have to trust in my fellow citizens to be alert and share the road.  I'll do my best to make sure I'm taking the necessary precautions on my end.  I'll be road aware.  I'll wear my Road ID in the unfortunate case something does happen.  I'll make sure someone knows my route and my expectations for each workout.  I'll also do my best to find some riding partners to help create safety in numbers.  I won't let the possibility of something bad happening keep me away from goals.  Be safe friends.

2 comments:

  1. I've been hit twice in urban environments when I lived in the US and commuted to work. I don't think I've ever been hit training, but I'm an old fart and the memory isn't what it used to be :)

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  2. That is why 95% of my outdoor riding is with a group of people, safety with numbers, and the guarantee someone will know your in the side of a ditch and will call for help

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