I think in every facet of cycling there is risk and taking risk is part of the equation. Maybe the guy drafting behind SS Hack was taking a little more risk then he should have, but that's all part of it, probably not too smart though.
I ride a lot of road, probably 50/50, I ride mostly mountain roads and know the risk involved, it only takes one driver not paying attention. Off road there are many risk also and the chances of crashing hard are far greater than on the road since there are so much more variables. You're usually far away from any help, since I also ride alone often, usually because I like to do real long rides, if I crash hard and I'm not able to contact someone, I could be screwed, although I do tell my wife of my route.
Anyway, to those that say they don't ride the road because of the fear of being hit, that's ok, but the chances of being hurt off road are far greater, just a little more controlled.
Poor roadies… well actually, maybe it serves them right.
I'd love to know some actual statistics. I control my risks off road; roadies are at the mercy of others. Maybe it's just my perception that road biking is worse or the fact that I've seen quite a few roadies under police blankets (face covered) on the side of California roads. I'll continue to trust in dirt.
Whilst on my road bike, I've come across plenty of mountain bikers with a flat tire, out of adjustment piece of kit, or some other dilemma that were stranded. I stopped to help them out 'cause I had the tool or patching kit. On more than one occasion, not only did I come about a mountain biker with a flat tire and no kit, but also, upon throwing him my repair gear, he/she/they didn't even know how to use it, and even if they did, he/she/none of 'em had a pump. On rare occasions, I stumble upon a person with a flat tire who's got hex nuts holding their wheels on the frame...
Whilst on my mountain bike, I came upon a roadie with a blown tire. When I asked if he had a patching kit, he snapped back, "I know how to patch a tire, but this tube's shot." When I asked him if he wanted one of mine, he curtly said, "26 inch tubes will not fit 700 x 23c!" I reached in my milk crate, pulled out a 700 - 23c tube, thew it on the ground next to him, and he looked up like a kid on Christmas morning all thanks and beside himself.
I ride in the mountains of Pennsylvania, which I don't have to say are significantly smaller than those on the left coast, but the weather here's strange and unpredictable. I did something I rarely do, I drove from the valley, where it was 55° and sunny, up to the mountain to ride an old abandoned railroad grade. I was planning a 40 mile round trip.
It was noticeably colder up on the mountain. Further damning, the entire trail's on the northern slope, so it's completely shaded. When I got 10 miles from the truck, not only did the weather change, but the ice on the puddles looked rather daunting. Not wanting to adopt hen house ways, I pressed on. Was that ever stupid of me. About 15 miles from the truck, I began to shiver just as the snow started coming down. I'd forgotten my wool long johns and sweater, so I stopped and made a fire to thaw my toes and fingers out. I had to limp home making a fire every ten or fifteen minutes with knees that just didn't want to bend. Good thing I carry a ferro rod, or the situation probably could have turned out a lot worse. Even with the frequent fires to warm myself, my fingers and toes were painfully numb upon reaching the truck, so much so that I could barely open the unlocked door and turn the ignition key over. My teeth rattled the entire way home even with the heater cranked on high. It took about a good hour to hour and a half to bring my core temperature back to normal.
Moral of the story, I've been that idiot more than once myself, and on occasion, I've also been the gloating other cyclist full of hubris and contempt for other person who don't plan ahead. Thankfully, most of the latter was left behind during my early 30s, but I can assure you that I still have my weak moments.
Road versus trail:
In my area and experience, copperheads and rattlesnakes are at least predictable, but I never know whether it's a snake or a shadow/branch on the trail until I run it over... While on the trail, pedestrians are very unpredictable. More than once, after giving an audible warning, the pedestrians scattered like a flock of geese being shot at as they took steps to the left/right to see what was coming, which effectively blocked the entire trail. Gaggles of pleasure riders dawdling along the trail in echelon right/left formation aren't much better than the pedestrians, and are usually traveling at a blistering 5 mph... The biggest wildcard on the trail would be the numerous cavalcades of equestrian riders. Bicycles seem to put the fear of God into horses. It's really six of one, half a dozen of the other in both my area and limited experience when it comes to road versus the trail.
Thank you for reading.
Last edited by Appalachian_Kamper; 08-03-2014 at 10:11 AM.
Reason: No Rhodes Scholar Here!
I rode on a dirt road once, does that count? I remember this because the rear spokes on my 20 inch bike were loose, it started wobbling so badly that I went over the handle bars at about ten miles per hour. That would have been around 1964.
I just moved near a bikeway, so I resurrected my 1982 Motobecane. I was on a thirty mile bike ride last year, which I wasn’t in shape for, I tried to jump a curb and I missed. My weight came down on the handlebars about the time I hit the curb. I hit so hard I broke the shifter cables. My bicycle was laying in the road, I was on the side of the road with blood running down my face and no cars stopped. Some guy walked by me with his daughter, looked at my face and groaned as he kept walking. Fortunately, I did not smash my cell phone. My wife wouldn’t allow me to ride again until I bought a helmet.
Here is my ‘bad to a biker’ story.
My GPS keeps telling me to take Rt 67 back from New Milford through Southbury, so I thought that I would give it a try. It was way to winding and narrow for a 75 foot long truck, and there were lots of bike riders. I was passing a bike(no break down lane to speak of), my left tires were sitting on the double yellow line when a pack of motorcycles two abreast were coming around the blind corner on the hill. I looked in my righthand mirror and yanked the wheel to the right. The bicyclest flew off the road and stopped staring at me. I’m hoping that I didn’t almost hit him, I think that I frightened him by putting an 80,000 pound truck a foot in front of his front tire. I guess I’ll never know. I really wanted to quit, but, I always want to quit. A week later my supervisor came up to me and said “Do you know that even if you are part time you have paid sick days you can cash in?” I got enough money to buy a new bike. I’m trying to come up with a moral to the story but I don’t have one. How about take the bad with the good even if we are bad and good?
I’m trying to come up with a moral to the story but I don’t have one.
If you're driving an 80,000 lb truck dont pass cyclists on a blind corner?
I was going out for a quick 10 mile ride, it was such a nice day I decided to make it a long ride. All that I had with me were two bottles of water. What a difference. The hills I normally climb in granny I was going up in sixth gear. I felt like I was flying.
On a long ride, I usually bring my bag with a canteen full of water, poweraid, slimfast, and last 30 mile trip I brought a sandwich. To my extreme surprise, Dunkin Donuts has all of these items. I think that there are at least 8 restaurants I could go to on this 30 mile loop. I think I see why roadies do not carry anything(yes, I have a tire repair kit).
Poweraid, slimfast, and a sandwich for a 30 mile roadie ride lasting maybe...2 hours?
Not sure that I am in the catergory of being a roadie. I'm going to be 61 in Februrary-30 miles is a four hour ride for me. Plus I am already carrying an extra 20 lbs around with me(I've lost 25). Didn't know how out of shape I was until I got stronger. 6 miles was a long trip for me last year. I ran a farm until last year-not exactly a couch potatoe. Still, I was in a lot worse shape than I thought. I can actually walk to my car after work without being in extreme pain.
Originally Posted by Centurion_
Don't be worried-being young sucks, I can attest to that.
Last edited by misterbill; 08-18-2014 at 10:01 AM.
Good for you! Keep it going.
Originally Posted by misterbill
We all should be ready for the unexpected when out in nature. Yet, regardless, dumping on anyone because they weren't doesn't help the situation.
We are cyclists...
We have bigger issues to deal with then, ripping on each other. Who is who and what we ride, detracts from what we can achieve working together.
Where there is a hill, there's a way!
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