Safety concerns: Dad's Only- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jacobray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    144

    Safety concerns: Dad's Only

    My commute has no shoulders on "back roads" that texting teenagers frequent that is a 35mph speed limit that most drive 50 mph on.

    I have 3 boys, 5 and under. And I worry about my safety purely for them. I wouldn't think twice and have commuted to work and back...but is it worth it? I would love nothing more than to commute daily, but the people are horrible drivers in Nashville and are not considerate of solo cyclist.

    Is anyone else in a similar predicament?

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
    Reputation: TenSpeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    2,749
    How about an alternative route? Sidewalks?
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  3. #3
    Here, diagonally!
    Reputation: JACKL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    2,096
    The situation you are describing is more risk than I would take as a father.

  4. #4
    blet drive
    Reputation: JUNGLEKID5's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,172
    Ask the local pd what they think and ask them to slow the traffic down. Use your best judgment.
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

  5. #5
    Positively negative
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,284
    I wouldn't want my kids to grow up in a world where they are scared to go outside without the protection of a steel shell fitted with safety restraints and air bags.
    Last edited by big_papa_nuts; 12-15-2014 at 04:50 PM.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    240

    Safety concerns: Dad's Only

    I have never lived my life worrying about what could, or might, happen. My daughter is now 18, so I guess I made it.

    What happens if you drive that same route and a rock kicks up from a dump truck in front of you, breaks the windshield, and bonks you in the head, which causes you to jerk the wheel, and you run off the road, hit a tree, and the recalled airbag in your vehicle throws metal parts at you, putting you in a oversize ziploc bag?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    5,454
    Safety vest, BRIGHT lights front and rear, blinking and steady, start there. And a mirror on your left side bar end. Local bike club route help?

  8. #8
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    Blind-corner-and-twisty back roads, or just back roads? I started commuting a couple years before my first was born, and I'm still at it 9 years later...

    My roads are rural backroads and a bit of highway... from zero shoulder to decent shoulder, in varying degrees of busyness with speed limits from 35 to 55.

    A couple thoughts:
    -Bright blinky taillight(s)
    -adjust the time you're out there (the texting high schoolers are not out there at 6:30am
    -establish your routine... I see the same cars every day, and the 'regulars' consistently give me lots of room. I'm convinced they're expecting me. Small town benefit maybe.
    - Scout for alternate routes/trails, even if it adds some distance.
    - I didn't want to get killed any more before I had kids than I do now. Not a huge fan of death... but I wouldn't stay off of my bike just because of fear. Unless it's a crazy dangerous section of road and it's obvious that you'd be tempting fate, I can't see not riding just because you have kids.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    31
    Three thoughts on this (as a dad, and a practicing traffic engineer).

    Cycling is statistically pretty safe. However, that is a general statistic and you must assess risk for individual circumstances. Are the roads you are riding on very busy? Any idea of typical daily volumes? I would say make yourself visible and be aware of your surroundings. I haven't run the numbers, but there are many things we do each day that are riskier than riding our bikes. for instance, check the statistics on how may people fall down and are injured while showering. How did you do with putting up Christmas lights this year? That's probably more dangerous for most men than riding a bike, but again, I haven't run the numbers.

    Second, if you have people that rely on you (and your income) please go get life insurance. Its cheaper and easier if you do it now than waiting until you are older.

    Last, I bet you can't name very many people you knew/know that have been injured or killed on a bike, but I bet you can name several who have been badly laid up or dead from a heart attack or a stroke in their 40's and 50's. Don't be that guy. Don't do that to your kids or your wife. Staying healthy means riding your bike. Reducing stress means riding your bike. Go ride your bike. Not doing so for fear of injury is really betting on the underdog for most of us.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by minte View Post
    Last, I bet you can't name very many people you knew/know that have been injured or killed on a bike, but I bet you can name several who have been badly laid up or dead from a heart attack or a stroke in their 40's and 50's. Don't be that guy. Don't do that to your kids or your wife. Staying healthy means riding your bike. Reducing stress means riding your bike. Go ride your bike. Not doing so for fear of injury is really betting on the underdog for most of us.
    This. Go out and ride, its far safer than not riding in the long run.

    Get some good quality rear lights. Preferably two, one flashing, one not (based on what I have found best as a driver), some reflective stuff, and go out and cycle. The speed of the cars is not an issue IMO. I cycle to work through 60 limits where most cars are doing 70, and the worst bit for stupid drivers is through a 30mph limit.

    Be aware of what is behind you, be ready to take the lane if needed, and be visible.

    I can't guarantee you will be safe, but I can't guarantee you won't have a car crash if you don't cycle.

    Edit - Also, whats better for your kids? A dad who cycles and has less stress, is more active to play with them, more able to chase them around, or becoming what we see more and more, the dad who runs out of puff and is grumpy and stressed at work? Thats one of the things that keeps me cycling when it looks too cold and dark, knowing it makes me a better parent.

  11. #11
    CB of the East
    Reputation: bedwards1000's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3,916
    Wow, lots of excellent advice here. I don't think I can offer any better.

    I ride on rural roads with no shoulder on the route to high schools too. Be ultra visible and people tend to give you much more room.

    Odd that the IP hasn't checked back in.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jacobray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    144

    Safety concerns: Dad's Only

    Well, funny you say that. I've been watching and waiting. There a some great comments and opinions, and some of them I'm not sure I understand the intent. All that said, you guys have made me feel much more confident about my ride. The main concern is about 2 miles of back roads that not only do not have shoulder...but the road is in such bad condition that it's not a full lane in some spots. It's mostly the blind spots from corners and hills plus the thought of the idiot teenagers who have almost ran me off the road while I was driving.

    All that said, I'm going to take some of the great recommendations of light set ups and the reflective vest as well (hadn't thought of that).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    jfk
    jfk is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jfk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    77
    If you're this concerned consider a longer, safer route. If your ride goes from 5 miles to 20, consider riding less and <cringe> driving the other days. (The sacrifices we make for kids...)

    By agreement with my wife, I have to take the toddler in 2 days a week. I've also found I don't like riding the straight as an arrow 6.5 mile commute in the winter when its dark. My modified, safer commute is 8.5 miles each way. You'd think that my base weekly mileage suffers, but with the new route I can hop on single track if I don't have any morning meetings. If you're lucky maybe a longer commute can give you a similar option.

    Huge endorsement on the ROI of cycling / fitness to be being a better dad.

  14. #14
    z1r
    z1r is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    479
    I concur with JFK. My car commute is just 8 miles each way. A similar bike route would also be 8 miles of streets. However, my commute bike route is 12.5 miles each way with just the first and last miles on streets. The remainder is all on bike paths/trails. The bulk of the bike route runs alongside rivers which make the scenery spectacular.

    Both my boys have ridden into work with me on occasion.

    Losing 20 lbs this summer was just icing on the cake.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    225
    Dad's only what? Or Dad is only?

  16. #16
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    5,451
    Dad's only riding if we convince him to
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: squareback's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1,519
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobray View Post
    My commute has no shoulders on "back roads" that texting teenagers frequent that is a 35mph speed limit that most drive 50 mph on.

    I have 3 boys, 5 and under. And I worry about my safety purely for them. I wouldn't think twice and have commuted to work and back...but is it worth it? I would love nothing more than to commute daily, but the people are horrible drivers in Nashville and are not considerate of solo cyclist.

    Is anyone else in a similar predicament?
    That is why I ride off-road ONLY. I had to stop a few things when I had kids, but I have lived long enough to skate on dead end roads (with helmet). Ride a mountain bike (with a helmet), snowboard with all 3 of my boys at once (all wearing helmets) and scuba diving (without a helmet)

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jacobray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    144

    Safety concerns: Dad's Only

    This really isn't a matter of staying or getting into shape. I ride single track and group road rides weekly. I only want to commute because of how much I love to ride. BUT, when I'm on the road I feel much safer in a group of 3 or more that's easier to see...especially in the dark.

    I went to my lbs to get their opinion of the route to choose, and they came up with the same thing. I don't have any options for trails or off road riding. It's not really a matter of which direction I go, cause it's the same in all directions, unfortunately. So, I'm stuck with this feeling of risking a bit more than I should in the name of my personal enjoyment. I've got plenty of life insurance, but that doesn't help 3 boys growing up without a father...or worse, one that's still alive but somebody has to change his diapers. I'm not trying to be dramatic, but I've got a neighbor that lost her mother from a motorist hitting her while riding...so, it very literally, hits close to home.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    219
    I'm interested in your route. I lived and biked in Nashville for 8 years, and never had any particular problems with the drivers. Never felt unsafe in general while biking. I was also a police officer and didn't see bike vs. car issues on a regular basis. Unless your route is out of the ordinary, I don't think you are at any particularly elevated level of risk.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jacobray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    144

    Safety concerns: Dad's Only

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeveless View Post
    I'm interested in your route. I lived and biked in Nashville for 8 years, and never had any particular problems with the drivers. Never felt unsafe in general while biking. I was also a police officer and didn't see bike vs. car issues on a regular basis. Unless your route is out of the ordinary, I don't think you are at any particularly elevated level of risk.
    This brings up a very good point. A certain amount of it may just be due to lack of confidence. I will PM you my route, if you care to see it.

    Next question...you didn't sell me a kona unit, did you? It came from a former officer that used to live here. Just curious.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    219
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobray View Post
    This brings up a very good point. A certain amount of it may just be due to lack of confidence. I will PM you my route, if you care to see it.

    Next question...you didn't sell me a kona unit, did you? It came from a former officer that used to live here. Just curious.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Haha. Small world. You're not riding that on the road are you? How's it treating you? I'll take a look at your route.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Jacobray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    144

    Safety concerns: Dad's Only

    Quote Originally Posted by Sleeveless View Post
    Haha. Small world. You're not riding that on the road are you? How's it treating you? I'll take a look at your route.
    Ha, you're right it is. Great bike, it's been a blast and you were right about it loving lock 4! But I have a salsa vaya for my commuting and adventuring, I wouldn't get very far at 32/20 gearing! Thanks for the PM, that was great advice and I'll put it to use.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,091
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacobray View Post
    This really isn't a matter of staying or getting into shape. I ride single track and group road rides weekly. I only want to commute because of how much I love to ride. BUT, when I'm on the road I feel much safer in a group of 3 or more that's easier to see...especially in the dark.
    FWIW I commute on fairly busy roads daily, ride single track and road ride in a group.
    Over the years I've had three nasty accidents on bicycles that have resulted in time off injuries / broken bones and / or a stint in hospital, the last was a collar bone and 3 ribs a couple of years ago. All three have been on fast peloton road rides, where the group has gone down no vehicles involved, I've walked away from a good deal more group crashes thinking "f**k that was a lucky escape"
    I've had near misses and have to deal with the occasional redneck clown road commuting but generally I have never found it to be as risky as peloton riding. All of my peloton riding buddies have also tooled themselves at least once as far as I can remember. I can only think of one person I know who has been injured commuting

Similar Threads

  1. New to MTb, first bike concerns
    By Dnsource in forum Beginner's Corner
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-19-2014, 08:12 PM
  2. Shimano SLX concerns
    By leider in forum Brake Time
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-11-2014, 11:08 AM
  3. Rep Concerns and Questions
    By Sand Rat in forum Fat bikes
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 11-09-2012, 08:41 AM
  4. Crank concerns
    By MHC in forum Turner
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-22-2011, 09:47 PM
  5. ASR-5 Concerns
    By Mattinsanfran in forum Yeti
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 03-12-2011, 06:23 AM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2020 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.