My wife doesn't want me to cycle commute. Statistics, anyone?

Home Forum Bike Forum My wife doesn't want me to cycle commute. Statistics, anyone?

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 56 total)
  • My wife doesn't want me to cycle commute. Statistics, anyone?
  • foxyrider
    Member

    Maybe STW commuters are a reliable source 🙂 : Commuting here for 5 years now – no offs but a few close calls – country back roads mostly though 🙂

    I sometime commute on a bike and… avoid back roads. A-roads are busy but safer as fewer people want to rag their cars there. BTW I'm in Ireland, some say it's mad here but compare it to any large English city Dublin traffic is nothing.

    cynic-al
    Member

    stats are 300-odd cyclists and ped killed a year IIRC…there may be info on what circumstances they were killed in?

    boxfish
    Member

    I wouldn't use statistics as a deciding factor. I say go ahead and commute. There are things you can do to help reduce your chances of being squashed such as hi-viz clothing, decent lights, choice of route etc. Given you're doing this for health reasons, maybe you should start quoting heart disease figures for the UK…

    b r
    Member

    In a nutshell, my wife basically thinks I'll be hit by a car & die, in fairness based on the fact she had a friend 25 years ago who was indeed killed whilst riding on the road

    A bit like knowing someone who died falling down stairs, so…

    But 30 miles each way is a fair haul.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Lots more car drivers killed. I presume if you don't cycle you will drive.

    Nearly half (49 per cent) of people killed in road accidents were car users in 2007. Pedal cyclists and motor cyclists represented 5 and 20 per cent of those killed respectively. Occupants of buses, coaches, goods and other vehicles accounted for the remaining 5 per cent of road deaths.
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1208

    clubber
    Member

    You need the statistic of deaths/mile travelled though rather than just the absolute numbers.

    A bit out of date (10 years) but:

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/risks_of_travel.htm

    Bike: 44.6 fatalities per billion km travelled
    Cars: 3.1
    So 14x more risk of fatality per distance than a car

    or by journey, it's more like 4:1

    Obviously you can balance that with other factors like improved health, etc.

    thomthumb
    Member

    get some training (bikeability or similar) first. this imo will reduce your chances- many experienced cyclists have no idea how to protect themselves. i'd say 90% of commuters i see are putting themselves in unnecessary danger.

    thomthumb – Member

    get some training (bikeability or similar) first. this imo will reduce your chances- many experienced cyclists have no idea how to protect themselves. i'd say 90% of commuters i see are putting themselves in unnecessary danger.
    Seconded big time.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    You need the statistic of deaths/mile travelled though rather than just the absolute numbers

    not if you want to massage the stats into your favour. 🙂

    CrispyCSW
    Member

    Saw this UK Cycling Casualty Map this morning – quite scary stuff tbh!

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    I have commuted daily for years, with the current journey being 17 miles each way, done every day.

    I've had one accident – a pedestrian stepped into my path.

    carlosg
    Member

    statistics tell you nothing until you become one!

    I got 3 years commuting before my big accident happened , close shaves were an almost daily occurence the majority of drivers just don't seem look for cyclists they don't want to damage there own vehicle against another car.

    I used to make a concious effort to be dressed up like a beacon when commuting and in the end it didn't make a lot of difference ,IMO the rural roads are the most dangerous as drivers probably wouldn't expect a bike on these roads early mornings while they make up the 5 mins lost having an extra slice of toast.

    My accident was over 10 years ago but you couln't pay me to commute nowadays.

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    Thanks all. I used to ride a motorbike & I think I have a reasonable level of road/hazard awareness from the perspective of two wheels, though I can see the point about rural roads being more dangerous than major A roads. Other than the risk of a numpty ragging his hot hatch round a blind corner too fast, they're generally a lot more pleasant to ride a pushbike along though. Looking at the fatality stats per km travelled, I don't think those are going to do me any favours!

    theflatboy
    Member

    in four years of london commuting i've had 5 crashes – 2 were self-induced and quite embarrassing, the other three were all kamikaze pedestrians. none serious, though.

    I sold my road bike a couple of years ago because the increased traffic and worsening regard car drivers appear to have for cyclists was becoming a problem for me.

    IMO there are too many cars and not enough regard for a cyclist as a legitimate unit of traffic for it to be particularly safe anymore. As a result I was in a constant state of apprehension and basically that took the fun away for me.

    I still ride tarmac on the MTB, but its a few miles here and there to link trails.

    If I had a job with possible commute, I'd try my damnedest to make it completely traffic free cyclepaths, off-road etc…

    trail_rat
    Member

    was knocked off on sunday for the first time ever – by a tractor that misjudged my speed – tucked in on tribars giving it laldy.

    must be my first in many thousands of kms of road work.

    Be alert.

    My missus is giving me the same gyp about wanting a motorbike for the commute – seems to think im going to be a demon speeder – on my 70mph full chat trail bike !

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    The raw stats are fairly meaningless. If you look deeper into them, I'm sure you'll find certain age groups are more likely to be killed while riding bikes so the comparisons on total numbers won't really tally with your chances.

    It also doesn't sound like your wife is arguing from a totally rational base, so stats are unlikely to convince her.

    I think you need to convince yourself, rather than her, so you'll be more likely to ignore her arguments. If you look at the biggest causes of death for men, once they're beyond the teenage/young adult reckless-trying-to-impress-girls-and-mates stage, they're pretty much all things with likelihoods that will be reduced by regular exercise…

    Everything in life has risk attached. Cycling to work is no different. I doubt that assessment of risk plays a part in the majority of day to day decisions i.e. we don't make choices based on statistical evidence of associated risk.

    It sounds like your wife has an overinflated sense of the danger of cycle commuting based on her experience 25 years ago. This is not to be discounted as it will be very real to her.

    I would suggest that a reasoned discussion about the choices that we make in life and the enjoyment we get from things might help her to see things from your perspective. You could explain the health benefits and how much more enjoyable your commute will be and how these need to be offset against the risk.

    I can't see that offering a statistic to 'trump' hers will get her to see your point of view. Given that she has a view that cycle commuting is dangerous based on a 25 year old experience it is unlikely she will changer her mind in the face of one statistic gleaned off STW:)

    Talk to her, ask her to let you try it. Explain that you don't want to be a statistic and you are just as concerned for your own safety as she is etc.

    And finally, ask yourself who wears the trousers (tounge firmly in cheek at this point)

    My wife doesn't want me to cycle commute.

    Perfectly understandable. I'm on her side.
    It would be nice if we could ride our bikes to work…
    Without riding in fear for our lives or being injured or crippled.
    Without having to take daily avoiding action.
    Without taking crap from car drivers/school kids/yoofs/etc.
    Without being target practice for gobbing/throwing chavs.

    5-10 miles maybe, at a push, under protest, if the route was extremely safe. But 30 miles each way!!??? I'm with carlosg, you couldn't pay me to do it.

    SB aka coward.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Good point, miketually. You are going to die (sorry) but will cycling make that happen sooner or later. I'd suspect later but no stats to back that up

    theboatman
    Member

    15 odd years of daily commuting, always ending up in a city centre, and I've only had one serious off in that time. Mind you, that did break both my arms, my right ankle, dislocated my shoulders, right knee cap and left me with some swelling of the brain. But I could equally get off'ed in a car, and as one of my colleagues only just pointed out this morning; I have an arse like a 14 year old paper boy!

    Premier Icon woody74
    Subscriber

    To be fair most people who get knocked off and therefore increase the stats in my opinion are riding like idiots. You get so many people either flying along a break neck speed, jumping lights, etc or you get the people tootling along at such a slow speed they annoy the drivers who then make mistakes and they get knocked off. If you ride at a sensible speed to keep up with the traffic, abide by the rules of the road, no undertaking, etc and always concentrate then you should be fine.

    Comute should also be enjoyable so I would stick to the B roads where there are less cars and you can relax a bit more. Commuting by bike is brilliant as it builds all that training into your normal daily schedule and around cities it is much faster than going by car or bus.

    You could always use the argument that by get your training in the day, it then leaves more time in the evening and weekend that you can spend with your wife!!

    trail_rat
    Member

    Comute should also be enjoyable so I would stick to the B roads

    if your gonna be going at peak times – avoid. Rat runners avoid the carpark – aahem roads around here – wouldnt be caught on them at rush hour sure fire way to end up a statistic and im in relitively quiet aberdeen – compared to england anyway

    Every form of transport reduces your life expectancy, except cycling.

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    In order to step up my fitness a bit, I've planned a route to work that I want to do a couple of days a week. 30 miles each way, avoiding A roads but still about 80% road (mainly rural B) and 20% Ridgeway. In a nutshell, my wife basically thinks I'll be hit by a car & die, in fairness based on the fact she had a friend 25 years ago who was indeed killed whilst riding on the road. Anyway, she was throwing statistics at me this morning that I rather feel were made up. Does anyone know of a reliable source of stats for car/cyclist journeys/fatalities etc in the UK? A bit morbid for this hour of the morning I know. Cheers.

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    Hmm I guess I could always drive a bit, park somewhere secure enough to leave the car & then ride 20 miles or so along the Ridgeway (the office is just off the RW). Might be a decent compromise, if slightly defeating the "no car" part of the exercise.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    When I looked a while ago, I'm sure the stats came out as 2x as likely to be killed per km cycling than driving. I remember working out that my colleague who drove in from 12 miles away was more likely to be killed getting to work than I was when cycling 3 miles.

    If I got that right… If you drove 20 miles of the journey then rode the last 10, you'd be as likely to be killed on the car journey as the bike journey.

    theflatboy
    Member

    HoratioHufnagel – Member

    Every form of transport reduces your life expectancy, except cycling.

    not only that, but according to a newspaper headline i saw a few weeks back cycling reduces your risk of dying by 40%. so there's a 40% chance i may not die. 😀

    soobalias
    Member

    just start doing it and see how you feel

    30miles each way is a biggy, especially as some of that is offroad (albeit the ridgeway is pretty fast right now)

    i got run over by a car when i was riding a bike, ive never been run over by a bike while driving my car.

    proof.

    Dr_Bakes
    Member

    30 miles each way on an MTB would be tough. I do 14 on a road bike and love it, but double that and on fat tyres I think would be really hard.

    It's not just the safety of the road that you need to consider but whether you'd actually enjoy the experience. I could ride on the edge of dual carriageway some of my route, which I think would actually be quite safe as it's wide, however it'd be like hell on earth as an experience!

    Your compromise sounds the way forward if the main aim of the game is fitness, and after all it's still less miles in the car. I arrive at work with a grin when I ride in as opposed to a scowl as I search for a parking space!

    The two road accidents I've had have involved a pedestrian stepping off the pavement and a corner with wet leaves and too much speed.

    Surf-Mat
    Member

    You don't need stats, you need this pic – what happens if you don't cycle commute…

    soobalias
    Member

    so there's a 40% chance i may not die

    and from above there is a 25% chance you will

    that leaves 35% limbo time.

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    heh nice pics. I'd be using a Cross bike (well, a rigid 29er with fast tyres & drops) for the commute. Definitely wouldn't be interested in this sort of commute on a regular MTB as it'd just turn into a chore.

    Surf-Mat
    Member

    I must admit that despite getting a road bike last year, I use my MTB far more as I seem to have at least one near miss per road ride (with a car). As it's for fun (I don't commute, just ride 3 mornings a week and at weekends) it seems a bit silly to risk life and limb. Spent a lot of time finding a road route with minimal hazards but it's still sketchy.

    Too many drivers are just too damn aggressive and cr4p at driving.

    Tasso
    Member

    Pedalhead you just answered the argument well yourself. Take the cars out of the equation and she should be happy.

    I have a 22 mile commute each way and it's a killer to do even on a proper road bike. I have a nasty narrow hilly twisty B road route or the A46 😯 which is very scary or a longer back lane route. Back lanes is easily the most enjoyable and the one I would take given enough time.

    However given the length of the journey, I quite often chuck the bike in the car and do an hour or so on the Kennet and Avon towpath which is much more doable on a regular basis. Well until that gets a bit busy with errant pedestrians in the summer.

    Wifey doesn't like me using the motorbike at all but is perfectly happy me taking a pedal bike – go figure. 😕 Perhaps you should threaten to get a motorbike for the commute and see what reaction you get 😉

    Gary_M
    Member

    As others have said I wouldn't base the decision on statistics, thats not really a sensible way to live your life.

    I ride to work 20 miles each way and have done since 2006, two minor offs and a few close calls. Some of my route is cycle path, the rest is a roads and city traffic.

    Riding to work makes me feel fantastic, statistics don't.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    My outwards commute involves:

    *8 miles through urban and suburban roads.
    *9 miles through the countryside, of which most is spent on – straight – B roads, and a short stretch on an A road.

    It's the A road which frightens me the most: as I turn onto it there's a sign showing "39 casuaties in last 3 years". And then the HGVs start trundling by.

    Select your route carefully, pedalhead, and you'll be as fine as anyone can be riding a bike to work during rush hour.

    alexxx
    Member

    Life is one big statistic, if they bother you then take up numerology and it will make it worse, you cant think about the finer detail, take a chance, be careful and live a bit

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    Thanks guys. Just to be clear, I couldn't give a monkey's about the stats, but I'm trying to put my wife's mind at ease as much as possible, which sadly the stats don't really support! I think I'll start with the compromise, park up close to Ridgeway and ride from there. Once she's used to me doing that, I'll look at adding some more distance into it via roads if I feel the need.

    Surf-Mat
    Member

    Life is one big statistic, if they bother you then take up numerology and it will make it worse, you cant think about the finer detail, take a chance, be careful and live a bit

    Sponsored by "No Fear" by any chance?

    Surely minimising risks such as being killed on your bike is worthwhile? Everyone likes to pretend that "if they're aren't living on the edge they are taking up too much room, etc" but ending ones ride in a lifeless pile at the roadside does put a downer on anyones day.

    I do many "dangerous" sports as do many here but I seriously think road riding is the one most likely to cause an early demise.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Also pedalhead, you need to think about the time this will take you – my commute, though not long, consistently takes up to an hour each way. Were I to drive, it's 25 minutes of a job.

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    yep thanks mr north, fair point. I have young children, so rather accustomed to getting up with the dawn chorus 🙂 . Plus, I work at home the rest of the time, so get lots of quality time to spend with them even if I'm out of the house early a couple of days a week.

Viewing 45 posts - 1 through 45 (of 56 total)

The topic ‘My wife doesn't want me to cycle commute. Statistics, anyone?’ is closed to new replies.