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

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  • My wife doesn't want me to cycle commute. Statistics, anyone?
  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ . 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.

    joemarshall
    Member

    The overall per mile stats are useless, as they include motorways, which are very safe, and have very long distances driven on them, quite a large percentage of the total car miles. If you look at just non-motorway roads, I understand it gets much more comparable on a per mile basis, but I can't find any figures.

    I've done tens of thousands of miles on the road over the last 10 years, and yet to have an accident involving a car. I've fallen on ice in winter, and on wet leaves on a semi offroad route, but not hit a car. Part of that is luck, but there is also an element of not riding like a ****, and keeping an eye on what is going on around you that really helps too.

    Joe

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    I have young children, so rather accustomed to getting up with the dawn chorus

    I have all this to come in August. ๐Ÿ˜€

    keeping an eye on what is going on around you that really helps too

    Agreed. Riding lots on the road, and more so if you follow the same route, you get to understand:

    1. what driving behavoiour around you is OK and what is not. Your perception will change the more you're on the roads.

    2. Where the bad bits are. Where you need to slow right down. Where you need to position yourself if you need to jump into the hedge. These aren't things you'll necessarily consciously think about, but become a little more second nature as you spend more time on the route.

    Also, you need to think about how you might alter your route because of weather or the time of year. My route is new (as a commuting route) and I'm not sure I will take it as it is during the winter months, mainly because of road conditions, visibility for drivers, etc.

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    yes that was another reason I figured I'd start now, in the summer, as (in theory at least) the weather & visibility should make things safer. On a dark, rainy winter evening though, as a car driver I do get worried for cyclists I overtake on the roads.

    llama
    Member

    A while back there were 3 of us doing the same long distance commute once a week. Thats good for motivation, faster, and there is safety in numbers.

    Where are you going along the ridgeway? Must be someone else who would fancy it

    Premier Icon simon_g
    Subscriber

    Get your wife to read Risk, by Dan Gardner. Then get her to imagine you, obese, collapsing with a heart attack at 55.

    aP
    Member

    I'm always surprised how much all you apparently gnarly mtb dudes wimper at the thought of riding on the road. Its not that difficult or that hard, however it does require a modicum of common sense and self preservation tinged with an understanding of your own rights to use the road.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Negative perceptions of cycling die hard. I remember growing up in the 80s, cycling and walking were portrayed as dangerous activities where a car could mow you down at any second unless you were festooned with hi-viz crap.

    Our school even had posters up depiciting a cyclist with a "soft vehicle" sticker on his back, and the legend "It's always the cyclist who gets hurt". ๐Ÿ™„ For the first 18 years of my life, I went round thinking that cycling was like Russian Roulette on wheels, and every car that passed you was a hair's breadth from reducing you to a jammy pulp.

    the majority of drivers just don't seem look for cyclists

    The majority of drivers clearly do! The overall accident rate is tiny. Plus the more people who do it, the safer it gets:

    http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/9/3/205.abstract

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    My commute is 20 miles ew, the first/last 15 on very narrow lanes, too narrow for cars to go fast along them, the last/first 5 miles are through a town and while there is traffic it's not too bad. There are a couple of spots that carry a higher risk and I'm careful at these points. I've only had one incident where I narrowly avoided t-boning a car that pulled out on me, other than that, in 4 years of twice a week riding I've not had any issues, I have had to fine-tune the route to avoid some of the worst bits and it now takes me 10 minutes longer, that means I have more exercise so it's all good.

    Yesterday I rode from Telford to Stroud to accompany some collegues doing JOGLE on one of their stages, a lot of those roads were **** awful and I'm suprised all 12 of us got there in one piece!

    2tyred
    Member

    Tough one – you can make statistics tell you pretty much anything you want in this case; at the end of the day it sounds like your wife has very real fears and you don't want to simply brush them aside.

    I do 12 miles in each direction every day, about 7 of those are on canal towpath, the rest on busy urban roads. I'm sure I'm not alone in preferring busy roads with slow-moving traffic to quiet country roads at commute times. Touch wood I've never been knocked off – the closest I ever came was being shoved over to the left by a slow-moving car who suddenly decided to park, but this was entirely my own fault as I'd filtered up the left hand side.

    Years of riding on roads have made me ride assertively – I'm seldom closer than a metre (from my left elbow) to the kerb, I sit in the middle of a lane where there's more than one lane in the direction I'm going, I signal early and repeatedly, make eye contact with any driver looking to cross my path, always look over my shoulder, hold the middle approaching traffic islands or anywhere the road narrows etc etc.

    You do get the occasional boorish moron infuriated by this sort of thing, but I think the majority of drivers prefer you to make your intentions clear, rather than have to try and guess what you might do. All this though is tempered by the ever-present knowledge that a simple lapse in concentration by someone could wipe you out, but that could happen to you in a car as well.

    Every now and again you get an incident which brings that home and makes you nervous – last year a woman roared past me then immediately turned sharply left, leaving me to jam the brakes on and miss her near side by less than 6 inches. I followed her into the carpark she was turning into and as calmly as I could asked her if she'd like to see pictures of the two little boys whose dad she almost just killed. I don't know who came away more shaken, her or me.

    Mrs tyred is a keen cyclist and would love to get into road riding, but is too frightened by the prospect of riding near any traffic. Unless you're doing it, its easy for anyone to see it as dangerous.

    Sorry, this doesn't offer much of a solution for you!

    30 miles each way is a long commute. Don't disregard the amount of time it'll take, and that's time away from your wife. My commute takes me between 35 and 45 minutes depending on route, bike and conditions, and I don't think Mrs tyred would be too enthusiastic about it being any longer, as it eats into the time I have to spend with her and the kids. Having said that, driving it or taking the train probably wouldn't reduce it by that much.

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    Mark .. tell her you will ride a horse there and back each way instead ๐Ÿ˜‰ see how she takes that!!

    Premier Icon pedalhead
    Subscriber

    Mark .. tell her you will ride a horse there and back each way instead see how she takes that!!

    ๐Ÿ˜† She'd probably fear more for the poor drivers of Oxfordshire than for me in that case!

    Where are you going along the ridgeway?

    The office isn't far from Barbury Castle, and I'll look to do a 15 or 20 mile ride from the east, depending on where I can find some secure parking.

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