Thursday, January 15, 2009

"No greater danger to the cyclist than cyclist's own incompetence"

Anonymous wrote:
"...most cycling accidents are 'solo falls' that have nothing to do with other vehicles." Rob, did this delusory statement come to you in a vision, or do you have some reference to back this up? Seems like a rather dumb thing to believe, but I bet you have rarely ridden a bike as an adult. Many bike riders have excellent physical and mental coordination and do not injure themselves :-)

Rob replies:
Yes, I have citations to back up that statement. Knowledgeable bike people know that most cycling accidents don't involve other vehicles, but they don't like to talk about it, probably because it undermines their anti-car agenda.

The SFBC's favorite bike safety instructor, Bert Hill, tells us that 45% of all cycling accidents are "solo falls" and that only 18% involve another vehicle ("Mission: Not Impossible," Paul McHugh, Feb. 17, 2005, SF Chronicle).

And Robert Hurst, a lifelong bike guy and cycling advocate, in his book on urban cycling, "The Art of Cycling," (Falcon/Morris Book Publishing, 2007) tells us that collisions with vehicles "account for no more than about 15 percent of all cycling accidents." (page 161)

Hurst on the greatest danger facing cyclists:

"The most important lesson to be learned here is a bitter pill to swallow: There is no greater danger to the cyclist than the cyclist's own incompetence. As a whole, it turns out, cyclists are not an entirely smooth and skillful lot. The majority of cycling accidents are embarrassing solo incidents, with the cyclist sliding out on turns, stacking it up after ramming potholes, curbs, and other obstacles, or just generally losing control. Collisions with motor vehicles are potentially more damaging but account for no more than about 15 percent of all cycling accidents. About half of car-bike accidents are instigated by cyclists who ride into traffic without looking, ride on the wrong side of the street, blow lights and stop signs, or otherwise ride in an unpredictable and lawless manner." (emphasis in original)

Another source

And riding your bike too much endangers your sex life.

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At 2:35 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"riding your bike too much endangers your sex life"

And to think I thought the thing that endangered one's sex life the most was living with one's mother.

Lance Armstrong rides more than anyone on the planet, he is a testicular cancer survivor, and his girlfriend is pregnant. I'll take my chances!

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob, you need to think about what the studies say - NOT simply apply selective quotations. Since you are not physically active, what you think of as a "fall" is different than a "crash" that actually hurts or injures someone or something. If you ever got your butt out of a car or out from in front of the TV you might have a little more understanding

We're talking about accidents involving injury to a person or damage to property. Looking at the links you provide:

"Just over 9% reported having had a serious crash (resulting in at least $50 of property damage or medical expense) in 1996. Based on the experience reported by these cyclists, the 'average' cyclist in this group could be expected to ride for 11 years before having such a crash."

So Rob Anderson, get your fat butt doing some exercise. A fit body helps crate a fit mind. You're going to die of a heart attack there fat guy :-)

ps don't try to pretend you actually have a sex life - i've seen how you move in real life. not a pretty sight.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Testicular cancer strikes a cyclist and you don't think that's a little worrisome? That's the part of the body we're talking about, Murph. But you're the know-it-all, so I'm sure you know best. Pretty cheap joke about my living with my mother, which could only be made by someone who's never done what I'm doing. Someone else will probably do what's necessary when your parents become too old to care for themselves.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

"Rob, you need to think about what the studies say - NOT simply apply selective quotations."

It has nothing to do with "studies," since I provided three bike-friendly links to show that few cycling accidents involve other vehicles.

"i've seen how you move in real life. not a pretty sight."

Next time you see me in public, why not insult me to my face, punk? That will be a good test of how I move.

At 12:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's also not forget that 90% of fatal bike crashes involve motor vehicles.

At 1:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just stumbled across your blog. Mind blowing stuff Rob. I'm guessing you must of been 7 or 8 the year you came down and found socks instead of that bike you wanted under the christmas tree. Christ... your a waking disney movie antagonist. Don't worry someday Santa's gonna bring you that bike.

At 11:58 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe Santa will bring you some wit, too. And some balls, since, like a lot of bike nuts, you have to make your moronic comment anonymously. If you used your name, we would all know how lame you are, right?

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Shawn Allen said...

Don't feed the troll, folks. In fact, if you're the least big intelligent I wouldn't recommend reading anything on this blog. He's just rehashing the same tired arguments to provoke a response.

Take it from me, someone who's spent many hours attempting to reason with him: It's not worth your time.

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

The definition of troll from the link you provided: "An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of provoking other users into an emotional response or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion."

Since this forum is my blog, I can hardly be accused of being a troll or someone who makes irrelevant or off-topic posts. Since I only post on topics that interest me, everything I post is by definition relevant. Typical of your out-of-focus comments that you get that wrong.

The fact that most cycling accidents have nothing to do with other vehicles is an important reality, since the SFBC and the cycling community here in Progressive Land pushes the fantasy that cycling would be safe if only those wicked Death Machines---cars, trucks, buses---could be banished from our streets.

Robert Hurst is an important source of information and ideas, because, as a bike messenger and author, he is only trying to reason with the Punks on Bikes wing of the great, planet-saving bicycle movement. In his book, Hurst isn't addressing critics of the bike movement like me, and he's even a little irritated that I'm using his own words against the cycling community in SF.

Hurst's message to his fellow cyclists can be summed up thusly: dump the attitude and stop behaving like punks on the streets; be realistic about the dangers of riding a bike in the city; and here are some tips to enable you to ride safer in traffic.

You at least get points for not being anonymous, Shawn.

At 9:55 AM, Anonymous Ryan Michael Colliton said...

I have been both a bicycle rider and a car driver in San Francisco for almost 14 years. It seems that recently there are scores of bicyclists who've adopted an arrogant reckless attitude. This does not help anyone. I consider myself a very conscientious city driver. I actually come to complete stops at every stop sign. I can't count how many times I've almost collided with cyclists; running red lights or stop signs, riding on the wrong side of the road, crossing into on-coming traffic to make a turn (scott and fell st), even almost being run over by a cyclist while I was walking across the crosswalk at Haight and Pierce. That particular rider told me to f-off for "getting in his way." The last thing I want to happen is to hit a cyclist who's riding dangerously while I'm driving. I probably wouldn't get injured, however, a cyclist can seriously be injured or killed. So, to all the arrogant, reckless, law breaking cyclists in the city, please stop ruining it for the rest of us who would truly like to see us all "sharing the road."

and regarding the shameful comment about Rob Anderson living with his Mother...

...many of us would be wise to take an example from Mr. Anderson for moving his Mother into his house instead of putting her in a home during the final years of her life.

At 10:56 AM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

"and regarding the shameful comment about Rob Anderson living with his Mother...

...many of us would be wise to take an example from Mr. Anderson for moving his Mother into his house instead of putting her in a home during the final years of her life."

I didn't say it was a bad thing - I just said it screws up your sex life - after Rob postulated that cyclists sex lives are ruined by riding bikes. Rob can counter if he's actually fornicating at will.

Kudos to Rob for caring for his mother as so many won't do. And kudos to you for being a good driver - you are also in the minority if this is true.

At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Ryan Michael Colliton said...

It's irrelevant why you wrote what you did. There are other ways of getting your point across. Your weak attempt at a joke failed. When you post something like that you are instantly discredited. No one will take a wing-nut like that seriously. So, if you actually have something you feel is important to say and you want people to take you seriously, you should leave the sophomoric rhetoric behind.

How about a little substance in your posts? You didn't mention one thing about the real topic at hand. You didn't respond to any of the issues I brought up regarding the recklessness of the new arrogant cyclist movement.

As far as being in the minority of cautious drivers in the city, it's important for bicyclists to remember:

1. Cars aren't going anywhere.

2. We live in a big city.

3. Cyclists have to be extra
cautious when riding in cities.

4. At least half of the people
driving in the city have
bicycles at home.

5. More cyclists are going to
be injured if this topic isn't
taken seriously.

6. Angry, insulting postings make
many of these cyclists
sound like a bunch of misguided
self-entitled whiners.


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