Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Post by Kevrob
who were not otherwise responsible for them.* Now, would my health
insurer prefer I don't exercise, or ride? Risk is about what you do
compared to your alternatives. I don't plan to be one of those folks
who drives to the gym, works out, and drives home, or only rides his
bike on trails segregated from motorized traffic.
FWIW I looked at the numbers on this a while ago, because I like to bicycle without a helmet, and the UK government was talking about making that illegal. If cycling is your only form of exercise, the benefits vastly outweigh the risks (https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/activity/cycling/10-great-reasons-to-cycle). I could even make an argument that if the government banned cycling without a helmet it would cost more lives in cardiovascular disease and cancer through discouraging cycle commuting than it would save in head injuries (but to be honest the figures are pretty variable, especially for the number of people discouraged so you can probably find arguments against this if you pick your facts and question carefully enough).
I don't claim to have a right to tell other people what to risks to take - I just want to ask them to think things through. My personal history is that as an increasingly cautious cyclist I have never needed medical treatment for a cycle injury but I happen to have heard of serious motorcycle injuries. In a school with a class size of 90 or so one guy in our year was hospitalized with a broken pelvis from a motorcycle accident, and one guy joined our year after missing a year of school from the same reason. In both cases they had been riding along with right of way when a lorry pulled out in front of them at a junction without looking. (We also had one girl killed with two others not from our school when the car they were driving went off the road at a bad corner and hit a tree - N.Ireland road safety was atrocious, probably because it wasn't a police priority at the time).
The riders who worry me are the ones who claim to have been riding for
40 years and never crashed.
I've crashed a number of times (note that I am going to include more
detail here than is necessary because some _moron_ says regularly
"take the MSF course").
First time--approaching an intersection, stop sign on the intersecting
street, _not_ the street on which I was riding. When it's far too
late for me to stop, woman stopped at stop sign pulls out. My
options--hit car or hit ditch. Ditch was softer. MSF teaches no
technique that would have avoided this.
Second time. I have no idea what happened--one minute I'm riding
along, on a clear day, on a dry road, no traffic, and the next I'm
down. No injury, but no idea what happened. Maybe MSF teaches
something that would have prevented this but since I have no idea what
happened one cannot say what.
Third time. Bad judgment--rode to work after a snow storm. Hit a
snow bank. No injury, picked the bike up and continued on. This one
MSF might have prevented by teaching "don't ride in snowstorms".
Fourth time. Second in line at traffic light. Got rear ended. Bike
frame bent, I was fine. There is no skill that a motorcyclist can
possess that would prevent this.
Fifth time--not really a crash, at stop sign failed to get foot down
fast enough, fell over.
Sixth time. Went into a turn on gravel too hot and lost it. Note
that MSF does not teach anything about dirt riding in the standard
course. There is a dirt course that might have helped, but that is
not "the MSF course".
Seventh time. Managed to get crossed up with one wheel on one side of
board and the other on the other side. Should have stopped at that
point instead of trying to ride the back over the board. Didn't, went
down, broke rib on other board (there were two parallel). ATGATT
Eighth time. Coming down a hill, there was a damp patch at the
bottom. I had ridden up about two hours previously with no issue.
Temperature about 45. Apparently that spot cooled faster than the
surrounding area because there was now black ice on it. When you hit
black ice in a curve on a motorcycle you go down. Perhaps with
superhuman skill (not something that one learns in a two-day MSF
course) you could keep it upright and sliding sideways until it hits
the grass and high-sides you. As it was I low-sided, no injury to me,
broke the clutch lever off the bike, so couldn't ride home, had to get
Total injuries--twisted ankle twice, one broken rib.