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Why I Had to Quit Bicycling

Bicycling when I was a kid was fun. My friends and I rode all over the neighborhood, and no one ever got hit by a car. As an adult living in a big city, for years I rode my bicycle to work and in many long-distance fundraisers. Little by little, riding in traffic became more and more risky. Finally, it happened. A car bumped my bicycle and I had a bad fall, but it could have been much worse. Like many bicyclists every year, I could have ended up dead. I’ve had to give up my favorite hobby for survival. It’s as simple as that. Well, many say I quit bicycling out of raw fear. But who could blame me?

Bicycling is Deadly

The roads in the U.S. are not bike-friendly. In spite of various efforts to reduce pollution, few cities have made significant moves toward making their streets safe for bicyclists. Statistics regarding fatal bicycle accidents show that the U.S. is more dangerous for cyclists than most countries throughout the world. One of the scary statistics is that 94% of deadly bicycle collisions occur when the weather is clear and dry; this suggests that failure of motorists to share the road with two-wheeled vehicles may be at the crux of the problem. Although, in fairness, another statistic showed that one-fourth of the cyclists killed in a year were driving with a blood-alcohol content above the legal limit. Driving drunk is always stupid.

Bicycling Hazards

The most obvious danger for bicyclists is being hit by a car. Drivers seem to get crazier and less courteous every year. It truly has gotten to where a person is taking their life in their own hands with the simple decision to bicycle in traffic. Motorists are among many hazards that make bicycling a truly dangerous activity.

Even with no traffic, bicycling can be treacherous. Gravel is a constant threat. You can’t relax when that stuff is on the road. Gotta keep pedaling and be sure not to take a turn too quickly on gravel because your tire can quickly lose all traction, causing a face-plant. I can speak from experience about landing on your face in gravel. It can mess you up good; I’m not nearly as handsome as I used to be.

The following are a few more bicycling hazards:

  • Potholes
  • Wet roads
  • Slick paint stripes
  • Parallel cracks
  • Road kill
  • Debris

So, there you have it. I quit bicycle out of fear and, in summary, life is crap.

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