davtheram12 wrote: ↑
Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:39 pm
But it came at a cost, I was eventually hit by a car on my way home from work one night. Although I was using the crosswalk and had the right of way, a driver 'needed' to make his turn and knocked me off my bike. I managed to avoid serious injury but the bike was totaled. I had many other close calls with other drivers but managed to avoid those accidents after I began riding more defensively. So now, while I am still working full-time and saving for ERE, I mix bike commuting with occasional car commuting. When I do eventually retire I will give car-free living another chance.
I always hear about these mythical car crashes, and have read about some horrible ones in the news, but I’ve been riding bicycles since I was... 5? and now in the throes of middle age, I’ve never had a bicycle accident that involved cars. It used to be me riding without hands, that sort of thing, as a teenager.
On the other hand, I’ve been in multiple car crashes and fender benders, some horrible, and I see wrecks all the time.
Maybe it helps that I consider all drivers a-holes by default and have zero trust in them. So I bicycle with extreme caution. I’m not above riding sidewalks at baby speed, or dismounting and walking. Whenever I encounter pedestrians I get off the bike and walk along them. I avoid heavy traffic and will take the long calm road.
These days I also wear crazy bright & reflective clothes, use daytime running lights that would blind you at close range, and I’m always giving hand signals in traffic (left turn, right turn, stop, a wave to pass me, middle finger for the jerks...). I’m actively communicative and never trust that a driver has seen me until I get the wave or nod.
I try to never be in a hurry because that’s what invites recklesness.
And yes the jerks who pretend they don’t see you and deny you the right of way are always there. But I consider that a given. Zero trust.
My current location is in a very car-centric city and state, but my particular neighborhood is well suited for cycling and walking and I can do pretty much everything within a 5-mile radius. There are some bike paths that come handy, and with bicycle-friendly transit options, I have a wide range.