Thursday, August 30, 2007

Road Rash

One of the main concerns/issues I hear about commuting by bike is the risk, like being hit by a car or just a simple crash. Well I commute a lot, rode through January and February this year when the road were packed with a couple of feet of snow in the dark. Rode last October home from work, a blinding snow storm with no glasses and could barely see. I've commuted on the bike for 10+ years and yesterday had only my second crash ever while commuting.

The first crash was 10 years ago in June, on bike to work day when I worked about 20 miles from home. Leaving the office during a light rain (after a heavy rain) I crashed and hurt my hip. Swelled up to about the size of a grape fruit. No crashes since then while commuting. Probably thousands of miles just pure commute distance (not counting the "extended routes" taken to get in training) and only one crash in ten years.

Yesterday's crash happened just after riding with Seamus to school. The front wheel got caught in a gap between black-top and cement near the curb. I got cut up on the left side (hip, elbow, shoulder, knee etc.) but rode into work the rest of the way no problem. Sleeping last night sucked, but what can you expect. I didn't commute in today, but that was already planned because we had a doctor's appointment in the afternoon. Tomorrow I'm taking off and riding big. But you know what, I'll commute on Tuesday. One crash every ten years is worth it. The stress relief of riding, the environmental savings, the pure joy of riding a bike while looking at a bunch of people stressed in a car. The risks commuting by bike are minimal if you are aware and safe. Yesterday was a decade long wait between commuting crashes. How many car accidents have you been in during that same period?

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