Why I Don’t Ride on the Road Anymore

Accidents are up, deaths are up, insurance rates are up, and safety is down. Making an uncomfortable but smart choice.

Last weekend, I got on my cross-country bike, the one with semi-slicks, and pedaled out of my neighborhood, half intending to violate my self-imposed sidewalks-only rule so I could do laps on this big steep hill up a road called Pacific Island Drive. It was raining lightly and the streets were sopping from the previous night’s deluge, and when I got to the intersection at the bottom of the Pacific Island hill, all four lanes of the road were blocked with police tape.

There, at the base of 60-foot ponderosa pine, located across the sidewalk from the downhill lanes and in the yard of a small office building, was a compact SUV with the entire front end compressed like an accordion. No one was in it, the ambulance was gone, and now the police were just doing their forensic work. By that afternoon, a few young girls were gathered around the tree, and a memorial had been set up.

I turned left and continued on my way.

Southern California has been inundated with rain this winter, as you probably know. What you probably don’t know is that our soil, at least here in southern Orange County where I live, is primarily clay. It does not drain well, it takes forever to dry, and if you poach and attempt to ride in the mud it will leave ruts that last weeks. In short, as a dedicated mountain biker with ambitious climbing goals, it’s been frustrating: We need the rain, but I want the vert. The options have been 1) don’t ride, 2) ride a spin bike, 3) ride on the pavement.

It’s the last of those to which I turned, but with mixed feelings and concerns. Four years ago, after a spate of deaths and bad injuries to road cyclists I knew or was connected to, I decided to quit riding on the road. I sold my road bike and stayed in the dirt. But I continue to ride to the trails, or to hit paved hills when I wanted extra climbing, until, eventually, there were enough close calls, ugly incidents, and reports of other deaths that I decided once and for all to stick to what I know and love best: trails.

It wasn’t an easy decision. I’m wired with the expectation that I can and probably should enjoy every adventurous pursuit available. Kite surfing? Count me in! Ice climbing? I just sharpened my tools. The idea that I would give up something I like because of an excess of caution didn’t sit well, even if I knew it was the smart thing to do. So, you know, me being me, occasionally I’d violate my rule and log a few miles here and there on the road.

It’s been about a half decade since I said goodbye to that beautiful Specialized Roubaix and the situation on the roads has gotten worse. There are a lot of aggressive jerks in Orange County who drive way too fast, but we are in the midst of an epidemic of road accidents everywhere. And you know the reasons why: smartphones. People are texting, fiddling with Waze, trying to skip songs in Spotify. Deaths from distracted driving increased 8.8 percent between 2014 and 2015—almost 300 more people died than the previous year—the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported. The number of cyclists killed by cars jumped by 12.2 percent—89 more died than in 2015—to the highest level in 20 years. Insurance companies are paying out more than they’re taking in, directly because of distracted driving accidents, and premiums are consequently increasing.

Michael LaRocco, chief executive of State Auto Financial Corp., recently told an insurance-industry conference that it’s “an epidemic issue for this country.”

A New York Times story this week quoted Tim Burns, the owner of Village Bikes, as saying, “I’ve lost three customers who died being hit by cars. I don’t even try to sell road bikes anymore. People don’t drive a car anymore. They do everything except drive a car — texting, putting on makeup.”

This is true everywhere and not just in places where drivers gun on surface streets and don’t respect cyclists. Distracted driving knows no geographical, gender, or age boundaries. It’s just not safe out there, I don’t think it will be again, and I’ve long stopped feeling like Chicken Little. Too many people have died, too many people have gotten hurt. We all have to make our decisions for ourselves, and I try to mind my own business, but when I see friends training in the bike lane while Cadillac Escalades zoom past them at 60 mph (Sean, I’m talking to you), I want to beg them to stop. Road cycling is a beautiful, wonderful, noble pursuit. And there are places and times and situations where it’s perfectly safe. Gravel comes to mind. Italy, too. But when a 4,000 pound vehicle going fast is separated from a fragile little creature on a 20-pound bicycle by nothing, there is no margin for error. In the modern urban, suburban, exurban racetrack, it’s just not worth it. Not for me, anyway.

Last Saturday, I kept riding. It was wet, it was cold. Less than a mile down the road, a landscaping truck with balding tires fishtailed and spun 180 degrees going down a hill. No cars were around for it to hit. No cyclists, either. I watched from the sidewalk as it corrected course and continued down the road.

Instead of going along the coast highway, I headed toward a paved bike and walking trail and went inland. A few miles later, at an intersection, I leaned one arm against a streetlight pole and waited for the red to change to green so I could cross. Duct-taped to the pole was a poster with a picture of a dad surrounded by his kids. “Please help us raise money to support the family,” said the flier. The father was in a coma. He’d been riding his bike the week before, on this road, and was hit by a car.

Note: For those of you who’ve complained, sometimes in less than civil terms, about riding on the sidewalk, it is legal in some parts of the municipalities where I live. Typically, it’s allowed outside of downtown and busy pedestrian areas. If I do encounter pedestrians, I move to the street or bike lane to go around them, and give them plenty of room. I know this isn’t enough to satisfy some but I follow the laws, ride only where it’s legal, and try to be considerate to others.

Photo by jbdodane

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Steve Casimiro is the editor of Adventure Journal. Follow him on Instagram at @stevecasimiro.
Showing 34 comments
  • David Anderson

    I think we will have to wait until ALL drivers are using self driving cars before it will be safe for road bikes again!

  • Devin J

    This applies at a lesser extent to running as well. I’ve recently taken up training again after a 5 year hiatus. I won’t say that I am amazed at the increase in distracted drivers since 2012, but I am surely frightened by it and feel as though I am on constant alert, while seldom being able to feel relaxed. I notice too that runners and cyclists are often just as distracted as drivers. Head phones on checking texts in the middle of a run and paying little attention to others around them. Distracted drivers and distracted pedestrians are a deadly combo.

  • Dustin

    This is a frustrating essay. While I empathize with the sentiment (& love adventure-journal), statistically biking is SAFER than it has been in the past. The number of total deaths and accidents is up, but not as significantly as is the total number of riders. More people are biking, but more bike lanes, bike paths, and critical mass efforts have actually improved biking’s safety profile. We need more people riding daily, and this will make it safer for everyone. Please don’t use statistics to frighten and misinform.

    • Steve Casimiro


      All due respect, but I’m not misinforming anyone. The statistics back up what anyone can see: that the roads are far more dangerous because of distracted driving than they used to be. One recent study that I didn’t include determined that the distractions of technology are statistically countering the gains we’ve gained from safety features like anti-lock brakes, blind spot warnings, etc. From a safety standpoint, we’re moving backwards.

      • TJ

        Steve, I think you’re completely missing Dustin’s point. You’re looking at the absolute number of cycling deaths without considering: 1. the growing US population and 2. the growing number of cyclists. You also don’t have the analysis to show that 815 deaths is a statistically significant increase from previous years. If the 2015 increase in deaths is due to the prevalence of smartphones then why did the number of cycling deaths decrease between 2013 and 2014? I’d recommend doing a follow up article with more statistical rigor once the 2016 figures are released.

        2005-2014 data: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812282
        Number of smartphone users: https://www.statista.com/statistics/201182/forecast-of-smartphone-users-in-the-us/

        • Steve Casimiro

          Maybe I am missing his point. But I think he’s missing my broader message—the roads are dangerous and there’s no margin of error for the cyclist when a driver makes a mistake. I’m not telling you what to do, I’m just sharing my view and the decision I came to. And frankly, when it comes to one person’s experience, both anecdotes and statistics are irrelevant: The bumper of a pickup truck knows nothing of data trends. It only takes one.

          When it comes to risk and perceived risk, we all have to make these decisions for ourselves. I feel far safer traveling on skis in the backcountry than I do in the local bike lanes. You might feel the opposite. That’s fine. I wrote this essay—not an article—and put it out there to raise the issue, which I believe is important for all of us to consider and discuss.

    • Christophe

      Statistics are one thing, but over the course of 25 years of road racing I lost five close training partners and teammates and just as many acquaintances to cars. It’s insanely dangerous to ride on the road.

  • Christophe

    From 1987 until 2010 I averaged between 6,000 and 10,000 road miles per year. Then I lost a very close training partner and several other road racing teammates and pals. I’m a dirt-only rider now. I am still a roadie to the core, but it’s just not worth it to roll the dice, and roll the road.

  • Kris

    Statistics and data are usable resources for making a decision. If someone wants to alter their activity for a safety concern they most certainly can do so. Steve, I applaud your courage and sharing your voice here. Everyone who has responded, I’m proud of our 1st Amendment that allows us to disagree.
    It’s an engaging decision that really resonates with anyone who steps outside into the world. To live is risky, to choose your risk is wise.
    Live fully,

    • Steve Casimiro

      Indeed, and thank everyone for commenting in an intelligent and reasoned manner. We’ve had to delete or block quite a few comments on the backcountry skiing and localism story because a few grumps want to through stones.

  • Dustin

    I’ve lost several friends in car accidents over the years; therefore, I’ve decided to stop driving an automobile (In terms of statistical trends, this is actually a more defensible statement than deciding to stop biking out of fear.)

    Encourage people to change their bike routes, use better lights and reflective clothing to improve visibility (I personally look like an emergency vehicle / disco ball during my morning bike commute), and advocate for more car-free path and trail options in your community to improve safety further… But please, please don’t tell people not to bike based on flawed (incorrect) study analysis. Too many people across the country (me included) have invested countless hours into making our cities more bike rider friendly. The progress must continue, but it is safer to ride your bike now in most places than ever before. For the environment, for your health, for your pocketbook: ride your bike everywhere you possibly can.

  • Minh

    I’m also from orange county and I know the exact incident that you are referring to (I believed it happened on super bowl sunday). I too was once an avid road cyclist and like you, I lost a friend a few years back when a driver under the influence of drugs hit him on PCH by crystal cove and didn’t even bother to stop. It’s a sick sad world out there now. I remember a time when hit and run were unheard of, not that the streets were safe, but at least people would stop to help and accept responsibility for their actions. Now it feel like every few months there’s a hit and run incident involving a cyclist. I still own my road bike but I hardly ever ride it anymore, when I do, it’s either down the coast on the beach path, back bay, or a river trail.

    I still ride mountain so maybe I’ll see you out there sometimes!

    • Steve Casimiro

      I think we may be semi-connected through Strava. Feel free to find me there…

  • Chris

    Please stay off, or at least don’t mention, the sidewalks. Drivers thinking bikes don’t belong on the road is also part of the problem, distracted driving notwithstanding.

    • Peter

      I will ride on sidewalks whenever I feel that my safety is at risk. Further, I will not feel guilty about it. The author of this article is spot on. I live in what is widely considered a very well served bicycling community and state. We are blessed with a large number of bike trails and infrastructure, yet there is an area of my daily ride where there is no room for me to ride safely on a very busy street. I think it’s time for the cycling community to recognize the difference between bicycling advocacy and activism. I will not endanger my safety to make a point about a bicycle’s place on the road.

  • Dave King


    While I’m not familiar with the data that you and others have quoted (nor do I honestly have time to read the original research – which is vital to understanding the data, results and conclusions as data without context can be misleading), I am intimately familiar with your experience and emotional reaction to it.

    I have been a road cyclist in the Bay Area since 1987 and since then I have witnessed the numbers of cars on the road (esp “country” roads) increase greatly (I blame Waze for some of that traffic on country roads). I know several people who have been killed or seriously injured by cars (not all were the driver’s fault). My own experience is not just that drivers are more distracted but they are also in more of a hurry, are more impatient and are less respectful of other road users (other drivers and pedestrians, not just cyclists). I am also older (mid 40’s) and my tolerance for risk has diminished.

    All of this has lead me to enjoy road riding less, which saddens me. I mountain bike as well and fortunately have a few miles of single track trails not far from me in Oakland. But I also love to ride a road bike. Unfortunately, on almost every ride there is an encounter with a driver that is distracted, driving recklessly or is threatening or abusive. I have a camera light on the rear of my bike and have purchased one for the front to document these encounters for future use if someone is seriously injured by that driver. Closecalldatabase.com is a website that catalogues these encounters with drivers – I highly recommend checking it out and using it as needed.

    More and more I am heading in your direction. Unfortunately, the trails here in the Bay Area are quite crowded with other users and while I drive the 15 mins to the trail head, I would prefer to ride the 20 mins to get there. 15 years ago I honestly believed that the Lance Effect on attracting people to the sport would make road cycling safer but that does not seem to be the case.

    Short of moving to a town that has mountain bike trails right out my door, I don’t know what the answer is. Last spring I rode Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite on my road bike on the weekend before it opened to cars. It was one of the best days on a bike simply because of the absence of cars and my brain was not constantly on edge.

    Many people are fighting the good fight to make roads safer for cyclists and I will continue to support them. I am not quite ready to give up on road cycling, but I have curtailed riding at certain times of the day when traffic is heaviest and drivers are at their worst. However, if current trends continue as I suspect they will, then it’s likely that I will no longer own skinny tire bikes at some point in the future.

    Thanks for writing this and thanks to everyone for their measured and reasoned responses.

    • Steve Casimiro

      Thanks for sharing this, Dave. Really appreciate it.

      I should also qualify something, as I saw a lot of sad emojis on this piece linked on Facebook—I have always been most passionate about riding in the dirt. It’s a simple equation: I want to be in nature, not dodging cars. Mountain biking has always been my favorite, by orders of magnitude. In abandoning the roads, I’m not giving up my life’s passion.

      But it does make me sad. For most of my life, I’ve only dealt on with aggressives and idiots on the road—those who yelled as they went past, or threw cans or something worse. Such incidents always tainted a ride, but were relatively quickly forgotten. Today, though, we’re in a different culture, precisely the one you identify. Faster, more stressed, always in a hurry. So, while I’m bummed I feel that it’s unsafe for me to ride, there’s a larger ambient sadness, that this is who we’ve become.

      The solution, I think, is for everyone to drive VW Vanagons. Although I sold mine about a year ago, there’s nothing like driving an old van to make you chill right down.

  • Lou

    Your article really resonated with me. While I may or may not be supported by data, I have reluctantly come to the same place as you. I’ve been riding road bikes since the 70’s and have ridden in amazing places. But traffic and people’s behavior have changed. As others have mentioned, the incidence of hit and runs seem to have skyrocketed. Last year, we sold our house and are living as digital nomads out of a camper. Of course, we brought bikes. But instead of road bikes, we brought our CX bikes. A bit slower, a bit heavier but way better for gravel roads and single track. In the last 6 months we’ve ridden in 5 states, rarely on the road. It makes me sad to feel this way, but have had one too many close calls. Some of my friends think I’m over-reacting. I don’t care.

  • Ken Achenbach

    As a former bike courier, I actually love riding in city traffic. One of my favorite vacations is going to NYC, renting a bike and rallying in traffic. You have to ride your bike like it’s a skateboard and be an offensive rider. Offensive meaning on offence, not being an asshole. Being a courier you learn very quickly how to stay alive riding in traffic. Constantly think you are invisible, and ride like you are so you have a higher probability of staying alive. You learn that bumpers don’t care who is right. If you get hit you lose.

    Distracted driving might be killing more people on country roads or in less traffic because drivers think there’s no cars so, “I can sneak in a quick text”. Bikers might be getting hit more in situations like that because it goes back to bikes being invisible.

    Having learned to ride in traffic and having learned that even though the law says I have rights, you have to ride like you have none, so it drives me insane when I watch people ride bikes in traffic that think the same rules that apply to pedestrians apply to them. As soon as you are on a wheeled vehicle all the rules of the car world apply to you. How did I find that out? By getting tickets. Speeding,stunting, riding on sidewalks, changing lanes without indicating, riding in crosswalks. I think I got a ticket for everything other than a DUI. Which as a friend of mine found out, you can actually get that on a bike. Anyway, getting those tickets taught me that a bike is considered vehicle and all the rules of driving a car apply and how to ride in traffic with the assumption that to drivers, I’m invisible. I wasn’t invisible to the cops but that’s another story. So when I see cyclists in crosswalks bike across in front of cars thinking, “I’m a pedestrian I’m in a crosswalk, this car has to stop” and then giving drivers the stink eye for not stopping, shows me why so many people get hit. Rolling into an intersection and thinking “I’ll take the crosswalk so the cars have to stop”, or rolling off the sidewalk into an intersection without stopping. You don’t have the right of way. It’s the same as if you pulled out in front of a car without the right of way. Why would you think that car would stop? Why would you as a driver think that the person on a bike would be so stupid as to roll out in front of you expecting you to stop? Perhaps that’s why it’s safer to ride in Europe, pedestrians don’t have the right of way. You learn at a young age not to expect a 2-5000 pound vehicle doing 30 to stop in three car lengths just because you want to cross the street…RIGHT NOW! AND I’M NOW A PEDESTRIAN! Maybe it’s euro riders get taught the physics lesson. It’s easier to stop your leg from taking a step or a pedal than it is to stop a car doing 30 -50mph in 70 feet.

    Same with riding two or three wide or not riding in a straight line. Yes, you might be in your rights but bumpers don’t care. It’s the same reason I love driving in the third world. Once you realize there is no law and the only rule is whatever is biggest has the right of way / wins, you are a lot safer. You don’t expect that dump truck to yield to your scooter. It’s bigger than you, so you get out of the way. Once you come to that understanding, you’re a lot safer. I don’t say that as a dick car driver I say that as a bike courier. You’re responsible for your own safety. Don’t expect the person in the car to look out for you. You’re invisible, remember?

    Having made all these different points in the end though, I totally agree with you. People can quote stats all day. In 2013-2014 crashes were down etc. 4 years ago is forever in tech. Think about how much more you can do with your phone. No wonder people are distracted. The accident stats haven’t kept up to the reality of the speed of change that phones have made in our lives in so many ways. Some are great and some unfortunately lethal. Maybe instead of petitioning for more bike lanes to increase rider safety, the cycling industry should be petitioning the government to make it so that once a phone is travelling faster than the speed of a person running, it shuts down portions of the phone to prevent the possibility of distracted driving. Distracted driving straight up kills people so I hope that everyone stays safe. In the mean time…
    TO THE DIRT! Where you can be invisible and enjoy it.

  • David

    The class 1 bike paths in Irvine are my go to for road riding. Shady Canyon is a beautiful ride. Otherwise I stick to all the dirt in Laguna Canyon.

    • Steve Casimiro

      Yo tambien.

  • JJ

    I relate 100% to this article. About a year ago, I sold my road bike and bought a fat bike for these very reasons. Also quit running on the roads, and run trails now. Had too many close calls! Roads are boring anyway and beat up my joints. Never regretted my decision to keep it on the dirt.

  • Dan Murphy

    I totally understand how you feel, especially where you live. If one frequents bicycling forums, you hear about every death, and it gets to you. It slowly eats away at you until you decide enough is enough.

    Fortunately, I live in the semi-boonies, west of Boston. My rides take me on country roads, avoiding anything that’s close to being a main road. If the pavement sucks, that’s what fatter tires are for. But believe me, I know I’m still one texting teenager away from getting whacked. We just don’t have the people SC has where he lives.

    My riding has evolved over the years, from exclusively road, to mostly MTB, to mostly road, to my current mode of mixed-terrain and country roads. I now seek out areas with dirt roads and bad pavement because mentally, I feel so much better on them. I can go out my back door and do a mixed ride for 2-3 hours, spending 75+% of the time off-road, a lot of it on singletrack. Looking back at roads I used to ride 20-30 years ago, I have no interest in riding them now. They’re boring or have too many cars. I’m sure getting older has a lot to do with these changes, I definitely smell the roses a lot more while I ride, and I definitely don’t beat the crap out of myself like I used to. I’m just glad to be out there.

    Here’s one data point that summarizes my current riding. We recently completed a 6-month trip around the US and had our bikes with us. I have two sets of wheels for mine – a set with 25mm tires geared for road, and a set with 40mm tires with low gearing. I’m guessing I had the wide tires on 80+% of the time. I bought bear spray, too. 😉

    I really want to see very strong laws with regard to handheld devices. Believe me, I love my phone and what it can do for me, but people have to be responsible drivers, and there is no excuse for whacking a rider simply because one was using their phone. We’ve all seen drivers in front of us swerving all over the road because they’re on their phone. And no, disabling a phone while it’s in motion is not the answer.

    Good luck everybody.

  • Mitch

    This former ultracyclist agrees with the author. One can cite statistics to get an accurate probability of getting killed, but rational analysis goes out the window when you know three people who have gotten killed. I have not ridden roads in 7 years after I realizd that my life was out of my hands on a road bike. Godspeed to everyone on a road bike.

  • doug moore

    I ride from Glendale to USC (DTLA) campus 3 or 4 times a week. Motorists with phones + legal marijuana + speeding is a huge problem.

    Coming off a fractured right foot from a car that hit me back in Dec, I have healed enough to start riding again. I am surprised how good it feels to be out commuting again.

    Motorists routinely call cyclists crazy for trying to ride along side cars in traffic. I am beginning to think they are right.

  • kevim

    When the body count around Newp Bch got to 12 on the climbing circuit (Newp Coast, Spyglass etc) I said F this. It’s too crazy these days on the road.

    Dirt rules.

    • Steve Casimiro

      12? I hadn’t heard that many people were killed up there. That’s just horrible.

      There’s plenty of dirt climbing to be had between Aliso Woods and Crystal Cove.

  • kevin

    Two in one day a couple years ago – Lady doctor up on Newp Coast and young woman on PCH/Bayside. San Joaquin’s had more than a few.

  • Ted

    I relate to this article as well. I am on the west side of LA and the Inland Empire. I attempted a ride on a Sunday morning thinking that all would be well, yet I soon realized the mad fury that is modern city traffic. I consigned myself to the sidewalk and with much trepidation realized things had changed. More precisely people have changed. It is sad to see the frenzy that people drive with. On the west side it’s balls to the wall between stop signs. I no longer feel safe on the sidewalk as I have seen and read the tragic tales of the slightly distracted jumping the curb. I gotta get out of this place and away from this madness. I long for the the quiet back roads I used to ride on. I still dream it is possible, though something tells me the world has changed all over. Be safe.

  • michelle

    I believe that they are going to have to ban phones in the car period. People are too addicted to checking their phones. They need to be in the trunk or locked in the glove compartment. Driving is a privilege and a huge responsibility and people seem to have forgotten that.

  • Simon

    It’s not just the US – I live in the UK and used to commute to work in central London by bike for part of my route for many years until I was hit by a car two years ago. Sadly many of the comments and observations about careless and aggressive drivers seem all too familiar here too. I’m actually grateful to see someone else thinking the same as me – it is just too risky on the road and I too am contemplating giving up the road and getting a mountain bike.

  • RL

    I got hit yesterday by a driver who ran a red. He was traveling at 30mph and I was broadsided. It was-up until that point one of a the best rides I’d had in the last 4 years from a pure fitness (W/kg) standpoint.

    I had been receiving a bit of flack from other riders on the road because I had been wearing a hovding “airbag” helmet…. and us cyclists are generally snobby and elitist to some degree. I could hear people talking about it throughout the day and speaking as if I were an idiot for wearing something so out of the ordinary. The irony was, I had just heard a guy posing the question to his friend of whether it would work or not.. “oh look at that airbag thing” wonder if it works”? Well, 30 min’s later, it did work. And I feel that it saved me from serious head- and neck trauma. unfortunately I’m dealing with some back issues but the scans didn’t reveal any glaring fractures or compression.

    I wholeheartely feel that a helmet can save a life but falls short of reducing head trauma and thus has become an antiquated technology. The general design has changed very little. I think the industry is taking advantage to a Degree as, they are so inexpensive to manufacture and are able to charge so much. And Stylistically theyre shit, but we’ve accepted them to be the norm.

    There are downsides to the airbag as well but, I just wanted to share my experience.

  • Frank

    I got to agree with this article. I was a commuter who cycled all over till I got hit by a truck a few months ago. The truck was in a hurry it was morning and he tried to go past me, He misjudged the distance hitting me from behind. fractured my wrist. 3 fingers and fractured my scapula. Bones are all healed but I go to Physical Therapy 3 times a week to this day. Had to get another job cause I was out so long recovering. Luckily the guy had insurance but even so I’ll never be the same again. I can ride again which I love but riding on the street is a dicey proposition. I stick to my local gravel and paved trails. Until we have dedicated lanes separating riders with some concrete barriers or something its not worth it, You can quote statistics all you want but the fact remains its too dangerous to ride side by side with vehicles. While I was recovering there was a young man on a small two lane road that was hit near his home outside the city. It was a hit and run, they found him the next day in a ditch. Very chilling to say the least. All around my city I see ghost bikes. Bikes painted white to mark where someone died cycling. If that”s not enough proof of the danger of vehicles I don’t know what else to say. A friend of mine who bikes told me awhile back” Just cause the law says we can be on those roads with traffic doesn’t always mean we should.” Stay safe everyone.

  • Mike

    2 days ago I was struck from behind by a hit-and-run driver on a quiet residential road in upstate NY. The driver had come way over onto the wide shoulder where I had been riding and slammed into me from behind doing about 45mph and then drove away as I laid there in the road. Some people witnessed it but didn’t get the license plate. I laid in the road in shock until paramedics arrived and fortunately I didn’t break any bones but was severely bruised and my bike was heavily damaged.

    I’ve been an avid road cyclist for over 30 years and this is the first time that I’ve ever had an accident with a car though there have been many close calls. In recent years I have noticed a huge increase in distracted drivers and my guess is that was the case with the person who hit me. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the whole incident and the fact that this person actually drove away while I laid in the road because for all he knew I could have been dead. So I’ve been searching the internet for other people’s experiences and to my surprise there are countless stories just like mine. I’m starting to consider giving up riding on the road now which is really sad because it has been one of my favorite activities for decades but the reality of how dangerous the roads have become is starting to hit me. I don’t see how the situation will ever get any better and will most likely just get worse.

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