I am temping at the moment and was speaking to my boss about bikes. Lovely man strapping 6"4. He told me he used to bike about 10 years ago in London but the traffic and aggressiveness of the car drivers on the road scared the living hell out of him. He said he loved being on a bike but never felt safe.
Has anyone ever given up biking due to these factors?
I just reckoned since he was so big and hunky he could knock out car drivers
Just seems sad thats all
was thinking this very thing myself yesterday
im seriously beginning to loose my bottle riding to work in the morning (north east london to south west)
I love biking, but in london it aint fun
For 16 years I have battled with Insurance companies over motor claims to obtain compensation for the victims of these accidents. I ride every where I can when ever I can, but if like a lot of you I had to pay your premiums or put up with the aggression you face day to day, I would start looking at a few of these claims and thinking things like that could be me and do I really want to carry on riding.
Fact is though I love my bike, I love not sitting in a traffic queue, should any one have any doubts about the best way to get out and about round London, borrow my car and do the same journeys you do by bike every day. I am sure any temporary thoughts of giving it all up would soon vanish.
No way am I quitting. You have good days and bad days out there. If it wasn’t for the bad days, the good days wouldn’t seem so good though.
I think if you ever feel entirely safe on a bike, then you’re being too complacent, which is when accidents happen.
From the people I’ve known who’ve given up, it generally seems to be pressure from partners who see it as unreasonably risky.
That’s my excuse for being single, anyway
im lucky in that respect- my other half has a bike too!
My partner understands, despite the recent offs, and wouldn’t try to convince me otherwise. She’s a star.
I’ve had a few reservations about my own abilities and the aggression of car drivers. But if you don’t get back on the bike, you may never ride again.
I know people who have felt like this and now limit their riding to just on a race track. Of course there are risks involved there too - but there are no cars, trees, pedestrians, telegraph poles to worry about. And if you do crash, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up in a run off area.
I don’t know how this would work out from a cost perspective - but perhaps what you pay in track day fees, you could potentially save on insurance premiums if not using your bike on the road at all.
Anytime I encounter aggression from car drivers it just makes me even more committed not to ever give up biking. I have had to adjust my riding style for commuting into London, I just treat every car driver like they are out to kill me!
No two ways about it, biking is dangerous. We will always come off worse in an accident. It is a personal choice you have to make. The best way you can approach it is by taking as many precautions as you can. Ride safe, ware the right gear. Watch out for other road users acting erratically. A green light might not always be safe as there are white vans etc that can jump a red light. Give HGVs a wide berth. Watch out for the people that might not have seen you. Saying that even the best riders can just be in the wrong place at the wrong time, e.g. the police motorcyclist that was killed recently.
It might sound sexist but I’ve always thought that is probably the reason why you don’t see many women riding bikes. Men are naturally risk takers. The benefits of having a fast bike that can cut through traffic outweigh the risks. You see a lot of women in their Chelsea tractors, completely inappropriate for driving round London and the reason they like them so much? It makes them feel safe.
If I hadnt taken some time out and ridden in the country as suggested by Andrew I would probably have had an insurmountable amount of road rage
The basic fact is, there’s no better way to get around London. With the right gear and bike, it’s the most convinient mode of transport there is. I agree that you get good and bad days, but if you are experienced, or take advanced training, then it won’t be a problem. I love it and never once thought about using another mode of transport. What’s the alternative? Car, bus, train? They’re all designed to reduce your personal time, empty your wallet and make your blood pressure climb to a point where you have a heart attack or retire to the country-side to live ‘The Good Life’.
Chin up Chocfawn!
I couldn’t give up bikes. I get completely free tube travel but still choose to commute on me bike every day instead of being stuffed in with a bunch of sweaty betty’s
I just really look forward to the ride to work, its the only thing to get me out of bed in the morning.
Good luck with your decisions.
I am not actually talking about myself
I would go your way…dropping a sheet load of cash on the floor saying ya like to buy petrol and riding a 125 !!..im in the wrong job…talking of jobs !..what job do you do ?
There is no way I could give up riding, I need the adrennalin rush evry day, I do an 80 mile round trip thru London and sure have bad days - but if its that or using public transport or a car, id sooner have a bad day on the bike, Actually I’m selling my car thru lack of use, so anyone wanna buy 2 year old corsa?
It’s got a big tank has the 125
Ohhh! …well I didn’t know that!!
Ain’t giving up biking…no way !!!
My 15 mile journey into work can take up to 2 hours in the car and 30 min on the bike. That’s up to 15 hours a week extra I have to do things I want! Not to mention the fact that I come home happy rather than the terrible mood (ask weaver lol) I am in if I have been sitting in the car going nowhere fast for that amount of time.
Aggressive drivers will be a problem whatever mode of transport you choose. At least on the bike I can usually get ahead of the trouble, although last night as I was filtering towards the North Circular Road, the driver of a car waiting at the traffic lights threw his door open just in front of me, leapt out and tried to start a punch-up with the driver beside him. All I could do was sit there and watch!
Having commuted all week I then spend time at the weekend going nowhere in particular, just happy to get the adrenaline rush of the wind in my face or a well taken corner.
Give up biking? Not until I am too old to get me leg over (a bike that is)