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I feel safer riding than cycling.. ??

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by blackadder, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. In the ordinary week, I do ~500km of riding of which 50% is commuting and 50% is in the hills. I don't drive- the motorcycle is my primary means of transport.

    Recently, I've been cycling one-way (taking the train back) to work about 3 times a month from Ascot Vale to Monash Uni @ clayton. Of the 35 odd km to work, I only spend 2-3km on the road. So I'm primarily on bicycle trails by choice. The 2-3km bit of road has a proper bicycle lane too. I admit that I'm absolutely shit scared of cycling on the road. I feel a lot safer on the motorcycle. And I'm trying to understand why...

    When I explained this to other cyclists they didn't understand, especially considering that I ride a motorcycle. According to them, the motorcycle would be far more dangerous and scary than cycling. After all, anyone can jump onto their bicycle and ride around on the road, but a motorcycle is faster and harder to control.

    I've been trying to convince one cyclist to start riding a motorcycle. He is very keen and has spent a lot of time on these forums reading about roadcraft and safety stats. He often asks me about topics which frequent these forums, such as cars crossing over the line in the twisties, smidsy, and so on. I know for a fact that this guy and many other cyclists frequent the dandenongs and other hills, riding down at fairly high speeds of > 70km/h. What difference does it make coming off a motorcycle or bicycle? Both hurt? If anything, the motorcyclist is likely to be wearing a better helmet and maybe some leathers. Not to mention, better brakes, more grip, etc.

    So why aren't they called temporary australians? OK, so I'm exaggerating quite a lot, but still... In day to day commuting, say, in the CBD, what is the difference between them? Wouldn't the lack of speed for a cyclist put them in more danger? That's certainly the way I feel taking off from red lights... I get real anxious on a bicycle because I can't get the (f)uck out of there with cars passing around me. Obviously, a spirited ride in the hills at a much higher speed on the motorcycle means more risks.. I know there are a few cyclists here.. the question is to you: do you take safety on a bicycle as serious as on the motorcycle? Am I just crazy to feel safer on the motorcycle than bicycle?

    oh, btw, please no cyclist bashing LOL..
  2. I used to cycle on the road but there are too many manics on the road.
    At least with a motorbike you have a chance when you can power out or away from a situation.
  3. struggle to be seen on a motorbike fark imagine a pushie!!
    least you got oomph to get out of the way with a motorbike!!
  4. too dangerous for my liking. but in reality i don't think their stats are much worse than ours.

    what amuses me most is anti-motorcycle folk who buy their kids push bikes for christmas.
  5. Hey MT1, the worse part of that is that they don't buy their kids helmets for their pushbikes or they ride with their kids with their helmets hanging off the handlebars or the parents don't even wear them at all. Great example for kids... Plus it's law in nsw to wear a helmet or a $50 fine if you don't.
  6. I used to cycle to work when I lived close by and genuinely feared for my safety every day. On a bicycle (I feel) you are completely at the mercy of other people and their idiocy. On a motorcycle there are still risks, but you have the power to move away from situations that you don't like.

    Just my 2c.
  7. A moyorcycle is much safer, I'd have a friggin heart attack on a bicycle
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I'm an cyclist and getting my learner riders license in 3 weeks...(i'm literally counting down the seconds). I don't feel particularly safe when cycling on the road.. had a couple of close calls. I'm not one of those cyclists who take up 1/3 of the lane.. making cars think..do I pass him or now or..? I'll either be in the middle of the lane (albeit rarely like a roundabout etc) or as close to the side as I can get. I've never cycled in the city and reckon a motorbike would be safer..more visibility, able to power out of danger, brake lights etc

    With very limited experience.. I reckon you're more likely to get hit by a car on a pushy..but more likely to have a single person accident on a motorbike.
  9. I coem from a rabid cycling background, raced mtb all through school, have ridden 250km+ per week for years up until getting my moto, including 2 years in the tropics without a car at all. In all that time I've never had what I would call a "near miss" or a serious stack on the road (off road is different story).
    I believe that my riding ethos of 'ride like no one can see you' has kept me out of trouble, and the same attitude has worked for me on the motorbike as well, and the only trouble I've gotten into so far has been stuffing up corners in the twisties.

    My experience dodging traffic on a little 'ol pushie was one factor that gave me the confidence to get a motorbike, knowing that if I could hack it for so long unprotected and underpowered then I'd probably be fine with a few extra horsepower going for me.

    I got my first "fastbike" in January, and have put 4000km on her since then, riding every day when I'm home and out of town and the hills on days off, and it's been freaking awesome, but if I was going to find a downside to the whole thing, it's that my "slowbike" has been badly neglected, and it's lucky if I take it out once a fortnight now!

    I find the same as you blackadder, in that I now feel massively vulnerable on the pushie now, and it's pretty crazy how all the skills I've been working on with the motorbike, have ruined alot of the finer details of cycling that I used to take for granted, I'm talking about fun stuff like wheelies, stoppies, jumping off stuff and trackstands while waiting for the lights to change!

    My nerves for riding along busy roads are shot to hell as well, as I keep looking in the non-existant mirrors to keep an eye out behind me, and not having that easy 360 vision any more is very annoying.

    I think I'm going to have to make a concious effort to get on the bicycle more now, as I enjoy the cardio workout and the ability to get truly off the road, but at the same time I'm looking at switching from the gs500f to a LAMS super-moto so I can whip it a bit more, so I'm not sure where that'll leave room for the mtb!
  10. On a motorcycle I can keep up with the traffic and legitimately claim a lane, on a pushie? not a chance! Also look at the relative safety gear: kevlar, leather, full face helmet vs lycra and a $5 lump of styrofoam... I know which I'd prefer.
  11. Yes, it's the disparity in speed that is the problem. On a pushie you have every single vehicle on the road passing you, and you are on the opposite side of the lane to the driver of said vehicles. In a line of traffic, you are hidden from view until the last second.
    On a motorcycle, generally YOU are the one doing the passing of other vehicles, and are basically the master of your own destiny. Because you will travel at the same pace as the other traffic, or a little quicker, as you have the opportunity to filter. And create your own space.
    The same disparity occurs if you ride like a c@ck at a speed a lot higher than the traffic around you. In heavy traffic.
    Only my view. Others may differ.
  12. I bicycle a lot and completely understand the different feeling of safety. I feel so much more comfortable with a motor. Yet,the stats don't support the feeling. 2008 fatalities, 245:27. http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/safety/publications/2009/rsr_04.aspx
    I'm not sure what this translates to fatalities per 100000 km. The average cyclist would do far less km but there are a hell of a lot more of them.
  13. why do you think the cycling lobby groups are so against rego for bikes and licenses?

    because then they would be able to collect accurate statistics for the risks of road cycling.
  14. Apart from all the similarities, biggest difference is on a pushy you're at the mercy of every f&cking cager constantly passing giving you enough space.
    Of course many pass too close..
    On the moto, if you're riding correctly, no one (or only a few) passes you and it's easier to command your own space..
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Or because bicyclists like the anonymity they have and don't want to give it up. And don't want to pay for something that is free and free everywhere else in the world.

    I know a bit about survey stats and bike rego would tell you just that, how many people have bike rego.
  16. Hi Mahoney, I commute down St Kilda rd every weekday on a GS500F and always see the cyclists, and then my general fattishness, and it makes me wonder sometimes. In terms of fun, how does cycling compare to riding a GS500F? I like my motorbike, and am not thinking of getting rid of it (and given I've had my L's for 6 months am in a huge rush to upgrade), but am thinking of getting a pushie to commute on. I just want to know if (as main objective is fun) if it's worth dropping $500+ on a pushie or not (ie you think I'd get bored and use the motorbike anyway).

    For the record I imagine the motorbike feels safer because of all the kit you have on (anyone else get that sort of 'cosy' feeling when it's raining but your all nice and dry in your full face helmet...)

  17. Unless they've put in a chairlift and a downhill run with some jumps lately, commuting down st kilda rd on a bicycle is still going to be a long ride in a straight line except when you're dodging car doors and pedestrians, so I think it's a stretch to compare in terms of "fun!"

    On the other hand, if we're talking fitness and health, there's a reason so many people choose to cycle to work, it kicks the shit out of public transport and it's great for burning fat, also if you fang it every morning and get your heart rate up for a while it's great for cardio.

    But it's still not what I'd call "fun!"

    Even if you switched it up from moto to pushie a couple of days a week you'd probably see a health benefit pretty quickly, if you have showers at work then that's a bonus.
  18. ....I feel safer riding.... The end!
  19. Yeah I feel safer on the motorcycle. But I am not. Statistically per hour of exposure cyclings about as dangerous as being a ped. That is its about twice as dangerous as driving. Motorcycling.... well it depends on who you talk too but its at LEAST 10 times as dangerous as driving a car so 5 times as dangerous as cycling. Thats the minimum number any one talks about. MUAC talk crap like 42 times.

    Of course an individual has different risk factors... some people are way more at risk walking than I ever will be riding. But the point stands. Perceived risk is not the same as real risk.
  20. Cycling is given as 34 times more dangerous by the likes of the TAC. There's no stats on single vehicle bicycle crashes (but they are not uncommon) so it's hard to know.

    Cycling accounts for about one per cent of daily trips in Australia, but cyclists comprise two per cent of road transport fatalities and 15 per cent of serious injuries. Serious injury rates for cyclists are increasing as bicycle use increases (by 47 per cent from 2000 to 2007), while for most other road users rates are steady or declining. The relative risk of injury per kilometre travelled is several times higher for a cyclist than for a person in a car.

    Reference here...

    However there are several caveats here. As for motorcycles, bicycle vehicle kilometres traveled (vkt) are dodgy and single vehicle bicycle crashes (the majority) appear to be quite significantly under reported. There's no reliable figure for under reporting of bicycle crashes but EU estimates put it at a minimum of 20% ranging up to 60%.

    In conversations with Professor Marcus Wigan, he puts cycling on a par with motorcycling in terms of risk.