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You think riding a Motorcycle is Dangerous?!

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Kyba274, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Then try riding a pushbike to work.

    In my opinion riding a pushy along a busy road is 10x as dangerous than riding a motorbike.
    You have less brakes, less visibility, no mirrors, shit acceleration, lack of protective gear and so forth.

    Ride on the road and keep as left as possible: parked cars can open a door on you.
    Ride less to the left: cars have to do a wider arc to overtake you and get angry.
    Ride on the footpath (illegal in most states): high chance of ramming into car that is reversing out of their driveway quickly, around blind fencepost corners.
    Bike paths and cycle lanes? Very rare.

    Frankly I feel a dozen times safer on a motorbike than on a pushy, riding on the road. Heck just today on my 10min ride back from uni along a semi-busy street, i got beeped at twice by p-platers, and parked car door opened that i have to swerve.
    A holidaymaker in Rarotonga last year got killed because someone opened a car door on him while he was riding his pushy along the ONLY road they have.

    So next time someone starts lecturing you about how dangerous a motorbike is, tell them that riding a pushbike is far more dangerous.
    (in terms of commuting)

  2. well, u know what we say about bike riders in lycra :D
  3. I'd probably concur with you on that.

    I ride a bicycle, a motorbike and drive a 4X4. The perception of safety follows the same order. I have a friend where I work that commutes on a bicycle about a 45 minute ride each way each day. In the last twelve months she's had people throwing cans at her, a stalker try to pull her off the bike, she's been hit once by another cyclist and twice by cars. I keep telling her to buy a scooter...
  4. No, what?
    and no, i dont own any lycra...

    But shes doing it for the exercise right?
    I have a friend who does exactly the same thing. Commutes to work on her bicycle (30mins), and risks traffic and all sorts of danger.... but its all in the name of exercise!
  5. I commute about the same amount on cycle as on motorbike. I reckon they're about the same (with one major exception). The difference is that an experienced motorcyclist will have learnt strategies to deal with risk and rampant cagers. The vast majority of cyclists that I see (and let's be fair, most of 'em are still pretty new to it right now) simply trust in the law and drivers' common sense to protect them. Asserting your 'rights' on the road would get a motorcyclist killed.

    The exception is freeways. Vastly increased risk area for motorcyclists that cyclists don't deal with.
  6. I switched from my commute on a bicycle to a motorbike only 7 months ago.
    I have to agree that I feel safer on a mbike given the extra space (full lane), indicators, and most of all the full gear.

    No doubt I have more experience on a pushbike than a motorbike but a lot of my road sense has certainly assisted with my motorbike riding.
  7. the worst part of bicycling is being trapped on a busy two laned road with parked cars on the left and having to ride along with cars constantly overtaking you, and you having to watch out for parked car doors opening... i have that on my commute, and would far rather be on a motorbike or car than on a pushy on that road.

    I wonder what the statistics on motorbike fatalities vs. bicycle fatalities are...
  8. I ride a mountain bike to work in the city, on the footpath the whole way (bless QLD), since it's either that 15min cycle, 15min of splitting through grumpy city folk then paying 4.80 to park all day, or $5.50 for a 15min train ride. And yep...there is no way in high hell that I would ever take a pedal power bike on the road. I think as someone said before about 'new' cyclists trusting everyone else to obey the law etc etc... without any decent acceleration, that's all you've got!
  9. Hey guys, normly I stay away from all motorbike V pushbike posts but this 1 I am gonna step in as it doesn't seem to be just full of stupid comments towards cylclists...
    Firstly let me say u will never catch me on a bike on any sealed rd, simply as I choose not to.

    Now to the original posters post.
    In the form of brakes I have no idea wat setup pushbike have but I am guessing they are not that good... In my opinion tho pushies these days are not that heavy and u really aren't going that fast so in comparison of speed to weight surely if anything u would be able to stop just as fast as any car or bike could u not?

    Visibility: u are not wearing a helmet that fully encloses u'r head so u should be able to make full use of u'r perifferal vission?

    Mirrors: I have seen many cyclists out there with those little mirrors that clip on the end of u'r handle bars, not much different to motorbikes.

    Acceleration: it is u'r choice to commute by bycicle so there for acceleration should not even come into it but seems as tho it has, I have seen ( as I have been a truck driver) many cyclists that accelerate away from intersection alot fast than most everyday cars and trucks...

    Protective gear: wen it comes to skin and body protection it is u'r choice to wear Lycra, there is nuthing stopping u from wearing knee, wrist, elbow pads and or better helmets, who cares wat u might look like the protective gear IS out there u just choose to not wear it...

    In conclusion, I am not trying to start any arguements, touch on any sore points etc, etc...
    At the end of the day wether it is comuting to work or just a daily ride or a weekend bycicle ride up a mountain as motorbike riders do, u do all this by choice.

    Just my 2 cents...
  10. Shane, was there a point to what you said? That's a genuine question. Were agreeing or disagreeing with the OP? I couldn't tell.

    I don't agree with you.

    It really depends on the circumstances. I've been commuting to work on and off for the last two years, nary an issue. I know guys who have cycled to work over much longer distances, for much much longer periods, and based on your description, they should have been in the hospital multiple times. They haven't. Like motorcycling, much of what happens to the cyclist is up to the rider.

    From the outside, the perception that cycle commuting is dangerous is the same perception non motorcyclists have of motorcycling. The consequences of a collision are much greater than if you were wrapped in a cage and that is what makes it "more dangerous". If you're riding with fear then you're likely to perpetuate the concerns.

    Look up vehicular cycling - there may be some pointers in there for you.

    Yes there are risks, but cycle road craft can do a lot to manage the risks and one truism is that the more riders of all persuasions that get out on the road, the safer it will become since drivers will learn to expect and look out for us.
  11. get off the road farking pushbikes :p

    seriously you are as bad a trams.
  12. I think what Shane is saying that cyclists can mitigate some of the risks if they choose.

    The OP mentions several things that make it less safe - but in fact could take action to remove some of these factors.

    At the very lease you can get mirrors for bicycles, you can get protective gear for elbows & knees and wear lightweight gloves - but most cyclists for whatever reason don't choose to use any sort of risk-mitigation (and in many cases, not even a helmet).
  13. Bicycle helmets reduce grazing injuries and reduce the extent of injury from non lethal blows. A lethal blow is still a killer blow even with a bicycle helmet. The topic is well and truly covered on the bicycle forum I often frequent - papers, graphs, stats and all.

    Tony, I don't think the OP has made any statement about mitigating the risk. He's making an absolute statement about risk, from his POV.

    In my opinion riding a pushy along a busy road is 10x as dangerous than riding a motorbike. You have less brakes, less visibility, no mirrors, shit acceleration, lack of protective gear and so forth... Frankly I feel a dozen times safer on a motorbike than on a pushy, riding on the road... next time someone starts lecturing you about how dangerous a motorbike is, tell them that riding a pushbike is far more dangerous.

    I agree that there's lots one can do to make cycling "safer" - I just don't believe it's inherently as dangerous as the OP is making out. The OP makes the direct comparison between MC's and bicycle's but a confirmed cyclist could argue that motorbikes let you travel at higher speeds and play right in the traffic stream are more dangerous.

    Based on pure fatality figures, it's a no brainer, motorcyclists are more in the firing line than cyclists. I suspect though that cyclists are injured far more often than motorcyclists and that's probably completely due to gear differences.

    My position is that I don't agree with the basic sentiment that cycling is inherently so dangerous to the point that you almost wouldn't consider it as a viable transport option.
  14. Mmm, I'd have to side with the OP, Rob. Maybe not to the extreme that it isn't a viable mode of transport, but I do (depending on the situation) find it highly stressful at times.

    I much prefer riding a motorcycle "with" the traffic at traffic speeds in the traffic space as if I were a car, to trundling along between 10-40kph wedged inbetween the gutter and 50-70kph traffic, or between 50-70kph traffic and parked cars.

    But then, back in Newcastle that lead me to adjust my route cycling routes to favour roads with dedicated cycle lanes, or off-road dedicated cyclepaths, and all was right with the world.

    ... Which wasn't really an option in Wollongong, where even the backstreets between home and work were littered with "traffic-calming" chicanes and speedbumps-with-gardens that force cyclists to enter the path of 50kph cars, and the main roads were two lanes of 60kph hilly mayhem. I never had any 'near misses', but it wasn't an enjoyable experience.

    But hey - now I've moved to Brisvegas and there's a dedicated off-road cycleway which starts not much more than 50 metres from my front door - and finishes about 200 metres from work. I'm pretty confident that bicycling to work will actually be quicker than motorcycling to work, using that cycleway. Bring on the bicycle! :D

    Edit: Re brakes on a bicycle... Eh, never had any problem with the power of my bicycles' brakes. So long as they're well looked after and adjusted, even crappy rubber block brakes stop pretty good. Hydraulic disc brakes on a bicycle stop even better, of course. ;)

  15. Rob, he's making a comment about it being inherently dangerous and then listing some reasons - however if they are why he believes cycling is dangerous he can mitigate at least some of those risk factors if he chooses.

    It's similar to someone squidding and worrying about the lack of protective clothing. He can take some minimal steps - even wearing what skateboarders wear on elbows and knees is going to help; and mirrors are available so why complain about their lack.
  16. With regard to the OPs comment about cycle lanes and paths being 'rare', perhaps it's a geographical thing? My very limited exposure to Gold Coast roads suggests that they don't have many cycle lanes up there (?) In addition, roads seem to be either totally clogged or quite fast moving, with little in between.

    Inner north of Melbourne has cycle lanes on virtually every road, and the speed limits are extremely low. Outer suburbs here will be different again.

    Given the different environments, the risk is going to be different. It's hard to generalise.
  17. having just returned from some time in japan. i have to say that from my own observations that there is a certain level of respect between pedestrians, bicycle riders and car drivers. Here...well, it's like every ****ing twat for his/herself!
  18. Splitter!
    As if dissin' pushies will ever help the motorbike cause.
  19. I never stated that it was so inherently dangerous that it would be suicide to consider bicycling to work each morning.
    Its an efficient and economical way of commuting, and frankly if more people were to do it, then the whole country would benefit (ecologically, sociologically, physically, economically etc). One huge example is that if more people were to cycle, the percentage of overweight people would go down, and so public health costs would go down massively (cardiovascular diseases are the no.1 cause of death in most western countries).

    Back to the issue, what im saying is there are two things that make cycling more dangerous:
    Cars overtaking you every few seconds.
    Parked car doors opening.

    Now both of these issues are almost non existent if your riding a motorbike properly.
    The problem is that you must rely on car drivers to be compentant enough to not to hit you. Since I dont trust car drivers, this is an issue for me.

    Regardless, i will keep cycling to uni as it keeps me fit, is free, is good for the environment and keeps my motorbike from clocking up more commuting km's.
  20. No it was 10x more dangerous than motorcycling... your implications were clear, well so they seemed.

    On this point we're in agreement. There are some substantial benefits to be gained from cycling.

    So with my Melbourne bias out in the open IMO given that lanes are generally wide enough, cars OVERTAKING you do not present a significant risk - unless they veer into you deliberately or accidentally. Rarely happens. And anyway, in peak hour on many roads in Melbourne at least, good cyclists hold similar speeds to the average speed of the traffic - so differential speeds are low or indeed you're overtaking grid locked cars quite easily.

    As for the dooring risk, it's there, but cycle road craft can help manage that heaps - scan for heads and/or stay out of the door zone. That's proactive cycing.

    Well you'd hope that the dooring risk was zero for a motorbike. The absolute risk from being overtaken is about the same as for a bicycle I'd say - however on a motorbike you can overtake a car in ways that the driver doesn't expect... this brings the risk equation back to about even. Like I said, it's down to the rider and how they ride.

    Are you getting hit often? How many near misses per ride are you having?

    So it's not that risky afterall. Good on you for keeping on cycling then.