That’s nuts! Most companies I’ve worked with or for, including quite a few in the US, have had a rule against people even joining audio conferences while driving, let alone video conferences. I’ve seen quite a few people called out on it over the years and told to leave the call. Can you take it up with HR? If there isn’t a rule there should be.
I had a coffee thrown at me the last time I tried riding from the office on a lunch break ride. Later in the ride we were buzzed several times. When the amount of time you spend on your ride is looking over your shoulder and feeling anxious about every vehicle, it’s not worth it. I’ve spent years defending road riding, and I still do of course, but I’ve become even more selective on where and when I ride.
As someone has already pointed out, there’s no “being careful” and maintaining your own safety comes down to trust for your fellow motorists. My trust has been lost too many times. My co-worker still rides from the office even after the coffee incident, now when I’m invited I have to say no, and ride later in the day on trails, gravel, or the occasionally closed road. The only thing you can do is be seen, clearly that’s not enough though when people are driving with high levels of distraction, or worse, severe misplaced anger issues.
I’m so sick of hearing these sad stories. I’ve never seen more unattentive, angry, and impatient people in cars than I have right now. Is this mostly an American problem or is it common in other parts of the world where cycling has more of a heritage?
I’ve gone long stints with zero issues or at least minimum engagement with motorists actively attempting to threaten, assault or harass but then it seems I get some bad luck and have a stretch of really negative interactions. The luke-warm-shitty-gas-station-coffee to my face and chest was the last straw for me. They won. One less cyclist on that road, ever.
Over the years I’ve gotten buzzed, took a “slushie” (cold icy drink) to the chest, have been literally ran off the side of the road and gotten in verbal arguments with countless rednecks (the rich pricks just drive away). It stops being fun at some point. I still ride road from my home in a rural area but even then I’m very selective of when and what roads I choose. I used to commute by bike religiously, almost daily, and have advocated for more people on bikes on open roads. I just can’t advocate it any more, it’s really a dangerous proposition.
The very little riding I did in France was very nice. Although, not perfect (still got honked at a few times, but apparently that may have been just to let me know they were passing?) it was so much nicer than what I’ve experienced in the US. Southern states, northern states, out west - it all sucks.
While this is tragic, and traffic laws in the US (and most other countries) are a farce, the chances of this happening to any one individual are vanishingly small. Particularly if you follow good cycling practices on the road.
Because driving trains you to look for large moving objects that pose a threat to your well being. A small fast moving object is subconsciously ignored because it doesn’t pose a threat when drive a 4000 lbs vehicle. The human mind is bombarded with huge amount of stimulus as we drive. Your brain inputs it all and discards things that it deems unnecessary or in this case harmless. Think if it and a slight of hand trick. Why that works is because your focus is somewhere else. Driving your main focus is on large moving objects. Even is someone is looking directly at you in a car the chances are they are looking right passed you. And in this if he was taking part in a conference call or video call regardless of being hands free our not the drivers focus was elsewhere
My experience so far:
Southern Germany: mostly no issues
Northern Germany: bit of a mixed bag
Sweden: Zero issues
Netherlands: Zero Issues (although pedestrians and regular cyclist are not big fans of roadies it seems. Over here we are the reckless dicks lol)
This is a big reason why I am a mountain biker these days. I stay off the roads almost entirely after having a couple of close calls. There is no amount of caution that can protect you from apathy, ignorance, or stupidity. I am also lucky enough to be in a part of California that has enough of river paths and dirt to help me avoid the issue.
I think it’s fair of you to point out the statistical probability of being hit, however I don’t feel as though following good cycling practices has a positive effect on all motorists. Curious as to what you think good practice entails. How do you employ that on a group ride (when we did those)? And, do you feel as though riding alone, or with a group is safer? Why? And, this come from a genuine curiosity, I don’t mean for this to be argumentative in any way.
as tragic as all of this is, i think offroad riding has its bad habbits and dangers as well.
when I see the tempo many MTB/CX (motorized even with their eBikes) go thorough the forest … or on walkways and paths where they share the track with pedestrians, families doing a Sunday afternoon walk with their kids… then i see similar recklessness as mentioned above, just this time from the cyclist on the even weaker: pedestrians and kids.
moreover sometimes I think about what would happen to their back or head falling of the bike at that tempo offroad. heavy bruises are the best what can happen.
Gravel is so nice compared to riding roads near urban areas. Instead of honks and middle finger salutes (road) the few drivers I see on gravel wave and give me plenty of room. Some will even pull over to let the dust settle for me (seriously). This varies depending on where you ride of course - some areas are much more cycling friendly.
Completely valid that different activities bring with them different risks. I never thought I would be saying that I ride MTB because it is “safer”. That said, I don’t think that there is an equivalent to being struck by a car from behind when riding off road, save for maybe a mountain lion attack. Generally, injuries come from the rider themselves overestimating their abilities (something of which I have been guilty more than once), but that same risk is mitigated by better helmets that cover more of the head, and additional padding should you choose to utilize it. The ownice is on the rider to protect themselves and they have a real chance of doing so as long as they are honest with themselves about their abilities.
Yes, riders must use proper etiquette for their and other’s safety, but that is true on the road, and E-bikes, whether MTB or road fall into this same category. MTB trails, or at least the ones I frequent, tend to be directional and labelled as such which helps reduce the chance of a high speed collision.
Accidents and injuries do happen in both, but my point is only that I have chosen (because it is an option for me) to remove cars from the equation because they are a variable that I cannot control or protect against, and in my area, are becoming increasingly more of a risk.
On a non-injury related note, I have found that I enjoy myself more on gravel/dirt. As long as you are acting appropriately, people wave, smile, and are generally nicer than pedestrians along the side of the road. Again, just my experience.