How do you guys overcome the guilt of cycling?

Like many of you I have a family with young children. Around the middle of last year I all but stopped cycling outdoors due to an increase in car-related injuries in my area; there’s been a marked increase in traffic due to new communities being built and major thoroughfares being shutdown for deferred maintenance. We had a few fatalities last year and a number of hit-and-runs, even with groups.

I’m sure a lot of you are concerned about road safety, how do you all with families get over that mental block/guilt of putting yourself in danger?


Mountain bike, trainer and thankfully have a bike path near by. There is always risk but I plan the safest route possible. You can eliminate a lot of risk by good route planning.

That and life insurance. :rofl:


I personally block it out of my mind. I suspect that the chances of dying on your bike are still lower than commuting to work on a busy freeway.

If you remove all risk from your life, then you have no life. Do you not swim in the ocean because you might get eaten by a shark or taken out by an undertow? Do you not mow the lawn because you might cut your foot off?

That said, I use common sense like not riding at night, not riding during commute hours when the roads are full and people are in a hurry to get home, staying off busy/sketchy roads, etc.

I also ride indoors more than I ever did when I was young and I’ve also rode a lot of gravel where there are no cars.


Dory : Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him . Not much fun for little Harpo.


It’s a risk and can’t be entirely eliminated but I am very careful with route planning. I’ve lived in the same area a long time and I know good roads and roads to avoid. I never assume drivers will do the expected thing and obey the law - I try to be prepared for worst case like running a red light or failing to signal a turn.

In the city I make sure of trails and low traffic streets when necessary to avoid bad streets. I frequent business and commercial areas after 5 and weekends when traffic is very light. I also get out of the city on country paved and gravel roads whenever possible. I also use a Garmin Varia which is really useful to be aware of what is approaching from behind.


Hello, im from slovenia. Here traffic is dense at the rush hour’s but not on all roads. Soo i pick the right roads and if i go to road that is alot of cars and im in their way i remove myself from the road because you make them angry and then it might happen something you dont want.
Like a man before me said dont think about something happening to you because then it will happen to you. You cant live your life normaly if you are scared. And not being scared of death is one big bonus :=), this doesnt mean that you go out as a kamikaze, it just means you go out and dont think about dying.
So picikng the right hours and roads is the best option if you can.


@Helvellyn @AJS914

Agreed, there’s no way to eliminate all the risk in life. I suppose the issue is also very subjective, I’m in the Bay Area of California where even the back roads are super busy during working hours.

I also wonder how many cycling fatalities are caused by the vehicle hitting the cyclings from behind.

Last August, I hit two deer while going downhill at 36 mph. This was four (4) days after my first child was born. Hospital admission, concussion, four broken ribs, road rash. Not a great way to start…

I still ride outside but try not to ride alone, try to avoid traffic, and try leave a little extra margin wherever I can. That said, there are some freak, unforeseeable events that occur in life (like hitting 2 deer in the middle of the day in August). My rationale is that I am not likely to die, and that I am a better father/husband when I can unplug and do the things I enjoy. I don’t expect my son to be 100% “safe” 100% of the time as he grows up – that’s part of living a full/complete life.

a healthy amount of car and life insurance also doesn’t hurt .


I ride at 5am on the trainer exclusively because of this. Takes away the safety concerns (I’ve already had 1 life altering bike on car crash) and the time guilt of taking time away from limited family time.


I think your framing may be part of the issue you’re experiencing here.

Guilt suggest moral wrongdoing/shame. If you’re really doing something evil/wrong then you probably shouldn’t be justifying it.

On the other hand, if it’s not morally wrong but just socially complicated, then that’s something you’d best be able to work out in conversation with the people whose relationships with you are affected by your riding.


Gravel and MTB! Still can’t quite figure out why anyone would road ride if they have access to dirt.


Life insurance.




Like many others, 5am gravel rides and a bunch of life insurance. Also as others have mentioned, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. I minimize risk where I can so I can do an activity that has profound benefits to physical and mental health, which consequently go a long way to reducing other major risks. There’s also no time lost with my kid because I’m almost always done before she’s even awake.

I don’t know. That video makes me want to go swim with orcas now.

Don’t have a family.

Jokes aside, like others have said, you just have to live your life. I’m probably selfish, but I’m not going to let what other people think determine how I live my life. It may sound flippant, but if I die, I can’t be sad that my family is sad. I’m dead. I don’t even let that thought in my mind to be honest. I wanted to go skydiving, so I did. I wanted to go scuba diving in the Caribbean so I did. I ride my bike on roads. That doesn’t mean I do stupid things that increase my chances of getting killed, but I’m not going to stop riding my bike on public roads. I like cycling. I’ll bomb down a hill at 60+ mph because it’s fun and I don’t feel unsafe doing it. If I did feel unsafe I wouldn’t do it. At the end of the day you gotta do what you enjoy. If you don’t the terrorists win.


I was born and raised in the Bay Area. 40 years ago there were country roads and no houses in every direction. I’m not sure where you live, but if I still lived there I’d be riding my gravel and mountain bike more and more. I used to live in the East Bay so Wildcat, Tilden, Crocket, and Briones were close by.



A Garmin Varia and the realization that we aren’t immortal no matter how many potential hazards we avoid.

I’d rather my kids see that there is fun in stating active and being healthy and that you don’t need to be afraid of everything.


My husband knows how important it is to me and also knows I am awful to be around when I am stuck inside and can’t get my zoomies out. I think he’s glad when I get a ride in - I am more tolerable to be around. :rofl: Sometimes I get to ride with him too, but he has his own life and his own interests that I support. We don’t have kids, and that makes it a ton easier. But in terms of danger, I ride mtb’s. On the road, I use heatmaps to discover routes that are safer, otherwise- blinky lights and using the turnouts when I hear cars.