There’s a great post at Bike Radar about how to survive a bike crash, since we will all have one eventually. Before the safety dogs go nuts, think about this: How many people do you know who have never ever ever been in a car accident? How many people do you know who have never ever ever fallen down walking or running? I’m thirty and have been car-free for four years. And I’ve been in exactly five car accidents, one o of which I caused and one of which (not the one I caused) totaled my car. Sure, I know people who have been in fewer accidents, but I know people who have been in more, also, even people younger than I am.
I don’t know if everyone is going to crash on their bike, though. There are people who ride way more than I do who haven’t crashed as adults. Last winter, I went down on some ice on January (just a bruise and scratch in the paint of my downtube and a lot of thankfulness that there were no cars and that only one person saw me) and infamously went down in April (from which my hands are still busted up). I know Mr. Zack had a (literally) scrape with the wall on the Jones Falls Trail switchback at Stieff, but he didn’t go down — just got rock-wall-rash on his arm. Certainly, there are veritable bike heroes in Baltimore like Barry, who have been in some crashes. But in a cases like this, I chalk it up to just plain high mileage. I don’t know anyone who rides their bike more than folks like Barry and Greater Brown Bear. In other cases, I’m sure, crashes get caused by people riding drunk, on dark streets sans lights, by not paying attention, easily-prevented equipment failure, etc.
Sometimes, as happened to me (with my little 8 mile commute) and as happens with high-mileage folks (certainly not including myself in that category), cars and infrastructure might eventually get you. But will it get all of us, as cars are getting more used to seeing us and when the infrastructure for cycling in Baltimore gets better every single day?
I wouldn’t want to tell someone whose interested in cycling but afraid to take the plunge, “Dude, you’ll crash one day. A pot hole, car door, ice, gravel, drunk guy — it’s gonna happen.” But I wouldn’t want to outright lie, either.