Experience in cycling - Interview with Alex

Dangerous situations on the bike

Many people are passionate about cycling and have unfortunately been involuntarily involved in dangerous situations on the road too often. Unfortunately, far too few cyclists speak openly about their accidents, injuries or the dangerous situations they have experienced on the road. But we would like to publish the stories of these people on our homepage to give them a face. We also want to encourage and warn other cyclists not to hide and to react correctly to dangerous situations.
 
We are currently interviewing cyclists throughout Germany to find out how they cope with everyday life on their bikes, what situations they have already experienced and what dangerous situations they have already been confronted with. We want to find out how different cyclists deal with such experiences and what advice they would like to pass on to everyday cyclists. Here you can find individual portraits of these cyclists. If you have ever been involved in a dangerous situation on your bike, please contact us (info@dashbike.de).
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We conducted an interview with Alex S. about his dangerous experiences in road traffic. We want to show you how he answered our questions and, above all, how he assesses the safety of cyclists in road traffic.
 
Alex belongs to the category of commuters and racing cyclists. Within one year he covers more than 4200 kilometers on his bike. He attributes this experience of being able to commute and train for 12 months without a break to the quality of the equipment on his bike. By purchasing a front light (Lupine: 1800 lumens), a rear light (180 lumens) and a rechargeable battery, which cost around 500€, he has saved a good 2000 kilometers in the past.
 
Because Alex sits on his bike almost every day, he has already experienced some dicey situations firsthand. But no cyclist likes to talk about such experiences when work colleagues or family are sitting around the table. Many people do not understand why one exposes oneself to such dangerous situations and wants to continue riding a road bike. He tells stories where vans and motorcycles have passed him at a speed of 60 km/h at a distance of less than 40 centimeters.
 
But what can these dangerous situations be attributed to? Is it, for example, due to the infrastructure, or the impatience of many drivers?
 
Alex thinks that dangerous situations are often caused by recklessness or time pressure on the part of the motorists. To this day, many drivers do not know that one should shift down 2 gears when passing a cyclist. They continue to pass others in 5th or 6th gear, depending on the vehicle model. In addition, 70% of the car drivers attempting to pass try to communicate something with the window open and the car radio turned up, while passing by to the bicyclist at 35 km/h. He also reports that he has had several opportunities to speak with these motorists after such dangerous situations and ask why they decided to make such a dangerous maneuver. Many have reported that they underestimate the speed of road cyclists. Men over 60 years of age in particular have realized that they would never attempt to pass their grandchildren or their own children with such a risky maneuver. If you start a conversation and tell yourself that there are 2 small children waiting for you at home, your facial expression changes immediately and a guilty conscience arises.
 
To what extent did the dangerous situations you experienced influence or even change your own driving behavior?
 
In Alex's case, these experiences have led to a change in the way he drives and thinks. He has realized that most road users think of themselves first and foremost. His motto is: "Always count on the stupidity of other people".
 
Have there ever been situations on the road that were so dangerous that the police were called in?
 
For Alex, filing a report with the police is unfortunately a waste of time, since there is often no video evidence to reconstruct the dangerous situation or the accident. He also criticizes the fact that the person who caused the accident does not receive any training or sufficient advice from the police regarding how to behave towards cyclists. Only a penalty is issued, which does not reach unreasonable people, because they think they are still in the right. If these people were to be questioned later, all that would remain would be anger towards the cyclist.

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