Risks of Riding

Last summer, I bought a mountain bike. Since then, I've had a great time rediscovering the joys of cycling on trails and roads. I even participated in my first triathlon. Cycling is a great way to stay in shape, or so I thought.

Bent Bike

Then, two weeks ago, I had an accident. While riding down a hill on the Poto, my front wheel hit a stump and stopped dead. My bike and I did a complete forward flip. I landed on my back and managed to bruise a few ribs. The accident really shook me up, and it still hurts to breath deep.

Then, yesterday, while riding downtown, I got hit by a car (driven by a distracted Ann Arbor Art Fair artist). I escaped with only a scratch and a bruise, but my bike's front wheel got mashed.

So, now I'm wondering whether the long term dangers of riding a bike outweigh the health benefits. Don't get me wrong. I'll keep riding because I'm stubborn and it's fun. But I'm no longer convinced it's good for me. If you can point to any good data on the subject, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Strange Connections

If you have this Findability Study, please send me a copy. It's free, but their registration system is broken. AIIM should read their own study, if they can find it!

Peter - and here I was thinking of biking more. Living in the Boston area, that's always scared me, and now even moreso! Hope you heal up mentally and physically.

On the Market IQ on Findability front - sorry to hear you're experiencing problems with the registration system.

What's happening that is broken, specifically?

We've had over 400 downloads in the last day, so it seems to be working overall. But usability issues are always concerning to me, so let me know what's happening, and I'll mention it to the web staff.

Findability is one thing, actionability another - and if this is broken, let's get it fixed.



What scares me is that when I told my mom about the accident, she said "Well be careful. These things often come in threes." So, I'm more at risk than you ;-)

Regarding the Findability study, I completed the registration form but never received the verification email. I requested a resend this morning to no avail.

But, I did get a copy on the black market, and I'm looking forward to reading it. Cheers!

Hi Peter - You might find this Grist article written by Alan Durning helpful: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/10/8/143547/109

Durning concludes that the health benefits of cycling actually do outweigh the risks. He heavily cites the work of Rutgers University researchers John Pucher and Lewis Dijkstra. As a side note, Pucher recently gave a fascinating talk about how the most bicycle-friendly places in the world have established cycling as everyday transportation: http://www.sfu.ca/city/city_pgm_video020.htm


Wow! What a fascinating article! Thanks Julie!

Dan, same problem here--system doesn't seem to be sending verification emails.

Peter, I've wondered myself about the cost/benefit of a lot of physical activities. I frequently hear about accidents or other physical ailments that result from fitness-related activity.

I'm curious how representative this cognitively biased selection of top-of-mind anecdotes is of the actual statistics. I like the Gristmill piece, but I'm interested beyond the choice of transportation alternatives.

Just remember, Einstein came up with some of his most profound theories while riding a bicycle.

You don't know the benefits until after it happens.

Peter and Daniel - gah, tracking comments on comments is a pain... I'd highly recommend installing Disqus or Intense Debate for better follow-ability on your comments. :) (Seriously though, both seem to increase readers and commentors)

The issue of verification e-mails not being sent out looks like a classic usability issue - if you hit the javascript-wrapped button to submit your e-mail address (ID), then the e-mail is sent.

If (like me) you hit return/enter rather than hit the button itself, your information isn't captured, so no verification e-mail for you! (a case of the NYC javacript nazi, perhaps?)

Cheers - and any comments on the report, would love to hear them, publicly, privately, as you like.