Author Topic: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?  (Read 4627 times)

How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« on: July 31, 2017, 04:17:13 pm »
OK, so I'm thinking about going bent for comfort reasons https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=104264.0

Apart from money, the main issue is my wife thinking that:
Recumbents are unsafe
Recumbents are stupid
People on recumbent are probably stuipd, or at least geeks, or generally a bit weird, and certainly look like fools (but then don't we all in our lycra & SPDs?  ::-))

She has a bike, and will ride if required, but not really for fun (though working on getting her an e-bike to change that a bit). 

She does like watching the Le Tour, so isn't anti-cycling, and likes the look of funky TT bikes, but even funky 'bents (like the M5CHR) don't seem to register as acceptable...


I know you cannot really fix it, but do you have any ideas how I can convince her *gently* that they are actually safe & OK?

I'd never get her to think a tadpole trike is OK, but maybe a 700c high racer?

Ta :)

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2017, 05:00:11 pm »
Amanda Coker
Amanda was in a terrible road accident and had serious injuries, including TBI. She has ongoing PTSD from that accident.

She set the Year highest mileage record, then went on to break the 100 000mile record, switching between standard diamond frame and a schlitter recumbent.

It doesn't get much cooler than Amanda
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 05:06:06 pm »
Ok.  This demands a robust response.  I ride a 700c Highracer, and a 20/26 (and have audaxed it), having given up on my lovely Giant Defy - or more accurately, the pains resulting from riding audaxes on it.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/51992734@N06/36282391815/in/album-72157686993318525/

FWIW, you'll never convince her - my wife sounds very similar to yours, and she doesn't like me riding a recumbent either.  Converting her Trek to electric recently may have quelled some of the objections.  But I've not yet played the trump card - she fell off a horse 3 weeks ago, resulting in 5 broken ribs, concussion, a hoof-sized angry bruise in the small of her back, 4 days in hospital, a missed holiday and a missed bridge tournament.  She can't yet drive as she can't change gear with her left hand, so can't go out unless I drive her.  And we are dog-sitting, so that's all down to me as she can't hold a lead and walk the dog (3 times a day).  And I can't go out on a bike in case there's a problem and neither of us can then walk the dog. Or go flying my model aeroplanes.  The day of reckoning will follow.  Revenge is a dish best served cold they say.

So, taking the objections in order:

Why are they unsafe?  You've less distance to fall, it's very unlikely you'll go over the handlebars so a broken collar bone or arm is equally unlikely.  You'll get road rash, mainly on the thigh and elbow, but some elbow pads will mitigate that.  I get more consideration from other road users on my 'bent than I ever got on my DF bike, mainly because of the rarity factor I suspect.  Use 2 lights on each end (flashing and fixed) and don't listen to the radio etc. via earpieces.  Keep listening at all times, and get some good mirrors.  Kim will no doubt be along shortly - she had a big off recently but the consequences seemed to be mainly road rash.

Why are they stupid?  That's just an even more stupid (pls excuse me...) assertion.  What aspect of a recumbent is stupid?  Low IQ?  The colours?

Why are the riders stupid?  I don't like football (even though my daughter played Premier League soccer and internationals for England) so I don't go with the majority, does that make me stupid because I don't ride a DF like 99% of the cycling population?

Get one anyway. Maybe a 2nd hand one to learn on so the costs are minimised. You'll fall off a few times, so get some elbow protection, wear sleeves and maybe longs to start with, and a helmet, and find somewhere quiet to practice until you can start and stop confidently. What you will do is improve your lower body flexibility and your cardio- fitness, or at least keep it up.  Not to ride at all is the way to an early grave.

Go against the flow.  Go recumbent and get used to the face-ache from grinning at the thrill of the comfort and new perspectives - you'll look ahead at the scenery, not at the tarmac a couple of metres in front.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 05:39:06 pm »
Recumbents are unsafe

No more so (and probably less) than DF bicycles.  It's basically the same, except drivers see you better and you're much less likely to fall on your face if you come off.  It's cycling, which means you're safer if you do it than you are if you sit on your arse developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Use a chainring guard and treat horses with respect, and you'll be fine.


Quote
Recumbents are stupid

Penny farthings are stupid.  Recumbents are merely unusual.


Quote
People on recumbent are probably stuipd, or at least geeks

Which is it?  Make your mind up.   ::-)

People on recumbents have found a way to cycle that meets their performance/disability/type 1 fun requirements.  Doesn't sound stupid to me, but it can certainly appeal to one's geeky nature.


Quote
or generally a bit weird

Well certainly.  Anyone who cycles in the UK is a bit weird.


Quote
and certainly look like fools (but then don't we all in our lycra & SPDs?  ::-))

Riding a recumbent automatically cancels out anything that people might think about what you're wearing.

Anyway, a random survey of today's Birmingham shouty people is 5:2 in favour: "Sick boik!" "Wanna swap?"[1] etc.


Quote
I know you cannot really fix it, but do you have any ideas how I can convince her *gently* that they are actually safe & OK?

Get her riding one.  Away from the big scary metal things.  (They might be less likely to SMIDSY you, but they look more intimidating from lower down.)


[1] Tatty Vauxhall worth about half what my bike must be.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2017, 05:49:24 pm »
Kim will no doubt be along shortly - she had a big off recently but the consequences seemed to be mainly road rash.

Front wheel blowout at 40mph on a low racer.  Baboon-arse road rash, a bloody elbow, and one small bruise on my ankle I didn't spot for several days.  Bike needed some work, as did my cycling mojo.

Sure, on a DF it would likely have resulted in broken bones from the fall, but it's pure luck that I didn't collide with a solid object before I stopped sliding across the road.

On a tadpole trike, I'd probably have retained enough control to come to a stop, but a trike wouldn't have managed 40mph on that descent.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2017, 05:54:37 pm »
Before I got my tadpole trike I too was concerned about the visibility and safety. However as these trikes are so rarely seen on the road most drivers treat me with much trepidation. The increased width of the trike also mean that they are much less likely to try to squeeze past even on a very slow climb. On a number of occasions I have meet cars on a single track road whilst I am climbing an ascent and they have voluntarily reversed back to a passing space. My 2 major concerns are tractors and horse riders. A tractor coming out of a field could easily miss the safety flags and drive over the trike. So If I hear a tractor working in a field I proceed with great caution. Horses are easily spooked by the low stance of the trike and especially the flags. So if I meet a horse and rider I generally stop and let them pass at there own pace.

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2017, 05:57:51 pm »
Kim will no doubt be along shortly - she had a big off recently but the consequences seemed to be mainly road rash.

Front wheel blowout at 40mph on a low racer.  Baboon-arse road rash, a bloody elbow, and one small bruise on my ankle I didn't spot for several days.  Bike needed some work, as did my cycling mojo.

Sure, on a DF it would likely have resulted in broken bones from the fall, but it's pure luck that I didn't collide with a solid object before I stopped sliding across the road.

On a tadpole trike, I'd probably have retained enough control to come to a controlled stop, but a trike wouldn't have managed 40mph on that descent.

There you go Bobby.  Much better argued than my slightly ranty post.  If I'd worn elbow pads when I came off my SAKI last summer and landed on gravel at 20mph, I'd have ridden home, and not been to A&E to get the hole in my elbow cleaned out.  And been back on the bike next day, not waiting for 6 weeks for the elbow scab to heal so that I could put an elbow protector on.  But we live and learn.  Apparently. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/51992734@N06/36282391815/

The20/26 would be easier to learn on 'cos the seat height is less.  But the 700c has a bigger grin factor......

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2017, 07:15:40 pm »
Barring Mechanicals - From London to Edinburgh and back, on a recumbent bicycle -> https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009CVCXKI/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Very good read .........  :)

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2017, 08:24:38 pm »
I don't. I've tried, she thinks all velocipedes of any description are inherently dangerous and will kill at the slightest opportunity.

I've repeated all the arguments above several times, particularly the "what the fuck is that?" Quotient, but she still seems to think I'm taking my life in my own hands every time I leave the front door.

As an example, yesterday I was volunteering at at Ives, twenty miles away. I rode there, she seemed to think that was particularly stupid. She's not a cyclist.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2017, 08:49:03 pm »
I should  probably count myself very fortunate indeed.  Mrs B bought her first bent long before I took the plunge. 

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2017, 09:16:52 pm »
when she's an overweight, motorised nurse who spent a long time on a head and spinal injuries unit you don't (even when the sciatic makes it hell for you to go any distance in a car). But then she's so convinced that cycling is injury and disability prone that the fact it is occasionally a 'bent can't actually make it any worse!

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2017, 09:53:12 pm »
when she's an overweight, motorised nurse who spent a long time on a head and spinal injuries unit you don't (even when the sciatic makes it hell for you to go any distance in a car). But then she's so convinced that cycling is injury and disability prone that the fact it is occasionally a 'bent can't actually make it any worse!

I spent 6 weeks flat on my back in a specialist spinal unit a few years ago after a 3 level cervical spinal decompression that didn't go to plan (which is why I now ride recumbents).  I don't recall any cyclists on the ward; the most prevalent cause of severe spinal injury (usually catastrophic - as in permanent paralysis of some form) was horse riding, followed by jumping into water that wasn't as deep as expected, and then car crashes.  There were also a few apparently trivial incidents (falls on stairs, tripping over the cat or a kerb) that had resulted in wholly disproportionate and life-changing major spinal damage.  But no cyclists.  I rest my case.....

Bu I don't expect anyone already prejudiced against 'bents is going to listen to statistics.....

Just sayin....

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2017, 10:01:38 pm »
when she's an overweight, motorised nurse who spent a long time on a head and spinal injuries unit you don't (even when the sciatic makes it hell for you to go any distance in a car). But then she's so convinced that cycling is injury and disability prone that the fact it is occasionally a 'bent can't actually make it any worse!

I spent 6 weeks flat on my back in a specialist spinal unit a few years ago after a 3 level cervical spinal decompression that didn't go to plan (which is why I now ride recumbents).  I don't recall any cyclists on the ward; the most prevalent cause of severe spinal injury (usually catastrophic - as in permanent paralysis of some form) was horse riding, followed by jumping into water that wasn't as deep as expected, and then car crashes.  There were also a few apparently trivial incidents (falls on stairs, tripping over the cat or a kerb) that had resulted in wholly disproportionate and life-changing major spinal damage.  But no cyclists.  I rest my case.....

Bu I don't expect anyone already prejudiced against 'bents is going to listen to statistics.....

Just sayin....

She once had a bloke go through his own muckspreader! Even after I got concussed by a cow pushing me against a cowshed wall she still didn't regard farming as especially hazardous. But bikes and head injuries.....!

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 10:10:14 pm »
 :thumbsup: I'm going to work up to discussing again and see where we end up.  She's not happy that I ride on the road at all, but she knows it makes me happy so is ok as long as I don't take the piss.

I'm going with Kim's quote about penny farthings  :thumbsup:

Wish me luck...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2017, 10:11:27 pm »
Statistically I think deep sea fishing and construction are still the most dangerous occupations, not sure where farming is, but I think it's fairly high up there.
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

fd3

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2017, 10:50:58 pm »
Safety wise it's the same conversation you have with non-cyclists when they say that cycling is too dangerous.  Just swap the word "bike" for "recumbent". 
As to danger, you are more noticeable as you stand out, but depending on seat height you will see less than on a bike - about the same as in a car.
Yes, you will look weird, same discussion as when you first bought Lycra.
Fundamentally though it's the same negotiation as any other n+1 purchase and it's neither cage fighting nor bear bating, I would recommend a Gallic shrug and leave it at that.
[/I could be wrong]

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 02:21:49 am »
No-one's mentioned it yet that I can see, but IME I get far fewer close passes on the 'bent than I ever do riding an upright - to the extend on a clear open road with no other traffic occasionally I've had to wave drivers on because their monkey brain (or curiosity possibly) seems to prevent them from daring to pass.

I bought a 'bent 'cos my neck's a bit screwed - can just manage a MTB (sometimes). Mines nearer to a lowracer, on the basis of being less likely to bust something in an off, but I'm still roughly the same height as a sports car driver. Apart from slow corners (the bit between my ears playing up I think) I've far more confidence cornering than most accompanying roadies seem to have on the whole (tho' the fatter tyres and suspension may help).

As an(other) engineer I guess I fulfil the 'geek' bit, possibly fitting the 'weird' bit with long hair and some fairly generous beardiness, but then I had both of those before. Being both a metalhead and CAMRA member is, of course, coincidental.
(And I wouldn't be seen dead in sandals, fwiw..)

By comparison I've bust both a collarbone and fibular in fairly innocuous mtb 'offs', the only decent high-speed sky/ground/sky/thud incident just gave me bruised ribs (plus pretzeled rims and a bent Pace fork crown :/ )

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2017, 08:25:19 am »
No-one's mentioned it yet that I can see, but IME I get far fewer close passes on the 'bent than I ever do riding an upright - to the extend on a clear open road with no other traffic occasionally I've had to wave drivers on because their monkey brain (or curiosity possibly) seems to prevent them from daring to pass.

Not explicitly.  TBH, I tend to think of it as getting more close passes when I ride an upwrong (particularly the Brompton, for some reason), but they do tend to give you more room, especially if you're on something very low or a trike.  Except for the ones who don't.

I think this effect is less important than the amount you get noticed at junctions.  As they're trying to work out what you are, drivers look for long enough to judge your speed properly, which is an obvious safety benefit.  They also seem much less inclined to bully their way out into your path, and will often stop to let you out from minor roads, presumably because if they give way they get to have a proper look at the weird bike.  You occasionally get drawn-out overtakes where the driver tries to have a conversation with you over the road noise, or so the passenger can get decent video on their iPhone.  Is there a hashtag?  Who knows...

The other thing I haven't explicitly mentioned is the shouting.  If you ride an unusual bike you get shouted and hooted at a lot.  Well over 50% of this is genuinely positive or a non-intimidating attempt at humour.  It can take some getting used to, but it's an improvement on the normal sexual harassment, body-shaming or abuse for simply being a cyclist.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2017, 08:42:03 am »
Mm can’t be seen, I think that we should seriously consider banning all children from the road, as they can’t be seen too. For their own safety of course.

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2017, 08:51:16 am »
No-one's mentioned it yet that I can see, but IME I get far fewer close passes on the 'bent than I ever do riding an upright - to the extend on a clear open road with no other traffic occasionally I've had to wave drivers on because their monkey brain (or curiosity possibly) seems to prevent them from daring to pass.

Absolutely agree.  Sometimes the slow pass by a car or truck is a pain as you are trying to keep right in and as straight as possible at low speed on a narrow lane and you really want them past as quickly as possible.  I've seen a lot of posts by other recumbent riders on this topic, invariably that drivers give you far more consideration on a recumbent than on a DF bike.  I did have a close-ish pass last week, but I think that was because I'd had to stop at roadworks and then failed to let all the queuing cars behind me through first, so I lead them through the lights at about 20mph.  The boy-racer in the Corsa thought I was being discourteous, or something...

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2017, 11:13:01 am »
I'm (overly?) considerate/cautious to cars anyway.  I'll let queued cars past me at roadworks waving them past before setting off.  I don't hop past cars in traffic light queues etc (they are only going to overtake me afterwards anyway, so may as well save any agro)

I had a couple of road rage incidents in the past - including one thug pushing me off the road then hopping out of his car to throw my bike around and stamp on it.  I dialed 999 and had 3 cars there in 4 mins, he paid up for all repairs. 

Still working up to the conversation, may go for a trip to d-trek & take her along (but bribe her with something more enjoyable in the area :))


Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2017, 06:11:09 pm »
It's not safe.

Nothing is. If we didn't do things because they're not safe, we would never do anything.

Of course there are a few people who think that travelling by aeroplane, riding a bicycle on a road, eating home-made mayonnaise or going outside after dark are so incredibly dangerous they should never be done. Such people should simply be ignored.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2017, 07:56:51 pm »
Oh wow.  I practiced by talking to my non-audax cyclist friends, they all think bents are unsafe too - only audax people seem to get it (but maybe they are the only ones who have really seen or ridden with a bent?)

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2017, 07:59:00 pm »
British ex-pats (awful term!) that I have known (including my own parents) would consider eating home-bottled meat and veg to be the most dangerous thing that you can do yet it hasn't killed any of my french family, friends or acquaintances and i am stll alive to say it (of course there is a risk with mushrooms but that is a bit like cricket, you have to be born into the culture   :) )

Re: How do you convince your significant other that it's safe?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2017, 09:57:28 pm »
Back to the OP, you're fighting an Availability Heuristic, as in it's easier to imagine a bike crash than to imagine the immediate enjoyment and (more? equally?) importantly, the net health benefit through life. Medical insurance companies significantly reduce their premiums if you cycle more than 50 miles a week, and they don't ask about helmets either. Seeing as they're data led and not affected by emotional preconcpetions, it's a fair bet they're onto something.

I've come off twice properly, once I got a death wobble at 16mph (how embarrasing) while I was learning and fell onto my left side. The bike bounced and rotated over me while I still held the bars in a graceful arc before landing on the tarmac again. My trousers were fine but I had decent scrape beneath them. The bike still bears the scars but I don't. Second time I was blown onto the side of a kerb in a wet gale. Lower outer port buttock looked like a strawberry, scratches in the elbow and ankle, but otherwise fine. At no point was my head out of control or even nudged, much less bounced. It took me an entire childhood to learn how to come off a DF, tuck and roll etc, but this just does it for you.
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