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Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure - What's My Risk?



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A presentation to help riders and potential riders understand the risks they choose to accept when joining for cross-country style bicycle rides.

Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure - What's My Risk?

  1. 1. What’s My Risk? We want your ride to be healthy and happy
  2. 2. Risks By and large, riding a bicycle is safe, rewarding, and fun. Still, it does come with risks that have the potential to threaten health and safety. Before letting fear win, though, remember that not only is a risk-free life probably not worth living, but it’s also impossible! Living your life without leaving your home may be the greatest risk of all – the risk of missing out on life.
  3. 3. First, the good news…
  4. 4. Which is more dangerous? Injury rates by activity are hard to track. Fatalities aren’t. Cycling has a relatively low fatality rate. Which is more dangerous? Going swimming? Driving a car? Bicycling? Just being alive? (average of all risks)
  5. 5. Which is more dangerous? An often-cited study from 1998 released the results below: One surprising result: Just being alive has a higher (average) risk of death than cycling! Still, this averages all cycling activities, and may not equal the rate of risk in participating on our ride. Sources:,, U.S. News & World Report 8.8 2.0 1.5 1.1 0.9 0.5 0.3 0.0 2.0 4.0 6.0 8.0 10.0 Skydiving On-road motorcycling Scuba diving Living (all causes of death) Swimming Snowmobiling Passenger cars Bicycling Fatalities per million hours 128.7
  6. 6. As compared to climbing Mt. Everest Sports adventure is in the heart of humankind. As of 2006, the attempt to climb Mt. Everest has been attempted since 1922 over 10,000 times! Sadly, 2% of those have died – 207 climbers. Over the 8 years of our ride, we have had over 500 riders join for one or more weeks of the ride. There have been injuries of various levels – some serious -- but to our knowledge all have made or are making full recoveries. To equal the risk of climbing Mt. Everest, 10 would have died. Cycling has risks – but they could be worse. Source: AdventureStats
  7. 7. Exercise promotes health We all live with risk of injury or death. As the next chart shows, some of the highest risks of death over time are not from what you do, but what you don’t do. Inactivity is deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Science shows that physical activity can reduce your risk of dying early from the leading causes of death, like heart disease and some cancers.” It goes on to say, “Only a few lifestyle choices have as large an impact on your health as physical activity. People who are physically active for about 7 hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week.” Sources: CDC
  8. 8. Number of deaths in U.S. in 2013 Sources: CDC and NHTSA 611,105 584,881 128,978 84,767 75,578 53,282 41,149 38,851 35,369 743 0 100,000 200,000 300,000 400,000 500,000 600,000
  9. 9. Death by vehicle accidents as compared to cycling 35,369 743 0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 35,000 40,000 Motor Vehicle accidents Bicyclists Nope, cycling is not entirely safe. Neither is driving. Sources: CDC and NHTSA
  10. 10. And now the bad news
  11. 11. About those cycling deaths… • It’s been said, “One death is a tragedy, one million is a statistic.” • 742 cyclists died in 2013. • That’s more than two every day. • Each one has a name, a family and a story.
  12. 12. Where the deaths occurred Urban, 68% Rural, 32% Intersections, 57% Non- intersections, 34% Other, 9% Sources: NHTSA
  13. 13. Other factors • Alcohol. About 1 in 4 cyclists killed had at least some alcohol on their breath – Even low levels of alcohol reduce reaction times. That’s why we don’t allow riders to consume any alcohol before or while riding. • Riding after dark. About half of all cyclists were killed when it may have been dark, between 6pm – 6am. – We get started early morning and all riders must arrive before sunset. Sources: NHTSA
  14. 14. The hard facts • Transportation involves danger. The longer your exposure, the more risky it becomes. • You will spend many hours traveling by bicycle during our rides. • Other cross country bicycle rides by other organizations have had deadly accidents, sometimes several over the years.
  15. 15. The hard facts • Besides some risk of death, risk of injury while cycling is also elevated. • Injuries could be potentially very painful and debilitating in the short- or long-term. • This is why we require all participants to own health insurance, even if it means purchasing a short-term insurance policy for the duration of your time on the ride. • As with everyone, you may want to consider other types of insurance as well, such as life, disability, or long-term-care insurance.
  16. 16. Some specific risks you will encounter • Collision with car and truck traffic as we ride on open public roadways • Adverse weather and road surface conditions • Physical inability to complete the mileage in good health, which is why it is important that you only participate if you know you are medically able to do so, such as by training and visiting with your doctor • Bicycle malfunction • Actions of other cyclists sharing the road or participating in the event • Various risks of injury on construction worksites • Illness from food preparation or food service • Vehicle accidents while riding in team support vehicles • Damage, loss, or theft of your bicycle or other possessions
  17. 17. There it is • And as you might guess, as much as we want you to be safe, as a ministry partnering with the world’s poor, The Fuller Center for Housing cannot accept liability for your risks, loss, or injuries. • It’s all in the waiver. • We hope you’ll participate, but it’s your decision which risks you deem worth taking in your life.
  18. 18. Why we’re telling you all this • We want you to be able to make an informed decision about your risks in joining our ride. • We want you to know that as much as we value safety, we cannot guarantee safety – and neither can you when you drive to the grocery store. • We want you to take our safety rules and materials seriously to promote a safe ride for all.
  19. 19. One thing more Don’t forget what (we feel) makes it all worth it!
  20. 20.