Extreme Cycling: Most Dangerous Places to Ride a Bike
by Darla Blackmon
Cycling is an activity that can be enjoyed as a professional sport, a mode of transportation, or a recreational activity. It is considered one of the top leisurely activities that Americans enjoy. Cycling is not only a great way to get some fresh air and enjoy the scenery around you but it is also an excellent form of exercise.
The most popular type of cycling is road cycling, which is mainly on paved surfaces. One type of road cycling that is quickly gaining popularity is adventure cycling where cycling trips are extended into long journeys. Part of the appeal of adventure cycling is that it pushes the cyclist to their limits. It’s extreme biking! And, naturally with anything extreme there are some that want to push the sport even farther.
These adventurous souls have sought out the most dangerous places in the world to ride a bike. And, once the stories started to get around the legends were born. Now, these dangerous locales are sought after by cyclists looking for a new challenge. If you think you have what it takes, then here’s your chance to ride a bike in the most dangerous places in the world.
According to the Transportation For America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, the most dangerous U.S. city to ride a bicycle in is Orlanda, Florida. In fact, the top 10 most dangerous U.S. cities to ride in are all located in the South.
The most dangerous state to cycle in is also Florida with 119 bicycle related fatalities in 2007. California was a close second with 109 deaths. So, if you’re planning a long bike trip either avoid or head towards these states — depending on whether your goal is to seek danger.
The most dangerous street in the world to bicycle on is Coroico Road. Located in the Bolivian Andes, this is considered the steepest and bumpiest road around. The road plunges down almost 3,600 meters or 2.25 miles. It has been said that bikers can reach speeds of near 80km/hr without trying.
The most dangerous bike trail is found on the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. There is a 600 foot drop down to the Atlantic Ocean, with ledges that are sometimes only four inches wide and gaps that are over four feet long.
And now for the real shocker. The most dangerous place to ride your bike isn’t half a world away, it’s just outside your door. The sidewalk is considered by most cyciists the most dangerous place to ride a bike.
The sidewalk is hazardous because there is a greater chance of colliding with another cyclist or a pedestrian. Collisions with a car are more common too because drivers aren’t watching the sidewalk and bikers ride down curbs and driveways without looking. Not only is sidewalk cycling twice as dangerous than cycling in the street but it becomes four times as dangerous to cycle when you are going against traffic.
If you plan on seeking out extreme biking conditions, keep these important safety tips in mind. Always wear a helmet. Ride in the same direction as traffic, never against it. Obey the rules of the road. And, stay aware of your surroundings. Good rides!