I was watching a story on TV recently about a young female soldier in Iraq who received serious head wounds from a roadside bomb. She miraculously survived, due largely to some skillful surgery by a field surgeon.
In telling her story she started out by saying while in Iraq she got up every morning and thought, “Is today the day I will die or be seriously injured.” That day came when an unarmored truck she was in, was blasted by a roadside bomb.
Even in a situation as fraught with danger as our military faces in Iraq, a person cannot live their life in fear. How is this all relevant to you and me riding our bikes every day? There are no roadside bombs to deal with, but every vehicle that passes is a potential bomb in what it could do to us.
But again a person cannot live their life in fear, and we cannot go out every day and think “Is today the day I will get hit.” Because trust me, hold that thought long enough and you will get hit. That is the way the Universe works, whether you believe it or not.
Most people believe in the power of positive thinking and know that good things come to people who think that way. We should also know that, unfortunately, a negative thought works too. The good news is that a positive thought will always erase a negative one. The danger is in constantly holding on to the negative.
Every time I ride my bike, or even when driving my car in rush hour traffic, I tell myself, “I am safe; nothing will happen to me.” I believe it, and therefore I am protected.
Another way to look at it is, even with all the crazy drivers out there, doing crazy stuff like talking on their cell phones and not paying attention, the chances of that person doing something stupid at the precise moment he or she passes you is still pretty remote. What I am saying is that the odds of you being hit by someone, or not, is in your favor.
It was just about a year ago when Jim Price, of Littleton, CO was riding in a bike lane when a 17 year old who was driving and text messaging on his cell phone drifted over into the bike lane and struck Jim, seriously injuring him. Later that day he died of his injuries.
Even with someone doing something as foolhardy as this and not paying attention to the road ahead, what were the chances that the 17 year old would wander into the bike lane at the precise moment that Jim Price was there? Jim was probably the only cyclist out there on that particular stretch of road for miles.
Had the driver wandered off course a split second earlier or later he would have missed Jim and there would have been no accident; just another close call. I am not speculating why this happened, only asking, what were the odds that Jim Price would be hit that day?
To sum up what I am trying to say here: Enjoy riding your bike and don’t live in fear. Convince loved ones and those around you that you are safe, so they are not holding negative thoughts through fear.
Tell yourself constantly, “I am safe, I am protected” believing it and knowing that the odds of you being hit are remote. Don’t let close calls phase you; close calls tell you the positive thinking is working.
Wear highly visible clothing, place yourself where you can be seen, and be predictable; give clear signals. And remember, shit doesn’t just happen; negative thinking causes shit to happen.