.....so this is NOT good news for me...who is an avid Nordic Pole Walker and a Road Cyclist and who just relocated to Florida! Yikes! I've been chased by a dog and knocked off my bike, sustaining whiplash, bad road rash and a broken clavicle in Oregon (and bone surgery 6 months later) and my husband has been dragged under a car with his bike and sustained multiple fractures, wounds and road rash in Idaho......but we were never in the high statistic danger of being killed by a car on the rural roads of Payette Co., Idaho or Malheur Co., Oregon like we are here in Florida.
We realize now the blessed luxury we had 'back home' in Idaho: to bike from our front step to wherever we wanted to go.
It didn't take us long once we arrived here in South/Central Florida [Polk County], to realize that it wasn't safe to ride our bikes on most roads here. [We are open to being corrected :-)]
1. No shoulder (or, very few)
2. Few bike lanes
3. Very fast drivers and faster-than-comfortable-for-us - speed limits in urban streets
[We live in a 238-home neighborhood. The speed limit is 25 mph; my husband are I are only comfortable driving at 20 mph here due to the number of children/teens who reside in the neighborhood and who either walk the streets or play in the streets and due to the higher-than-25 mph that most residents/visitors seem to travel]
We presently road bike in two places:
B. Fort Fraser Trail - Bartow
Since arriving here end of September we've heard of several bicycle deaths due to being hit by vehicles and another one just this past weekend as per video above. Watch this at Tampa Bay Online
Please take a moment to read this article by USA today with the startling statistics for pedestrian and cycling deaths in Florida.
If you are a resident or visitor to Winter Haven/Bartow/Auburndale FL and would like some company to walk/nordic walk/jog/dog-walk or cycle with, please contact me as my husband and I also are looking to do these activities with others.
Please take the utmost precaution when you are preparing to head out on the roads with your walking shoes, walking poles or bicycle. Read: Bicycle Safety: How Not To Get Hit By Cars
And drivers, Please Share The Road!