Ciro had a small accident in 2021. It wasn't ultra serious, a few cuts, but could have been worse. Here's a post mortem.
Ciro was going to cycle 120 km between two locations he had never cycled before. Ciro had cycled this distance before many many times, so he thought he could do it.
What went wrong:
- on both ends were cities, larger than those Ciro is used to
- on the start, was a port city. You do not want to cycle in port areas, ever! Lots of trucks, narrow side-walks, bad road, danger danger!
- on both sides, endless suburbia. This means you have to check your map every 3 seconds to know which little stree to turn, which is very hard without a way to attach your map to your bike. Ciro had his on his pocket. You lose a lot of time like that!
- there wasn't a lot of sunlight at the time of the year. Not criticial, but still, less than ideal.
- during the ride, part of the "well documented and safe cycle route" was closed off for repairs. It was unclear what the best alternative would be. Ciro went down a path, but it turned to be horrendous countryside, he had to pull his bike over fences
- by then, Ciro was tired and a bit late. He had only eaten sweets all day long. They give you calories, but there's always something missing in them.
- Ciro arrived at the very very large target city, and it was getting dark, and it was rush hour, lots of cars. This was already back on the official bike path, but even those paths are torduous in suburbia
- also, Ciro was meant to meet his wife later, and he was in a rush, worried that she would be worried about him
- at one point, Ciro took the wrong turn for a few hundred meters
- he realized, and turned back
- when coming back, now extra impatient because o the wrong turn, the place he had come from was actually one way street for a very short while until the right turn, so Ciro went against the correct direction...
- a car came. It was relatively slow, because the road was slight uphill for the car, and a turn. The slight downhill also meant Ciro was going a bit faster than he realized
- Ciro tried to go into the sidewalk anyways to make sure he was clear off the car (he was already). When he tried, the wheel stuck, and he flew forward, hitting a wall slightly
This was a perfect example of how many small things add up to an accident.
You have to know when you are tired and hungry and impatient. This is where huge danger lies.
Stop at a shop, eat, sit down. Darkness is not that dangerous if you have lights.
Take a train outside of large cities if needed. Crossing large cities is not something to be taken lightly. You need calm and time to do so safely.