Why my YikeBike is SAFER than my ”bike” bike
I conclude that several important factors make my YikeBike safer than my multispeed street bike. They are as follows:
1) The first factor is irrefutably linked to the laws of physics.
It is expressed mathematically as: Ek=1/2 mv2
m is the mass of the body
v is the velocity (speed) of the center of mass of the body.
Since the combined mass of myself and my YikeBike and that of my street bike is similar, we need only compare the maximum speed of my YikeBike (14.25 m/h) with that of my street bike.
I often more than double the top YikeBike speed on my street bike, especially on downhill stretches. Since kinetic energy increases with the square of velocity, my street bike, traveling at twice the speed of my YikeBike subjects me to four times the kinetic energy risk possible when riding my YikeBike.
Thus, on my street bike I routinely submit my body to significantly greater kinetic energy risks (i e 400%). When that energy is expended abruptly by accident we all have seen the sometimes devastating result.
The second reason that the YikeBike is safer than a street bike is a consequence of frame configuration differences.
Street bikes, due to standard bike design, subject riders to risks that are totally absent in the YikeBike configuration. Our body mass is clearly greater than the mass of our bikes, Thus at any speed, the kinetic energy of our body is substantially greater than that of the bike. Because of the difference in kinetic energy between our bike and our body, when any bike strikes another object, it comes to rest much more quickly than our bodies. This risks painful contact with handlebars, the handlebar riser and of particular concern to male riders, the fiendishly located crossbar on “boys” bikes.
3) Risk of falling
Again, due to bicycle configuration, the rider of a street bike faces nearly insurmountable obstacles to staying on his feet when the bike strikes another object. Not so on a YikeBike. This gives the YikeBike rider a very good opportunity to simply run or walk ahead of a (now stationary) YikeBike. This possibility is enhanced by the limited YikeBike top speed that is much better matched to human running capabilities.
In the US, more than 40 percent of all bicycle accidents involve a collision with another vehicle like a car, a bus or a truck. http://www.articlesnatch.com/Article/Types-Of-Bicycle-Accidents/698326
Overwhelmingly, drivers of larger vehicles involved in accidents with bicycles are quoted as saying “I just did not see him/her”.
Risk-adverse (sensible?) bike riders try and minimize this risk with bright colored or fluorescent clothing, and some use small strobe type lights, mounted on the bike or on the helmet.
The YikeBike addresses this well known risk by providing (day and night) candlepower lighting that on a pound-for-pound basis exceeds that typically seen on Philippines, Chinese and Mexican long-distance lorries.
5) Should a helmet be required by YikeBikers ?
I am an unshakable advocate of wearing safety protection when participating in high-risk endeavors like motorcycling. biking, rollerblading, skiing etc. My response to motorcyclists who rail against helmet laws is “well, who would know better than yourself what your head is worth?
How then do I explain that I now ride my YikeBike sans a helmet?
I no longer feel the need for a helmet on the YikeBike based on two observations:
- The top speed nearly matches my short-distance running speed. If I accidentally were to become dismounted from the YikeBike, unlike a street bike, it does not obstruct my running path.
- Since I would not wear a helmet while running, it seems reasonable (to me) to assume that the risk of head injury is not significantly greater on my YikeBike, which I operate at approximately my running speed.
Admittedly, if a potential YikeBike owner asked me if I would recommend wearing a helmet, I would probably answer with an ambiguous but politically correct response like “it couldn’t hurt”.