Why I Love Cycling & Helping Cyclists!

Video Transcription:

So, welcome to our livestream. I wanna talk to you about why I love, cyclists, and cycling. And really gonna touch base with like thirteen reasons that I've come up with, why I really love representing cyclists and hanging around with cyclists.

So you know it's interesting, uh I was talking to someone the other day, somebody called in about a potential case, and um, he and I were talking about getting together and meeting, uh to talk about what had happened. And he said to me, um, hey I'm sixty-five but I look like I'm forty. You'll be able to see me, when we meet. You know, and that's really typical of what I find in cyclists, you know I think that, this sport, keeps us fit. And, hopefully, and in many times I've observed that it helps us stay looking a lot younger than our peers. Uh, you know we all know it enhances our health and prolongs our life, had a little discussion with Dr. Mirkin uh from The Villages, you all know Dr. Mirkin from his eZine, if you don't have it you need to subscribe to his eZine it's unbelievable. But I was talking about, training and heart rate and all that, and he said "Jim, you know the data is really not even questionable, endurance athletes live longer than non-endurance athletes." So uh, there is science behind the fact that you feel better, and look better, and look younger.

Um, the other thing that I know about cyclists the people that I hang around with and the people that I meet when I'm out um, is that they're engaged in life. You know, and they have a purpose. Um... It takes something to get up every day and decide you want to ride your bike forty or fifty miles four or five times a week. It takes purpose to want to do that, to recognize the value to have the drive and really it becomes a drive that you want to do and you feel like you're deprived if you can't do it. And you really have to honor that and I admire so much, the people that I meet and spend time with and our clients that that's the life that they live, and they've chosen to live that life.

Um they're determined to pursue what they love. You know really, so many people I have clients who are not in the cycling world who don't really have a purpose in life at all particularly people that get retired many of them do not much other than drive down to get a coffee in the morning or walk the dog, or go to the grocery store. You know it's almost sad, but that is not the case with my cycling clients and our cycling friends, we have a purpose. And we know what that purpose is, in terms of just our sports and athletics I mean we have lives much richer than that, obviously, as well.

Um I think of the number of people that I've met, who never realized what they could accomplish with their life, what they could do physically, what they were capable of doing until they got on the bike. I was at a bike club meeting recently, and uh, very accomplished athletes and one of the men in the room, who was one of the most accomplished athletes said he had never ridden a bike five years ago. Uh this guy was younger probably in his late forties, uh, but how it had changed his life just to go get on the bike and pursue the dreams and the goals that he was setting for himself and really, continuing to surpass, and getting better and better.

Um, I think the other thing that I've noticed is, that cycling uh, encourages competitiveness. And I don't just mean competitiveness with, your peers, or those that you ride with, or your friends. You know I think it helps us it pushes us to become better at what we do individually. When I ride, I have a route that I ride, I'd like to beat that time. I'm looking to beat that time tomorrow. And I know that that's the case with many many people. So I think that it's uh, and if you are competitive, there's so many avenues and outlets for us to be competitive um, I have, there's a guy down in Ft. Myers, Charlie, who held a speed record the St. George Utah Senior Games, well into his seventies. I have so much admiration for him, last time I spoke to him he was in his nineties and still was a phenomenal rider. So, he had this competitive drive to be out there trying to do as well as he could.

Um, and I, how many people have realized that when you're, then in the cycling world we are, determined, so often to push our limits and our personal boundaries. How people have discovered, particularly many people who worked their entire lives, moved to Florida so many people, that I meet didn't start riding until their sixties, and even later. And what they have done to develop their own sense of personal accomplishment and physical wellbeing, simply by being on the bike, and determined to do better. Because you're always surrounded by people who are better than you, and people who aren't maybe as proficient on the bike as you are. It's the great thing about this sport.

Um one of the great things, that my assistant and I have noticed, you know, for many years we were predominately in the auto-injury world. We still represent a ton of auto people and you know always remind cyclists you're more apt to get into an car crash then you are a bike crash, fortunately. Um, we represent auto cases but my assistant said to me "You know, these cycling clients, are different than our auto clients. The first thing they want to know is, um, 'how bad is my bike, and when can I ride again'?" I've literally, been in the hospital with a cyclist with multiple fractures, you know, the proverbial cartoon with the arm up and the leg up, and already has had several surgeries. Doctor comes in while I'm there and the question is "Hey doctor, when do you think I can ride again?" It's like, you just have to love that attitude.

You know, uh, what that does is two things, it motivates people to get better, I think people improve when you're optimistic, when you have a goal to pursue, when you have a reason to get out of the bed as quickly as you can, you're going to recover faster and more completely and resume a higher level of function, when you have that desire to return to the sport that you love. Totally different than so many people that I encounter in our practice who don't have that in their lives, you know, and they're simply being struck down by an injury, but they don't have that same intense desire to get back and restore their physical capabilities.

Um, you know, um, I had another conversation with a client just this week, this is a amazing guy, he's a wonderful athlete, and he's in his early seventies lives about two hours away from our office, um, was in a crash in which he ended up being hospitalized for more than a week. Um, he was very discouraged, honestly, the first few months after the crash. He had a difficult, had an injury that was difficult to come back from, uh, fairly prolonged recuperation period. And he was questioning to me in a conversation, maybe six months ago, about whether he could ever regain the speed and endurance that he had enjoyed prior to this crash. And questioning in his mind whether his age was gonna work against him. Well, fast forward, several months and we spoke this week and um, his birthday was this week and he rode his age! Which was in the mid seventies, in terms of mileage, but he also was riding, he was cruising in the low twenties and he said "You know, I hit twenty five and I felt good" you know and he just said, "Jim, I'm back." "I'm so, grateful, to be able to be back, and tell you that." I was just inspired, by, his attitude, his determination and the gratitude that he had to be able to get back on the bike and enjoy what he enjoyed with his friends you know, four times a week.

Um, it's interesting that, of all the clients that we've had in the cycling world, who were injured, I only personally know of one person who made a decision, not to return to cycling. And, it was interesting because the crash that person was involved in was, wasn't a crash wasn't a high-speed kind of... injury. Had an injury that required surgery, but this person just made a decision 'I just, kind of lost my desire to ride.' And this was a daily rider beforehand. So, of all the people that we've worked with and talked to, and represented, that's the only person that I personally know that never came back. And that was simply a decision that this person made not to do it.

Um, it's interesting um, I wanna hold that thought for a minute. You know, recently we did a, a survey, and I wanna thank everyone who entered our survey we had over 300 responses which is a great response rate. Um, everybody who entered and answered a question got an entry into our contest to giveaway our helmet, which we gave away last week. Um, and one of the questions was, what would motivate you or prompt you to refer an injured cyclist to our practice? And, um, I was interested, because, there were several people who commented "If you were closer to my location, then I'd be more inclined to refer you." And I thought about that and I said, "You know, in our practice the vast majority of people, do not live anywhere near our practice. Our clientele does not come from the Clearwater area, predominately. They come from the regions south of us, you know, down as far as Ft. Myers, and the regions north of us, Um, Orlando, The Villages, Ocala, um Sebring. You know it's all over the state, no one is here, primarily. I make it known that I will come to you, if you need me. But it's also interesting that so many people call, they know who we are, they trust what we do, uh, and many people just call and say "Hey listen, I've been in this crash, I wanna get started, what do I need to retain you to help me recover from this thing." And we, we do it by phone.

I think I mentioned a couple broadcasts ago that I, we settled a case client lived two hours away from the office, uh, I met him when I delivered the settlement check to him. We had begun the process by phone, uh, and this was a guy who came to us, not really through a bike club but basically through our webpage. But he felt comfortable and wanted to begin and was really thrilled he got a tremendous outcome. Um, so if you know somebody who's been involved in a bike crash, friends don't let friends call a 1-800-Ask a Mystery Lawyer, um, I want you to know that, if you need me after a bike crash I will be there for you. Uh all you have to do is call and let's talk about it. Uh I hope no one, in this audience ever needs me, but I want you to know that I will be there for you if you do.

So, I had a conversation with the former Executive Director of the Florida Freewheelers when I first started representing cyclists years ago we were having lunch up there in Clermont. And I said "You know I'm, I just attended a seminar about frame failures, bike frame failures, and how sudden and catastrophic they can be. Thankfully I've, never encountered one." Um, but he said something to me that's always struck with me he said "You know, Jim, there's a lot of things in life that can, hurt you or take your life. You might as well do the things that you enjoy, in the process." And that's always stuck with me, and I think that's another thing that I admire so much about cyclists. Everybody understands the dangers there's dangers out there, we can't control it.

Um, in my most recent seminars or presentations I'm reviewing some data for people that shows that, bike cycling is really safer than riding in an automobile, when you factor out all of the people who are riding, on the wrong side of the road, at night, without a light, without a helmet, you know, or drunk. So if you take all those people out of the equation the data it actually supports the idea that cycling is safer than riding in a car, which I think is encouraging to us, but clearly you can't remove the data, excuse me, you can't remove the injury component, the, potential danger from what we do. Um, I think that it's, but, but, recognizing that, we still pursue it, because we desire to do it, we desire to enjoy the benefits of it.

Um, I think that cyclists by and large when I talk to a group of cyclists, they are uni formally very engaged in what we have to say, what I have to say, they want to understand how they can ride more safely, they want to understand how they can properly insure themselves, they want to understand the issues of visibility, the issues of, helmet technology, all the things that will, increase the odds, that if something goes awry I'm gonna come home safely. You know just, wearing the right colors, at the right locations, can decrease the odds of being hit by fifty percent alone. Bring um, flashing, front and rear lights, decrease the odds of being hit by 50%, uh, there's a lot of things we can do to increase the safety component of our sport, and I'm just so encouraged when I go out and talk to cyclists they wanna hear this stuff. They wanna hear, they wanna know, and they wanna act on it.

Um, I was at a meeting of the Ocala Triathletes just this week, and, you know it's, I was amazed, um, I had such admiration for triathletes, you know it's one thing to, for us, so many of us pursue cycling as our dominant sport, the dominant thing we do is ride the bike, these people are pursuing riding, running and swimming at the same time. It's incredible, and they do it at a high level, but, in this room, we had people who had never done their first triathlon, and many people who were serious contenders for competitive greatness. But they were there together, uniform body of interest, um, they asked me to come talk to them we had a great presentation, they were engaged, and that, that kind of presentation just engages and, um, encourages me, I just love to be in the presence of people who are so enthusiastic.

Um, the other thing I noticed that is, um, you know, cyclists are young at heart. And age, doesn't deter them, um, I think there was a time last year, in our practice we had four clients in their eighties, in different parts of the state, who'd been involved in their first crash. It was pretty incredible, every one of them recovered, every one of them, returned to cycling, um, and you know I personally know riders in their nineties, who still enjoy the sport, several times a week. So, I think that uh, one of the things that I love about the clubs that we deal with is that this club atmosphere encourages both the young and old, and it puts inexperienced, experienced young and old, riders together in a community of interest, so you have this broad base of support in the community for what we do, um, I think that, as we age, the sport of cycling allows us to continue to ride, and enjoy what we do, at the level that we're comfortable doing it. And you know it's, so much of the conversation of cycling, tends to be about speed and distance but someone riding the bike, for, forty five minutes at twelve miles an hour, has as much enjoyment as the A rider doing a century. And it's, that's, the unique thing about it, we can all, enjoy it at our level.

Um, I think the people that I also admire, those people who are riding, despite their nicks and bruises. A lot of the people that I'm dealing with, they heal but they still have the consequences of their injuries, you know the, okay, Hold on a second. Little question came across and I've got a little uh, Yeah, Chuck, how are you doing? It's good to see your question, um, yeah Chuck makes a point that safety equipment is just as important in our sport as it is in any other sport. Um, and that really is a good point. But I think, many people are not, pursuing the safety aspect of it simply because they don't know. And one of the messages that I wanna bring to the cycling community is, the things that we can do, from a safety standpoint with equipment, lighting, and what clothing, that would enhance, the riding experience and get us home safely.

Um, but I was saying before I noticed that question, thank you for the question, Chuck, or the comment. People in the cycling world ride despite their nicks and bruises. I mean, a lot of people are riding with sore necks, and sore backs, and sore ankles and knees, and hips, and what have you, but they're doing it, because they enjoy it. Um, I think a lot of times I'm impressed too with the number of people who have a serious injury, but adapt their equipment to what they need to do. So I had a client down in, um, Sarasota county, couple years ago, who was a tremendous rider, was on a road bike, had an injury to his neck, which really made it uncomfortable to ride the road bike in the riding position. He simply transferred to a, uh, to a recumbent. Just as fast, enjoys the sport just as much, adapted to what he had to do. Um, have a current client, who, was injured and really made it impossible to ride a road bike um, went right to a catrike. Did not deter him, from, continuing to, to ride multiple times a week. Um, and you know there's a rider that I met over in Tampa several years ago, who, lost his leg in a motorcycle crash, years ago, but rides, a road cycle with one leg, at a highly competitive pace it's incredible he was such an inspiring guy.

Um you know, also um I am so inspired by the things that Bike Clubs and meetup groups do throughout the state, and around the country. Think of the hundreds, and hundreds, of organizations that are benefited every year because cyclists get together and ride, do an event, raise money, uh, and give to some charitable endeavor in their local community. From Special Olympics to special projects in the community, um, it's simply incredible, and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised every year, uh, to support these activities simply because, cyclists want to contribute and give back to their communities.

Um, when I was thinking about this last night, Um, if you're out in your car, and, you have a flat tire, or your car breaks down on the side of the road, how many drivers around you, are gonna quickly pull over and come to your aid? Many times, somebody will show up, but you have to admit, it'd be wait a while for that to happen. That's not the case with the cycling community, if you break a chain, you have a flat tire, you have an equipment failure, cyclists are gonna stop invariably, it's unheard of for a cyclist to be cruising by you and never stop to ask, to offer aid, by and large. It's just another aspect of this community of interest that we have.

Um, the other thing we do is, I've noticed that people are so ready, to share, their experiences, their um, advice, they are encouraging to new members to the cycling world, uh and do so much to encourage and help one another. And we, adapt to new technologies, you know, we're all adapting to the concept of the E-Bike, uh, which is gonna have a profound effect on the cycling world. It already has, and we're debating you know, do E-Bike riders get as much exercise as non E-Bike riders? And there's people that wanna debate that on both sides, but I think we're gonna find that it's gonna broaden the number of people who can ride. It's going to, enhance the experience of people who have an injury or because of age, they've slowed down, they still wanna ride with their friends, if you have a spouse that wants to ride but is not really a rider at your level, all that's a, a lot of evening out that's gonna go out, go on, because of E-Bikes, um, and I think that we're, you know the sport is big, and it's adaptable to these things.

So, I hope you've found my musings interesting, um, I think it's curious that with all of the great advantages, the great good, and the wonderful people involved in cycling why we are so, disrespected by the motoring public, we're ignored and overlooked, uh, and even condemned, and it's just a great mystery to me as to why that should be. Because it really shouldn't be that way at all. Well that is the subject of another conversation, I think, sometime.

So this week, I wanna give you an opportunity to get one of our, we call this, a jersey bin, this is our Jim Dodson Law Cycling Case, so this will fit in your, jersey pocket, it's waterproof, comes with a lifetime guarantee, if it breaks, we'll replace it. It's shamelessly logo'ed so if you have need of us you can call us. Uh, I have a Samsung Note, which is the longer Samsung phone and it fits in here, without the exterior case on it. So you can throwaway your sandwich bags, we'll be happy to, if you don't have one of these I'll be happy to send it to you. Just go to the Bit.ly link, Bit.ly/BikePhoneCase that Kati’s put on the screen there, uh, again, thank you for joining us today, I'm Jim Dodson, the Florida Bike Guy, uh, I'll see you next weekend.

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Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.