Why We Continue to Ride, Even After Seeing Many Serious Bike Accidents


By Russ Hymas and Ken Christensen – “Every week you work with cyclists who have been injured – often seriously – by a driver’s carelessness. How do you keep riding?” We’ve been asked this question many times, and it’s understandable. As bicycle accident attorneys, we are constantly reminded of the dangers associated with biking alongside 3,000 lb. vehicles. However, in our experience, the benefits of cycling far outweigh the risks.

Cycling West - Cycling Utah Magazine logoLike many cyclists, the reasons we started riding, and the reasons we keep riding, are not exactly the same. That is one of the great things about cycling – it can pay off in so many different ways!

We both started cycling primarily because of its health benefits. Like most desk jobs, a lawyer’s daily routine is quite sedentary. And while we still thought of ourselves as young and vibrant, Father Time’s curse of a slowing metabolism was coming to fruition. Work would drain us mentally and physically, leaving us exhausted at the end of the work day with very little energy for our wives and children. We recognized the need for exercise, and found a type of exercise we both enjoyed! Cycling allowed us to both lose weight and lead to more rewarding, energetic lifestyles at home and at work.

Once we started riding, we couldn’t stop. After fighting through the first few weeks of misery as our bodies tried to convince us we may not survive through the end of the ride, we felt that first rush of serotonin while breathing in the morning air. Like so many others, we were hooked.

We soon discovered that cycling provided much more than just physical benefits. Many cyclists ride to clear their minds and relieve stress. The clarity we have found – and continue to find – on our rides makes us more productive at home and in the office. There are few things more gratifying than cycling through fresh air and the beautiful Utah landscape.

Cycling also allows us to enjoy some friendly competition, which helps motivate us to set and achieve goals. We ride regularly together and with friends, and love to challenge each other to ride farther and faster.

Finally, our own experiences with cycling opened our eyes to the dangers cyclists face (on a much more consistent basis than we had envisioned). We saw firsthand how serious bike accidents can be, and were disturbed to learn that many cyclists had not protected themselves by ensuring they had adequate insurance coverage for such an event.

As personal injury attorneys, we saw a unique opportunity to serve our friends and others within Utah’s cycling community. We sensed that cyclists were an underrepresented group when it came to accident and injury cases, and decided to do something about it. Thus, UtahBicycleLawyers.com was born.

Representing many in Utah’s cycling community has been a rewarding experience, and an important reason why we keep riding. We will continue our efforts to help cyclists protect themselves from bike accidents, and to be prepared in the unfortunate instance that an accident takes place. We hope to see you on the road or on the trail soon. Ride safely out there!

Ken Christensen and Russ Hymas are avid cyclists and Utah attorneys at UtahBicycleLawyers.com. Their legal practice is devoted to helping cyclists injured in collisions with motor vehicles. They are authors of the Utah Bicycle Accident Handbook and are nationally recognized legal experts on cycling laws and safety.

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