Can't Cycle after Spill

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Elisa Francesca, Jan 27, 2004.

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  1. I'm very upset about this.

    I mentioned that last Friday, riding a bike with recently upgraded brakes that I was unused to, I
    had my two first falls in traffic. I was unhurt both times, and conscientiously got back in the
    saddle both times immediately, because I was afraid of going phobic.

    Unfortunately, by the time I took Behemoth out to go to work on Monday, phobia had well and truly
    set in. I was unable to start the bike up the initial hill from my home. I wheeled her to a flatter
    section on a secure bike path, and was able to start. But then I was unable to start on another
    uphill and had to wheel her into work. On arrival, I was shaky and weepy.

    By evening, I was unable to start at all. Simple paralysis. I cannot put that initial pedal down and
    let go of the brakes and move. After wheeling her home I tried starting on the easier Myrtille, in
    the security of the underground parking where there is no traffic, no weather, and completely flat
    conditions. Same result: complete paralysis at startup. My brain says "Go on, you can do this", but
    my body just will not respond. I can no longer ride a bike.

    I'm particularly worried because about ten years ago I abruptly lost the ability to mount an
    escalator. Unlike this occasion, it was not the result of an accident, but to this day escalators
    are such an issue to me that I have to go out of the way on my trips on the Paris metro to avoid
    them, and cannot use certain shops that have no elevators or stairs. I am sometimes able to get on
    an up-escalator (never a down), but it takes so long, and so much psych-up, and raises blood
    pressure so high, and keeps so many people waiting, that it is no longer worth it.

    Every time I think about biking now I have an anxiety attack, and I had anxiety dreams about biking
    all last night. I was delighted with a weather warning of black ice conditions because that gave me
    an excuse to come to work on foot and just not face the bikes today. (In fact, the morning was warm
    and there was no ice or snow). All the pleasure has gone out of it.

    Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation? I'm at loss what to do. I think this
    weekend I shall have to go back to the very first thing I ever did on a bike: put the seat way down
    to kiddie-height and try to balance her downhill without pedalling. But I trust neither bike:
    Behemoth is too difficult overall and Myrtille really needs to have her brakes softened before I
    will risk her again.

    EFR Depressed in Ile de France
     
    Tags:


  2. Don Demair

    Don Demair Guest

    "Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > I'm very upset about this.
    >
    > I mentioned that last Friday, riding a bike with recently upgraded brakes that I was unused to, I
    > had my two first falls in traffic. I was unhurt both times, and conscientiously got back in the
    > saddle both times immediately, because I was afraid of going phobic.
    >
    > Unfortunately, by the time I took Behemoth out to go to work on Monday, phobia had well and truly
    > set in. I was unable to start the bike up the initial hill from my home. I wheeled her to a
    > flatter section on a secure bike path, and was able to start. But then I was unable to start on
    > another uphill and had to wheel her into work. On arrival, I was shaky and weepy.
    >
    > By evening, I was unable to start at all. Simple paralysis. I cannot put that initial pedal down
    > and let go of the brakes and move. After wheeling her home I tried starting on the easier
    > Myrtille, in the security of the underground parking where there is no traffic, no weather, and
    > completely flat conditions. Same result: complete paralysis at startup. My brain says "Go on, you
    > can do this", but my body just will not respond. I can no longer ride a bike.
    >
    > I'm particularly worried because about ten years ago I abruptly lost the ability to mount an
    > escalator. Unlike this occasion, it was not the result of an accident, but to this day escalators
    > are such an issue to me that I have to go out of the way on my trips on the Paris metro to avoid
    > them, and cannot use certain shops that have no elevators or stairs. I am sometimes able to get on
    > an up-escalator (never a down), but it takes so long, and so much psych-up, and raises blood
    > pressure so high, and keeps so many people waiting, that it is no longer worth it.
    >
    > Every time I think about biking now I have an anxiety attack, and I had anxiety dreams about
    > biking all last night. I was delighted with a weather warning of black ice conditions because that
    > gave me an excuse to come to work on foot and just not face the bikes today. (In fact, the morning
    > was warm and there was no ice or snow). All the pleasure has gone out of it.
    >
    > Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation? I'm at loss what to do. I think this
    > weekend I shall have to go back to the very first thing I ever did on a bike: put the seat way
    > down to kiddie-height and try to balance her downhill without pedalling. But I trust neither bike:
    > Behemoth is too difficult overall and Myrtille really needs to have her brakes softened before I
    > will risk her again.
    >
    > EFR Depressed in Ile de France
    >

    I have never responded to one of your posts before (most of my thoughts were better expressed by
    others), but I have followed you bicycle exploits since you first started posting. Apparently, that
    is also when you started riding. Your posts and the threads they started have been interesting and
    informative. It is nice to see someone ask beginner-type questions and get respectful answers. It
    must be your style which is open and honest. I would miss you.

    More unfortunate, would be your missing out on the joy of riding a bicycle. If it's no longer a joy,
    for whatever reason, don't torture yourself. If the reason is addressable, then do something about
    it. I have a fear of heights. Since all of humanity has respect for heights, it's not easy to
    distinguish an irrational fear from a healthy respect. But I know what I have is more than healthy
    respect. My phobia is easy to live with. Not all phobias are like that. Some deprive people of joy.
    I hope that's not you.

    Ride on, if you can, Don
     
  3. Badger South

    Badger South Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 11:56:40 +0100, Elisa Francesca Roselli
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm very upset about this.
    >
    >Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation? I'm at loss what to do. I think this
    >weekend I shall have to go back to the very first thing I ever did on a bike: put the seat way down
    >to kiddie-height and try to balance her downhill without pedalling. But I trust neither bike:
    >Behemoth is too difficult overall and Myrtille really needs to have her brakes softened before I
    >will risk her again.
    >
    >EFR Depressed in Ile de France

    I don't think there's much in the way of advice that one can give to help, but a couple things.

    Don't be in a hurry to 'label' it a phobia. When you do that, it kind of locks in the fear cycle.
    Try to keep the mental ruminations low. Don't force yourself to the point where you're having
    anxiety dreams, IOW.

    Go ahead and start simple, put the seat down, get back in there gently.

    Be assure we're all pulling for you and want to be kept apprised of your situation, Elisa!

    Best,

    -Badger
     
  4. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected]
    software.com says...

    ...

    > Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation? I'm at loss what to do. I think this
    > weekend I shall have to go back to the very first thing I ever did on a bike: put the seat way
    > down to kiddie-height and try to balance her downhill without pedalling. But I trust neither bike:
    > Behemoth is too difficult overall and Myrtille really needs to have her brakes softened before I
    > will risk her again.

    Then get the brakes adjusted. If you're having trouble getting back on, don't ride Behemoth for a
    while; he sounds too tough for your present state of mind. Stick with the bike you know likes you,
    and which you have confidence in your ability to ride.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  5. Jack

    Jack Guest

    EFR,

    I am not familiar with your background in cycling, but I would guess that you did not learn as a
    child, you learned to ride as an adult, and it doesn't come naturally to you.

    My situation is similar. I did not learn to ride a bike until I was 49. That was 4 years ago. I used
    to run, but had to stop due to knee problems. My cycling skills are poor. I ride with both hands on
    the bars at all times, I sometimes have difficulty starting on uphills and on steep downhills. I
    avoid traffic, it makes me nervous. I only ride in warm weather. My last ride last year was not a
    good one. It was a bit cool, and I could not mount the bike on a downhill, I had to walk to a flat
    spot to get on. Then I came to a busy intersection and I was too nervous to even start riding, so I
    walked to my car, about 100 yards away, and that was it for the year.

    But I really do want to become good at riding. So last fall I bought rollers, and learned to ride
    them. It took me about 3 months of almost daily riding to get relaxed with riding rollers, to the
    point where I can sing instead of pray that I won't fall off. Yesterday I did an hour on the rollers
    and I felt great. I hope that when the weather warms up in a few months and I go outside, that I
    will feel much more comfortable on my bike.

    I don't know what is best for you, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone. Maybe you should
    just stop riding outside for a few weeks or months. Maybe it would help for you to learn to ride
    rollers. I didn't think I could learn rollers when I started, but now that I have overcome that I
    feel much better about the future.

    Jack
     
  6. >Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation?

    Yes, but not in relation to bikes.

    What works for me is to *continually* run through my mind what is *logical* and realise that the
    fear is *illogical*. I also found deep breathing exercises to be claming and very, very helpful.
    Also - be gentle on yourself. Give yourself time and space. Take it one step (or one pedal
    revloution!) at a time. Each little success builds on the one before. If you have setbacks - again -
    be gentle on yourself. Accept and start again. Accept also it will take *time* to conquer a phobia.
    With mine, what helps is accepting the phobia will never completely go, but knowing I can control
    it, not allow it to control me. I have conquered it - I will not allow it to conquer me. I hope my
    experiences help you at least a little.

    Best wishes, helen s (in England and wishing she was cycling in France again!) --This is an invalid
    email address to avoid spam-- to get correct one remove dependency on fame & fortune
    h*$el*$$e**nd***$o$ts***i*$*$m**m$$o*n**[email protected]$*$a$$o**l.c**$*$om$$
     
  7. Rick Warner

    Rick Warner Guest

    Elisa Francesca Roselli <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    Elisa,

    Just about two years ago I had a bad accident. I remember nothing of the events; I was found
    unconscious on the side of the road, and pretty well beat up. As the bones healed, teeth were
    replaced, etc., the doctors had two fears: that I would try to ride a bike again too soon, and that
    I might have paralysis and never ride again. I had the latter fear, but not the former (too much
    pain to ride too soon). One of the big helps for me was having a doctor and a physical therapist who
    were both cyclists; they probed and worked to ensure that if the mental block was too strong they
    could try to deal with it. Fortunately I was able to work through it without the involvement of
    other professionals.

    Things that helped me were: 1) refitting the bike. Mine was needed to minimize pain, but it sounds
    like you need to replace Behemoth, and in the meantime fix the brakes on Myrtille - then ride her;
    2) spend some time in a trainer. I used a wind trainer, which was OK for me. Someone else suggested
    rollers; rollers are a bit tricky as they take good form and balance to be able to ride, but the
    upside is that they help you develop good form and balance. This would be good for your situation.

    The other suggestion is what you tried; ride where there is little/no traffic so the risk is low.
    Practice stops/starts and hills, which seem to be the issues.

    Good luck; it is a very good thing to get over the fears. I have ridden around 11,000 miles since my
    accident, so as you see the fear was short-lived.

    - rick
     
  8. Badger South wrote:

    > Don't be in a hurry to 'label' it a phobia. When you do that, it kind of locks in the fear cycle.
    > Try to keep the mental ruminations low. Don't force yourself to the point where you're having
    > anxiety dreams, IOW.

    Yes, this is true. My colleague says that a bike will always sense your fear and act up accordingly;
    like a dog. But then I have a friend who is persuaded that "bikes have no malice". I'm not sure who
    I believe.

    > Go ahead and start simple, put the seat down, get back in there gently.

    What I'm not sure about is: should I force myself to get back into cycling as soon as possible, or
    just put it out of my mind for a while and hope that a beautiful morning and the memory of past
    pleasures will rekiindle the flame? Either way could actually increase the aversion response, or
    overturn it. At the moment I really don't want to cycle, but feel guilty, as though I'm playing
    hookey. On the other hand, when I started last year, there were many days when I had to force
    myself, and many days when I had to force myself to scooting practice before that.

    > Be assure we're all pulling for you and want to be kept apprised of your situation, Elisa!

    Gosh, people are so nice here.

    EFR Ile de France
     
  9. Jack wrote:

    > But I really do want to become good at riding. So last fall I bought rollers, and learned to ride
    > them. It took me about 3 months of almost daily riding to get relaxed with riding rollers, to the
    > point where I can sing instead of pray that I won't fall off.

    What is rollers? I assumed you meant roller-blades but that doesn't accord with what you say
    about biking.

    I had to do two and a half years of kick-scooting before I dared try a bike. I managed somehow
    never to fall on my kick-scooter. But I was terrified out of my mind. Then the firm that had made
    my beautiful scooter disappeared from contact and apparently went out of business (they have
    since resurfaced). I could no longer order spare parts and had no choice but to throw my heart
    into cycling.

    My scooter had a wooden platform. Whenever evil or scary thoughts would come, I had this ritual of
    touching the wood to banish them. But there is nothing wooden on either of my bikes. I must perhaps
    carry a wooden fetish to help with this.

    > I did not learn to ride a bike until I was 49. That was 4 years ago.

    I only started learning in November 2002. I was 46.

    > I used to run, but had to stop due to knee problems.

    Capricorn?

    > My cycling skills are poor. I ride with both hands on the bars at all times, I sometimes have
    > difficulty starting on uphills and on steep downhills. I avoid traffic, it makes me nervous. I
    > only ride in warm weather.

    I could have written all of the above, except that I have a strong preference for cold dry weather,
    and won't ride in temperatures of over 30 Celsius. I still cannot signal because I lose balance if I
    try to take one hand off the bars. With Behemoth, this was worse that ever, even before the spills.
    I still consider myself very much in the learning phase, which probably takes much longer with
    people who learn as adults, as with languages.

    > I don't know what is best for you, but I wanted you to know that you are not alone.

    Kind of you. Thanks

    EFR Ile de France
     
  10. In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers) wrote:

    > >Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation?
    >
    > Yes, but not in relation to bikes.
    >
    > What works for me is to *continually* run through my mind what is
    *logical* and
    > realise that the fear is *illogical*. I also found deep breathing exercises to be claming and
    > very, very helpful. Also - be gentle on yourself. Give yourself time and space. Take it one step
    > (or one pedal revloution!) at a time. Each little success builds on the one before. If you have
    > setbacks - again - be gentle on yourself. Accept and start again. Accept also it will take *time*
    > to conquer a phobia. With mine, what helps is accepting the phobia will never completely go, but
    > knowing I can control it, not allow it to control me.
    I have
    > conquered it - I will not allow it to conquer me. I hope my experiences help you at least
    > a little.
    >

    I had that experience after being hit by a car at an intersection I always feared and hated. I call
    it the Intersection of Doom. Since it ended my season, when I started up again, I was so terrified
    to go through that intersection I simply avoided it. But it's hard to avoid. That's the thing about
    phobias. I've had anxiety disorders and panic attacks in the past, and it's like any phobia. Try
    telling the claustrophobic that the closet isn't going to close in on them! To them it's very real-
    they are convinced they'll die.

    I read an article in Velonews during that time about how to recover emotionally from a bad crash, of
    course ,they meant racing. But the phobias are the same. One thing is to visualize yourself doing
    the race and going through the place where you crashed. Also, try anxiety exercises. Just think,
    'It's anxiety, I won't die." Just let your heart pound and let yourself feel afraid, but remember
    it's just a physiclal reaction, not impending death.

    Eventually I went through the intersection with someone else, but insisted we bunch closer together,
    since at that intersection it's easier for cars to see you if there's more than one. MY heart was
    pounding but I made it! Then I went through alone. However, I still avoid it at rush hour- that's
    when I had my accident. It's just too dangerous!
     
  11. John Everett

    John Everett Guest

  12. Q.

    Q. Guest

    "Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]>
    wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > Badger South wrote:
    >
    > > Don't be in a hurry to 'label' it a phobia. When you do that, it kind of locks in the fear
    > > cycle. Try to keep the mental ruminations low. Don't force yourself to the point where you're
    > > having anxiety dreams, IOW.
    >
    > Yes, this is true. My colleague says that a bike will always sense your
    fear
    > and act up accordingly; like a dog. But then I have a friend who is
    persuaded
    > that "bikes have no malice". I'm not sure who I believe.

    The bicycle is an inanimate object it's true, but I believe your first friend was being a bit poetic
    and simply pointing out that your own fears manifest themselves physically and effect the way the
    bicycle handles ... like gripping the handlebars so tight you swerve all over the road, or panicking
    and applying the brakes too hard.

    My best friends mother suffers from anxiety attacks and I've had to deal with it since I was a kid.
    She refuses to seek treatment or to take medication, so over the years her anxiety has evolved from
    simply overreacting ... like being afraid of getting hit by lightning when she hears thunder ... to
    where she barely leaves the house now. She has let her fears control her to the point where her mind
    "invents" things to be afraid of ... she is convinced now that she has terminal cancer for example.

    I hope you're not offended but you can see why this concerns me. You mentioned in another post how
    you avoid escalators now ... how you *have* to avoid escalators. When anxiety attacks get to the
    point where they affect everyday life and force you to change behavior ... well, that's not good. I
    hope at this point you would consider talking to someone professionally about it. It could make a
    world of difference.

    Take care, and I hope you can get past this soon!

    C.Q.C.
     
  13. Jack

    Jack Guest

    Rollers have been used for indoor bicycle training
    for many years. This website has lots of information:

    http://www.sportcrafters.com

    Jack

    "Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    software.com...
    >
    > What is rollers? I assumed you meant roller-blades but that doesn't accord with what you say
    > about biking.
     
  14. Badger South

    Badger South Guest

    On Tue, 27 Jan 2004 15:58:03 +0100, Elisa Francesca Roselli
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Badger South wrote:
    >
    >> Don't be in a hurry to 'label' it a phobia. When you do that, it kind of locks in the fear cycle.
    >> Try to keep the mental ruminations low. Don't force yourself to the point where you're having
    >> anxiety dreams, IOW.
    >
    >Yes, this is true. My colleague says that a bike will always sense your fear and act up
    >accordingly; like a dog. But then I have a friend who is persuaded that "bikes have no malice". I'm
    >not sure who I believe.
    >
    >
    >> Go ahead and start simple, put the seat down, get back in there gently.
    >
    >What I'm not sure about is: should I force myself to get back into cycling as soon as possible, or
    >just put it out of my mind for a while and hope that a beautiful morning and the memory of past
    >pleasures will rekiindle the flame?

    I would suggest a middle road. Perhaps put the biking on hold while the weather's not so good, but
    it's -only- because the weather's not ideal, not because of any, you know, worries about biking.
    It's just that the weather was poor. That's all. Weather. Not you.

    -B
    PS, whatever you do, you'll be fine. ;-)
     
  15. "Remember, you're essentially riding a bike on a conveyor belt, and you can fall off."

    Yipes! Worst of all worlds, if you ask me. I think I'll stick to my aero-magnetic exercycle for the
    moment. At least I can watch Buffy at the same time.

    EFR

    John Everett wrote:

    > See: http://www.cadence90.com/spincycle/windtrainer.html
     
  16. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    George Bush has done the same thing to the American people.

    "Q." wrote:

    > ... She has let her fears control her to the point where her mind "invents" things to be
    > afraid of ...
     
  17. Elisa,

    I'm pretty far from an expert in this field, but my understanding is that there are some good
    therapies that can help people overcome the situation you find yourself in. I think that since
    it's keeping you from doing things that you want to do, you might want to consider getting that
    kind of help.

    Here's a link that might be helpful: http://www.cognitivetherapy.com/fuller.html

    Oh, and please find somebody who knows something abou this (I really don't).

    Eric

    "Elisa Francesca Roselli" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    software.com...
    > I'm very upset about this.
    >
    > I mentioned that last Friday, riding a bike with recently upgraded brakes that I was unused to, I
    > had my two first falls in traffic. I was unhurt both times, and conscientiously got back in the
    > saddle both times immediately, because I was afraid of going phobic.
    >
    > Unfortunately, by the time I took Behemoth out to go to work on Monday, phobia had well and truly
    > set in. I was unable to start the bike up the initial hill from my home. I wheeled her to a
    > flatter section on a secure bike path, and was able to start. But then I was unable to start on
    > another uphill and had to wheel her into work. On arrival, I was shaky and weepy.
    >
    > By evening, I was unable to start at all. Simple paralysis. I cannot put that initial pedal down
    > and let go of the brakes and move. After wheeling her home I tried starting on the easier
    > Myrtille, in the security of the underground parking where there is no traffic, no weather, and
    > completely flat conditions. Same result: complete paralysis at startup. My brain says "Go on, you
    > can do this", but my body just will not respond. I can no longer ride a bike.
    >
    > I'm particularly worried because about ten years ago I abruptly lost the ability to mount an
    > escalator. Unlike this occasion, it was not the result of an accident, but to this day escalators
    > are such an issue to me that I have to go out of the way on my trips on the Paris metro to avoid
    > them, and cannot use certain shops that have no elevators or stairs. I am sometimes able to get on
    > an up-escalator (never a down), but it takes so long, and so much psych-up, and raises blood
    > pressure so high, and keeps so many people waiting, that it is no longer worth it.
    >
    > Every time I think about biking now I have an anxiety attack, and I had anxiety dreams about
    > biking all last night. I was delighted with a weather warning of black ice conditions because that
    > gave me an excuse to come to work on foot and just not face the bikes today. (In fact, the morning
    > was warm and there was no ice or snow). All the pleasure has gone out of it.
    >
    > Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation? I'm at loss what to do. I think this
    > weekend I shall have to go back to the very first thing I ever did on a bike: put the seat way
    > down to kiddie-height and try to balance her downhill without pedalling. But I trust neither bike:
    > Behemoth is too difficult overall and Myrtille really needs to have her brakes softened before I
    > will risk her again.
    >
    > EFR Depressed in Ile de France
     
  18. Q.

    Q. Guest

    "Gary Smiley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >> ... She has let her fears control her to the point where her mind "invents" things to be
    afraid
    >> of ...

    > George Bush has done the same thing to the American people.

    As opposed to Bill Clinton who pretended for 8 years there was no threat ... doh!

    Sorry Elisa, just couldn't help it (c: Besides, it was a masterful example of derailing a thread ...
    from bicycling anxiety in France to Bostonian liberalism in 5 seconds flat!

    C.Q.C.
     
  19. Jthouse

    Jthouse Guest

    >Has anyone here had to deal with this sort of situation? I'm at loss what to do.

    Elisa,

    You certainly are not alone! Not only am I a psychotherapist who works with anxiety/phobias, etc.,
    but I'm also trying to get over my own fear after a dog knocked me off the bike in November.

    The most effective treatment of phobic avoidance (supported by research studies) is a form of
    cognitive behavioral therapy that uses the 'exposure' technique to, in essence, desensitize you to
    the particular situation that triggers the strong emotional response while helping you learn to
    think differently about the experience. There are, no doubt, some good CBT therapists in Paris;
    check out a psychiatric clinic, university medical center, etc. for references.

    It's hard work, my progress has been slowed by the wretched weather here in the Eastern U.S. this
    winter, but come Spring I will be back on the bike.

    Bonne chance, mon amie!

    Joan
     
  20. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Tue, 27 Jan 2004 15:58:03 +0100,
    <[email protected]>, Elisa Francesca Roselli
    <[email protected]> wrote, in part:

    >Yes, this is true. My colleague says that a bike will always sense your fear and act up
    >accordingly; like a dog. But then I have a friend who is persuaded that "bikes have no malice". I'm
    >not sure who I believe.
    >
    It's a collection of pipes, wire and rubber that is what you make of it. Mine's a passport to a
    whole new place every day I ride it.
    >
    Badger South advised:
    >> Go ahead and start simple, put the seat down, get back in there gently.
    >
    >What I'm not sure about is: should I force myself to get back into cycling as soon as possible, or
    >just put it out of my mind for a while and hope that a beautiful morning and the memory of past
    >pleasures will rekiindle the flame?

    Forget it, you're hooked. Riding a bicycle is probalby the most difficult thing you've ever
    accomplished.

    Nobody here learned to ride a bike without falling more than twice. Get over it. It's part of the
    learning curve. We fall, we get up, we ride on just like you did. You'll probably fall a few more
    times before getting it all figured out. Then falling almost never again because you'll stretch your
    limits gradually, unlike 20 yr. old males.

    You might address this fear by reducing the chances of hurting yourself. Consider using appropriate
    body armour while you're still learning. Gloves, shin guards, knee pads, elbow and wrist protectors
    are all readily available for roller bladers and footballers. Skinned knees or palms and minor
    bruises covers the majority of injuries experienced by cyclists too. You can ride without worrying
    about minor scrapes by wearing these types of padding until you no longer feel a need for them.

    I'm older than mud and riding since birth but fell twice onto my hip in three kilometers last month.
    I was wearing armoured shorts because I expected a few surprises with the ice. No bruises, no
    crushed ego, no bad dreams. I put on a studded rear tire and went back out. I didn't require the
    protection of the shorts again but I wore them until all of the ice was off. Now if I get caught off
    guard by black ice, riding with slicks and no crash pads, I'll possibly fall and get bruised. I know
    the bruises will heal so it's not enough to keep me from riding.
    --
    zk
     
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