Did you have to overcome anxiety when you first started?

Discussion in 'Women's Cycling' started by Veater, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. Veater

    Veater New Member

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    I remember when I first considered buying a bike as a grown up that I thought "People will laugh at me" or "I'll look silly on a bike". When I've talked to others about it, they say it's because I'm a woman that I had those concerns, as women are taught from a young age to look and act in a specific way that bikes don't fit in with. It's not considered "ladylike". In hindsight, I really don't care about looking ladylike, and I am glad I made the decision to start riding. But those thoughts were definitely there, and they weren't for my boyfriend when he picked up riding a few months ago.

    Do you think it's true that being a woman makes the decision to start cycling more difficult? Do you think we have had to shed our ladylike, female gendered upbringings in order to ride?
     
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  2. lisasian86

    lisasian86 New Member

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    I think it depends on the individual, I don't think I would worry about not being ladylike because I'm generally not very ladylike anyway! But for some women I'm sure that it's something they would think about. In fact I think I know a lot of women that wouldn't even consider bike riding for that precise reason which is a shame.
     
  3. sharkantropo

    sharkantropo Member

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    I don't find less ladylike to ride a bicycle, it's not something that necessarily will be too rough unless you go straight to mountainbike or BMX. What's "ladylike" anyway? To behave like a lady is
    a concept that came from the monarchy era, where the royalty is
    expected to behave in a specific way for both male and female.

    Is not like you're going to be rude while riding, swearing to pedestrians
    and showing the middle finger to car drivers, or spitting along the bike
    lane. That would be not only unladylike, but overall disgusting.
     
  4. Acheno84

    Acheno84 Member

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    I've gotten to a point in my life where I just don't care what people think. I used to be that way as well though. I used to worry that people would think I was strange, poor, masculine, etc. Those anxieties dropped off as soon as I hit the end of my block though and rode my bike to the store and got myself a coffee. I realized that I was being a little silly to be so worried about what others thought. Even better, I actually had someone compliment me saying "it's nice to see a woman active and healthy". That made the worlds difference.
     
  5. Veater

    Veater New Member

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    Compliments can make the world of difference, especially when you're feeling a bit unsure about something you are doing. I never even thought of the fact that people might assume you're poor for riding a bike. But actually that makes a lot of sense, as people might assume you're riding because you can't afford a car. The far more realistic scenario is that you want to be healthy, enjoy riding and/or care about the environment. But people can be so judgemental!
     
  6. Corzhens

    Corzhens Well-Known Member

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    I'm not too conscious of what people would think of me or what they would say about my riding. My anxiety is on how I could use my first bike in the most enjoyable manner - to me, a bike is not just for transportation or for physical exercise, I treat it as a toy for adults which should always elicit my excitement. That's why I was content in riding around our street for a test drive. But for my first bike, I had that worry about crashing... not for the physical injury but more for the damage that a crash could inflict on my new bike. Until now I still have that worry sometimes that when I fall or hit something, it may cause a damage to my bike.
     
  7. Belovedad

    Belovedad New Member

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    I was really only anxious about actually riding the bike. I honestly could care less about what others think or what impression I make. If I find something that entertains me, I will pursue it to no ends.
     
  8. briannagodess

    briannagodess Member

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    I don't really had any anxiety when it came to buying my bike or riding it for the first time as an adult. The worst that I got are stares from some men. But there has been no laughing or bullying because they see a woman riding a bike. And for me, that's a great thing since I do believe that we live in an era where women are warranted equal opportunities and rights as men. So riding a bike nowadays, as an adult woman, isn't much of an issue with me.

    As far as it not being ladylike, I don't really think that. I mean, lots of women here ride bikes to school or to run errands everyday. Some look so cute even, wearing dresses, skirts or trendy clothes. So it's not really a testament of your being a "lady" if you ride a bike here. And for the most part, I live in a conservative neighbourhood and this is the common reaction with women bikers.

    I don't know about your location though because it does depend on that. However, you need not care about their opinions. As long as you enjoy biking, do that for yourself. Take care!
     
  9. cycle93

    cycle93 Member

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    Yes! I totally had to!

    I did not like bicycles at all and had a lot of bad memories from my childhood, but a few of m friends invited me to commute to work with them and I decided to join in.
    First of all I was very nervous and clumsy, keep injuring myself like a kid, but somehow cycling became a lifestyle for me and I am very happy about it now!
     
  10. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Don't ,let anyone fool you. ANYONE that starts riding has anxiety. I was off of the bike for four years from health problems and after that was gone and I started again I spent a whole year fearing each and every ride. Afraid that I couldn't make the distance/ Afraid that I couldn't keep up; Afraid I'd fall.

    Then I spent another year afraid of every climb and whether I could make it or not. And if I would do the long distances with the group.

    Then I knew my capacity and my capabilities and the anxiety disappeared.

    So hang in there and every day you'll feel a little better until you'll wonder what you were anxious about.
     
  11. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    I always get what is probably the wrong impression when other people look at me anyway, so yes, I do experience some anxiety when I'm out riding my bike. This is particularly true in residential areas where a lot of other people are outside enjoying the day too. I ride past, people look my way. I don't know why they're looking but I always assume they think I look silly, stupid or just plain ridiculous. I'm most likely wrong, but it doesn't matter as the anxiety rises anyway. That's the only thing that really takes away from my enjoyment of the ride.
     
  12. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    Well, my wife says the same thing despite the fact that she has ridden across the United States from dipping her rear wheel in the Pacific Ocean to pushing her front wheel into the Atlantic Ocean. She rode with a couple of the strongest guys in our group and felt she looked ridiculous because she couldn't keep up with them on the hardest climbs. I guess women are just built that way.
     
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  13. Novelangel

    Novelangel Member

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    That's really cool that your wife has ridden clear across the US. I have a great deal of respect for people willing to do that sort of thing. Do you know how long it took her? I know that question deviates from the topic, but just wondering. I think we women do tend to think less of ourselves, or think of others first. I've noticed this particularly since I've been married. I tend to think of my husband first before myself... my mom does the same thing, so I guess it's just the nurturing side of us women. Perhaps whatever it is that causes us to nurture others also causes us to feel poorly about ourselves?
     
  14. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    My memory is rather messed up but I believe it took the whole summer vacation with her and the two youngest daughters. They took the station wagon and traded off who rode that day. The youngest was just out of Jr. High. Now I'm trying to get her kids on bikes.
     
  15. glreese

    glreese New Member

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    If anything, bike riding makes me feel a little more confident about myself. It makes me feel healthier and like I am in better shape. It makes me feel stronger. However, I can see how some people would not want to draw attention to themselves. So, if that is you, I would suggest cycling in a more private place. There is nothing wrong with that!
     
  16. chelsknits

    chelsknits Member

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    This is something that I had never really thought of, but it's probably because I grew up as more of a tomboy so being "ladylike" wasn't something I was ever really worried about. However, I had anxiety about other things when I first started riding as an adult. At the time it had been at least ten years since I had gotten on a bike and I was extremely nervous that I'd be off balance and fall. As a kid I thought nothing of riding with one hand or even no hands, or standing up while riding so I thought I'd be able to jump right back into doing that. It took me a while to feel more comfortable riding again, but I'm getting there!
     
  17. joahnna mae ma-amo bello

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    When I was a child mg father would encourage me to bike. He would teach me the basics and I enjoyed riding it with my friends. When I became older he advised me to limit my biking because it is snot lady like. That is why I limited cycling but then I realized that I do not really have to worry so much about what others think of me instead I should do what I love as long is a wear proper attire when I go out for a ride.
     
  18. Henrywrites

    Henrywrites Member

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    I understand your point of view and how you felt when you picked up the bike to start riding in the first instance. However, I would like to say that there is nothing that a man can do that a woman won't do and look for ways to perfect that as well. All a lady needs is to perfect it in the mind that she is going to ride and that's all. We have our life to live and not answerable to anyone.
     
  19. treecko142

    treecko142 Member

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    I first started at a young age and my father taught me and joined me during bike rides, so it really helped with the anxiety I was feeling starting since I hate being looked at by people and failing. When I felt I was good enough to bike on my own, the anxiety was still there but I was more confident since I knew what I was doing.
     
  20. reighn

    reighn Member

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    Well I have no idea about that specially that feelings by being a woman. I don't feel the anxiety during my first time to use my bike. I was so young during that time, maybe I was six or seven yrs old only, and honestly, I'm so proud during that time.
     
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