I'm Finding this Cycling thing a bit depressing

  • Thread starter [Not Responding]
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N

[Not Responding]

Guest
OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.

1. I'm terrified of junctions.
2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
favourite hill.
3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.

So you can imagine just how pleasant I find a A road commute.

I suppose it will get better with time but I can't really say I'm
enjoying things right now. As well as the base-level fear, I find
myself supporting it with a sort of conscious logic; I've had one
close call - shouldn't I call it a day?

I even used a roadside pavement/cycle path the other day. I think that
was even less fun.

Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.

Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.
 
M

Mark Thompson

Guest
> 2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
> favourite hill.


What speeds are you going at down the hill? Remember the faster you go,
the less you're likely to remember about the crash ;-). Seriously, I get
scared somewhere between thirty and forty miles an hour and this is
normal - it's why people do it!

> 3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.


Yup. Specially when they're too close. The best is on 70mph dual
carriageways. Gave up cycling on the actual carriageway, not because
cars couldn't see me or weren't giving me enough room but because I kept
thinking about what would happen to me if someone didn't and I was hit
with a closing speed of 50 mph.

Started cycling on the mini hard shoulder type thing. Cars still gave
plenty of space, lorries and vans didn't but the slipstream thing you get
from a speeding artic was kind of fun.

You can't do that on A roads of course, but at least drivers are more
awake on them, and normally 10mph slower which makes a big dfference for
some reason.

> So you can imagine just how pleasant I find a A road commute.
> I suppose it will get better with time but I can't really say I'm
> enjoying things right now. As well as the base-level fear, I find
> myself supporting it with a sort of conscious logic; I've had one
> close call - shouldn't I call it a day?


Look at it this way. You've had your turn, and it's gotta go all the way
around again before it gets back to you :).

As I haven't had a serious accident yet I've got to get splatted before
you need to worry. Don't start worrying until I let you know. Do
consider buying brighter lights and a hi vis jacket if I suddenly stop
posting tho.

> I even used a roadside pavement/cycle path the other day. I think that
> was even less fun.


Yeugh. Alright if you can safely get up to speed I s'pose.

> Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
> best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.


Cunning. Maybe look at your road positioning etc - if you've started
cycling close to the kerb the cagers get even closer to you for some
reason. One of those weird mirror things might be useful - knowing a car
is approaching from behind might make it less of a shock when it whizzes
past.

> Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.


Knackered? The perfect excuse to eat bad food! You could cycle until
you meet a trundly and slot in behind 'em. Not much point drafting at
10mph but at least it stops you trying to do 20 the whole way.
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
[Not Responding] wrote:
>
> Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
> best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.
>


Have you got a friend who will cycle with you while you rebuild your
confidence? Its often a lot easier when you are not on your own.

Tony
 
J

Just zis Guy, you know?

Guest
On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 18:18:27 +0000, " [Not Responding] "
<[email protected]> wrote in message
<[email protected]>:

>1. I'm terrified of junctions.


Not much I can suggest there, I'm afraid.

>2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
>favourite hill.


Go 'bent :)

>3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.


Do you use a mirror? Knowing in advance what's coming and how much
space they're going to give you makes this much better.

>Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.


Ah. Well, your current action plan should work there :)

I hope the clueless numpty is going to pay through the nose for
ruining your enjoyment of one of your hobbies.

Guy
--
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at Washington University
 
D

Davo

Guest
you'll be fine on your 1st 25mile test..53 minutes no prob

just ride in the middle of the lane and swerve out each time a lorry speeds
by

and junctions...oh just close your eyes and GO for it .... !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Enjoy

[email protected] .........a real TESTER

the bigger the ring the more it hurts


" [Not Responding] " <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]..
> OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.
>
> 1. I'm terrified of junctions.
> 2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
> favourite hill.
> 3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.
>
> So you can imagine just how pleasant I find a A road commute.
>
> I suppose it will get better with time but I can't really say I'm
> enjoying things right now. As well as the base-level fear, I find
> myself supporting it with a sort of conscious logic; I've had one
> close call - shouldn't I call it a day?
>
> I even used a roadside pavement/cycle path the other day. I think that
> was even less fun.
>
> Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
> best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.
>
> Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.
 
J

Jon Senior

Guest
[Not Responding] [email protected]lid opined the
following...
> OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.
>
> 1. I'm terrified of junctions.


Plan your routes to include more of them. It goes away in the end, it's
hard to keep up a good level of fear in the face of the commonplace.

> 2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
> favourite hill.


That's where the pleasure of hills comes from. Again, this will come
back.

> 3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.


Get angry. I found that an unhealthy level of anger towards those with
whom I shared road space banished my fear until I learnt to control them
properly (Road users that is!).

I didn't ride much for a while after starting University. When I did
start riding again, a gentle sidewind tipping the bike slightly was
enough to make me start panicking. Traffic was terrifying and I
routinely rode badly surfaced back streets to avoid the main roads. Now
I have no problems at all (Aside from the usual ones involving being cut
up!). It does come back, and it will come back. But for a time, it'll
scare you sh*tless! Savour the emotion because when it's natural to be
on the roads again, you'll wonder what you were afraid of.

As others have suggested, having someone to ride with will probably help
distract you from the things that are currently bothering you.

Jon
 
K

Keith Willoughby

Guest
[Not Responding] wrote:

> 3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.


[...]

> Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
> best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.


Buy a Take-a-Look mirror (see the other thread mentioning it). My fear
of being overtaken pretty much disappeared when I could see the car
approaching and passing.

--
Keith Willoughby http://flat222.org/keith/
"When you're with me it's always summer"
 
M

Martin Wilson

Guest
On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 18:18:27 +0000, " [Not Responding] "
<[email protected]> wrote:

>OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.
>


Me, too I've started regularly cycling to work for about a month and
did a month of getting used to cycling before that with reasonable
length trips. Before that I had been doing cycling but only at
weekends for fairly short trips.

>1. I'm terrified of junctions.


The roads aren't too busy where I am and when I cycle so not really
had any problems. There are times though when I've really got to mix
in with the traffic. My bike and riding position makes me tower over
most cars and this gives me a sense of confidence probably above what
it should be. Maybe you can do something with your bike to aid
confidence somehow.

>2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
>favourite hill.


Not a bad thing to do. Slowing down gives you more control and is
therefore much safer.

>3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.
>


I've honestly not had any problems in this regard, I don't seem to
mind it at all. Worst offender so far was a motorbike who got a bit
close but no car driver has given me problems in this regard...yet!

>So you can imagine just how pleasant I find a A road commute.
>
>I suppose it will get better with time but I can't really say I'm
>enjoying things right now. As well as the base-level fear, I find
>myself supporting it with a sort of conscious logic; I've had one
>close call - shouldn't I call it a day?


If your not enjoying it and you fear for your life cycling then
logically perhaps you should give up commuting. Why not make the
effort to take in some countryside cycling routes and relax and allow
your cycling confidence to build up that way and forget about
commuting for now.
>
>I even used a roadside pavement/cycle path the other day. I think that
>was even less fun.
>
>Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
>best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.
>
>Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.


I'm 21 stone and find that while I arrive at work or home a bit
knackered I soon recover my energy levels and I'm fitter than I've
been in fifteen years.

The things I like about cycling;

1) Its great exercise, I feel better, stronger and I've got big
muscles and veins developing.

2) I enjoy the sensation of speed that I myself create and the actual
freedom of cycling. I feel much closer to the countryside I drive
through even to the point that I can smell the flowers and hear minor
sounds. Also more chance to enjoy the scenery.

3) I'm saving money on petrol and wear and tear on the car.

4) I actually like cycles as an item to own. I find them interesting
machines.

5) I'm making a small contribution to the environment in not driving.

6) The longer time it takes to cycle anywhere feels like my own
space/time.

Things I don't like about cycling.

1) Punctures

2) Long hills followed by more hills.

3) Colliding with heavier vehicles.

4) Faster Cyclists (almost all of them in my case unless going
downhill)

5) Very Heavy Rain

6) Ice

7) Lightening


I can't see myself stopping cycling now. To be honest I should never
have given it up many years ago.
 
V

Velvet

Guest
[Not Responding] wrote:
> OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.
>
> 1. I'm terrified of junctions.
> 2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
> favourite hill.
> 3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.
>
> So you can imagine just how pleasant I find a A road commute.
>
> I suppose it will get better with time but I can't really say I'm
> enjoying things right now. As well as the base-level fear, I find
> myself supporting it with a sort of conscious logic; I've had one
> close call - shouldn't I call it a day?
>
> I even used a roadside pavement/cycle path the other day. I think that
> was even less fun.
>
> Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
> best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.
>
> Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.


Sounds a bit like how I was/sometimes am. See if you can hook up with
another cyclist for company, who understands and will go at your pace
(those who zoom off ahead on hills just increase the anxiety for those
who are on the brakes) till you get back the confidence. Find some
quiet roads and ride those, stay away from the busier places till you're
happier with speed and junctions etc.

With time, I'm sure things'll get easier.

--


Velvet
 
S

soup

Guest
Davo popped their head over the parapet saw what was going on and said

> you'll be fine on your 1st 25mile test..53 minutes no prob


I hope there is some humour here that I have missed ,25 miles
in 53 minutes that's an AVERAGE speed of 28.3 mph,
either others are seriously quick or I have a problem. Fastest
average I have for 53 mins is 9.?? miles at an average of
11 mph ok most of that is in a town street situation,yes I
am a "trundlie" but 28.3 mph seems excessive.
--
yours S

Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, Martin Wilson
('[email protected]') wrote:

> On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 18:18:27 +0000, " [Not Responding] "
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
>>3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.
>>

> I've honestly not had any problems in this regard, I don't seem to
> mind it at all. Worst offender so far was a motorbike who got a bit
> close but no car driver has given me problems in this regard...yet!


[Not Responding] was seriously injured and nearly killed by a car
hitting him from behind less than a year ago; I think he has good
reason to feel scared of overtakers now.

[Not Responding], I think the idea of finding a regular cycling
companion is a very good one. You might consider this as part of your
rehabilitation; and, indeed, it would seem to me reasonable if the
charming lady concerned has not yet settled your claim to claim for the
expense of paying a person to accompany you while cycling. Part of the
damage she has caused you is damage to your confidence, and it doesn't
seem to me any reason why she shouldn't pay for measures to help you
regain it.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; Perl ... is the Brittney Spears of programming - easily accessible
;; but, in the final analysis, empty of any significant thought
;; Frank Adrian on Slashdot, 21st July 2003
 
S

Simonb

Guest
Simon Brooke wrote:

> claim for
> the expense of paying a person to accompany you while cycling.


I'll do it -- you can pay me to ride my bike! I live nearby-ish.
 
I

iarocu

Guest
" [Not Responding] " <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.
>
> 1. I'm terrified of junctions.


A very reasonable concern. I'll apologise in advance if I am stating
the obvious but ..... being a bit of a trundler the speeds I do on the
flat or uphill mean I could stop quickly. What I do is a shoulder
check then move to the centre of the road almost at the centre line so
there's less chance of the driver missing me. For the same reason I
wear a bright yellow jacket and use a 10w front light after dark. At
downhill speeds I would freewheel and slow down slightly until sure
the driver had seen me.

> 2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
> favourite hill.


You will get used to it again.

> 3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.


You will get used to it again. However if you think the road is too
narrow for a bike and two cars then don't give following traffic the
option of overtaking. Ride towards the outside of the lane so traffic
cannot pass without overtaking properly.

> I even used a roadside pavement/cycle path the other day. I think that
> was even less fun.


Well horses for courses. I use a roadside footway (marked for dual
foot/cycle use) on my regular commute for about a 1/4 mile to avoid
the adjoining slightly uphill 60 mph dual carriageway. THe rest of the
route is in a 30 mph zone where I am perfectly happy to mix it with
traffic.
I don't cycle on 70 mph dual carriageways unless I can not avoid
them as due to traffic speeds any accident will be serious. Drivers
don't look for cyclists on fast roads and many drivers are going too
fast for there level of competence whilst chatting, chsnging CDs etc.
Iain
 
D

dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers

Guest
>OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.
>
>1. I'm terrified of junctions.
>2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
>favourite hill.
>3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.


I'm not surprised. You had a *nasty* experience with a lot of time off the
bike. You need to be gentle on yourself and give yourself a lot of time to
*gradually* build your confidence back up.


>So you can imagine just how pleasant I find a A road commute.
>
>I suppose it will get better with time but I can't really say I'm
>enjoying things right now. As well as the base-level fear, I find
>myself supporting it with a sort of conscious logic; I've had one
>close call - shouldn't I call it a day?


All of which seems an entirely normal thing to be thinking. Any chance you can
get a cycling partner so you feel a little less alone when cycling?

>Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
>best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.


Yes - just be easy on yourself. Understand it's perfectly reasonable that right
now you have little confidence and a lot of worries.

>
>Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.


Well you did end up with a badly hurt body, so again - be gentle and give
yourself time.

Sorry if the above sounds all girlie, but I am one, and sometimes you blokes
have to learn to go easy on yourselves :)

Cheers, helen s


--This is an invalid email address to avoid spam--
to get correct one remove fame & fortune
h*$el*$$e*nd**$o$ts**i*$*$m*m$o*n*[email protected]$*a$o*l.c**$om$

--Due to financial crisis the light at the end of the tunnel is switched off--
 
P

Peter Fox

Guest
Following on from [Not Responding]'s message. . .
>OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.


Best option is get some training with the specific intention of dealing
with these matters. A good trainer will soon convince you that
assertive cycling works and understanding how junctions work and the
_right_ way to handle them will give you confidence and of course be a
whole lot safer.

The principles of safe cycling are _really simple_ but you weren't born
with the information so nobody's blaming you for not knowing.

Tell us where you live and somebody here will point you in the right
direction.

A buddy is handy but (as evidenced by some of the replies here already)
they may have bad (aka unsafe) habits.


PS Since writing the above I've just enjoyed cycling through central
London (not something I have done for 2.5 years) and yes, I _did_ enjoy
the challenge of planning ahead, negotiating, spotting unusual hazards
and dealing with circumstances never seen before. All done safely and
with no hassle. It just goes to show that once you have the basic
skills you can apply them anywhere.

PPS. Disgusted by the disregard for red lights shown by 90% of cyclists.


--
PETER FOX Not the same since the deckchair business folded
[email protected]
www.eminent.demon.co.uk/wcc.htm Witham Cycling Campaign
www.eminent.demon.co.uk/rides East Anglian Pub cycle rides
 
N

[Not Responding]

Guest
>
>Sorry if the above sounds all girlie, but I am one, and sometimes you blokes
>have to learn to go easy on yourselves :)
>


:)

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions from everyone. It's taken
me a while to realise that while these fears may be temporary, they're
going to last a bit longer than just the first few rides.

It's not a dibilitating phobia or anything dramatic; it's just enough
worry to stop me relaxing and actually enjoy being back in the saddle.
A bit wearing by the end of the week.

I will take up the suggestion of riding in company. There's a 50km
Audax at Denmead on December 11th and I'm tempted to try that if I can
find a co-rider.

And I *will* do the Round the Island in May 2005.
 
A

Al C-F

Guest
On Fri, 5 Nov 2004 17:53:47 -0000, "Simonb"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Simon Brooke wrote:
>
>> claim for
>> the expense of paying a person to accompany you while cycling.

>
>I'll do it -- you can pay me to ride my bike! I live nearby-ish.
>

....and I'll take a turn if it would help.

Al
 
D

davep

Guest
[Not Responding] wrote:

> OK, I've been back on the bike properly for about 2 months now.
>
> 1. I'm terrified of junctions.
> 2. Speed scares me. I'm on the brakes going down what used to be my
> favourite hill.
> 3. Being overtaken frightens the daylights out of me.
>
> So you can imagine just how pleasant I find a A road commute.
>
> I suppose it will get better with time but I can't really say I'm
> enjoying things right now. As well as the base-level fear, I find
> myself supporting it with a sort of conscious logic; I've had one
> close call - shouldn't I call it a day?
>
> I even used a roadside pavement/cycle path the other day. I think that
> was even less fun.
>
> Any tips for speeding up my psychological rehabilitation? My current
> best plan is to promise myself a new bike for Christmas as a reward.
>
> Oh yeah, I'm also unfit and knackered when I get to work or home.


It will take a while for these feelings to pass.
After a bad accident I couldn't go past the same junction without
slowing _right_ down because I was so fearful.
Is there any way you can avoid some of the A road?

davep
 

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