Need help with my pedalling

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Nate, Jun 17, 2003.

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  1. Nate

    Nate Guest

    I'm new to riding, I learned to ride last year at age 46. Here's my problem - riding on a typical 2
    lane road, pedalling along, when a car approaches me, either from the front or behind, my legs want
    to stop turning the pedals until the vehicle passes. How can I learn to ignore the traffic and just
    keep pedalling?

    Nate
     
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  2. Archer

    Archer Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > I'm new to riding, I learned to ride last year at age 46. Here's my problem - riding on a typical
    > 2 lane road, pedalling along, when a car approaches me, either from the front or behind, my legs
    > want to stop turning the pedals until the vehicle passes. How can I learn to ignore the traffic
    > and just keep pedalling?

    Practice. To start, try slowing down your pedaling, rather than stopping completely.

    --
    David Kerber An optimist says "Good morning, Lord." While a pessimist says "Good Lord,
    it's morning".

    Remove the ns_ from the address before e-mailing.
     
  3. Tim Cain

    Tim Cain Guest

    "archer" <[email protected]_hotmail.com> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > I'm new to riding, I learned to ride last year at age 46. Here's my problem - riding on a
    > > typical 2 lane road, pedalling along, when a car approaches me, either from the front or behind,
    > > my legs want to stop turning the pedals until the vehicle passes. How can I learn to ignore the
    > > traffic and just keep pedalling?
    >
    > Practice. To start, try slowing down your pedaling, rather than stopping completely.
    >

    Or go for the cycling equivalent of chucking junior in the deep end, and ride a fixed gear bike
    for a bit!

    Tim.

    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.489 / Virus Database: 288 - Release Date: 10/06/03
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Guest

    "Nate" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:p[email protected]...
    > I'm new to riding, I learned to ride last year at age 46. Here's my problem - riding on a typical
    > 2 lane road, pedalling along, when a car approaches me, either from the front or behind, my legs
    > want to stop turning the pedals until the vehicle passes. How can I learn to ignore the traffic
    > and just keep pedalling?
    >
    > Nate
    >
    Practice on lightly travelled roads with a decent shoulder, where you don't feel quite so threatened
    by traffic, or find a road with a bike path next to it where you can pedal without feeling
    threatened by cars. This seems like a fairly reasonable reaction (freezing up and staying still) to
    a perceived threat, and as you get more comfortable on a bike in general it should go away.
    --
    mark
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Nate" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:p[email protected]...
    > I'm new to riding, I learned to ride last year at age 46. Here's my problem - riding on a typical
    > 2 lane road, pedalling along, when a car approaches me, either from the front or behind, my legs
    > want to stop turning the pedals until the vehicle passes. How can I learn to ignore the traffic
    > and just keep pedalling?

    Close your eyes.
     
  6. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Nate wrote:

    > I'm new to riding, I learned to ride last year at age 46. Here's my problem - riding on a typical
    > 2 lane road, pedalling along, when a car approaches me, either from the front or behind, my legs
    > want to stop turning the pedals until the vehicle passes. How can I learn to ignore the traffic
    > and just keep pedalling?
    >
    > Nate

    Consider doing this: Ride pedalling at a steady cadence til you are nicely warmed up. Maintain the
    steady beat. When you notice a car approaching, ignore it by channelling your attention elsehwere.
    Look just forward of your front wheel, and get your mind on the beat you have been maintaining.
    Remember to breathe. It's sort of like learning to walk on a footpath in the dark. You feel tense at
    first, but apprehensions pass away and you finally walk along without thinking about it. Enjoy the
    ride, and keep on crankin'. Best regards, Bernie
     
  7. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Tue, 17 Jun 2003 14:49:19 GMT, "Nate" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >riding on a typical 2 lane road, pedalling along, when a car approaches me, either from the front
    >or behind, my legs want to stop turning the pedals until the vehicle passes. How can I learn to
    >ignore the traffic and just keep pedalling?

    You could try riding further out from the kerb. If you have a decent safety margin you feel less
    constricted by overtaking cars. Well, I do anyway. And experience helps: maybe it'll go away
    with time?

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com Advance
    notice: ADSL service in process of transfer to a new ISP. Obviously there will be a week of downtime
    between the engineer removing the BT service and the same engineer connecting the same equipment on
    the same line in the same exchange and billing it to the new ISP.
     
  8. Pbwalther

    Pbwalther Guest

    I would suggest that you get and read "Effective Cycling" by Forester. Cyclists are very seldom hit
    by overtaking vehicles. Of course, knowing this fact and not being intimidated by cars whizzing you
    yer elbow are 2 different things.

    You may be aiding and abetting your own discomfort. If the road you are riding on is rather narrow,
    if you ride really far to the right, you are giving cars the signal to pass you while "squeezing"
    you in the same lane.

    I did this same thing when I started. I rode a busy narrow road near my home when I was learning and
    I ended up off the road three times (this was because I shied away from cars that approached closely
    at that time). The next year I rode this same stretch and I rode far enough out from the side of the
    road to force cars to go into the other lane to pass me and I had no problems at all.
     
  9. On Wed, 18 Jun 2003 00:14:30 GMT, "mark" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Practice on lightly travelled roads with a decent shoulder, where you don't feel quite so
    >threatened by traffic, or find a road with a bike path next to it where you can pedal without
    >feeling threatened by cars. This seems like a fairly reasonable reaction (freezing up and
    >staying still) to a perceived threat, and as you get more comfortable on a bike in general it
    >should go away.

    If it's a really tight squeeze for the car, it's not an unreasonable reaction, either. If you're a
    relatively inexperienced cyclist, having all your attention on steering rather than on pedalling
    could help, plus if your pedalling skills are less than smooth it can make it harder to hold a
    strict line.

    Jasper
     
  10. Glad to hear that. I'm in a similar situation to the original poster in that I learned to ride only
    a few months ago, age 46 too. However, I'm really bad at steering, a wide rider who rides wide.
    About a week ago I took my first chances on the road over short distances. I wait until there are no
    cars coming (takes about 3 times as long to get to work by bike than on foot for this reason), then
    start up on the asphalt. Immediately I swerve about 40° to the left since this always happens when I
    start pedalling and searching for the left pedal. Once righted, I try to keep to the right side of
    the road but my aim is so bad that overtaking cars have to cross the lane line.

    Not great, but in fact I only realize they are there when they have almost passed me and it's too
    late even to panic.

    Elisa Roselli Paris, France

    Pbwalther wrote:

    > I rode a busy narrow road near my home when I was learning and I ended up off the road three
    > times (this was because I shied away from cars that approached closely at that time). The next
    > year I rode this same stretch and I rode far enough out from the side of the road to force cars
    > to go into the other lane to pass me and I had no problems at all.
     
  11. On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 13:38:38 +0200, Elisa Francesca Roselli
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >on the asphalt. Immediately I swerve about 40° to the left since this always happens when I start
    >pedalling and searching for the left pedal. Once righted, I try to keep to the right side of the
    >road but my aim is so bad that overtaking cars have to cross the lane line.

    That's the nice thing about weaving through traffic on a bike: other traffic can very clearly
    see that you're a novice rider and will thus keep clear of you much more than a newly licensed
    kid in a car.

    Jasper
     
  12. Top Sirloin

    Top Sirloin Guest

    On Wed, 25 Jun 2003 13:38:38 +0200, Elisa Francesca Roselli
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Glad to hear that. I'm in a similar situation to the original poster in that I learned to ride only
    >a few months ago, age 46 too. However, I'm really bad at steering, a wide rider who rides wide.
    >About a week ago I took my first chances on the road over short distances. I wait until there are
    >no cars coming (takes about 3 times as long to get to work by bike than on foot for this reason),
    >then start up on the asphalt. Immediately I swerve about 40° to the left since this always happens
    >when I start pedalling and searching for the left pedal. Once righted, I try to keep to the right
    >side of the road but my aim is so bad that overtaking cars have to cross the lane line.

    They're supposed to cross the lane line anyway, don't worry about it.

    You may have the most beautiful female name ever, BTW.

    --
    Scott Johnson "Always with the excuses for small legs. People like you are why they only open the
    top half of caskets." -Tommy Bowen
     
  13. Unfortunately, a middle-aged woman who's a novice rider is an oxymoron in France, the "Nation of
    Cyclists". I had much more indulgence when I was hopping up and down on a kick scooter. On the
    cycle, no one can figure out what is wrong with me.

    Elisa Roselli Paris, France

    Jasper Janssen wrote:

    > That's the nice thing about weaving through traffic on a bike: other traffic can very clearly
    > see that you're a novice rider and will thus keep clear of you much more than a newly licensed
    > kid in a car.
     
  14. Top Sirloin wrote:

    > They're supposed to cross the lane line anyway, don't worry about it.
    >
    > You may have the most beautiful female name ever, BTW.

    Wow, thanks! When I was a kid I wanted to change it to Nancy. %°>

    Elisa Roselli Paris, France
     
  15. On Thu, 26 Jun 2003 08:42:39 +0200, Elisa Francesca Roselli
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Unfortunately, a middle-aged woman who's a novice rider is an oxymoron in France, the "Nation of
    >Cyclists". I had much more indulgence when I was hopping up and down on a kick scooter. On the
    >cycle, no one can figure out what is wrong with me.

    Well, maybe, but staying well away from someone who looks like they're planning to swerve into you
    is basic survival instinct.. even here in the Netherlands (even more of a nation of cyclists, after
    all) it mostly works.

    Jasper
     
  16. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:

    > Glad to hear that. I'm in a similar situation to the original poster in that I learned to ride
    > only a few months ago, age 46 too. However, I'm really bad at steering, a wide rider who rides
    > wide. About a week ago I took my first chances on the road over short distances. I wait until
    > there are no cars coming (takes about 3 times as long to get to work by bike than on foot for this
    > reason), then start up on the asphalt. Immediately I swerve about 40° to the left since this
    > always happens when I start pedalling and searching for the left pedal. Once righted, I try to
    > keep to the right side of the road but my aim is so bad that overtaking cars have to cross the
    > lane line.
    >
    > Not great, but in fact I only realize they are there when they have almost passed me and it's too
    > late even to panic.
    >
    > Elisa Roselli Paris, France
    >
    > Pbwalther wrote:
    >
    > > I rode a busy narrow road near my home when I was learning and I ended up off the road three
    > > times (this was because I shied away from cars that approached closely at that time). The next
    > > year I rode this same stretch and I rode far enough out from the side of the road to force cars
    > > to go into the other lane to pass me and I had no problems at all.

    You are doing the right thing in learning to be a vehicular rider. One thing to consider is that the
    busy streets that the cars commute on are usually paralelled by quiet residential streets with very
    little traffic. If that is the case in Paris (never made the trip) then you can ride more safely and
    learn the moves on quieter streets. Awareness and use of safe, quiet streets is a survival skill in
    my opinion. Be careful out there, and enjoy the ride! Bernie
     
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