Starting Out Road Cycling, How To Avoid Intimidation?



MookiePlays

New Member
Apr 5, 2015
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Hey guys, first time posting here, basically I just emigrated from Ireland to Texas, USA. Obviously the roads and life in general are much different. I used to cycle a lot back home and am now getting back into it here. I got my first bike and I've cycled around over the past week, only did about 20 miles and didn't have any major incidents but I was still slightly intimidated by the wide roads and drivers in general. I'm hoping to get to the stage where I can commute to work which is only 12 miles (24 round trip) . I just wondered if anyone can offer advice on how to get past the fear of being on the roads and around cars, I should point out my commute would be on a highway (287) which would be my main concern
 

An old Guy

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Feb 12, 2011
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I don't know what 287 looks like near you. In some places it is a 4 lane divided highway with a shoulder. I would ride on the shoulder. (Some shoulders have rumble strips.) In some places there is a service road that runs parallel. I would ride on the service road.

If the roads bother you, look for some less intimidating roads. Get used to those. Then move up to the roads you want. need to ride on.


For the most part drivers do not want to hit you. But it does happen.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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Carry a pistol. A really big pistol. I would suggest a Para Ordinance double-stack 1911 in .45 ACP. This will eliminate any intimidation you may have had. And since Texas is getting open carry, wear it in a shoulder rig on your left shoulder for strong arm draw.

Like the old guy said, look for secondary or tertiary roads. Texas drivers are notoriously fast and furious. And often drunk, drugged, on a cell or all of the above. Avoid high speed roads if you can possibly route your commute away from them.

As you may have noticed, there are not a lot of cyclists out on those roads. For a reason.
 

gavinfree

Active Member
Feb 19, 2015
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As much as I like firearms, I don't know if you'll really want to carry one. I'd recommend cycling on side roads until you at least get accustomed to cycling in your area because it doesn't sound like the safest place to cycle with your description of the motorists. The only thing you can do is try and get more comfortable on those roads because experience is the only thing that will make it easier to ride each day.
 

kana_marie

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Mar 24, 2015
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It took me a while to get confident on the road. I still have a ways to go, to be straight with you. I try to stick to back roads as much as possible. That's the only cure I have found for bad drivers.
 

schwinnhund

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Jul 20, 2013
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Chatsworth, Ga.
You just have to get used to it. Most American drivers are very unfriendly towards bicycles on the roadways. But, at least in my state (Ga.) by law, bicycles are legal vehicles and are just as entitled to the use of public roadways as are cars.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
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Make eye contact, be reasonably considerate, signal your intentions, use lights and appropriate clothing at night, and act like you know what you're doing.
 

adfnio

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Apr 18, 2015
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Besides carrying a side arm, I think the general rule is to expect rude behavior whenever you are out on the road. Always be weary fo cars because all of them will be against you. Just accept the fact that they don't care and prepare yourself for that kind of attitude. It shouldn't be a surprise when you are out there.
 

joshposh

Banned
Apr 16, 2015
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Don't think for a second that motorist are going to be kind. Triple check any car movement on the road and always expect the unexpected and unruly behavior.
 

DancingLady

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Mar 9, 2015
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Be confident, hold your own, but be smart as well. Don't be intimidated no matter what. Intimidation is mostly in your head, it's s normal response, but you can manage it a lot by just deciding in advance that you are not going to let other people get to you.
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
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This thread is very apt for beginners. But it's not the intimidation that one normally experiences like bad vehicle drivers or tricky roads like those slippery when wet. What I'm meaning to point out are pedestrians who display their mischief on the road. In some areas here, there are the so called street children who checks on car doors during a traffic stop. When the car door is open, they will grab whatever they could and run. You can imagine the trouble those children could give bikers. They might even grab the bike and leave the biker sprawled on the ground.
 

ZXD22

Active Member
Mar 21, 2015
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USA, MA, Cape Cod
Try some back roads if you are scared or not ready to ride on main and more important roads. Bring a map and see which routes you would feel most comfortable riding in. The more miles, the more your endurance will improve which is always an good thing! Maybe not if you are commuting to work as you will sweat a lot!
 

9lines

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May 7, 2015
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You should keep up the road rules. No driver will want to knock you out of your way. Keep your track and never panic and avoid looking behind now and again. If you will avoid panicking when you hear horns then it will be possible for you to avoid the fear.
 

Corzhens

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May 26, 2015
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9lines said:
You should keep up the road rules. No driver will want to knock you out of your way. Keep your track and never panic and avoid looking behind now and again. If you will avoid panicking when you hear horns then it will be possible for you to avoid the fear.
You may be right but in our place, there are the so called speed maniacs not only because of their speed but also because they are reckless. The statistics here say that 10 riders figure in accidents every day and that is only in Metro Manila. The leading culprit are bus and truck drivers. In some other cities far from the Metro, most drivers are courteous enough to give way and even provide encouragement especially when the road is uphill or not neatly paved.
 

Jojo83

New Member
Feb 22, 2015
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Manila, Philippines
My advice would be to always ride at the edge of road and not close to the center of the road... The reason is I encounter a lot more close calls when I'm on the center island of a road than on the edge close to the pedestrian walk. And, vehicles travel faster when on the center of the road than the edges and they may not see you when you're close to the center. I've found that vehicles are more aware of cyclists riding on the edge of the road.
 

Bonzer

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May 25, 2015
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DancingLady said:
Be confident, hold your own, but be smart as well. Don't be intimidated no matter what. Intimidation is mostly in your head, it's s normal response, but you can manage it a lot by just deciding in advance that you are not going to let other people get to you.
It definitely looks daunting at the first opportunity. People may not knock you out. But a reckless driver could still injure you grievously. I'd not risk my life riding a bike on a highway, but I'd use some back roads to pursue my passion.
 

bittern

New Member
Jul 9, 2015
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Oh man!
Only in America.
'Get a gun'.- cycling advice!!
Pure dead brilliant.
Can't wait to tell my pals that one.
Go back to Ireland mate. (Scotland here)
 

Damien Lee

Well-Known Member
May 16, 2015
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I've traveled through Europe, and I've notice that roads are narrower and more congested. It may take a while for someone living in such an environment to adjust to another country which has big open roads. It's perfectly okay to be aware of the dangers such an environment brings to the table, take things one day at a time and you'll gradually adjust. But never let your guard down.
 

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