Feeling the fear

Things are a bit of a mess for me at the moment, but cycling is a bright spot. I'm cycling more slowly for various reasons, but I really enjoy burning slowly through the miles.

Or I did. This year I've been in my first two collisions with cars after over 20 years, in nearly identical circumstances. And 2 weeks ago I came off heavily on unlikely black ice - nowhere near trees, 3pm on a day that had stayed above freezing. The RTCs were hard to avoid, too. Both times I was at the line on a roundabout; waiting to go; rammed by the car behind me, that knew I was there and had no doubts I had the right to be there. Oh, and admitted without hesitation they were in the wrong.

Now I really find I don't want to get broken on the roads, and I seem to feel it's likely. I know cycling is safe. Hell, I've argued it in a post very recently. I regularly argue with @vickster about it. But my soul is scared, despite the logic. Avoiding the car behind is wearying, and probably impossible. Ice, 10 hours after the temp has gone above freezing - doable in the last weeks, but how much of January do I have to stay inside?

Not really looking for a solution. I guess/hope that will come. Just want to vent/bleat, I think

TL;DR - even though I know cycling is safe, I'm feeling frightened.
 

bpsmith

Veteran
I guess the answer is to just try and get out there and hopefully it will subside. Rotten luck all round really. Black Ice appears at temps up to 5 degrees, keep your eye out at anywhere under that.

I was knocked off my motorbike in Sept and it was written off. Not my fault and also at low speed. 8 weeks of physio and back still not right. Still feel nervous when a parked car suddenly pulls out, despite being nowhere near me and that's when in my car! So I empathise with you. Shock is a naughty thing and stays with you for a bit.

Just keep getting out there and diminish the fear!
 

Moodyman

Guru
self-preservation is natural. as we get older, our experiences tell us how fragile we are, i.e a perfectly healthy relative recently slipped on moss on his garden footpath and hit his head on the floor. went into a coma and died 6 days later from the brain injury.

I've recently taken to avoiding some of the busiest roads in the area by commuting via longer but quieter residential roads.
 
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GrumpyGregry

Here for rides.
I've focused on running rather than cycling this winter as the hairs on the back of my neck were permanently stressed and standing up on the bike.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
I am feeling the same but I've never liked cycling in the dark and cold. I'm constantly injured it seems, due to cycling too much or coming off/being knocked off or cycling too much trying to get back into cycling after injury. I've not been on a bike since coming off over 2 weeks ago. Seem to really be feeling the cold too whenever I go out even though it's not that cold! Which is further putting me off trying to cycle as I hate being cold. and I've not quite shaken off the lurgy I've had for 10 days
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
For me I have to NOT think about it especially when out on the bike, as I become more nervous and my cycling concentration/awareness gets lower.

How much do you have to cycle at this time of year? Could you give yourself a break for a bit then choose a really nice day to cycle the next time?
 

Pat "5mph"

A kilogrammicaly challenged woman
Moderator
Location
Glasgow
Totally understand and empathize.
I'm scared in traffic all the time, even though I never actually had a crash or a near miss.
I'm not scared of ice because when the temperatures lowers I use the ice bike - had a fall thankfully at very low speed a few years ago before investing in the spiked tyres.
We had a girl badly injured after coming off on wet leaves on a segregated path: I'm still very cautious in those conditions.
I'm also very scared of any downhill speed at more than 20 mph!
 

Mo1959

Legendary Member
I know how you feel. Although my accident and subsequent bad collar bone break was my own fault ( with the help of a sheep!) it has left me extremely nervous on descents, corners and bad conditions. I have tried to avoid ice too but have come across a few patches when I thought the roads were ok too. Just crawled over them and was so nervous my arms actually started shaking.

Not sure if I'll ever regain full confidence, but like @GrumpyGregry I,ve been trying to get into doing some running on days I don't feel the conditions are safe.
 

young Ed

Veteran
as said above, seems like the confidence is the main thing you have lost/damaged but that will regrow :smile:

i say, just get out there and ride. i find i start getting a miserable, grumpy old sod if i haven't ridden for a week or so and a lack of any real exercise for a week or so and i am close to dying! :tongue:
even if it is just 5 or 10 miles to stop the cobwebs building up on the bike and to hold the voices in your head at bay!
Cheers Ed
 

Accy cyclist

Legendary Member
self-preservation is natural. as we get older, our experiences tell us how fragile we are, i.e a perfectly healthy relative recently slipped on moss on his garden footpath and hit his head on the floor. went into a coma and died 6 days later from the brain injury.

I've recently taken to avoiding some of the busiest roads in the area by commuting via longer but quieter residential roads.
self-preservation is natural. as we get older, our experiences tell us how fragile we are, i.e a perfectly healthy relative recently slipped on moss on his garden footpath and hit his head on the floor. went into a coma and died 6 days later from the brain injury.

I've recently taken to avoiding some of the busiest roads in the area by commuting via longer but quieter residential roads.
Moss or that green algae slimy stuff is lethal! I hate it at work when it's in damp backyards or on sloping kitchen roofs. I came off my bike two years ago due to the stuff while riding slowly in the local cemetery.The bump to my head ended with me losing my sight in one eye.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game developer
self-preservation is natural. as we get older, our experiences tell us how fragile we are, i.e a perfectly healthy relative recently slipped on moss on his garden footpath and hit his head on the floor. went into a coma and died 6 days later from the brain injury.
That's terrible - I'm sorry to hear that.

Moss or that green algae slimy stuff is lethal! I hate it at work when it's in damp backyards or on sloping kitchen roofs. I came off my bike two years ago due to the stuff while riding slowly in the local cemetery.The bump to my head ended with me losing my sight in one eye.
That's awful too!

I slipped on the slimy slabs in my back yard a week or so back and got a minor neck injury trying to avoid falling.

As for 'feeling the fear' ... I was very worried about the risk of crashing when I first got back into cycling after my clotting problems - any significant injury could be made much worse by excessive bleeding due to the anticoagulants I have to take now. I would bleed 2-3 times as much as the typical person.

It took me a while to lose the fear. I am now back to riding the way I used to. I descend at over 50 mph when I want to, and I don't think about the added risks. Let's face it - crashing at over 50 mph was always going to be nasty, one way or another.

I think you have to do your best to keep risk down to an acceptable level, then just get on with accepting it!
 
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raleighnut

Legendary Member
Location
On 3 Wheels
I've had loads of bike smashes/offs over the years, broke collarbones, fingers and my wrist but it was a fall at work that broke my femur which could have easily killed me (if you damage the femoral artery you can bleed internally and they reckon 10-15 mins is all you've got)
Accidents can and will happen at any time but its just something you can't dwell on or life would not be worth living and for me that means getting out on my bikes (or the trike for now) I just try to minimise the risk. At this time of year that means enough lights to illuminate a small town, treating every bend with caution and riding within the limits of the conditions and the capabilities of the bike/trike.
 
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