Nervous

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craigyboy139
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Nervous

Postby craigyboy139 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 01:05 am

Hello all, I've been mountain biking for a while now and just bought a road bike. I've been on a few rides and I'm careful on what roads I use and routes I go on because I'm nervous of the cars and busy roads. This nervousness kind of spoils the ride because I can't relax properly. Did anyone else suffer from this as a newbie? If so what did you do about it? I'm am painfully aware when I'm holding a car up and they are up my a**e which makes me very nervous. Any advice welcome. Cheers

Haughjd
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Re: Nervous

Postby Haughjd » Sat Jun 15, 2013 06:34 am

Ok my advice. Start by planning short easy rides on lanes you know to get use to your new bike. It's different than a MTb bike and that difference can take some getting used to. Once your comfortable that'll help with some nerves. But do it on relatively clear lanes with not much traffic.

Also consider joining a club. They often have Sunday social rides, not just out and out tt rides. Social rides are good for meeting other cyclists. Plus a large group feels safer as cars have to take more care.

Hope that helps.

Don't give up enjoy the ride.

KevChallis
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Re: Nervous

Postby KevChallis » Sat Jun 15, 2013 06:35 am

I felt a little nervous in my first few rides on busier roads, then i just think screw them, iI have as much right to be cycling there as they do driving there, if you're holding a car up, as a driver and a cyclist, I see it the drivers job to find a place to get past, of course don't cycle in the middle of the road lol, and be courteous, bit you will always come across 'those' drivers who think cyclists shouldn't be on the road, it's the way it is now, the only way you can deal with the nervousness, is to get out on those roads a little nire
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smidsy
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Re: Nervous

Postby smidsy » Sat Jun 15, 2013 06:53 am

The environment on here can be far more intimidating than any road :-)
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No Sweat
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Re: Nervous

Postby No Sweat » Sat Jun 15, 2013 09:45 am

It's natural to be nervous; roads are potentially dangerous, and being a bit wary is what keeps us alive.

On the other hand acting in a nervous manner, can make it more dangerous. Like all cycling it's a question of balance. Act in an assertive way on the road (not aggressively mind you) so that you stake your claim to the road, and let everyone else know what you're up to and about to do - road positioning, signalling, awareness of other traffic and timely manoeuvres are in my opinion key to road safety - but on the other hand be aware that you are much more squashable on a bike than someone in a car. It's not 'right', but 'might' does win in the end, so just accept it from the outset, and give-way when things get too hairy. I've been riding on- and off-road for years now and I still get off and walk at some junctions and round-abouts, as they are just not designed for bikes. I avoid some roads altogether (e.g. very fast dual carriageways - basically motorways without the blue signs) for the same reason. Again, its not 'right', but I want to live to enjoy my cycling.

Practice will give you confidence!

markhewitt1978
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Re: Nervous

Postby markhewitt1978 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:32 am

You'll get to know which roads around you are good for cycling and which not.

To start with you should stick to 'yellow' roads on the OS
map. But these can be busy too but it's trial and error unfortunately.

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goonz
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Re: Nervous

Postby goonz » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:50 am

Dont worry take it slow and relax. It takes some getting used to and the new position on the bike and brake levers take some finding in tight spots!

I nearly crashed into an ambulance doing a u turn in my first week as it was raining slightly on fresh tyres and not knowing where the brakes were fast enough! Hairy stuff but now its all a breeze.

Stick with it.
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hipshot
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Re: Nervous

Postby hipshot » Sat Jun 15, 2013 13:22 pm

I definitely had this.

It sounds obvious but confidence comes with practice. The more you ride the quicker your confidence will develop.

Having said that, most roadies prefer to train on quiet roads or go out at times when there is less traffic as it's a more pleasant experience. Just remember most roads are actually pretty safe and most drivers are too, the benefits massively outweigh the risks.

craigyboy139
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Re: Nervous

Postby craigyboy139 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 15:13 pm

Thanks for the advice. I was hoping that it would just get better the more I do it. And as for carefully choosing my roads I think I'd rather be on a nice country road anyway not just because there's less traffic but also there's nicer things to look at. It's just nice to see I'm not the only one whose been through this and I'm normal(ish). Ha

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Mikey23
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Re: Nervous

Postby Mikey23 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 16:08 pm

Oh yes, quite normal... Been there done that. Took me a while to get confident and competent on the roads and still tend to pick quieter country lanes

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unixnerd
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Re: Nervous

Postby unixnerd » Sat Jun 15, 2013 16:48 pm

Depending on where you live you may be able to get free or very cheap cycle training to give you confidence. Transport For London to a course and so do Cycling Scotland. Have a look on the British Cycling website, you might also think about their 3 quid a month insurance.

My two tips for road cycling would be to make sure you're highly visible and cycle defensively. By that I mean don't ride in the gutter, you have a right to be on the road and you can use your position on the road to ensure your safety by preventing drivers doing anything daft. This is what you'd get from a good course or even a book.
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Schoie81
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Re: Nervous

Postby Schoie81 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 17:33 pm

Craigboy - I'm in exactly your position! Been MTBing for almost 2 years and bought the first road bike i've ever owned last month. Is it cycling on roads/in traffic that you're nervous about, or is it the difference between a road bike and a MTB that makes you nervous, or both?

I've been commuting for 18months on my MTB, 12miles each way, of which about 4miles is on roads so I have got used to cycling on roads (although they're mosty quiet roads and in a morning at 7.30am, I don't see much other traffic, but that has helped me make the switch to a road bike as i'm already used to being around cars/lorries. That said, I still prefer to avoid them if possible - I will cycle on A-roads if necessary, but will avoid them if possible, even if it adds a bit of distance to my ride (it'll do me good!!) - dual carriageways are no-go areas for me at the moment - but there aren't many around here anyway....

If its the difference between riding a road bike and a MTB that makes you nervous, then I know totally what you mean, the riding position feels alien, braking feels less effective and the ride is harder, bumpy and a bit more wobbly, especially if its windy. As to what i've done about it - nothing! I figure the only thing you can do about it is just do it more and it'll become normal once you get used to it. As others have said, stick to roads you know well and quieter roads if you can if traffic worries you. If you're like me, looking over your shoulder on a road bike is harder to do without weaving than it is on a MTB - but i'm getting the hang of it now. Go out riding when other people aren't using the roads (my weekend rides tend to start at 6.30am..) and just try and relax. You do get idiots who'll squeeze past you just before a blind corner or when there isn't really room, but on the whole, car drivers will give you space and pass you sensibly (unless i'm just lucky?)

As for worrying about about holding cars up - don't worry about it. If someone follows you for quite a while, its probably that they're nervous about passing you, in which case they have a problem too, otherwise they're just giving you space. Try to make sure they know you know they're there, and then don't take the ****, weaving all over the road, peddling like you've got all the time in the world, admiring the view whilst getting helping yourself to a drink and I'm sure they'll pass you as soon as they feel its ok to do so. You're probably only delaying them joiing the back of a queue somewhere up the road anyway.

If you're more comfortable on the MTB, ride that on the road a few times to get used to riding in traffic, it might make you more comfortable when on the road bike...
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SmoggySteve
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Re: Nervous

Postby SmoggySteve » Sat Jun 15, 2013 20:45 pm

If you suffer from nerves, have a beer or two to loosen yourself up before you ride. Alcohol is great at making you feel more confident. Also, if you are hit by a car, the numbing effect from the booze will mean you won't feel the pain as much. Downside is, you will dehydrate quicker so make sure you pass a good pub on your route so you can lost fluids and have a good long p!ss. Another positive is, if you encounter any arsehole drivers you will be up for a fight. Best make sure you fill up on Stella if you want better performance and aggression in this particular area.

HeatherMillsLeg
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Re: Nervous

Postby HeatherMillsLeg » Sat Jun 15, 2013 20:53 pm

smidsy wrote:The environment on here can be far more intimidating than any road :-)


Too true.

In all seiousness though if you are that scared then I would suggest getting professional road awareness training. It's not that costly - I think it averages at about £50 but at least, hopefully - you learn the right techniques and confidence.

I haven't a clue if these courses work - they should, but I'm not certain road confidence is something you can learn off the internet?

Join a club is probably better - then again you may learn bad habits. I think the CTC are fairly widespread?

HeatherMillsLeg
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Re: Nervous

Postby HeatherMillsLeg » Sat Jun 15, 2013 21:06 pm

unixnerd wrote:Depending on where you live you may be able to get free or very cheap cycle training to give you confidence. Transport For London to a course and so do Cycling Scotland. Have a look on the British Cycling website, you might also think about their 3 quid a month insurance.

My two tips for road cycling would be to make sure you're highly visible and cycle defensively. By that I mean don't ride in the gutter, you have a right to be on the road and you can use your position on the road to ensure your safety by preventing drivers doing anything daft. This is what you'd get from a good course or even a book.


Completely agree apart from the "defensively" part. Being visible doesn't mean wearing high viz.

I run numerous lights - day or night - rechargable or £ shop batteries cost me very little.

I see way too many cyclists riding in the double yellows. They wer holding me up yesterday - low & behold these tits just did what the hell they liked without looking or signalling casuing me to nearly go up their asses - even though I was holding back and having to keep a 3rd eye on them.

1 on the road & potholes, one on the cars around me & one one wondering WTF they were going to do. Being a senisble cyclist I was holding back - as I didn't want to scare them or annoy the car drivers.

My daughter is moving up to middle school this year. There has been NO cycling or road awareness. It's absurd.

For people old enough - we used to have videos SHOWING us not to cross railway lines or go into a building site.

IMO cycle training should be part of the national curriculum. I have no clue why it isn't. They are life skills & nothing is going to change unless we do a Savile...

And catch em young!

Schoie81
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Re: Nervous

Postby Schoie81 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 21:13 pm

I remember there being cycling proficiency classes at school when I was about 10yrs old. I didn't take part - for reasons I wont go into on this thread, my parents would never let me cycle on the road anyway (my Dad still isn't too happy about me doing so and I'm 32 now!) but they were well attended by others at the school. I too think it would be a worthwhile addition to the national curriculum. It'd be nice to learn something useful at school!! :wink:
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SmoggySteve
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Re: Nervous

Postby SmoggySteve » Sat Jun 15, 2013 21:19 pm

My daughter is moving up to middle school this year. There has been NO cycling or road awareness. It's absurd.


I was on my way to a road race event a few weeks ago. On the way there, there were children all around 12,13 yrs old doing road safety riding. They were everywhere. on the roads, cycling up and down the cycle paths. No one batted an eyelid and the cars were all giving them plenty of space and time.

Its amazing how easy it is to implement this sort of training. These kids will grow up to be the people behind the wheel of the cars in the future and will be sure to give cyclists space and treat them as other road users. The UK could learn a massive lesson from this. On a personal level, the only arseholes I ever encounter on German roads (without sounding racist) are the eastern European immigrants bombing around in knackerd old Mercs and Beemers. The German drivers could not be more controlled. Culture and education from here to the UK seems to be light years apart.

HeatherMillsLeg
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Re: Nervous

Postby HeatherMillsLeg » Sat Jun 15, 2013 21:21 pm

Schoie81 wrote:I remember there being cycling proficiency classes at school when I was about 10yrs old. I didn't take part - for reasons I wont go into on this thread, my parents would never let me cycle on the road anyway (my Dad still isn't too happy about me doing so and I'm 32 now!) but they were well attended by others at the school. I too think it would be a worthwhile addition to the national curriculum. It'd be nice to learn something useful at school!! :wink:


Agree. I didn't attend them either but did used to cycle to school 3 miles a day albeit 1.5 miles on disused railway line.

I didn't attend them as that was when helmets 1st came around - they were called "Tufftops" & were like a milk chiller on your head. They made you look like a complete, well, helmet! Not something you're keen on when you are 11!

Having said all that - yes, they should teach you at least 1 life skill at school - I learnt absolutely nothing - as I hope I am making apparent!

Schools also smell really odd.

HeatherMillsLeg
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Re: Nervous

Postby HeatherMillsLeg » Sat Jun 15, 2013 21:25 pm

SmoggySteve wrote:
My daughter is moving up to middle school this year. There has been NO cycling or road awareness. It's absurd.


I was on my way to a road race event a few weeks ago. On the way there, there were children all around 12,13 yrs old doing road safety riding. They were everywhere. on the roads, cycling up and down the cycle paths. No one batted an eyelid and the cars were all giving them plenty of space and time.

Its amazing how easy it is to implement this sort of training. These kids will grow up to be the people behind the wheel of the cars in the future and will be sure to give cyclists space and treat them as other road users. The UK could learn a massive lesson from this. On a personal level, the only arseholes I ever encounter on German roads (without sounding racist) are the eastern European immigrants bombing around in knackerd old Mercs and Beemers. The German drivers could not be more controlled. Culture and education from here to the UK seems to be light years apart.


Is this in Germany? The kids doing the road safety riding? Can't imagine it being the UK but if it was please let us know where.

SmoggySteve
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Re: Nervous

Postby SmoggySteve » Sat Jun 15, 2013 21:30 pm

HeatherMillsLeg wrote:
SmoggySteve wrote:
My daughter is moving up to middle school this year. There has been NO cycling or road awareness. It's absurd.


I was on my way to a road race event a few weeks ago. On the way there, there were children all around 12,13 yrs old doing road safety riding. They were everywhere. on the roads, cycling up and down the cycle paths. No one batted an eyelid and the cars were all giving them plenty of space and time.

Its amazing how easy it is to implement this sort of training. These kids will grow up to be the people behind the wheel of the cars in the future and will be sure to give cyclists space and treat them as other road users. The UK could learn a massive lesson from this. On a personal level, the only arseholes I ever encounter on German roads (without sounding racist) are the eastern European immigrants bombing around in knackerd old Mercs and Beemers. The German drivers could not be more controlled. Culture and education from here to the UK seems to be light years apart.


Is this in Germany? The kids doing the road safety riding? Can't imagine it being the UK but if it was please let us know where.


Yes in Germany. The roads are a bit more cycle friendly here TBH. Plenty of cycle paths. Some places its mandetory to use and some you can choose if you wish depending on what sign you get. I have only cycled in the UK a dozen ot so times in the last decade and they petrify me. The way people seem to drive with such hatred for other road users nowadays is shocking. That may be cyclists or other cars.


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