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Common Cycling Fears and How To Conquer Them

Time to face the truth; we all get scared from time to time. However, that doesn’t mean that we should stop pursuing adventures we love. Riding a bicycle is an activity that can ignite joy but also a little fear. Don’t worry; facing a few fears while riding is not something you should be shy about. There are several fears that bikers meet while cycling, and although there isn’t a perfect formula for how not to be scared of rides, we’re here to help you. 

Riding in Bad Weather

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” Rain, no matter how beautiful and calm it looks when we’re inside, tucked in a blanket, and with a cup of tea, is no fun while riding a bike. Besides making you look soaking wet and like you just got out of a pool, cycling in the rain can also be dangerous. 

How to overcome it

When you’re cycling in the rain, no matter how good your brakes are, stopping distance increases, traction decreases, and the wet road makes you think you’re slipping on ice. Don’t panic though, even in these challenging conditions, you can still make it safe to your destination. 

Test your equipment

There are times when the rain catches you unsurprisingly in the middle of your ride. However, there are times when you prepare to ride in the rain, and it’s always a good idea to be safe beforehand. Before going out there, do everyone a favor and check if your bike can handle this weather. Make sure you give attention to your brakes and tires.

Stay warm

One of the most important things when riding in the rain is to have proper clothing. You don’t want to freeze and focus on the cold more than on riding your bike. If you manage to have a constant body temperature, you’ll be able to entirely concentrate on riding your bike safely.

Brake early

Now that you’ve taken preventive measures and are out there on the road, make sure you brake early. There are different types of brakes; however, none of them work on wet roads as they’d work on dry ones.

Joining Heavy Traffic

Riding your bike in a beautiful and large field is one thing. Riding it in traffic is another. No one likes cycling while hearing sirens everywhere and feeling like a car will hit them at any given moment. However, even though it sounds scary, it’s something you’ll get used to, and as you gain experience, it won’t bother you as much as it did before.

How to overcome it

If, let’s say, you’d want to overcome your fear of dogs, you’d have to be near a dog to find out that they’re lovely and not scary. So what do you do if you’re afraid of riding in heavy traffic? You guessed it: you drive in heavy traffic. Don’t worry; we’ll tell you a few tips and tricks to make your experience as safe as it can be.

Follow traffic rules

We know that sometimes drivers can be careless. However, that doesn’t mean that you should do the same. When both drivers and bikers follow the rules, everything should be fine.

Take a glance at the drivers

By just looking at them, you might understand what they are paying attention to. Are they looking at you or looking at the road? Are they looking straight or in another lane? Are they focused on their driving, or are they looking at their phone?

Watch the cars (especially their wheels)

Biking in heavy traffic often requires you to be one step ahead. By just looking at a car’s wheels, you may be able to notice the direction that it’s turning. Noticing a car changing direction gives you valuable time to think about your following action.

Be visible

Colorful clothes probably won’t protect you if you fall; however, they make it easier for car drivers to spot you, especially if it’s dark.

Getting Lost on the Trails

Getting lost while traveling is a widespread fear, and that doesn’t happen to bikers only. Losing your way can make everyone nervous; however, it’s a fear that it’s not difficult to solve.

How to overcome it

One wrong turn and you’re in the middle of nowhere. But think of it this way: it’ll take one right turn to get you back on track. Even if you’re not the best at navigating, don’t worry. We live in a world where there is a solution for almost every problem. 

Take your smartphone with you

If our smartphones can tell us the road from one side of the world to the other, they’ll have no problem telling you where you are.

Ask someone for directions

Sure, sure, your smartphone will tell the road in detail for each mile; however, it’s never a bad idea to get real-life directions.

Bring company

They’ll probably have no idea where you are either, but it’s better to be lost with a friend than alone. You’ll laugh about it later.

Getting Attacked by Animals

Getting chased by an animal is not the most fun experience in the world. However, it’s better to be chased while riding your bike than when walking. Remember that the primary reason animals might attack you is if they think that you’re a threat to them. 

How to overcome it

Depending on where you ride your bike, you might get attacked by different types of animals. Being chased by a dog is usually the most common thing that happens to bikers in this aspect; however, there have been cases where bikers have been attacked by deers, snakes, or even bears. We don’t expect you to be in a horror movie storyline where you get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by animals. However, remember the following suggestions just in case.

Don’t get near baby animals

Adult animals (especially mothers) have a sharp instinct and will get crazy if they think that you’re about to hurt their little ones.

Be loud

Shout from time to time. Most animals are afraid of noises, and they’ll likely decide not to come near you.

Stay calm

Even if you encounter an animal, avoid being a threat. Most animals are not predators and will likely not attack you if they’re not afraid of you.

Crashing While Riding

Here’s an ugly truth: You will crash while riding a bike. Probably more than once. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ride it anymore. Remember: it’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get up.

How to overcome it

Most of the time, the crash will be harmless, and you’ll end up with a few scratches. However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore every collision. We suggest you look after yourself and your bike from time to time, and here are some ways to do that.

Take your bike to the shop

An expert’s opinion is never a bad idea. Besides, you’ll make sure it’s in good condition, and it will boost your confidence when riding.

Reflect

Analyze every situation. If you crashed, ask yourself why did it happen? Did you ride too fast in a corner? Did you not brake properly? What can you do to avoid these circumstances in the future?

Relax

Be comfortable. If you constantly think that you’ll crash, then you will. Relax, focus on your riding, and everything will be fine.

Solo Rides

Solitude is a blessing and a curse. While there are times you love being just you and the road, there are times you wouldn’t want to be alone.

How to overcome it

Some people don’t like being alone when riding a bike because they enjoy other people’s company. Others would rather ride with a friend in case something unexpected happens. We know you don’t want to be alone if you have a flat tire, but remember that you can get out of every situation, even by yourself.

Be prepared

A few biking tools won’t hurt your back, but they’ll have immense value if you experience any difficulties. 

Listen to music

We all love how music can often be an escape from reality. Listening to music while riding may help you feel better; however, don’t dive too much into the music. You don’t want to lose focus from riding.

Bring your smartphone

It’s incredible how many things you can do with such a little thing. If you get bored while you ride, you can stop to watch a video, communicate with your friends, or read a passage from your favorite book.

Getting Robbed

Getting robbed is a severe fear for everyone and is one thing that may happen at any given moment, not only while riding a bike. 

How to overcome it

It’s highly unlikely that you will get robbed in the middle of the city riding in heavy traffic; this unfortunate event usually happens in places with few to no people. However, make sure to follow our advice so that you’ll have a safer experience.

Be aware

Don’t leave your bike unattended. If you have to, then don’t lose sight of it for one minute. Robbers are less likely to act when they know that you’re paying attention.

Don’t bring expensive things 

We know that almost no one rides their bike without taking their smartphone with them. However, try to be selective in what expensive items you bring with you. If you don’t need your most expensive watch where you’re going, then don’t wear it. If you have to take expensive items with you, make sure you hide them properly. Robbers don’t have eye-scanners and can’t know what’s inside your bag.

Consider your options

If you know that a specific route is dangerous and bikers often get robbed, then don’t take it. When choosing your roads, try to select the more populated ones, even if they will get you a few minutes late. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Not Accomplishing the Set Objectives

Telling yourself that you’ll do something and then not be able to do it sucks. If you are someone who likes to challenge yourself, then you’ll probably set yourself a few riding goals. You may achieve them or not; however, not accomplishing them should never be a reason to give up biking.

How to overcome it

If you set yourself biking goals on New Year’s Eve, we’ve got some bad news for you: only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t challenge yourself in this matter and not be part of this statistic.

Start small, finish big

You don’t need to tell yourself that you’ll cycle hundreds of miles within a month. Smaller goals may often lead you to bigger ones. Make plans for shorter periods and start setting higher goals gradually.

Write down your objectives 

Writing down your objectives helps you keep track of them. Monitor your progress from time to time and see how far you’ll go.

Losing Interest in Biking

How many times have you been super excited for one thing and way too lazy for it the next day? That’s common and just human nature; however, if you don’t feel like riding your bike for a few days, that doesn’t mean that you should abandon it forever.

How to overcome it

Riding a bike is not only physical but also a mental activity. Your body might be telling you that it has the energy to get up and ride those pedals, but your mind is telling you no. Anyway, this isn’t something that you can’t overcome.

Listen to your mind

If your mind is telling you that you shouldn’t ride your bike at the moment, then don’t. Get off of it for a few days and do something else that you love; go out with your friends, watch your favorite movie, or eat your favorite meal. Your love for biking should come back.

Make changes

If you only use your bike to commute to work, then try and cycle just for fun. If you use your bike only as a leisure activity, then try riding to work with it. Find new routes, ride with new people, and your passion for riding a bike will return stronger than ever.

In a nutshell, we don’t think that someone has a fear of bicycles, but we believe that each one of you may have different cycling fears. Remember that no fear is unbeatable, and you can overcome each one of them with proper dedication. We hope that this article will help you conquer both the fears and insecurities you might have and make your riding adventures as pleasurable as they can be.

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