How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby Tinkerbell on Mon 29/Oct/12 12:10pm

I think my commuting days may be over. 6 months ago I narrowly avoided being run over by a police officer who cut my off when he was turning left. 5 months ago I was run over by a woman who decided that red lights were only a suggestion (cue broken ribs, cracked pelvis, damaged lung). This morning my life flashed into front of my eyes as a bus blew straight into the roundabout I was already it and only missed me because I screamed my head off and swerved right into the inside of the roundabout.

Now I have the shits. I love riding. I love commuting. I get sad and angry when I can't commute. I ride rain or hail or galey wind or sun or earthquakes. I think it is the most awesome way of travelling, but I'm scared now and my husband doesn't want me riding to work either.

Those of you who have been taken out or had multiple near misses, any advice for beating the fear?
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby jo on Mon 29/Oct/12 12:11pm

All I can say is eventually it fades. :huh:
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby rachelr on Mon 29/Oct/12 12:26pm

Have you looked into treatment for PTSD at all? cos you've had more than anyone's fair share of such incidents and in quite a short period of time.
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby BrokenKonaRider on Mon 29/Oct/12 12:29pm

Change your commuting route to something quieter, even if longer and/or hillier?

I'm lucky to be able to commute by single track. It's enriching, sheltered and peaceful, compared to the by-road option, but takes twice as long.
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby danose on Mon 29/Oct/12 12:37pm

jo wrote:All I can say is eventually it fades. :huh:


yep - though it took nearly 20 years for me to stop flinching when 18 wheelers go by, and I'm still nervy around caravans 4 years after getting taken out by one

I think the main thing is to not overly focus/obsess on the nervousness - it's the same as climbing ('getting gripped' is the techical term) - the more you think about it the worse it gets, it's a vicious cycle.

Better to focus on the positives that make you want to do the thing you enjoy (like how you enjoy not being stuck in gridlock, or how good it feels to suceed on a route) - if you focus on the negatives ("every driver seems intent on killing me" or "it's a long way to that last runner and it's not very good") that becomes ALL you think about.

hope you reported the bus driver to the bus company too
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby cruiser on Mon 29/Oct/12 12:50pm

There are professionals that can help with this - the mind is able to be manipulated, if you know how. Surely easier than doing it on your own or missing out on some good years waiting for it to fade.

I would say though, first requirement is a solid goal to sort it - rather than "i wish this would go away". If can't get past that, probably wasting your time - it's you that fixes the problem, the pro just facilitates.
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby FLATULENTFRIEND on Mon 29/Oct/12 12:58pm

I hope you do keep at it :)

Agree with what others have said.

I wouldn't ride without my helmet mirror :thumbsup: Knowing what is driving / riding behind me gives me some confidence.

If I commuted by bike I would have the brightest clothing, very loud horn, mirror etc and every vehicle near miss or whatever would be actioned - phoning bus co., work vehicles and doing Roadsafe complaints.
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby Oli on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:06pm

Kia kaha, Tink. :love:
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby Tinkerbell on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:21pm

Thanks guys.

I'm thinking of getting a go pro, that way I'll at least have a record of all the madness. And even though I don't really believe it will help I'm going to fluro up. All of these incidents have happened on different routes so route change isn't going to help.
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby slidecontrol on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:23pm

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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby Tinkerbell on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:30pm

Nice!!!!
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby cruiser on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:38pm

Tinkerbell wrote:Thanks guys.

I'm thinking of getting a go pro, that way I'll at least have a record of all the madness. And even though I don't really believe it will help I'm going to fluro up. All of these incidents have happened on different routes so route change isn't going to help.


Had a 3 month stint in AKL with commuting down Great South Road, Penrose etc. I used to imagine a big white bubble around me (tried pink too, was probably better than white - more people smiled at me). After a while the force was strong, it ran automatically whenever I got on bike. Worked good.
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby BrokenKonaRider on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:43pm

FLATULENTFRIEND wrote:
I wouldn't ride without my helmet mirror :thumbsup: Knowing what is driving / riding behind me gives me some confidence.

If I commuted by bike I would have the brightest clothing, very loud horn, mirror etc and every vehicle near miss or whatever would be actioned - phoning bus co., work vehicles and doing Roadsafe complaints.


Bugger that. Riding a bike is supposed to be fun. That includes commuting. Your approach sounds like far too much work and not enough play. It certainly pays to be attentive, but I wouldn't do it at all if I had to carry all the gear you suggest. The mirror idea is just silly - surely it's much better to hold your line and speed, rather than wobbly in and out at variable speeds trying to look at what is approaching from behind and the front? I really can't see how a mirror can be a safety feature for a cyclist.

Agree with one of the first ideas - give it time. Perhaps a cycling holiday in the Netherlands might be restorative?
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby mfw on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:54pm

Tinkerbell wrote:Those of you who have been taken out or had multiple near misses, any advice for beating the fear?

I had two nasty commuting accidents in chch, it took me a months to get my nerve back. I eventually solved the problem by moving to Nelson :blush: , my commute is now all along cycle track :love: I now just have to avoid errant dog walkers :hmmm:

So, can you change your commute to expose yourself to less traffic? Even it it means riding less days a week due to time constraints?
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Re: How Do I Get My Nerve Back?

Postby danose on Mon 29/Oct/12 1:57pm

BrokenKonaRider wrote:Perhaps a cycling holiday in the Netherlands might be restorative?


bugger that - whilst the traffic won't kill you the crazy crap they eat for breakfast probably will

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