Getting back on bike.

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Getting back on bike.

Postby davidf140270 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 5:41 pm

Hi All,

I took up cycling seriously last year and was doing all the right things. Getting up early, going for rides, watching what I eat etc and by Christmas last year was clocking up over 300 k's per week. I had lost a lot of weight and was feeling on top of the world until... boxing day. I came off my bike after hitting a horrible speed hump at Lavender Bay and was taken to hospital in an ambulance which later turned out to be a couple of cracked ribs and a tear to the supraspinatus? tendon.

I will need surgery which will require 12 weeks off work as I'm in a manual labour job. I tried to do a short ride to work on my MTB and subsequently came off again with only a bruised ego and some skin missing.

It's been seven months since my accident at Lavender Bay and my nice white Merida bike is sitting in the shed, weight has gone back on and am feeling quite depressed about it all. The sensation of crashing is something I'm not too keen to go through again and every time I pass a cyclist on the road now all I can do is think about what could happen to them if they were involved in an accident. heaven forbid.

I came off pretty lightly and it could've been a lot worse but I still cant seem to summon up the courage/willpower to get back on as all I can do is think of what might have been if my head hit the road at a different angle etc.

Have any of you gone through a similar situation and got back on bike? I'm happy to take on board any suggestions/criticisms.
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by BNA » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:55 pm

BNA
 

Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby Venus62 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:55 pm

Sorry to hear of your crash. Doesn't sound like fun. While I haven't been in your situation, I have two friends who have; both with pretty serious injuries which kept them off their bikes for months. Both got back to cycling because they had friends to ride with. Do you have any understanding cycling mates who can lure you back?
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby newie » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:08 pm

Sorry to hear that. It can take ages to get confidence back after even a small stack, it took me nearly 6 months to get back to where I had been before. So it is understandable you are feeling reluctant after something relatively significant. All I can suggest is to go easy on yourself at start. Just head out for a short gentle pedal somewhere you feel safe such as a quiet street or path. Rediscover some of the joy of riding, even if it just for 5 or 10 mins. Don't pressure yourself to get back to the level you were before. Slowly the confidence will come back.
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby matagi » Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:35 pm

Hi David, I came off my bike on the 2009 Great Victorian Bike Ride and damaged my rotator cuff. It is still not 100% but is pretty close. Anyway, for me, it took a while to get riding again because it was physically uncomfortable to hold that "arms forward" position for any length of time. I started with gentle rides of a few hundred metres down to the shops, then graduated to rides of around 5-10 km to go down to a cafe or pub, so dressed in street clothes not cycling clothes and riding at a fairly leisurely pace. Then I slowly built up to longer rides in lycra.

So maybe try that. Start with really short trips down to the shops or to go out for a catch up with friends and slowly build up from there.
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby davidf140270 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:39 pm

Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated.
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby wombatK » Mon Jul 29, 2013 11:00 pm

davidf140270 wrote:Hi All,
The sensation of crashing is something I'm not too keen to go through again and every time I pass a cyclist on the road now all I can do is think about what could happen to them if they were involved in an accident. heaven forbid.

This is a fairly pessimistic way of looking at cycling.

Do you think you would feel the same way if you'd hurt yourself in a car crash - and not be able to get in a car again ?
Maybe some people would feel that way, at least for a while after an accident. But it's not healthy to feel that way for a long term.

It might be more helpful if you thought more about ways of avoiding the kind of crash you had. Like being more cautious around speed bumps,
and perhaps more generally being aware of how cracks or potholes could jeopardise your safety and being careful with them too.

Having a fear of them is healthy fear, but fearing all cycling is over-generalising. Give yourself more optimistic messages, and take
baby-steps like sticking to the safest routes and paths while you rebuild your confidence.
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Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us -Jerry Garcia
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby fatherofmany » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:00 pm

A couple of years back I came off (OTB) on a cycle path. Ribs broken on the left, wrist on the right. Lots of bark missing too. 2 days later I did Loop the Lake, which in retrospect, was dumb. But hey the TDF guys get back on so how hard could it be. In reality it's a whole new world of pain.

But it did mean that I wasn't scared to get back on again, although I tend to stay on the road now.. it's safer :)

Advice, just get back on it and the fears will disperse as quickly as the extra weight.

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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby Summernight » Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:12 pm

Always get back on the horse (or bike in this case) after a fall.

That's what my instructors said to me when I was younger (although falling off a horse onto grass doesn't hurt as much as falling off a horse/bike on bitumen. I have fallen off a horse on a gravel road though while we were going fairly fast. I think being young also helped with the fear factor).

If you don't try to deal with the fear it may build up more and more and be harder to conquer than if you get back on straightaway when you are able.

Take baby steps, don't push yourself too much and good luck.
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby Duck! » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:07 pm

It can shake you around a bit & take a while to get the nerve back, but the longer you leave it, the harder it will get. Don't dwell on the negative experiences; just remind yourself that those experiences are really quite rare, and that cycling really is a lot of fun.

I got hit by a car (rear-ended, so I didn't even see it coming) several years ago, badly shaken, scraped & bruised, but very fortunately not seriously hurt. Cycling was my transport at the time, and as soon as I was physically able I was back on the bike. I was jittery & scare sh!tless for some time, but I just told myself to get over it, keep riding and learn to enjoy it again. Eventually the nerves subsided and it was back to riding as normal.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby davidf140270 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 7:41 pm

Thanks everyone. I've ridden to work and back 4 out of 5 days this week and have loved it even if its only a 10 k round trip. I have found out that you can get very unfit if you don't ride for 7 months. Struggled a bit the first day but already feeling better at end of week and will increase distance travelled next week and gradually more in following weeks.

Thanks again.
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby Duck! » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:39 am

Excellent! Well done!! :D
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.
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Re: Getting back on bike.

Postby fatherofmany » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:11 pm

good to hear.
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