Is fear keeping you from reaching your cycling goals?
Well, you are not alone. Riding on the road, even a low-traffic country road, can be terrifying. You’ve seen the headlines and you are afraid of crashing.
But here’s the deal: Accidents happen because there is risk in every activity we do.
Do you run on the road? Do you drive a car? Do you walk down stairs?
Trust me, I know how you feel because I, too, have a fear of riding my road bike. My pretty bicycle sits on a trainer in my living room. I feel guilty every time I look at it.
Read this Before You Do Anything
You may have seen the statistics about riding bikes and how it is safe compared to so many other things we do, such as commuting. I’ve read them, too. Doesn’t work.
Go read this blog post at Over the Bars. The author is a certified and an insured bicycle safety instructor and a traffic safety professional who studies crash statistics. He also rides a bike every day…and is alive to write about it.
Go read the post, then come back.
You Probably Already Know What You Have To Do
Did you read the blog post yet? So are our fears based in reality or are they simply a result of sensational media coverage? Although, articles like the one at Over the Bars are helpful, there’s really only one way to get over your fear of road riding.
The only real way to overcome a fear is to face it. You must start riding your bike outside.
You already knew this, didn’t you?
Before you begin riding outside, learn and understand bicycle safety, of course. Even a little education can help calm anxieties. You can find cycling safety tips on our 2Toms Knowledge Base by clicking here.
When you are educated, take your bike outside. And start small.
Go for a 5- or 10-minute ride on a paved trail in a closed parking lot or somewhere else cars are not allowed. Gradually increase your time riding outside using this safer-feeling option.
When you’re comfortable, try riding on the road for a few minutes. Even 5 minutes. And gradually increase your time. Baby steps.
Be consistent. Practice.
The more you ride outside, the less scary it will seem and it won’t be long before you’re commuting to work…on your bike!