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Old 03-24-08, 08:10 PM   #1
Clarks
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Psychological Trauma

Have you ever been hit by a car? Were you hurt? How long did it take you to get over the psychological trauma of being hit and start riding again? I know some people get hit and bady hurt but they get back to riding immediately, and others get hit without any injuries but they're afraid to ride for a while or ever again.
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Old 03-24-08, 08:29 PM   #2
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I was hit in November 1976, resulting in a double fracture of the left clavicle, a permanent facial scar over my left cheekbone, and a moderate concussion. I was back on the bike about a month later, but I sharply curtailed my riding, choosing my routes and times of travel carefully. Three decades later, I still ride less than I might otherwise wish to, and I now wear bright colors and wear the best helmet I can find (Giro Xen, instead of the Kucherik hairnet in which I crashed).
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Old 03-24-08, 08:40 PM   #3
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I was rear-ended once. I was a bit shy of passing traffic for a day or two afterwards, but soon got my legs back. The best way to conquer fear of riding after a crash, is to just ride. The longer you dwell on it, the harder it gets.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:33 AM   #4
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Have you ever been hit by a car? Were you hurt? How long did it take you to get over the psychological trauma of being hit and start riding again? I know some people get hit and bady hurt but they get back to riding immediately, and others get hit without any injuries but they're afraid to ride for a while or ever again.
I was 12. Came racing out of an alley and right in front of a car. Got T-boned, angled across the hood of the car and ended up lying in the other lane. Fortunately back then there was little traffic in my town so no one ran over me. Got bumps, bruises and road rash but nothing broken. Was back up cycling the next day with my brother's bike(When you're 12, you think you're immortal). Was more careful after that.
Have been riding for many, many years now and have not had another serious incident.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:37 AM   #5
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Truer words were never spoken, Allister. If you'll forgive the metaphor, it's like falling off a horse! The sooner you saddle up, the better.
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I was rear-ended once. I was a bit shy of passing traffic for a day or two afterwards, but soon got my legs back. The best way to conquer fear of riding after a crash, is to just ride. The longer you dwell on it, the harder it gets.
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Old 03-25-08, 05:52 AM   #6
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Gotta' get back on the horse.
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Old 03-25-08, 06:27 AM   #7
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Two Years Ago, I Was Hit By A Car That Ran A Red Light, Then Ran Off.....a Few Cracked Ribs, And Only Scuff Marks On The Bike, As My Shoulder Took The Brunt Of The Blow From The Drivers Windshield Post....off The Bike For 2 Weeks Until The Pain Lessened, Then Back On.....no One Got A Plate Number, But I Remember The Face Of The Driver And The Car.....this Is Not That Big A Town, Sooner Or Later, I'll Come Across Him Again...
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Old 03-25-08, 07:08 AM   #8
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I've never been hurt by a car, but I've bumped cars, and cars have bumped me many times in heavy traffic. No big deal.
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Old 03-25-08, 08:00 AM   #9
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Two Years Ago, I Was Hit By A Car That Ran A Red Light, Then Ran Off.....a Few Cracked Ribs, And Only Scuff Marks On The Bike, As My Shoulder Took The Brunt Of The Blow From The Drivers Windshield Post....off The Bike For 2 Weeks Until The Pain Lessened, Then Back On.....no One Got A Plate Number, But I Remember The Face Of The Driver And The Car.....this Is Not That Big A Town, Sooner Or Later, I'll Come Across Him Again...
Wow, do you have a program that lets you capitalize the first letter of every word you type automatically?

I Just Want To Know If I Can Do The Same Thing Without So Much Effort ?

LOL
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Old 03-25-08, 08:03 AM   #10
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It's a very personal matter and you'll never really know until it has happened to you. I've also noticed that your mental state can change over time.

I think folks that have unrealistic expectations of safety and immortality undergo the most extreme reactions. For these folks, a crash or serious injury comes as such a shock they quit.

If you can ride by road kill (particularly a large animal like a deer or similar) and consider that a reasonable way to reach the end of a life, then you'll probably do OK if you get hit and have the physical ability to get "back on the horse". Getting around in a chair would likewise have to be an acceptable lifestyle condition depending on circumstances.

If the preceding statement horrifies you or you can't bear the sight or thought of what I've just described, and you ride on the road, you're probably cycling with at least some level of denial that will be clarified if you are ever hit.

I think this generally holds true for anything you do whether you get out of your bed in the mornings or not. It doesn't require skydiving, combat duty, cliff diving, mountain climbing or snake handling; a simple slip and fall in the tub will do.

The issue isn't whether or not you are going to die; that answer is already known, the question is how you will choose to spend the time you have while you wait for the inevitable. Will you live your life doing the things that interest you, excite you, or that you believe in even at the risk of life and limb? Or will you stay safe at any cost and die anyway, wondering what the other life would have been like?

It's your call. Every Single Day.
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Old 03-25-08, 10:06 AM   #11
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When I was hit last year I broke my wrist and fractured my pelvis. I couldn't walk without using a crutch for about a week. I was back on a bike in less than two weeks, but because my injured wrist couldn't support my weight, I could only go a few miles comfortably at a time. Cruising around in my neighborhood I never really felt any fear, and I pushed myself to go farther every day. Once I was able to handle longer distances and ride busier higher speed streets I was a little nervous, but I quickly felt comfortable again. I think the type of crash could have a big effect on the psychological recovery time.

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Old 03-25-08, 12:53 PM   #12
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I was hit in October, broken ribs, head injury, stitches in head, bruised hip, tailbone, road rash. Ribs took the longest to heal. I was gun shy after this incident and have been ever since. Going on 5 months now I'm almost back to where I was pre-wreck but mentally I don't feel like pushing myself as much as I used to. The fun is gone. Which is sad.
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Old 03-25-08, 02:30 PM   #13
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Hey, you become "gun shy," or more accurately, you have post traumatic stress syndrome. I've been hit 3 times... each with greater severity. The first two did minor damage to the bike, (one broke my seat stays) but no real damage to me... but afterward I was still a bit "touchy" about motorists for a bit.

The third collision (motorist left stop sign and failed to yield to me) put me in the hospital and required some physical therapy and surgery to fix things up. No broken bones. Totaled the bike. I managed to pull myself together after several months and went out and did some long tours.

Close calls make me very jumpy these days... While some of you may take close calls with a grain of salt... I don't like them or aggressive moves by drivers... and 99.99999% of the time, there is absolutely no reason for a close call, and there is never any reason for the aggression. (I can't tell you the number of times that some aggressor makes some move only to have to wait, with me, at the next light. )

I was last hit about 18 years ago... but the reaction to idiot driving has not changed much. I find I am very observant of idiot drivers...
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Old 03-26-08, 01:18 PM   #14
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I haven't been hit while riding, thankfully. And knock on wood. And whatever else I can do to keep it that way.

But I was in a car crash when I was 15. I forgot about the psychological trauma until I saw this thread, but this thread brought it back-- I distinctly remember being terrified riding in the passenger seat of my father's car after that. To make matters worse, he had a VW bus, so there was no engine between us and whatever was in front of us. Right after the crash, I was constantly yelling at him to SLOW DOWN. I think by the time I was 16, I was pretty much over it.
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Old 03-26-08, 02:49 PM   #15
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I got doored in 2005. Got a big gash on my right shoulder and was struck by the car coming down the road behind me (they were slamming on their brakes though so I didn't get too hurt by that). I spent about 2 1/2 hours getting stitched up and had some air in my lung cavity (probably from the impact with the car door). No broken bones, just a bunch of road rash and lacerated muscle. I was back on the bike in 3 weeks. And while I started commuting again going much further out was kinda scary and I definitely didn't ride as much as I used to.

I've started going out more again. I missed it, and I figured it was about time I get over it.

P.S. Take the lane.
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Old 03-26-08, 02:57 PM   #16
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Hit by member of law enforcement

In Chicago, a main place for police officers to ticket speeding cars is along the main non-expressway thoroughfare called Lake Shore Drive. Incidentally, the main path where rollerbladers, runners, cyclists, pedestrians, etc. along the lake is called the Lakefront Path. Parks along the path are where the officers hide, and when they radar someone who is going quickly enough, they pull onto the onramp that intersects the Path at a 90 degree angle. It was on a chilly morning in October of 2005 when I was doing a quick 45 minute ride before work on a Specialized Langster when I was riding the path; an officer pulled onto the onramp right in front of me, and although she was only going probably 5 mph, I struck the police car at an angle, and rolled up onto the hood of the car. Of course at this point in my life I wasn't into the whole helmet phase, so I wasn't wearing one. Thankfully, all I suffered was a bump to the top of my head, and some superficial bruising along my legs, thighs, and arms. I think I recovered much faster mentally though. The same afternoon I went back out for a ride. The rear wheel of my bike had to be replaced, so all in all I count myself to be very fortunate. I of course wear a helmet all the time now, and I don't ride the path as much as I used to. I have found that riding local less traveled streets in Chicago is faster, smoother, and less congested.
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Old 03-26-08, 03:51 PM   #17
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... I have found that riding local less traveled streets in Chicago is faster, smoother, and less congested.
When I lived in west Los Angeles, I always sought out local less traveled streets, which were generally plentiful. However, to get from point A to point B in San Diego County, one frequently has to use a busy, fast prime arterial, because slower and quieter local streets are generally not interconnected into an extensive, useful grid.
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Old 03-26-08, 03:58 PM   #18
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When I was hit last year I broke my wrist and fractured my pelvis. I couldn't walk without a crutch for about a week. I was back on a bike in less than two weeks, but because my injured wrist couldn't support my weight, I could only go a few miles comfortably at a time. ...
I resumed cycling 5 weeks after a nasty (not cycling-related) Colles' fracture of the right radius, while still wearing a short-arm cast, but I used the mountain bike, which put less load on my forearm. Had I broken my left radius, I probably would have reversed the brake cabling to right-front, at least during recovery.
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