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Old 09-02-04, 02:48 PM   #1
juf2m
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It's the strangest thing. I have just started riding (have done 6 rides so far) but every time, as I am preparing to go for a ride, I get very nervous butterflies. This happens before a ride in the city or the country, and there is no really good reason for this as I do enjoy riding and there is no pressure at all for me to ride. I am riding this afternoon, just a casual after work jaunt and I am already feeling queazy.

Does this happen to anyone else or am I a total weirdo?
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Old 09-02-04, 02:49 PM   #2
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Can you describe what's running through your head that might make you nervous? Are you riding with a group or just by yourself?
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Old 09-02-04, 03:20 PM   #3
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Maybe ride some shorter rides that aren't planned...couple laps areound the block, something like that, just so you are more comfortable on the bike. Sounds to me like maybe you are very structured about when you are riding. I get the same way when I'm travelling though, can't get to sleep the night before, and driving long distances doesn't bother me in any way, I just want to get on the road and do it.
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Old 09-02-04, 03:21 PM   #4
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Well, nothing running through my head really, and it doesn't seem to matter if it's alone or in a group, it's just that as I am preparing to go, and just about to ride off, I get this anxiety...I wonder if it's just the anticipation or maybe the newness of it all, it's almost like the nerves you get before you are going to perform or public speaking!
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Old 09-02-04, 03:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juf2m
Well, nothing running through my head really, and it doesn't seem to matter if it's alone or in a group, it's just that as I am preparing to go, and just about to ride off, I get this anxiety...I wonder if it's just the anticipation or maybe the newness of it all, it's almost like the nerves you get before you are going to perform or public speaking!
humm... that's interesting. i sometimes feel like that, but not all the time. my anxiety is usually marked to a specific reason such as a group ride, a race, going out in rush hour etc..

i always feel some euphoria after a ride though. almost like a natural high. i wish i felt that before hand.
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Old 09-02-04, 03:57 PM   #6
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Yes, I feel the same way. I am also a very high strung person so that plays into it. I used to get that feeling every time I used to go off-roading too.
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Old 09-02-04, 04:06 PM   #7
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I have experienced this as well. Not before cycling, but before surfing.

When I was a teenager and we would all pile in the car to head out to our favorite break, I would feel a little anxious: slight pulse increase, sweaty palms, etc. As we got closer to the beach, sometimes I would get downright nausious; one time I even puked!

In retrospect, I attribute those symptoms to being generally nervous and anxious about the activity I was about to partake in. I never was very good at surfing, and while I enjoyed being out in the water with my friends, the paddle out was always a nightmare, and I was just never that comfortable with my skills.

It sounds to me like you are in the same boat: you really look forward to and enjoy this activity, but something about it is making you anxious. This is not always a bad thing; that same anxiety helps athletes to perform great feats. But it should not interfere with your activity, especially if you are just out to have fun.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I still get anxious at times: like trying to tackle a new singletrack alone, or before the starting horn at a disc golf tournament (my other hobby). It's all just performance anxiety.

Maybe during or after your next ride, get off the bike and take some time to reflect on just what is making you nervous. Sometimes just identifying a problem can help you overcome it. Also, as you get into cycling, I bet that the symptoms subside over time.

Or, failing all this, partake of your favorite 420-compatible substance...good for what ails ya!
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Old 09-02-04, 04:31 PM   #8
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Maybe it's just excitement. I find that if I have a long rde planned, I play everything through my head before I start. Making sure I know the route, that I have everything I need, where I plan to take a break, where to get water, all that stuff.
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Old 09-02-04, 04:43 PM   #9
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I used to get the same way when I first started riding. I still get it when I am going to ride with a group of "cyclists." For me, it is the fear of poor performance when compaired to the other riders. This has even kept me from joining our local bike club. I guess I don't want to hold anyone up.
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Old 09-02-04, 07:23 PM   #10
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Yes, but mine had a reason. The first 'longer' ride I did with a new bike friend, I ended up 'bonking' and that wide awake, disbelief- sick feeling gave me butterflies every time before I went out since that first time. It's getting better. But I still worry about jerks in cars, harrasment (I'm female) or even just a spill...one is awfully vulnerable on a bike in form fitting clothes! :-)
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Old 09-02-04, 09:12 PM   #11
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I used to -- mainly due to the high percentage of idiots in many of the places I regularly ride. It's not so pronounced anymore, however. I guess I'm just used to it.
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Old 09-02-04, 10:08 PM   #12
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OK. Lie on the couch and close your eyes. Let's go back and tell me more about that Schwinn Stingray you got on your 8th birthday...
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Old 09-03-04, 07:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juf2m
It's the strangest thing. I have just started riding (have done 6 rides so far) but every time, as I am preparing to go for a ride, I get very nervous butterflies. This happens before a ride in the city or the country, and there is no really good reason for this as I do enjoy riding and there is no pressure at all for me to ride. I am riding this afternoon, just a casual after work jaunt and I am already feeling queazy.

Does this happen to anyone else or am I a total weirdo?
I never would've thought of starting a thread like this, but I'm very glad you did! I, too, experience pre-ride anxiety/excitement. I think geoduck got it right with his "performance anxiety" theory. Like you get before sex! I used to get super nervous before a ride, now I just get a few jitters. But I don't put it down to really being worried, per se, it's more about nervous energy - like your body is saying "let's get out there and GO!"

All that and you're probably a total weirdo too, juf2m...
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Old 09-03-04, 10:46 AM   #14
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I'm in the same boat. I put pressure on myself to ride better, faster, etc. I think my jitters result from this pressure.

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Old 09-03-04, 10:49 AM   #15
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I'm in the same boat. I put pressure on myself to ride better, faster, etc. I think my jitters result from this pressure.

-mark
does this ever make cycling less fun for you? i put pressure on myself to ride, and sometimes it can feel like work. cycling can be something i love and hate at the same time.
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Old 09-03-04, 11:22 AM   #16
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Wow, am I ever glad I started this thread! Thanks for all the replies! And yes, I AM kind of a weirdo anyway...

I think my nerves come from uncertainty of what might happen. In the country I worry about the clipless pedals and getting run over in an intersection, and in the city I worry about the crazy drivers (some of the cyclists are a bigger threat than the cars!) then there is the pre-performance adrenaline, wanting to do well, etc.


Timmhaan, I totally agree...when it feels like work, it's very difficult to stay motivated. If there's one thing I can't stand it's the indoor trainer and I will come up with any excuse to avoid it. I don't want that to ever happen with cycling!
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Old 09-03-04, 11:40 AM   #17
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This is funny, becuase if you keep riding, eventually you may get to the point of "burn out" where you don't want to ride at all. Or you will completely bored out of your mind.
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Old 09-03-04, 09:41 PM   #18
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No the only time I get really nervous about riding is when I know I am going to be covering a dangerous part. I had read about the road around Lake Cresent in the guilde book and had really got myself worried. In reality it wasn't bad at all. Another time I did get pretty freaked out was riding across the Astoria bridge .... its 5 miles long with not much shoulder and logging trucks zooming by at 60 miles an hour. I was fine till about half way across, then I got very scared.

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Old 09-03-04, 09:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timmhaan
does this ever make cycling less fun for you? i put pressure on myself to ride, and sometimes it can feel like work. cycling can be something i love and hate at the same time.
It sure does. However, the older I get (I'm 33) the less I get discourage by less than steller outings. I've learned (or am learning) to simply enjoy being outside and to take pride in my accomplishments.

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Old 09-03-04, 09:57 PM   #20
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I get that exact feeling sitting on the starting gate at a DH race.

Wholly cripes is my heart pounding, and any heavy-as-hell song running through my brain at a million miles per hour.

I definitely know the feeling.

I also get it right before goin' off somethin BIG.

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Old 09-04-04, 01:10 AM   #21
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I'm going to reveal too much when I say this, but before every little league game back when I was a kid, I would have to go to the bathroom for a quick #2 right before my ride came to pick me up.
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Old 09-04-04, 05:54 PM   #22
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I get anxious about actually doing the ride. So often, with my busy life, a ride is postponed or canceled for some unknown reason - usually work, weather or illness. This frustrates the crap outta me as I plan these rides in advance and I very much look forward to them. But I always worry that something will trip it up.

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Old 09-04-04, 06:27 PM   #23
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I used to work with individuals in a job training program, a couple of whom had extreme anxiety. The anxiety related to changing from one thing to another - location to location, activity to activity, whatever. Simple change was the cause of the sometimes terribly high anxiety.

There is no logical explanation for this - it relates mostly to chemicals that we have in our brain/body that may be a bit out of whack.

This may or may not be your situation, but keep it in mind. My wife also has a high degree of natural anxiety, and it is aggravated by illness. Also, we have had an extremely stressful life, raising two profoundly handicapped children. Life does take its toll. I wonder if females have more of this than males? Anyway, my wife takes a small amount of a drug which she finds helpful.

Of course, exercise (riding a bike, for example) is one of the best means of overcoming stress. Sort of a Catch-22, isn't it!
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Old 09-04-04, 09:24 PM   #24
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knowing that it's in General cycling forum, i can't assume that you are a roadie. But in case you are, are you comfortable with clothes you wear?
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Old 09-05-04, 06:42 AM   #25
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I was like that when I started out, now its only when tackling a different ride ie. into heavy traffic or unknown roads/hills.
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