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Old 12-21-12, 07:14 PM   #1
ganchan
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I can't go over bridges/overpasses

I only took up riding again fairly recently, so it was quite a surprise to suddenly have an attack of vertigo, phobia, whatever you want to call it, when attempting to go over a couple of bridges and overpasses a few days ago. I got off and walked the bike across. There was no real danger, of course -- I just suddenly got that sinking "What if I fall" feeling and decided that if I tried to macho my way through it I might get dizzy for real.

I've always had a moderate fear of heights, but I wasn't expecting it to bite me in the bicycle saddle.

What about you? Any phobias that affect where/when/how you ride?
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Old 12-21-12, 07:17 PM   #2
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I worry about riding through a swarm of stinging insects.
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Old 12-21-12, 08:19 PM   #3
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I worry about riding through herds of killer rabbits.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-21-12, 08:20 PM   #4
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Seriously, though: Try looking just at the road ahead of you... pretty much straight down/slightly ahead.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 12-21-12, 10:17 PM   #5
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Take the lane. That way if you fall, you fall onto the bridge, not over the railing.
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Old 12-21-12, 10:55 PM   #6
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I've gotten that on the George Washington in New York -- that's a tall, tall bridge and it sure looks like a low railing. You just have to keep your eyes forward and go. And no shame in it -- if you want to get off and walk, get off and walk. This pastime is meant to be fun -- so do whatever you need to do to make it enjoyable.
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Old 12-21-12, 11:07 PM   #7
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I've gotten that on the George Washington in New York -- that's a tall, tall bridge and it sure looks like a low railing. You just have to keep your eyes forward and go. And no shame in it -- if you want to get off and walk, get off and walk. This pastime is meant to be fun -- so do whatever you need to do to make it enjoyable.
+1
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Old 12-21-12, 11:20 PM   #8
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It is a common fear. I too hate to drive, ride or walk across a bridge. For me, I just have to force myself to go across.

From Wiki:
Gephyrophobia (from Greek γέφυρα - gephura, "bridge"[SUP][1][/SUP] and φόβος - phobos, "fear"[SUP][2][/SUP]) is an anxiety disorder brought about by the fear of bridges. As a result, sufferers of gephyrophobia may avoid routes that will take them over bridges.[SUP][3][/SUP][SUP][4][/SUP][SUP][5]
[/SUP]
Dr. Michael Liebowitz, founder of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, says, "It's not an isolated phobia, but usually part of a larger constellation ... It's people who get panic attacks. You get light-headed, dizzy; your heart races. You become afraid that you'll feel trapped.".[SUP][3]

Here is the full article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gephyrophobia[/SUP]

Last edited by eja_ bottecchia; 12-22-12 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 12-21-12, 11:24 PM   #9
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Close your eyes and imagine you are on flat ground.
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Old 12-21-12, 11:29 PM   #10
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Old 12-21-12, 11:44 PM   #11
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Seriously, though: Try looking just at the road ahead of you... pretty much straight down/slightly ahead.
Every year I ride up the Columbia Gorge and cross the Bridge of the Gods: http://www.portofcascadelocks.org/bridge.htm

The "road" is open metal grating. It'll cure you of agoraphobia right quick.

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Old 12-22-12, 02:18 AM   #12
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^^^ That might cure me of constipation, but surely not agoraphobia.

By the way, I used to do boo coo high work when I was at the power plant. Almost never a problem. A year ago, I stepped onto the bridge at the Rio Grande Gorge above Taos, and had the worse case of vertigo ever. Who knows how these things work.
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Old 12-22-12, 03:12 AM   #13
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I'm usually OK on high, exposed roads, wary rather than phobic (like the difference between scorpions and spiders).
The bridge that really scared my was this one in Haugesund, Norway.
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Old 12-22-12, 03:17 AM   #14
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Every year I ride up the Columbia Gorge and cross the Bridge of the Gods: http://www.portofcascadelocks.org/bridge.htm

The "road" is open metal grating. It'll cure you of agoraphobia right quick.

i can handle freeway overpasses and what not but i dunno bout that
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Old 12-22-12, 05:51 AM   #15
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Oh, I forgot to mention one more thing. IF going over bridge causes a problem, do not, and I repeat DO NOT, read the story of Galloping Gertie.

You have been warned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_..._Bridge_(1940)
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Old 12-22-12, 06:27 AM   #16
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I work on roofs often.There is a wooden bridge that goes over 8 lanes of traffic nearby.Every time I ride over it I get FREAKED OUT.Thoughts in my head are how often due they inspect this.Did any wise guys cut into the planks with saws.I grew up with crazy kids I know what some are capable of. A co worker was on a tall building with me.he worked on roofs for years.On this building there was a metal staircase bolted onto the building and a cage around it .He froze and could not make the descend.I talked him down ,took about 30 mins for him to take the first step.
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Old 12-22-12, 11:36 AM   #17
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Just wait until you find yourself on the right drawbridge, yes metal grated, where you feel like you are going sideways as you heading across the bridge. One of the drawbridges in eastern NH is like that. It feels like you going sideways even though you are actually heading straight across the bridge. It was my second drawbridge that I had ever ridden across, first one was just an hour or so earlier, and I still don't forget that feeling, very weird. It felt like the tires were offset, not one in front of the other.
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Old 12-22-12, 11:45 AM   #18
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I don't like this one.

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Old 12-22-12, 12:10 PM   #19
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I'd stay off the US Highway 101 Bridge, that crosses the Columbia River Estuary, from WA to OR,
if I were You.

it's 4 miles long , and the Oregon side has to rise high enough
to let International Pana-Max Ships pass under it.
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Old 12-22-12, 12:40 PM   #20
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I used to ride a horse that had the exact same problem. He would not go across a highway overpass unless you dismounted and walked him over. But as long as you get over, what's the problem?
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Old 12-22-12, 12:43 PM   #21
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I get it a little bit when riding over draw bridges with the grating. Seeing the rippling water way down there underneath your bike is a bit of a rush.
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Old 12-22-12, 01:05 PM   #22
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Take the lane. That way if you fall, you fall onto the bridge, not over the railing.
A very good reasonable way to manage your phobia.

I,too, am afraid of heights so I either look at the road or the far off horizon to keep my phobia in check. Never do I look down at my feet!!!!!!!
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Old 12-22-12, 01:17 PM   #23
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Take the lane. That way if you fall, you fall onto the bridge, not over the railing.
Ditto.

Keep your speed up and move safely over toward the middle of the lane.
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Old 12-22-12, 01:19 PM   #24
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I do not have a serious issue with bridges, but I do understand you concern. There are a few I have ridden across and have had a "Gosh I hope I don't go over thought".
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Old 12-22-12, 03:01 PM   #25
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Oh, I forgot to mention one more thing. IF going over bridge causes a problem, do not, and I repeat DO NOT, read the story of Galloping Gertie.

You have been warned.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacoma_..._Bridge_(1940)
I saw a utube vidio of the collapse. Fascinating!
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