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  1. #1
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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?

  2. #2
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    I worry about riding through a swarm of stinging insects.
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  3. #3
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I worry about riding through herds of killer rabbits.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  4. #4
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Seriously, though: Try looking just at the road ahead of you... pretty much straight down/slightly ahead.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  5. #5
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Take the lane. That way if you fall, you fall onto the bridge, not over the railing.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  6. #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.

  7. #7
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOtherBob View Post
    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
    Don't go out on a bicycle wearing a tail coat unless you enjoy making a ridiculous show of yourself.

  8. #8
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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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"[1] and φόβος - phobos, "fear"[2]) 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.[3][4][5]

    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.".[3]

    Here is the full article.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gephyrophobia
    Last edited by eja_ bottecchia; 12-22-12 at 04:53 AM.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member buffalowings's Avatar
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    Close your eyes and imagine you are on flat ground.

  10. #10
    Senior Member koolerb's Avatar
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    If the roof on your house is getting close to needing replaced, do it yourself. Cured me.

  11. #11
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doohickie View Post
    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.

    Jeff Wills

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  12. #12
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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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.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  13. #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.

  14. #14
    Chainstay Brake Mafia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
    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
    1986 Diamondback Apex ~ 1988 Diamondback Ascent EX ~ 1989 Jamis Dakar
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  15. #15
    Senior Member eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
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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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  16. #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.

  17. #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.

  18. #18
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    I don't like this one.

    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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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.

  20. #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?

  21. #21
    rigamortis tortoise LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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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.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  22. #22
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    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!!!!!!!
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
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    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    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.
    Current Rides, Look 566 & d' Arienzo-Basso Daily Rides. Cannondale 800 Optimo, utility bike.

  24. #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".
    Current Rides, Look 566 & d' Arienzo-Basso Daily Rides. Cannondale 800 Optimo, utility bike.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
    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!
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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