Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Livonia, MI
Bikes: Pacific Duece AL with mods
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How to get over her fear?
My fiance and I have been riding the tandem a lot lately. I really enjoy that but it did strike me as odd because it was never one of those things she would just say she wanted to do. One day it was, "lets ride the tandem." It took me a little while to put it all together, but she hasn't ridden her bike since June 10th. That was the Tour de Cure. I am by no means what many here would refer to as a "experienced cyclist" but I have ridden a lot of miles over various terrain on bikes that were made for the purpose or not. I've pretty much gotten past the point where anything short of being severely injured (internal bleeding and multiple fractures) is going to make me afraid to get on a bike. I've had many close calls many of which were at least partly and sometimes completely my fault. But I have learned and also realize that I will not let fear stop me from doing something I enjoy.
During the TdC we were coming down a fairly steep hill that had a sharp turn at the bottom. There were a few other cyclists around us. I was behind her and the guy in front of her (about 20 feet ahead) stopped near the bottom of the hill with his bike sideways. I still don't know why, but he did. she freaked out hit the brakes and went around him. we were going about 22mph down the hill at the time and other than the look of horror and the scream I thought she handled the situation very well. I was following her a little close and had to lock up my rear brake to whip the bike around. I was scared too, but I also thought it was quite fun. She was quite shaken up for the rest of the ride. A few days after that while we were driving we saw an older lady that had been hit by a car while riding a bike. She hasn't touched her bike since. Like I said, it took me a while to put it all together so when I finally got it I asked her if she was afraid to ride her bike and she admitted that she was. I wonder if there's anything I can do to help her get over the fear. I know that when she's ready she'll do it, but I just wonder if I can help. I know forcing her onto her bike would be a bad thing. I'm happy with the fact that she iswilling to ride the tandem, and I love doing it, but we both have better solo bikes than the tandem and they are more suited to our individual comforts and styles and we can go on longer rides on our singles. I'm happy that she trusts me and feels comfortable with me in control of the tandem and is willing to get back on at least those 2 wheels. I just know how much she loves her bike (which also makes me feel good because I built it up for her) and how she loves the independence she has on it and how she loves to honk her horn and wave and say hello to see if anyone in full kit on CF and Ti road bikes will even look up at us. (and yes, many of them do and even smile) Anyone else go through this?