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  1. #1
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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?
    I'm riding again in the Tour de Cure, and of course looking for sponsors and riders: My TDC page

    My family tree is full of nuts

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  2. #2
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Time is a great healer.

    How about some gentle, easy rides on little used trails or roads, if that is a possibility?

    We had a car wreck 2 months ago. We were just stopped at a light, and, ker blam - 40 mph from the rear.

    It took my wife some time to drive the car again, and she was quite nervous for some time.

    She has a bit of PTSD. Let her heal.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    I kinda went through a bit of it myself when I got in my car wreck. I suppose that might be why I ride my bike more. It was almost exactly 2 years ago and I still get nervous when someone has a stop sign and I don't. As far as short rides go, we've been doing them on the tandem. We've even done a 10 mile ride or two. But she won't go near her solo bike at all. Not that I don't have enough projects around the house, but maybe while she's not using it I'll upgrade her brakes (not that there's anything wrong with them) to something much better and keep an eye out for those streamers she wants.
    I'm riding again in the Tour de Cure, and of course looking for sponsors and riders: My TDC page

    My family tree is full of nuts

    potato chips have sharp edges..they are like little snowplows for your arteries

  4. #4
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Get her back on the bike soon, the longer it goes the stronger the fear gets. Do this gently though and on offroad situations, then 0 traffic back roads. This will let her rebuild that confidence.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  5. #5
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    Is it a fear of riding, or a fear of riding with cars or other bikes?
    Maybe she just needs a secluded area to be able to get back on her
    bike. As mentioned earlier, time is a great healer. I got scared off of my bike
    several weeks ago and now I can't wait for the heat to subside so I
    can get back on. Continuing with the patience and understanding will
    most certainly help. Or, maybe she's a natural born stoker and likes
    riding the tandem better (wish I had my stokers back..they grew up
    and moved out).

    Good luck and happy trails to you both.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    She's afraid of riding her bike right now even without car/bike traffic. she just won't do it. This heat and humidity have been a major setback, but if we are going somewhere close or just going out to be out of the house I ask her if she wants to ride, and when she says yes she walks straight to the tandem. It's funny that a control freak such as her is so willing to put the control in my hands. She's not a natural born stoker, but she rarely complains. I'm not always the best captain though and our tandem is not an ideal fit either. My knees ache after riding it a while so that's part of the reason I'll be happy when some of our together rides are on our own bikes again.
    She did get over one fear though. She drove my car the other night for the first time. She had never driven a manual and was afraid she'd break it and or I'd yell or something. We both did well. She scared me once but I kept my cool. and she did extremely well for her first time.
    I'm riding again in the Tour de Cure, and of course looking for sponsors and riders: My TDC page

    My family tree is full of nuts

    potato chips have sharp edges..they are like little snowplows for your arteries

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