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vixen2yall 04-13-04 04:30 PM

Question, fear factor and riding.
ok, so i'm very new to recumbent riding. i'm on a trike w/ only 4 inches of road clearence between my tail and the road. (greenspeed GTC) i'm on a trike because i've already been hit by a driver from behind and it's painful to be on a DF. (fear factor! YES SIR/MAM!) and to tell the truth i'm terrified to get back onto the roadways. especially in the US and more importantly, the lovely californian drivers. (no offence cali peeps but ya all can't drive for nothing!) i'm currently in las vegas (same thing as cali drivers) and all the roads here seem to be 50 mph speed limits. i will say that it's got pleanty of space between the lanes and the curbs to ride in, but i just can't get over this over whelming fear i'm going to have someone in an SUV make a RHT right over the top of me because i'm so short on the roadway.

so anyone else had to deal w/ the terrified to ride feeling or am i the only one? i don't think i could survive another truck hitting me at 70mph. this kat's 9 lives are not something i'd like to test. i know if my better half were with me i wouldn't be anywhere near as scared to get out and ride but w/o him w/ me i'm just not sure i can do it. i mean here i've spent all this money on this dream bike (that i've wanted for years and finally have) and i haven't even test rode it yet cause i'm afraid i'll get squished. (that and i just threw my back out lifting her to get her out from the back yard to the front WITH help. btw vicodine suck!)

this sounds so stupid to even consider asking but i figure someone else is on a bent for the same reasons. just too painful to ride a DF. this is a stupid post!


Recumbent_Guy 04-13-04 07:04 PM

GTC aye...sounds delish. Ive got a GTE myself and initially found it to be pretty low to the ground. But I overcame that pretty quickly. All you need to do is too take it slowly and get used to being back on the road again. Are there no quiet roads/paths near you that you can ride around on? Do you have a flag on your machine? Ive found them to be pretty helpful for letting people youre there.

ChiliDog 04-13-04 10:06 PM

There is NO way that I would be riding a DF or a bent on highways with cars going 45mph+ . I would not ever conceive of putting myself on a trike for that same reason. I had a pal had a trike and was also terrified to ride it on roads with cars.

I ride on a rail-to-trail. Some think it's boring or "wussing out"-I think it's wonderful. Find some residential neighborhoods or quiet country lanes, but get several flags, that's for sure. Sorry you're going through this, but I understand and would feel the exact same way. Just call me "weinie" or whatever.

Recumbent_Guy 04-13-04 10:54 PM

I forgot about that...I used to ride my trike in the city fairly often, but thats IN the city mind you, not on high volume AND high speed roads. In the end I simply found the trike a little too unwieldy through the city bike routes. Once youre out of the city though, on country roads or even suburban to a lesser extent, its a far superior platform for riding about than my other bikes.

I agree with Chilidog, there is no 'wussing out' option. Rail-trails, bike paths, suburban streets are perfect options for zooming about on the trike.

nualle 04-13-04 11:03 PM

Vixen, first off, congrats on the trike!

There are some things you can do to make yourself more visible and doing them may increase your comfort factor. For an example, here's how I've tricked out (and plan to) my trike:

I have a box on the rear rack on my trike and on the back face of the box, I have a reflective slow-moving vehicle triangle. It's super at night (I've seen from a bus how brightly it reflects headlights) and its yellow contrasts nicely with the purple of the box in daytime.

I also have a little rainbow-colored windsock floating at about minivan-drivers' eye-height. This is attached to the rear-left corner of my box to an old retractable fishing pole so I can lower the windsock when I lock the trike up, making it a tad less conspicuous.

On the sides of the box, I'm planning to put some more reflective tape, in yellow. Haven't decided yet if I want to put it in chevrons ">>" pointing in my direction of travel, or a short message like "Hi!" I think probably the chevrons.

On my front wheels, I have two, rather than the standard one, white reflectors.

Then of course the obligatory lights. Finally, as soon as I can afford it, I'm gonna get some reflective fabric (kinda like this stuff) so that the single biggest surface on the machine -- me -- will also be both day-and-night bloody obvious.

While thinking about those sorts of options... do you have any smaller streets you can take your new ride out on? Riding even just around the block a few times could help. It'll get you used to the feel of the new position and the different sensation of getting passed by cars (a lesser number, moving more slowly than on big thoroughfares).

vixen2yall 04-14-04 11:50 AM

thank you so much for all the responces. i still feel like weenie moble but i don't rightly care what others think.

recumbent guy- all the roads here look and feel like freeways. if i can get the baby out of town, perhaps i'll have some peace.

chilidog- i need to find some o them trail like places. would be nice.

nualle- you would be shocked to see how much reflective gear i have on sheila. (the bikes name) i even have this tape like stuff that lights up (glowbike by nashbar 25 bucks a strip), that i ran along the mudgards to light the wheeling up more. i have wheel lights, tireflies from walmart, installed on each tire. rear lighting w/ an 18 LED rear light, and three front head lights, one is a nighthawk and two cateye 4LED lights. i'm not really fearing not being seen from a distance. it's the not seeing me under some SUV wheel base that scares me. doesn't matter how much lighting/reflective/whatever lighting stuff i have if i'm so short i can't be seen next to someone on the freaking phone making a RHT.

i think ya all are right though, i just need to get her out and ride around the block a few times to get used to her. i had a chanse to take her out to the deserd the other day and when i lifted her back end to get her into the truck i "popped" my back. so that totally ruined my day out as i'm still trying to walk again. maybe later this afternoon i'll feel well/strong enough to get her out and about. i'm so sick of being stuck in the house... love the newsgroups but it gets old fast listening to all the great rides everyone else is having!

again thanks for the cheering up.

bnet1 06-03-04 11:24 AM

You think Cali drivers are bad? Here in Ohio I would say they are worse, and more rude too ( I lived in Cali a long time ago). The cell phone problem here is so bad several cities have made it illegal to use one while in a car and driving. You have to turn it off and stow it.

'bent Brian

MrEWorm 06-03-04 08:19 PM

It looks like you need something to get it into and of out of the truck. I sell ramps for wheelchairs but if you send me an email, I can probably hook you up with something appropriate.

stevetone 06-04-04 08:10 AM

This may or may not make you feel better, but I found that reviewing some statistics about the causes of bicycle accidents to be comforting. Here is a link that has some information on it.

To me, the comforting thing was to know that being struck from behind was a very low percentage of vehicle-bicycle accidents, although if you are one of those in the statistical count, it is of little solace...

ChiliDog 06-05-04 05:43 AM

Vixen, where are you? Let me know and I'll research some trails for you...


vixen2yall 06-07-04 10:18 AM


Originally Posted by ChiliDog
Vixen, where are you? Let me know and I'll research some trails for you...


currently in lost wages... i mean las vegas. and thanks

my fears are no better off today than they were 2 months ago... even more so than they were before. coming home from work yesterday saw a little girl get smacked by an SUV. it was the girls fault totally. she ran a redlight trying to catch up to a friend of hers who had made it through the intersection. that light turns green and these people don't care WHO'S in the crosswalk. little girl went flying. (age at about 12-15 ish, old enough to know better.)

but seeing the girl get hit was what upset me. she got up, dusted off. don't think the bike was ridable after the SUV got done w/ it but i think the girl was ok. but i kinda freaked out even w/ me not being involved in the insident i still had a panic attack.

*sigh* i hate 5 lanes of 50 mph


mtessmer 06-07-04 12:56 PM

I've got over five years of year around tadpole trike experience and over 23 years of bike commuting total (Minneapolis, St Paul and surounding suburbs, and a little rural roads thrown in) and I've found that I get allot more room and respect on my trike then I do on any of my other bikes. I can see where your anxiety comes from though, I was there, it's a real paradigm shift. Once you get use to it (and with seat time you will get use to it) it will get easier and easier. I know, I know, easier said then done.

ChiliDog 07-05-04 06:37 AM

Kat-try this link for trails in your area:

bentbaggerlen 07-05-04 10:13 AM

I just sold our tandem trike and one thing I found is that drivers would give us more room when riding the trike then when riding the Screamer. So much in fact that I thought some of them would drive off the other side of the road. My SO was worried about being so low, so I added a flag that made her feel better. The only reason we sold the trike was we found it was much slower then the screamer when loaded for touring.

I can't tell you how to get over the fear, I've been there. Got hit from behind at a light. I got up and was picking up my bike when the drive got out of his car and started yelling at me about scratching his car... he pushed me, I pushed back. He took a swing at me, well let's just say it ugly... like a hockey game. I ended up taking his keys and riding my bent up bike away. This was better then 20 years ago, and I still think about it. It was not the best way to handle it.

And its not just west cost drivers....

vixen2yall 07-06-04 05:30 AM


Originally Posted by ChiliDog
Kat-try this link for trails in your area:

thanks, nothing remotely close to me but thanks just the same.


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