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When you've been off for awhile...

Old 10-12-05, 06:51 PM
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New2Cycling
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When you've been off for awhile...

how do you get back on? I was doing really good, commuting about 2-3 days out of the week. Before I knew it, I started doing group rides and feeling safer than when riding by myself. After reading some of the Anti- VC threads, I really am not sure about getting back on. Any advice? Thanks.
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Old 10-12-05, 07:40 PM
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HiYoSilver
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haven't read the threads, but generally go VC because it's the most common expected behavior. It's funny to see drivers surprised that you are honoring a stop and letting them turn because they were there first.

You can't think about biking, you just have to do and take reasonable precautions. If there are areas of your ride that make you nervous, then post a thread on that particular situation and see if you can find an approach that makes you more comfortable.
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Old 10-12-05, 07:40 PM
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Ride more than you read.

I was freaked out too, by some of the posts, but Monday when I was on the bike, and on the road I did OK and the cars gave me room. Felt nice.
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Old 10-12-05, 07:46 PM
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Get out and ride... build your confidence by starting on some local roads and paths. When you feel good about you and the bike together, venture out.

I was off my bike for about 3 years (changed jobs then made stupid excuses). Getting back on felt really strange... balance, position on the bike etc. The first couple weeks were really unsteady. (didn't help that I had a twitchy bike either).

Suddenly things started to gel and I felt better, the bike felt like it was an extension of me... all the right muscles were "clicking. I then went out in light traffic and felt confident. Soon I was riding all the same old roads and remembering things that I had just taken for granted long long ago...

Now, I am fully back in the saddle again.

Ignore the anti-VC rants... most of that is aimed at the attitudes that come from some strict VC riders... an almost holier then thou thing.

Look, the best way to ride on the streets is to simply remember you are on a vehicle and you have to deal with others in their vehicles... find a place to fit in and keep your eyes open. (quite a bit of oversimplification there). Avoid heavy traffic (which you would do in a car too) and ride safely rather then for speed, and you should have no problems.
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Old 10-12-05, 08:33 PM
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Ok, what is VC?
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Old 10-12-05, 09:10 PM
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bostontrevor
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Vehicular Cycling: a cyclist fares best when they act and are treated as operators of vehicles.

It's true enough, but the anti-VC crowd tend to take exception to what they perceive as the combative attitude of VC's original proponent, John Forester, as well as its seeming failure to acknowledge roadway realpolitik.
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Old 10-12-05, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by New2Cycling
how do you get back on? I was doing really good, commuting about 2-3 days out of the week. Before I knew it, I started doing group rides and feeling safer than when riding by myself. After reading some of the Anti- VC threads, I really am not sure about getting back on. Any advice? Thanks.
I bike almost entirely on roads and streets, trying to maintain visibility and predictability as my best defense. I take a place on the road so that I am safe first, and then out of the way, in that order, and then let the car drivers work out what to do.

The hard part of that method is getting used to the traffic being near at hand. Being away from it may have re-sensitized you to cars passing close by. The solution seems to act as though you don't have fear, bike sensibly, and gradually let yourself become desensitized again.
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