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Post crash hit by car. Riding again?

Old 01-13-21, 02:15 PM
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ADAM31
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Post crash hit by car. Riding again?

In late December I was hit by a car while finishing up my ride, I have a broken collarbone and surprisingly my bike had very little damage and is rideable. My question is about getting back out riding again, mentally right now I am not sure if I will be ready, after a bad crash what where your feelings about getting out and riding again?
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Old 01-13-21, 03:00 PM
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Iíve been hit by cars on three occasions, other cyclists three times, by a bus once and by a trailer once.
The cyclist impacts were quite easy to shake off, but the cars, and the bus hit were more difficult. Partly since they could have been life-ending, or life changing, partly b/c I couldnít see what I might do from thereon to keep it from happening again. Apart from quitting riding.

So it came down to how much I valued the joy of riding vs the strength of the fear.
And basically I decided not to let fear rule my life. And got back to riding. Tensely and apprehensively at first, but more and more relaxed day by day. 2-3 weeks and Inwas back to what passes as normal for me.

Last edited by dabac; 01-13-21 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:01 PM
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I think its natural to be apprehensive about getting back out there but everyone is different. For me, the most important thing is trying to learn from the incident. What might have prevented you from getting hit? What strategies can you incorporate to reduce the risk of getting hit.

Then just get out and ride as much as your comfortable with. I think most people go through some time where they are anxious / nervous but it gradually fades.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:10 PM
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Being hit by a vehicle can make for a hard mental recovery. The worst imo, is when you're riding in a known "good" area & you fall victim a confrontation. It tends to skew where you may ride the next time.

I'd not let being hit by a vehicle hold you down from enjoying your freedom to ride a bicycle.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dabac View Post
Two winters ago, I was hit by a car that blew through a stop light.
Maybe you'd like to actually provide some input for the OP?
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Old 01-13-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
Maybe you'd like to actually provide some input for the OP?
done. Had a screen fumble.
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Old 01-13-21, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ADAM31 View Post
In late December I was hit by a car while finishing up my ride, I have a broken collarbone and surprisingly my bike had very little damage and is rideable. My question is about getting back out riding again, mentally right now I am not sure if I will be ready, after a bad crash what where your feelings about getting out and riding again?
Almost a year ago, I was run off the road into a serious face plant. The story and pictures are here. I was off the bike for 7 weeks of recovery. It never crossed my mind to stop riding. What did cross my mind is to equip my bike with cameras so that the next hit and run doesn't get away with it. Still working on that project.

- Ed
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Old 01-13-21, 04:30 PM
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I couldnít wait to get back on the bike after my collar bone fracture. Two months after the accident I did the metric route of D2R2. A month after that I did Cycle Oregon. You just have to get back on the bike. Mind over matter.
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Old 01-13-21, 04:51 PM
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what seems to work well is buying bicycle stuff & even another bicycle. If you manage to let those things marinade in your possession for any length of time before caving & hopping back on the bicycle, then you're doing it wrong.
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Old 01-13-21, 07:16 PM
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I had what should have been a relatively nothing crash with my 10 year old grandson. Unfortunately it resulted in my breaking both elbows. I had to have a health care aid baby sit me while my wife went back to work.

The mental trauma turned out to be much worse than the physical injuries. Ultimately, even after stints with two different psychologists, it took me at least three or four years for me to heal. I've had serious crashes before, had two different surgeries to screw my collarbone back into place, after which I couldn't wait to get back on the bike. I don't know what made this one different, but that's the fact of the situation.
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Old 01-13-21, 09:26 PM
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I got hit by a city bus one day and luckily did not sustain major damage...I have to say, I was a little gun shy at first, and it took a while to ride on that specific road again, but eventually I got back out. I had an accident with another rider when he hit is brakes on a group ride, that did not bother me as much, but I am much more selective about whom the riders are in group rides now.
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Old 01-14-21, 03:10 AM
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A lot of interesting perspectives here. I had a crash last year that smashed my collar bone fairly comprehensively - no other vehicle involved, though. I was very keen to get back on the bike and thought for a long time that it hadn't affected me mentally. I've recently noticed, though, that I'm a lot more cautious on hills. I think a part of it is because the winter roads around here get covered in slush and mud so there is a very real danger of slipping, but I don't remember being so cautious before. I'm looking forward to seeing if my attitude changes when summer arrives and the danger of sliding out fades.
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Old 01-14-21, 03:51 AM
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I've been it 4 times twice by drunk drivers, once by an inattentive driver, and once by a delivery van I treated all as NBD and was generally shopping within and week.
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Old 01-14-21, 03:57 AM
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Interesting.

What I gather from all this is that most riders sustain some mental damage, and most get over it mostly.

Take the mental damage seriously, might be my advice. Don't let it stop you but don't ignore it. If you subconsciously tense up when cars pass or at certain times (I have developed an issue with downhill turns after a solo wreck) then you might cause yourself to wreck again, just out of that subconscious tension distracting you from riding properly at that time. (I know if I try to really push into a downhill turn my body wants to fight me ... so the harder I push the less of my brain is used for riding and more for internal conflict.)

Get back out there, and pay attention to how you feel .... but don't let it stop you. You might need to slow down or even pull over to let cars by for a while, or need to ride slowly in icy conditions or whatever triggers you ... but you can relearn to ride with ease and confidence over time.

if it really messes with you and you want to seek counseling, do it. Sometimes a psychologist might be able to help, sometimes not ... but if your mind is hurt, see a mind doctor, right?

Like @dabac I have a long history of crashes and collisions. As I get older and recovery takes longer, the mental scars are also deeper .... but nothing has taken away the joy of cycling. If nothing else works, ride MUPs or single-entry neighborhoods with only slow, local traffic just to keep the cranks spinning. Cycling is too good to give up.
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Old 01-14-21, 05:50 AM
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Great helpful advice from personal experiences related so read, absorb and learn from others.

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Interesting.
What I gather from all this is that most riders sustain some mental damage, and most get over it mostly...............................Cycling is too good to give up.
Following my crashes and other LIFE'S EVENTS it's been a "Chit Happens sooo Git Over It"

Not "making fun of or diminishing" anybody's emotional response BUT SIMPLY SAY'N that as for me I refuse to let things bother me. Now approaching 6 years since I was told I have "aggressive Prostate Cancer" the one that only 5 in 100 guys get, the one not much research is done on since it's the more likely to die from then die with and my reaction was "OK, what do I do????" not the "OMG, I'm gonna die!!!!"

Remember Frank Sinatra's >>>

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Old 01-14-21, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
I think its natural to be apprehensive about getting back out there but everyone is different. For me, the most important thing is trying to learn from the incident. What might have prevented you from getting hit? What strategies can you incorporate to reduce the risk of getting hit.

Then just get out and ride as much as your comfortable with. I think most people go through some time where they are anxious / nervous but it gradually fades.
^^^This. There are few to no crashes that couldn't have been prevented or mitigated by the cyclist in some way. Analyzing the incident is where to start. Figure out what you can do to prevent it from happening again and take control of making it so. What were the specifics of your crash?
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Old 01-14-21, 08:03 AM
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Lesson learned from riding bicycles: You take what the road gives you, and keep the wheels turning the best you can.

It should be obvious; let your body heal. When you can ride again, ride as much as you like. If you think you're riding too far, too fast, on roads with too much traffic -- you are! Back off and keep riding. Keep it fun!

FWIW, after my crash, the repaired bike came back from the shop before my dislocated shoulder was strong enough to ride very long. Ergo, I kept doing physical terrorist directed exercises while doing short rides. Also, after my MI, it took about a month before I was allowed back on the bike, and three more months after that until I could re-start two-way bicycle commuting.
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Old 01-14-21, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Lesson learned from riding bicycles: You take what the road gives you, and keep the wheels turning the best you can.

It should be obvious; let your body heal. When you can ride again, ride as much as you like. If you think you're riding too far, too fast, on roads with too much traffic -- you are! Back off and keep riding. Keep it fun!

FWIW, after my crash, the repaired bike came back from the shop before my dislocated shoulder was strong enough to ride very long. Ergo, I kept doing physical terrorist directed exercises while doing short rides. Also, after my MI, it took about a month before I was allowed back on the bike, and three more months after that until I could re-start two-way bicycle commuting.
Yikes!
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Old 01-14-21, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ADAM31 View Post
In late December I was hit by a car while finishing up my ride, I have a broken collarbone and surprisingly my bike had very little damage and is rideable. My question is about getting back out riding again, mentally right now I am not sure if I will be ready, after a bad crash what where your feelings about getting out and riding again?
Why not. About 6 years ago I was in a slow speed accident, (car drivers fault) and gave no thot what so ever about not riding again.
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Old 01-14-21, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
Yikes!
Physical terrorist? It's what my mother (RPT herself) called physical therapists once she had to work with them.
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Old 01-14-21, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Physical terrorist? It's what my mother (RPT herself) called physical therapists once she had to work with them.
Now that you mention it I have heard that reference in the past.
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Old 01-14-21, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ADAM31 View Post
In late December I was hit by a car while finishing up my ride, I have a broken collarbone and surprisingly my bike had very little damage and is rideable. My question is about getting back out riding again, mentally right now I am not sure if I will be ready, after a bad crash what where your feelings about getting out and riding again?
On July 24th 2013 I crashed and broke my neck. Had C1 & C2 fused. Eight days in hospital and two 5-hr operations. Was back on the bike by that November.
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Old 01-14-21, 12:39 PM
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Everyone is different. And everyone changes (see retrogrouch's story above.)

IMO, @pdlamb nailed it here:
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
It should be obvious; let your body heal. When you can ride again, ride as much as you like. If you think you're riding too far, too fast, on roads with too much traffic -- you are! Back off and keep riding. Keep it fun!
When I really want to dive into a downhill bend and nail the apex and duck my shoulder and carve deep .... and I feel myself tense .... I brake harder. I miss the momentary thrill of nailing a quick corner, but I avoid breaking my collarbone again. I count that as a win.

If the day comes when I dive for the corner and feel it, I will do it ... until that day, I am just happy to be able to ride.
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Old 01-14-21, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Everyone is different. And everyone changes (see retrogrouch's story above.)

IMO, @pdlamb nailed it here:When I really want to dive into a downhill bend and nail the apex and duck my shoulder and carve deep .... and I feel myself tense .... I brake harder. I miss the momentary thrill of nailing a quick corner, but I avoid breaking my collarbone again. I count that as a win.

If the day comes when I dive for the corner and feel it, I will do it ... until that day, I am just happy to be able to ride.
We all react differently..what you call a win some will call a fail, it's a personality thing.

Some folks want to go fast others want to smell the roses, some want to wrench others want a functional tool different strokes for different folks. I've dumped bikes both pedal and motor and it makes me slower because it's something I can control, I can't control a car hitting me so the only thing I can do is go ride which I do control.
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Old 01-14-21, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by ADAM31 View Post
In late December I was hit by a car while finishing up my ride, I have a broken collarbone and surprisingly my bike had very little damage and is rideable. My question is about getting back out riding again, mentally right now I am not sure if I will be ready, after a bad crash what where your feelings about getting out and riding again?


Originally Posted by groth View Post
Almost a year ago, I was run off the road into a serious face plant. The story and pictures are here. I was off the bike for 7 weeks of recovery. It never crossed my mind to stop riding. What did cross my mind is to equip my bike with cameras so that the next hit and run doesn't get away with it. Still working on that project.

- Ed


Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
I had what should have been a relatively nothing crash with my 10 year old grandson. Unfortunately it resulted in my breaking both elbows. I had to have a health care aid baby sit me while my wife went back to work.

The mental trauma turned out to be much worse than the physical injuries. Ultimately, even after stints with two different psychologists, it took me at least three or four years for me to heal. I've had serious crashes before, had two different surgeries to screw my collarbone back into place, after which I couldn't wait to get back on the bike. I don't know what made this one different, but that's the fact of the situation.

i got run into a pot hole and broke my shoulder 2 weeks ago > agony+. i hope to be back on 2 wheels by 3/21. i know i will have some apprehension but life is about overcoming doubt ....................... don't think twice it's all right
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