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Conquering the fear of falling-advice?

Old 03-21-22, 04:15 PM
  #26  
Calsun
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Trikes are much more dangerous. There is a retirement community in California where the number of trike accidents has been noteworthy. Problem is making a turn and flipping the trike, expecially when going at any speed or downhill. A recumbent with two wheels up front and one in the rear is much safer.

My doctors over the years have proscribed medications that made me dizzy and so I stopped taking them. I now have a channel blocker and I take it in the evening so if it affects my balance it is while I am sleeping. Many medications result in higher mortality rates as they result in falls and broken bones and hospital stays. In general past the age of 70 it is more important to have full control of your body and balance. The health gains with medicatins is greatly exaggerated and one needs to look at the "number needed to treat" which measures how many people need to take a medication to have one fewer death in a 5-year period. With many high blood pressure medications the number to treat is 100 so 100 people need to put themselves at risk to avoid 1 death and that 1 death can be from a fall and not a MI or stroke event. With statins is 200 to treat to maybe have one fewer death. But big pharma make billions of dollars and own the FDA so this is not well publicized. Doctors also have to worry about the "standard of care" which is again determined by the drug companies and the hospital corporations and if something becomes a drug to proscribe based on some test number (determined by the companies profiteering from "treatment") then the doctor is at risk of losing their license to practive if they do not proscribe the meds and fall in to line.
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Old 03-21-22, 04:41 PM
  #27  
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Great thread... One of the tools I have used when teaching the young to ride is to take a good look and pick out where you are going to fall. Then when you get there pick another spot and on and on. It works...

Now at an older age with Vestibular problems resulting in poor proprioception I cautiously ride, picking out the next place I might fall, and feeling so much better when I get there without... Ha

So... Constantly be on the lookout for your next fall that way if it happens it's not a surprise...
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Old 03-21-22, 04:48 PM
  #28  
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While we are talking falling, my worst one was caused by dogs. I carry two containers of pepper spray now and will stand my ground rather than wreck trying to get away while fighting a dog off.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:14 AM
  #29  
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Yes tricycles handle quite differently. OP is not thinking of getting a drop bar 25 pound racing trike. Adult trikes travel very slowly. In theory it would be possible to take one of them down a hill and get in trouble trying to take a corner fast at the bottom. That never happens. Adult trikes operate on flat ground and smooth pavement. Yes, even a little ramp or spot of off camber paving can get tricky. The usual way to manage that is to just go slow.

Upright tricycle with two wheels in front do exist and are much easier to manage. The only ones I am aware of sold currently are the Workcycles offerings, which are very expensive. And worth it. Worksman has made them , not sure if currently offered.

OP might be able to use a two wheel bike if it were set up for stability. Saddle low enough to put both feet flat on the ground. That is totally contrary to current fashion and to what is constantly advocated on this site. Many riders have enjoyed many miles with a low saddle. Use wide tires at low pressure. If OP can easily operate a trike he could likely ride a bike. It would have to be a bike that would be completely disapproved of on this forum.

It is possible to ride without falling. My last fall was in 1999. Coach and riding partner has not fallen since 1978. No one here believes that. I don’t care and neither should OP.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:38 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by BTinNYC View Post
Start off with the easiest safest quietest places to ride; bike paths, and quiet streets. Do these first rides in off-hours to further avoid cars and other people. Confidence will come with time on the bike. Modern bike helmets are amazing, wear it and your noggin is in a pretty safe place. I re-started riding in Nov '21 after 50 years off the bike.
That's reassuring. It's nice to hear other people successfully started after a long break. I'm a big helmet person- I actually know of two kids who did the exact same type of fall. One ended up with a broken jaw but the head was fine. The other ended up with a broken shoulder and a concussion and cracked skull.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:48 AM
  #31  
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Thank you! You're probably right in that I just have to accept that falling is a possible risk, and if I'm not willing to risk it at all I'm probably looking at the wrong activity.
I'm expecting to have to go slow on the turns on the trike. That was one of the first things that came up in the research I did pre-purchase. For where I'll be riding, that's not going to be a problem at all.
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Old 03-22-22, 10:49 AM
  #32  
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Thank you so very much for this detailed post! This gives me a good plan for my first ride out!
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Old 03-22-22, 10:50 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by RH Clark View Post
My suggestion is to start doing some balance improving Yoga postures at home first.
That's a great idea. I was going to include yoga as part of the fitness thing because of other reasons, but I hadn't thought about the fact it could help with balance. Thanks!
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Old 03-22-22, 11:05 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Yes tricycles handle quite differently. OP is not thinking of getting a drop bar 25 pound racing trike. Adult trikes travel very slowly. In theory it would be possible to take one of them down a hill and get in trouble trying to take a corner fast at the bottom. That never happens. Adult trikes operate on flat ground and smooth pavement. Yes, even a little ramp or spot of off camber paving can get tricky. The usual way to manage that is to just go slow.

Upright tricycle with two wheels in front do exist and are much easier to manage. The only ones I am aware of sold currently are the Workcycles offerings, which are very expensive. And worth it. Worksman has made them , not sure if currently offered.

OP might be able to use a two wheel bike if it were set up for stability. Saddle low enough to put both feet flat on the ground. That is totally contrary to current fashion and to what is constantly advocated on this site. Many riders have enjoyed many miles with a low saddle. Use wide tires at low pressure. If OP can easily operate a trike he could likely ride a bike. It would have to be a bike that would be completely disapproved of on this forum.

It is possible to ride without falling. My last fall was in 1999. Coach and riding partner has not fallen since 1978. No one here believes that. I donít care and neither should OP.
I've thought about getting a two-wheeled one and just making sure I could touch the ground, because that is the only way I would feel somewhat stable. I need to be able to put both feet on the ground quickly. I can't mount/dismount quickly (as I've found out practicing) and would be nervous if I was in a situation where I had to worry about the bike falling underneath me with some of my weight still on it. But finding a bike that even comes close to weight limits and yet allows for a short woman's body has been very difficult. Any bike I'd get would most likely be a steel frame one where I'd be breaking the manufacturer's limits and where I'd have to almost immediately replace the wheels for stronger ones and get a bolt on the quick release seat. I've found a few of those on Craigslist and I'm considering, but again, I just spent all this money on the trike, so it's probably not an option. It was MUCH easier to find a trike that has high enough weight limits.

I am not planning on going fast. I just want to get to where I can go the store to get milk or ride one of the many bike trails we are fortunate to have around here.

It's really nice to hear of your no-fall record!
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Old 03-22-22, 11:22 AM
  #35  
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here's hoping Nike's "just do it" advice will help

I know, for me, when I've taken a break, just going thru the process of getting everything ready & getting out, w/ the bike, is enough distraction, to get me over any fears. then, all that remains, is the riding
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Old 03-22-22, 01:10 PM
  #36  
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Hey kunoichi , it takes a lot of guts to discuss your health problems as openly as you did on this thread. For what it's worth, I think you're going to be fine.
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Old 03-22-22, 02:07 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by kunoichi View Post
I've thought about getting a two-wheeled one and just making sure I could touch the ground, because that is the only way I would feel somewhat stable. I need to be able to put both feet on the ground quickly. I can't mount/dismount quickly (as I've found out practicing) and would be nervous if I was in a situation where I had to worry about the bike falling underneath me with some of my weight still on it. But finding a bike that even comes close to weight limits and yet allows for a short woman's body has been very difficult. Any bike I'd get would most likely be a steel frame one where I'd be breaking the manufacturer's limits and where I'd have to almost immediately replace the wheels for stronger ones and get a bolt on the quick release seat. I've found a few of those on Craigslist and I'm considering, but again, I just spent all this money on the trike, so it's probably not an option. It was MUCH easier to find a trike that has high enough weight limits.

I am not planning on going fast. I just want to get to where I can go the store to get milk or ride one of the many bike trails we are fortunate to have around here.

It's really nice to hear of your no-fall record!
The simplest way to get a stable bike that can handle weight is to find a vintage Schwinn. These are old bikes now, the only ones that count are the Chicago-built bikes. Fortunately there are just lots of enthusiasts dedicated to keeping these wonderful old bikes alive. Frank Schwinn designed these to accommodate short people who wanted both feet on the ground. He talked about that. Weight limits? People were smaller back then. Iíd be happy allowing 300 pounds on any old Schwinn. Heavier people do ride them, there will be lots of maintenance.

Just took a look at the current pages for Workcycles and for Worksman. Unfortunately both seem to have dropped two-wheels-in-front trikes. I do see a fair number of the Workcycles trikes around town being used as child transport so this would be recent and I doubt it is final. Any of their bikes or trikes are built to handle lots and lots of weight. My suggestion, if you wanted to spend for another bike, would be to talk to J.C. Lind at www.jclindbikes.com. He has done this before and is always happy to talk. He definitely knows what is available in heavy duty trikes from any of the Dutch builders.

Old Schwinn is plain cheap. Worksman is relatively cheap and they do have normal trikes. Definitely bikes and trikes for short riders. They are direct to consumer, an old family business, they will talk to you at length, their bikes are made for heavy duty industrial use. Workcycles or similar Dutch is much higher priced. Health problems are very expensive. Any bike that gets you out there and improves health and well being is worth whatever it costs.

One other technical note. Trikes and heavy riders want real low gears. You donít care about speed, it is just about getting outside and it beats walking. Getting a trike into motion from a stop takes hard pushing, for anyone. Make it easy with a low gear. The bike is easier to control if it doesnít have to be forced. Any bike at all can be geared lower. If you are just talking mechanics will have excuses and want money for the job. If they see you are out there riding any and every mechanic is going to be very ready to solve any problem.
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Old 03-22-22, 03:32 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
The simplest way to get a stable bike that can handle weight is to find a vintage Schwinn..
This is definitely something to consider. There does seem to be a lot of those available on Craigslist and FB Marketplace. I had also thought about a steel frame mountain bike. I have found a few of those with a small or x-small frame. I really wish I was taller, then there would be a lot more options.
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Old 03-22-22, 03:32 PM
  #39  
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Thank you! No good beating around the bush, right? Might as well be honest about what I'm facing.
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Old 03-22-22, 05:11 PM
  #40  
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Go out on a grassy field and really throw yourself around on the bike. Youíll get a better sense of how little or how much it takes to tip the bike. It might also be fun.

The only trike Iíve ridden was a pedicab, and rode that for about 3 years. I railed that thing to get to passengers first. We all did, nobody tipped them over. That isnít to say that your trike has the same balance as the one I had.

Practice, ride out of traffic, take your time.
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Old 03-25-22, 01:43 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by kunoichi View Post
This is definitely something to consider. There does seem to be a lot of those available on Craigslist and FB Marketplace. I had also thought about a steel frame mountain bike. I have found a few of those with a small or x-small frame. I really wish I was taller, then there would be a lot more options.
A mountain bike or comfort bike would be a good starting place. Both will be stable with relaxed geometry and larger tires. A step through comfort bike might be easier to get on and off of.
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Old 03-26-22, 12:52 AM
  #42  
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I'm gonna get flak for this, but try a razor kick scooter. The handling mechanics are identical to a bike but you can bail really easily and you're not too far off the ground. Plus they're really cheap.

Try taking some turns somewhat fast. You can even "dab" by sticking your inside foot out to catch yourself if you slide.
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Old 03-26-22, 02:26 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Lambkin55 View Post
I support BlazingPedals comments!
When I was first learning to ski the first lesson we all got how to fall. One you have fallen correctly a few times there is no longer anything to worry about. In fact the falls can become part of the fun.
I got back into cycling after 17 years off 3 years ago and I do around 20 000km each year since and this is mostly training and racing road and XC MTB. On the MTB I've had a few slow spills on low-speed technical terrain, nothing serious, like falling over when walking. It is easy to fall 'correctly' since you know what is happening at such low speeds.

On my road bike it has been somewhat different. I fell once in 2020 and once in 2021. Both times I had zero opportunity to think until after the accident. The first was a slippery roundabout at circa 40km/h and the second a 55km/h+ sprint - you don't get to choose how you fall in accidents like these, it is over too quickly.

In my 15 years of racing when I was younger, I recall around 3 or 4 accidents. Nothing serious.

My 24 year old step-daughter suffers from severe anxiety issues - including being held in a hospital last year for 3 months. She cycles everywhere, lives in Copenhagen and while she does fear falling, she manages to overcome that simply by riding slowly and often. Daily.

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Old 03-26-22, 03:56 AM
  #44  
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LOL, I'll have to try that. My son is an adult scooter rider (he likes to do tricks) so maybe I can borrow his for a few minutes.
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Old 03-26-22, 09:51 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
​​​I'm wondering if other people with anxiety disorders have some advice on how they got back on the bike.
Adult ADHD, anxiety and MDD here. It's terrible to say this, but my fear of falling has more to do with others seeing me fall than anything else. I've fallen twice since picking up cycling again, once while trying to get off the bike and my shorts hung up on the saddle a ND the second time was taking a turn and the bike wanted to go straight. I only got a scraped knee for my efforts and only one person saw me fall and she helped me up and dusted me off. I felt like a complete idiot.
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Old 03-27-22, 10:41 AM
  #46  
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I'm 60 y.o. I've been riding since 12. I've fallen many times and have had many scrapes. And I do have a fear of falling. As I've gotten older, I've been more careful riding through ice, slush, mud, puddles, oil, leaves, and other changes to the road in front of me.

But none of this stops me from riding everyday. Don't be careless.

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Old 03-27-22, 10:46 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by SteveInConverse View Post
Adult ADHD, anxiety and MDD here. It's terrible to say this, but my fear of falling has more to do with others seeing me fall than anything else.
Yeah, I have to admit it's high on my list too. My plan for my first few practices is to go to the park as soon as the sun rises so no one will be there except the hard-core joggers.
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