I'm scared of cycling on the road

144
Found 6th Aug 2013
Hi everyone, I've been wanting to commute via bicycle for quite some time now. I bought a Brompton bicycle back in May this year but I've only ridden it around the park.

Today I had a two hour cycle training session and I actually got to ride on the road for the first time ever and the experience was a thrill and yet so scary. I was almost clipped by a bus. At one point, a taxi came so close to me that I had to go into a side road and almost crashed into a car. And then while I was riding along a busy road, my shoelace somehow got trapped in the pedal and I fell sideways. My instructor was extremely helpful and encouraging and if it wasn't for him, I honestly believe I could have died today.

I plan on booking another session next week sometime. I was hoping to get some road cycling advice from experienced cyclists on here. Thank you.
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144 Comments
Remove the stabilizers and attack, attack, attack attack attack!
Use your right foot to dent cars that come to close
Most moving vehicles give me a wide berth when on the road. Parked cars are the danger.
sack that i would get the bus .or buy a car ..biking is too dangerous
You need this

http://cache.wists.com/thumbnails/6/a2/6a2aae1f90bc1ad592991d0a789d2ffa-orig
amazingbob123

sack that i would get the bus .or buy a car ..biking is too dangerous




bike, bus, car, get a life take a taxi....feed the animals
whatsThePoint

op you just need to accept the fact you will be hit by a car and it will … op you just need to accept the fact you will be hit by a car and it will hurt, now go out and enjoy the roads



Funny enough, I actually broke my arm cycling on the pavement back in 2010. The pain was unbearable and I never want to feel such extortionate pain again. But I do love cycling and I really enjoyed myself today apart from the scary moments mentioned above. Thank you for the advice
Are you accident prone?
By the way do you have a VJ or not?
I think the fact that you were using a paddle didnt help your cause. They are best for floating things like boats.
konimitsu

By the way do you have a VJ or not?



Sorry for being a noob but what's a VJ?
LittleRedRidingHood

Funny enough, I actually broke my arm cycling on the pavement back in … Funny enough, I actually broke my arm cycling on the pavement back in 2010. The pain was unbearable and I never want to feel such extortionate pain again. But I do love cycling and I really enjoyed myself today apart from the scary moments mentioned above. Thank you for the advice



That will teach you for cycling on pavements.
urbanlegend11

I think the fact that you were using a paddle didnt help your cause. They … I think the fact that you were using a paddle didnt help your cause. They are best for floating things like boats.



Hahaha thanks, I've corrected it now
LittleRedRidingHood

Sorry for being a noob but what's a VJ?



Man or Wo man?
urbanlegend11

That will teach you for cycling on pavements.



Yes you're right. I've learned my lesson since then, hence I'm learning to cycle on the road.
konimitsu

Man or Wo man?



Ewww I had a feeling that's what you meant but then I thought it might just be a cycling term. I'm a woman.
JMD64

Are you accident prone?



Yes I think I am
LittleRedRidingHood

Yes you're right. I've learned my lesson since then, hence I'm learning … Yes you're right. I've learned my lesson since then, hence I'm learning to cycle on the road.



I cycle a bit inbetween and use the gutter.
LittleRedRidingHood

Ewww I had a feeling that's what you meant but then I thought it might … Ewww I had a feeling that's what you meant but then I thought it might just be a cycling term. I'm a woman.



I am not the biggest cycling fan and I am not a sexist in any way but you just go out and enjoy yourself love......
I would be more worried that you actually had to have cycling lessons before going on a road
I'm reluctant to cycle to work for the simple reason that its too dangerous.

Unfortunately there are a few drivers who give you nothing, but they are rare. The majority will give you plenty of room. Head out into the country where the roads are quieter, as long as you respect the rules of the road and other road users, wear a helmet and take care you will be fine.
souljacker

I would be more worried that you actually had to have cycling lessons … I would be more worried that you actually had to have cycling lessons before going on a road



Well what can I say... I value my life too much and the last thing I want is for a taxi driver to take it away in an instant.
Edited by: "LittleRedRidingHood" 6th Aug 2013
daturastorm

Ask your teachers to book you a cycling proficiency course and only cycle … Ask your teachers to book you a cycling proficiency course and only cycle cycle with your parents.



I'm an adult X) I realise you were being sarcastic. Thanks for commenting nonetheless
LittleRedRidingHood

Well what can I say... I value my life too much and the last thing I want … Well what can I say... I value my life too much and the last thing I want is for a taxi driver to take it in an instant.


What exactly do they teach you? Is it not all common sense? I take it you have never ridden a bike or driven a car before?
Edited by: "souljacker" 6th Aug 2013
souljacker

What exactly do they teach you? Is it not all common sense? I take it you … What exactly do they teach you? Is it not all common sense? I take it you have never ridden a bike or drive a car before?



I passed my driving 5 years ago although I don't own a car for environmental and health reasons. Today I learned about where to position myself on the road in different circumstances. I must admit, a lot of it is common sense but I honestly believe that I learned so much today. And the fact that I was with an experienced cyclist made me feel safer on my first ever road cycling journey.
Thought I would look in again before bed

saw this thread and thought this might be useful
bikexprt.com/str…htm
LittleRedRidingHood

I passed my driving 5 years ago although I don't own a car for … I passed my driving 5 years ago although I don't own a car for environmental and health reasons. Today I learned about where to position myself on the road in different circumstances. I must admit, a lot of it is common sense but I honestly believe that I learned so much today. And the fact that I was with an experienced cyclist made me feel safer on my first ever road cycling journey.



Each to their own I guess, I've just never heard of adults having cycling lessons, seems a waste of money to me, especially if you can drive, surely you should know most things from when you learnt to drive.

Good luck anyway, I cycle both road and mtb and I feel a lot safer off road, nearly got knocked off yesterday actually, doesn't matter how good you are, it only takes one idiot...
WoolyM

Thought I would look in again before bedsaw this thread and thought this … Thought I would look in again before bedsaw this thread and thought this might be usefulhttp://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/lhd/index.htm



Oh nice, thank you so much. I'm been searching for something similar. You're a life saver, thanks
souljacker

Each to their own I guess, I've just never heard of adults having cycling … Each to their own I guess, I've just never heard of adults having cycling lessons, seems a waste of money to me, especially if you can drive, surely you should know most things from when you learnt to drive.Good luck anyway, I cycle both road and mtb and I feel a lot safer off road, nearly got knocked off yesterday actually, doesn't matter how good you are, it only takes one idiot...



When riding a bike on the road, you need to act differently to how you would as a car driver. Defensive riding is what will help to stop you becoming a statistic
WoolyM

When riding a bike on the road, you need to act differently to how you … When riding a bike on the road, you need to act differently to how you would as a car driver. Defensive riding is what will help to stop you becoming a statistic


Yes I know that, but as I said its mostly common sense defensive riding, and being car driver gives you a good knowledge of what to look out for when on a bike

I'm scared of cycling on the road



Well don't do it.....nobody will force you..
Edited by: "konimitsu" 7th Aug 2013
konimitsu

Well don't do it.....nobody will force you..



I have a feeling you're a troll. Thank you for taking the time to comment but I'm going to have to ignore you.
I find it's best to try and plan routes that avoid busier roads as frequently you can take a very different route from the car by using cycle paths and pedestrianised areas. Some of these I knew about before, some I've learnt from going out on group cycles. On some roads, cyclists are allowed to cycle on the pavements which make them a better option as well. While I'm confident on the bike I don't like being on busy roads as some other road users give no room at all and there's always that concern if someone hits me, it could lead to quite a serious injury.

On the positive side though I've been cycling daily for nearly two years now and the only injuries I've suffered are minor ones which are entirely my own doing. As someone has mentioned above, it's best to ride defensively so you need to assume people haven't seen you and anticipate them possibly pulling out in front of you. I find in general most drivers are good, they see me and give me room but you have to be ready for the ones that aren't so good.

I'd also recommend finding a local cycling group to join as they may also teach you better routes to cycle plus increase your confidence and experience, depending on what sort of area you're in you should hopefully be able to find a casual riding group for people similar to yourself. I've been out on casual rides here to try and encourage people to give cycling a go when they're a bit wary of it, I don't know the long term results but people who've come out seem to enjoy it.

John
Edited by: "Johnmcl7" 7th Aug 2013
Make sure you have insurance or check son of the wind on YouTube he will show you how it's done failing that get a motorbike and follow premisis187 videos they will help.
Johnmcl7

I find it's best to try and plan routes that avoid busier roads as … I find it's best to try and plan routes that avoid busier roads as frequently you can take a very different route from the car by using cycle paths and pedestrianised areas. Some of these I knew about before, some I've learnt from going out on group cycles. On some roads, cyclists are allowed to cycle on the pavements which make them a better option as well. While I'm confident on the bike I don't like being on busy roads as some other road users give no room at all and there's always that concern if someone hits me, it could lead to quite a serious injury.On the positive side though I've been cycling daily for nearly two years now and the only injuries I've suffered are minor ones which are entirely my own doing. As someone has mentioned above, it's best to ride defensively so you need to assume people haven't seen you and anticipate them possibly pulling out in front of you. I find in general most drivers are good, they see me and give me room but you have to be ready for the ones that aren't so good.I'd also recommend finding a local cycling group to join as they may also teach you better routes to cycle plus increase your confidence and experience, depending on what sort of area you're in you should hopefully be able to find a casual riding group for people similar to yourself. I've been out on casual rides here to try and encourage people to give cycling a go when they're a bit wary of it, I don't know the long term results but people who've come out seem to enjoy it.John



Thank you so much for such a long and detailed comment. I'm sure your advice will help save my life someday
adsjones

Make sure you have insurance or check son of the wind on YouTube he will … Make sure you have insurance or check son of the wind on YouTube he will show you how it's done failing that get a motorbike and follow premisis187 videos they will help.



Hi I've already taken out insurance with ETA for £50 a year. I'll definitely check those YouTube videos. Thank you
ceres

When I started cycling again after a gap of around 40 years, I went to my … When I started cycling again after a gap of around 40 years, I went to my local council's adult cycling course which was run over (from memory) 8 weeks, a couple of hours in the evening. It was great for getting confidence back and they didn't rush or push you, they had people who'd never cycled before, people like me who needed a refresher and people who just needed some confidence. Cost peanuts and, if you didn't have your own bike, they had a selection of different types that you could use to see which suited you. I really enjoyed it. Might be worth investigating if there's one local to you.



Hi yes I have already attended a few sessions at BikeRight in Manchester. They're definitely good but the fact that they teach people of different abilities at the same time didn't appeal to me and I felt like I wasn't learning much apart from the basics. Thank you for commenting
i am sure you are imagining the dangers as i used to cycle in central london to work for a period and although it was very crowded and a little unnerving at times, i never got pushed over by cars or buses despite the busy traffic.

i would suggest get a bright luminescent yellow jacket, the sort that workmen wear to make you really visible to drivers. in traffic stay behind vehicles rather than next to them if there is little room between them and the pavement.

keep close to the pavement when riding to give cars plenty of room to overtake you.
steve01980

I'm reluctant to cycle to work for the simple reason that its too … I'm reluctant to cycle to work for the simple reason that its too dangerous. Unfortunately there are a few drivers who give you nothing, but they are rare. The majority will give you plenty of room. Head out into the country where the roads are quieter, as long as you respect the rules of the road and other road users, wear a helmet and take care you will be fine.



It's the same for runners.

Some drivers are brilliant when you're running, and even stop for you to cross when you're no where near them, I even think that's a little bit too much respect, but I will never complain about it. Of course it's important for runners to do the same when cars are turning into a Petrol Station etc, and again they are thankful about it.

But some days when I run, I get some utter **** drivers who will refuse to slow down when they are 10 meters behind me and I'm crossing a road (it's gotten to the post sometimes where I've actually met the central part of the road and they are beeping furiously and speeding up even though they haven't even turned the corner yet).

And yeah, they do get shouted at, and if they'd like a fight, am more than welcome.

The same can be said for walkers, most move slightly so you can pass, but some don't, and they try and force you into the road, and I used to go into the road (still do if they are walking forwards, they can't see me, so they don't have to move and I'll happily go into the road), but if someone can see me clearly for a while, and refuse to move 30cm, damn right I'm coming through.

So I can see the point of cyclists who are scared, and rightly so, because it's far more dangerous than running, because one idiot and it's game over, at least while running, I can sprint off if someone does try to run me over.


Edited by: "Wotwot123" 7th Aug 2013
I Avoid busy roads as much as i can, cycle on pavements if they are empty/quite. Design a route which has the least number of cars.
if possible i dont wait at red lights , i get off and push along pavement or use green man and push,traffic building up behind you at red lights is a danger.
Look for cycle paths , parks etc, even if it is a longer route
Would i ride my bike down a busy street in glasgow full of buses, no it would be dangerous, but i know streets which are safe, and would design a safe route.
And the pavement is your friiend, if you see someone walking on the pavement and you are cycling on it slow down or get off for a second, most people dont mind. Not all pavements are the same, some are always empty and no one cares.
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