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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903

    What puts me off riding..

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    I just finished recording 30 days of journeys for my blog - driven, cycled, walked, bus whatever. Sadly it coincided with the wettest April ever in the UK so there was more driving than I was happy with. I learned a few things about what stops me riding...

    • Rain (and flooding). I'm buying a nice jacket so that my thought process in light rain no longer goes "rain = cheap jacket that clashes with everything and doesn't fit = car for 2 mile round trip". DD is in the trailer so rain doesn't really bother her, and I can easily get changed when I get home.
    • Wind. I can't get away from the fact that pulling 60lbs of child plus trailer is blinking hard work with any wind other than a tail wind.
    • Our shared drive, which means that some mornings I have to carry the child trailer at shoulder height to clear all the cars. I can never forget how much it would cost in bodywork repairs if I dropped it and it's really bulky so difficult to lift. I'm looking into a tagalong instead, which will fit between cars much more easily.
    • The weather forecast. Even if it's only slightly grey outside, a forecast of rain and wind makes me think twice about a two mile trip. Which is just silly. So I use a more accurate forecast now and try to go by the weather that I can see for the short rides.
    • Road surface. There's a junction near nursery in such bad condition that in order to turn right I have to set off from the left hand side of the lane, at an angle. Or I can walk the bike. I've reported the junction to the local council, and just need to suck it up really, otherwise I end up driving the 2 miles and doing a 10 mile ride when I get back... Luckily this will stop being a problem when she starts school next September and I have a (rather smoother) off-road/low-traffic route to follow.


    What makes you not want to ride? What makes you dislike a particular route?
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    50
    Many of the same things that you mentioned: wind, rain, weather. Living in Canada, I'll also add cold. I won't ride in the winter, because I don't think it's safe. But even in the spring, after the snow is gone, I avoid riding until it's warmer. Also, thinking about it as exercise rather than something fun to do.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,916
    Stop signs or lights that end in an uphill.
    Seriously, after ten years, I still cannot maneuver this. Even a teeny, tiny uphill, I cannot just push off and go. You can give me an 18% grade to climb instead and I would be happier.
    I know what to do. I just can't do it. There have been quite a few embarrassing moments because of this, which entail scooting across intersections with the unclipped foot, getting caught on the saddle with my shorts, and the best one, actually getting going, but my foot that is unclipped gets in a weird position, the pedal is in the up position and I almost crash while I am riding with one leg.
    All of my rides are planned around these types of intersections.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Terry Falcon X

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    vancouver, bc / calgary, ab
    Posts
    6,536
    Stop signs or lights that end in an uphill.
    Seriously, after ten years, I still cannot maneuver this. Even a teeny, tiny uphill, I cannot just push off and go.
    Yes, frickin' annoying and embarrassing. There have been times, I just get off the bike and walk across a traffic intersection because of an uphill. Maybe I overthink all this.

    But better than falling off to the side.

    Or having to stop to maneouvre the fenced gap at a railway stop: of course, it's to slow down cyclists but I can't even cleverly cycle through it when obviously there is no train coming.

    And this is in the middle of a big urban park! No obstructions of buildings that prevent a line of vision to see any or no train coming.
    A Serious Cycling Blog and Cycle Write Blog
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    942
    It's rain that gets me off the bike and into the car. Just wish my glasses had windshield wipers; I don't mind getting a bit wet but I hate it when I can't see through the rain streaked glasses and of course can't see without them. Drivers seem less attentive, too.

    And I don't bike to the grocery store if I'm going to be hauling a heavy load into a headwind up that hill on the way home.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    9,737
    rain, wind, temps below 37 degrees as the sole remaining asthma trigger I seem to have left is cold air...

    This year I am trying to up my "wind tolerance", we will see. Frankly I would prefer to be on the trails in the woods when it gets too windy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    209
    Sun-I know that sounds crazy, especially to northerners, but out here in southern Arizona it sucks the life out of me. The sun is very intense here and the longer I live here, the harder it gets. I have to be out by 7am or I just start dreading the whole thing. The exception is winter when mornings are in the 30s or 40s.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Big City
    Posts
    444
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Tortoise View Post
    Sun-I know that sounds crazy, especially to northerners, but out here in southern Arizona it sucks the life out of me. The sun is very intense here and the longer I live here, the harder it gets. I have to be out by 7am or I just start dreading the whole thing. The exception is winter when mornings are in the 30s or 40s.
    Same with west Texas. I can be out for 30 minutes and get burned in the sun here. We're at a higher elevation than southern AZ too, which doesn't help with the sun thing. I cannot get sunglasses with lenses dark enough to not have to squint the entire time.

    Wind is my major reason for not riding. There is nothing I hate more than a time-sucking, energy-killing headwind. It's so relentless. It blows you all over like you're some kind of drunk on a bike. And then it shifts directions when you're ready to turn for home. Around here the wind is usually never less than 10 mph - almost always above 15 - and never in the direction I want it to be. There is a flag outside my apartment window that I use as a wind speed meter (the weather.com reports are always 5-10 under the actual speed) and if that thing is straight out flying, I stay home.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    462
    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Tortoise View Post
    Sun-I know that sounds crazy, especially to northerners, but out here in southern Arizona it sucks the life out of me. The sun is very intense here and the longer I live here, the harder it gets. I have to be out by 7am or I just start dreading the whole thing.
    Same with South Florida. It's starting to get hotter here now, and I'm already noticing the difference. I can handle the sun, but not when the humidity kicks in as well. Fortunately, the mornings tend to stay nice.
    2013 Kirk Frameworks JK Special/Selle Anatomica
    2012 Gunnar Sport/Brooks B17
    2001 Calfee Tetra Pro/Selle Anatomica
    1984 Raleigh Sport/Brooks B66

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    Thanks for the replies. I can't do uphill junctions very well either, especially a local T-junctions where I have to turn left. It's a real struggle to set off up-hill and turn left at the same time. I am also not good at cycling between the barriers that are meant to allow cyclists through but not any motor vehicles.

    It's rare that it's too hot to ride here. High winds sound like a problem for everyone though.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I think ego drives it all for me. If it's ridiculously horrible weather I love riding in it because it makes me look so tough and die-hard. The more people who see me the better. But after a few days of that, we have a nice day-- and that's when I take the car!

    As far as which route I choose, it's based on traffic. But apparently higher traffic roads that are well within my comfort zone are outside of many people's. I'm frequently astonished that people aren't comfortable on streets I use daily.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    vancouver, bc / calgary, ab
    Posts
    6,536
    but out here in southern Arizona it sucks the life out of me. The sun is very intense here and the longer I live here, the harder it gets. I have to be out by 7am or I just start dreading the whole thing.
    I noticed this in myself when we were in Hawai'i. Here in Alberta, although the temps. are not as humid/hot as Ontario, the sun is much brighter. One of the reasons that I'm not as enthusiastic with the prairies is the lack of trees when cycling for many km. ....and no shade here and there.

    We have particular winds, where there is a name "chinook" that sweep in from the Rockies suddenly. It is a particular meteorological phenomena. And suddenly during a fine lovely cycle, the wind will switch suddenly to 40 km/hr. --as a headwind. And this wouldn't have been in any weather forecast for the day.

    Methinks, there is an upside to all this after living in 3 different regions of Canada and cycling: it can make one a bit more flexible cycling wise. Now I can cycle in quite cold temp. @-20 C. as long as there is no ice/much snow. A bit of rain doesn't freak me out, but thunderstorms do. Meanwhile people here get equipped in rubber boots, etc. Overkill.

    Yesterday, it rained a slow, rain for 5 hrs. I noticed hardly anyone on the paved bike-ped. path and this is a path close to services/most scenic.
    In Vancouver, one would have at least a few cyclists/pedestrians every 15 min. or so. on that path.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 05-06-2012 at 06:45 AM.
    A Serious Cycling Blog and Cycle Write Blog
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    124
    I don't like wind. I can't tolerate how it makes my ears feel! I am also a rain wimp. I won't do my ride if it's raining and sometime if it is just threatening rain. I have gotten better about watching the radar so I can ride before the rain comes. If it is humid, my asthma gives me fits, so I try to do a light ride on those days.

    I have to drive to someplace nice to ride. If I choose to ride from home, there is traffic, bad pavement and absolutely no hills. That can be nice but it fools you into thinking you are in better shape than you are! Yesterday I went on a new path, not knowing about the hills. Ten miles was HARD lol.

    The last thing that puts me off is the weight in my cycling shorts, or whatever I am wearing as I sit in my recliner. There seems to be a weight related magnet there that makes it difficult to rise up for exercise!
    Touring this great country, one State at a time! Michigan Summer 2013.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    477
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    I think ego drives it all for me. If it's ridiculously horrible weather I love riding in it because it makes me look so tough and die-hard. The more people who see me the better. But after a few days of that, we have a nice day-- and that's when I take the car!
    I can relate to this, I enjoy riding in the rain (as long as it's not pouring rain, or raining AND windy. Makes me feel so hard core, ha. But I love the nice weather too.

    Sometimes what keeps me off the bike is having too many errands to do at once. I love shopping and running errands on my bicycle, but sometimes I have just too many far flung things, appointments and such and I have to leave the bike at home.

    The other thing, as has been already posted is the traffic/road conditions. My DH and I did a ride in Seattle and ended up in a lovely, lovely park called Golden Gardens, right on the waterfront...beautiful day, gorgeous view of the Puget Sound. But OMG, getting there, I was almost hit twice by drivers pulling out of parallel parking spots on the street, and the road was just horrible in spots. I don't think I have ever felt so vulnerable and scared on a ride as I was yesterday. And there were tons of other riders, so maybe it was just me, and being unfamiliar with that area?? Not sure, but I don't want to do that again anytime soon.
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Big City
    Posts
    444
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    As far as which route I choose, it's based on traffic. But apparently higher traffic roads that are well within my comfort zone are outside of many people's. I'm frequently astonished that people aren't comfortable on streets I use daily.
    I can relate to this too. Around here, the best roads to ride on (none of them are "good" though, per se) are the highway feeder (frontage) roads way out in oil country. The shoulders are generally wide, but rough to ride on, but it's still better than being within town. For whatever reason, huge machinery trucks and oil trucks going 80+ mph 3 feet from my left side don't bother me nearly as much as all the soccer moms and teenagers and men with something to prove driving around the streets within town. Nothing like being buzzed by a semi-truck to get the adrenaline pumping! People tell me all the time I'm going to get killed or they won't go these places with me, but I think these roads are actually way the heck safer because the truck drivers pay much better attention than the Suburbans and Civics of the world.

 

 

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