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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,295

    Unhappy Shaking My Confidence

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    Tonight I went on a short 15 miler by myself. I generally don't like to be on our county roads alone, but DH had to run a friend to pick up his truck and I wanted to ride. I was stoked to manuever my way across a busy highway (my biggest fear) and get into a groove.

    About 4 miles into the ride I crossed the river and saw three teenagers trying to cross the road. They said something but I didn't really understand and kept trucking along. About five minutes later I heard a yell and felt something hit me. They threw a can at me!! Unfortunately, they were speeding and I didn't get a plate number. I was also mad that I lost my cool and gave them the finger.

    I did get a decent description of the truck and called the local sheriff to make a general threat report. The whole back 10 miles I was looking over my shoulder everytime I heard a car. After I got home as I was telling DH about it I started to bawl. It made me feel so vunerable and angry. I pretty much cry if I get upset so it was a given this would start it. Up to that point I felt confident riding alone, now I feel slightly defeated.

    Thanks for letting me have a little pity party. I know this is part of cycling, still doesn't mean it doesn't upset me.
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Vernon, British Columbia
    Posts
    2,226
    {{{{{{{{{{{{{Amanda}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    I'm so sorry those hooligans have taken something so precious from you! You can claim it again, and you will. We'll try to help.

    You might notice that I send butterflies often (and of course, I'm sending some to you right now). I do it because a few years back I was quite afraid riding a certain section of highway, and I didn't want to freak out, so I pictured myself surrounded by butterflies, protecting me from everything and helping me go faster. Well, it really worked for me. Give it a try, maybe it will help you feel more comfortable and confident, or at least they might make you smile,

    Hugs and butterflies,
    ~T~
    The butterflies are within you.

    My photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/picsiechick/

    Buy my photos: http://www.picsiechick.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    WA, Australia
    Posts
    3,292
    Oh Amanda Im sorry to hear you had a run in with such jerks.
    What planet do these people come from??
    I hope your rides in future are free from such idiots.
    The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
    Amelia Earhart

    2005 Trek 5000 road/Avocet 02 40W
    2006 Colnago C50 road/SSM Atola
    2005 SC Juliana SL mtb/WTB Laser V

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Brisbane, QLD, Australia
    Posts
    529
    Hugs for Amanda!

    Losers...

    You did good by reporting it to the cops. Don't let it get to you too much...

    Karma happens. If they keep up this behaviour they're bound to slip up so one day they'll be forced to ride their bikes, they won't be doing it for fun like you! It's either that or they'll be catching the bus. You'll be able to kick up the dust in their face as you go speeding by!
    @LIGHTSABE*R(::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Beginner Triathlete Log

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Middle Earth
    Posts
    3,997
    Ah... AA... most alarming
    But you will draw on the pleasure and confidene you have had prior to this
    You will come to believe it was a one-off with idiots who will probably never drive that piece of road again

    You will get out there and it will make you stronger

    Its understandable that you broke down when you got home, its a natural reaction in a "shock" situation.

    Awhi-awhi from Middle Earth
    Look at my sig below...
    Arohanui, na Rave


    Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying,
    "I will try again tomorrow".


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    317
    That kind of thing is not fun. It's also *really* dangerous. You reacted better than I would have.

    When I've had a scary ride, the best thing for getting my confidence back is to get back on the bike. If it was really bad, I try to pay attention to all the drivers who follow the rules of the road. There's a lot of 'em! Then I tend to feel better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Reporting from Moonshine Mountain
    Posts
    1,327
    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie_Ama View Post
    I was also mad that I lost my cool and gave them the finger...I started to bawl. It made me feel so vunerable and angry. I pretty much cry if I get upset..

    Thanks for letting me have a little pity party.

    Amanda - letting us have our own pity parties is why this thread exists! (That, and spreading the word about idiot drivers out there.) I know EXACTLY how you felt - see my "too close for comfort" thread in this forum. I did the finger thing on Sunday; I also had a meltdown just afterward - before I even got home.

    It will be ok. YOU will be ok. {{{{HUG}}}}
    "When I'm on my bike I forget about things like age. I just have fun." Kathy Sessler

    2006 Independent Fabrication Custom Ti Crown Jewel (Road, though she has been known to go just about anywhere)/Specialized Jett

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    I'm the only one allowed to whine
    Posts
    10,557
    ((((((((Amanda))))))))
    "If Americans want to live the American Dream, they should go to Denmark." - Richard Wilkinson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    somewhere between the Red & Rio Grande
    Posts
    5,295
    Thank you all!! I am tearing up thinking about it and how wonderful you all are.

    I was hoping they would turn into a house along the way so I could go introduce myself to their mother!! I know those boys we raised better. Isn't it sad that once we put on our helmets people stopping seeing us as people with families who want us home safe and unharmed and humans with feelings?

    My calm, polite husband went back to the river looking for "the punks". Glad he didn't find them, it takes a lot to push him to the level of anger he was at.

    I plan to ride the next couple days with DH and Friday alone since he doesn't have the day off. Those little punks can't keep me down!!
    Amanda

    2011 Specialized Epic Comp 29er | Specialized Phenom | "Marie Laveau"
    2007 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Road | Selle Italia Lady Gel Flow | "Miranda"


    You don't have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. -Lee J. Colan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Maynard, MA
    Posts
    145
    Man, that really stinks. I'm sorry that happened to you.

    When I feel a little beaten down by the 4-wheeled haters, I try to remember this woman's story.

    See Commuting forum, Thread title:
    Crashed, survived, recovered, riding again!

    Her courage and good attitude inspire me.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=18233
    Last edited by Voodoo Sally; 09-12-2007 at 09:24 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    1,414
    Amanda,
    I'm sorry you had such a rotten thing happen and I'm glad you're OK.

    I had what turned out to be a very minor accident yesterday, but could have been much worse. I totally empathize with how this kind of experience can shake your confidence.

    I was on my way home from classes, about 2-3 blocks from my house, on a very busy but residential street with no bike lane. Traffic was moving slowly, and I was feeling impatient, so instead of getting in line with traffic as probably would have been safer, I was riding along faster than traffic on the curbside. Note that there IS enough room to safely do this on said street. Well, as I was passing a mini-van, my front wheel ALMOST even with the front passenger door, the van decided to make a sharp turn into a driveway , apparently without consulting his rearview mirror first (when I passed the back of the van, there was no blinker on). I was able to turn my bike a little, but didn't have enough time to turn as sharply as it was turning, so I hit the door with my arm/shoulder. And SCREAMED. They heard me screaming and stopped. As it turns out, I'm find, just a bit bruised on my arm (though I didn't realize I'd hit that hard yesterday because of the adrenaline). My bike isn't even scratched. The van seemed to get a little scratch from something, I'm not sure if it was my brake hood or just the breakaway rearview mirror hitting the body, but it was like an inch long...

    Anyway I got off my bike, took a deep breath, and turned around, ready to give the driver a lecture about looking before turning... And then I saw that it was an African immigrant couple, dressed traditionally -- there's a somewhat sizeable Sudanese immigrant community not too far from where I live. It's a community that has had documented difficulty integrating due to language and economic barriers. And suddenly, my desire to lecture is gone and I just feel... a little guilty. They look to be as stunned/surprised as I am. The husband, who was driving, gets out (the van is still half-blocking the street), walks around and asks me if I'm OK. I tell him, "I'm fine, thank you very much, and I think the car's ok too!". There's a mother and her 10-year old daughter on the sidewalk, who are quite concerned (the daughter screamed as loudly as I did when I hit). They ask if I'm ok, and when I tell them yes, the mother takes my shoulder and says, "are you SURE you're REALLY ok? bike riding is dangerous!" I mumble something and then I get on my bike and ride the two blocks home. As soon as I get off my bike, I feel totally weak and shaky. The thing that bothers me most, though, is that I feel guilty about this accident. I've gone over and over the events in my head, and I cannot find an angle from which it's my fault -- it was definitely their fault. An honest mistake, for sure, but their fault. Certainly under the circumstances it would have been safer for me to get in line with traffic, but what I did was legal and usual -- they should have looked, just as they should have looked for pedestrians in the sidewalk. Nonetheless, I continue to feel like I did something wrong and stupid and represented bikers badly to all of the people who witnessed the accident. And I feel badly that the car sustained more damage than my bike (there were no dents, just a small inch-long scratch, but it was a result of me hitting it). No matter that if I had been going faster, or they had been going faster, I could have been seriously injured. I still feel badly. I didn't apologize and I wonder if I should have. I didn't offer to help pay for the scratch on their car and I feel guilty about the damage (my boyfriend tells me that I had no obligation either to apologize or offer to help, since it was their fault, and I'm sure he's right, but I still feel guilty). It's strange because all the time I see drivers do dumb things that put me in danger, and I just get mad. I don't feel badly in the least. But when I actually get put into REAL danger, I feel guilty and embarassed to be riding my bike.

    Anyway sorry this was so long. Just trying to explain my empathy . Again I'm glad you're OK.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    In Cognito
    Posts
    359
    So sorry you had such a terrible experience. Thankfully, these types of jerks are few and far between. Hope you'll get back out there soon and resolve not to let the b@stards get the better of you.
    Health is the thing that makes you feel like now is the best time of the year--Franklin Pierce Adams

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Riding my Luna & Rivendell in the Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    8,403
    Yes, the van driver should have looked more carefully (or more than once) and had his signal on. But also you were passing moving traffic on the right. You were in his blind spot when he checked his mirrors just before turning. Mini-vans have big blind spots, too.
    Even though it was basically his fault, cars just WILL do the wrong thing, and you can bet they'll do it on a regular basis. It's up to us to try to keep ourselves out of dangerous traffic situations where they can get us.
    I always get really nervous when I start going faster than traffic and am on their right near the curb- it's a situation I try to avoid because I know eventually someone will suddenly turn right into a driveway without signaling and without seeing me, or one of them will suddenly swing a passenger door open to let someone out or something. It's always something. At that point I start coasting and make a choice to either get IN the lane with the traffic or else I slow down to their speed so I can watch for the obstacle course to unfold. Sometimes in that situation I'll even get on the sidewalk if there are clearly no pedestrians around anywhere. Whatever keeps me safe.

    I'm sure glad you didn't get more badly hurt! Good thing you weren't going really fast.
    Lisa
    Our bikes...OurBikes...and my mountain dulcimer blog
    Ruby's Website and My blog
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    1,414
    Lisa, you're exactly right. I think that's why I'm still feeling badly about it. Even though the accident was technically the car's fault, nonetheless it was a situation I could have avoided.

    Anyhoo. Sorry for the drift!

    Be safe out there!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Olney, MD
    Posts
    3,063
    I'm sorry that this happened to you. Never accept that "I know this is part of cycling". It shouldn't be a part of cycling and people acting that way shouldn't be a part of life. It's unacceptable behavior! Good on you for reporting it!
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

 

 

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