Welcome guest, is this your first visit? Click the "Create Account" button now to join.

To disable ads, please log-in.

Shop at TeamEstrogen.com for women's cycling apparel.

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 59

Thread: Fear & age?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,041

    Fear & age?

    To disable ads, please log-in.

    When people ask about being scared to descend hills too fast, I say, "Take it slow, you'll get used to it." In the meantime you might go through your brake pads faster, but that's ok.

    When people talk about being scared of traffic, I tell them the statistics: most of your wrecks are caused by yourself and don't involve a car. Focus on bike-handling skills, you'll get better as you keep riding. Half of bike-car collisions are the cyclist's fault. Follow the rules. Take the bike class to learn defensive bicycling which will actively discourage drivers' mistakes.

    But I have noticed a disturbing trend in myself lately. Someone else mentioned noticing the same thing about himself. I've gotten more scared of things. The last couple times we went sledding I didn't have any fun at all. The slopes were too scary and I quit after a couple attempts. Heights are scarier than they used to be. Although I have gotten better at going over bridges (the "get used to it" theory?)

    When a friend commented that he doesn't like to walk on ice, even for fun, because he's scared of falling and he thinks he's getting more scared in his "old" age, that got me wondering. Is it an age related phenomenon? (Ok, I'm not quite 40, and he's only 55, neither of us qualify as "old", but it could be something to do with getting older?)

    And, more importantly, what can we do about it? I don't want to lose things I used to enjoy, like sledding. Any ideas?
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,667
    Oh my. I'm going thru the same sort of thing right now. When I go out for a ride I worry about the cars on the road much more than I used to, or I worry that I'll be in a dumb solo crash. When Lee goes out for a ride I wonder if I'll get one of those dreaded phone calls. Even when we're out driving, I wonder what might happen. It's not really in the forefront of my mind, but it's definitely there.

    I think a large part of it has to do with the fact that up until a couple of months ago our day-to-day existence revolved around my elderly FIL who was in & out & in & out of hospitals and nursing homes, so I was constantly reminded of what life could become.

    I'm hoping that, now that my FIL has passed away and we no longer have to be prepped for when the next call comes, I'll get away from this mindset.

    (ed to add: I'm 54)
    Last edited by jobob; 01-05-2014 at 12:42 PM.

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,984
    I will be 55 in 3 wks. Maybe with life experience as the years roll by, it depends on whether or not we've experienced significant fall injuries and it took time for us to recover.

    Over the past decade, I've fallen 3 different times in 3 different years off my bike when I was on an icy patch and I was going slow. Now, I simply wish that there are very few pedestrians, other cyclists or cars around me when I cycle on pavement with some snow/ice so that I DON'T have to brake at all/suddenly. The trick of cycling more easily in the winter, isn't just studded tires, but also having the ability to brake safely /not suddenly so that your bike wheels don't fishtail.

    As for bombing down a hill by bike, yea I've noticed some of this in myself, ie. slowing down a tad. Look this is how I see this: I'm STILL cycling. There are lots of people in our age bracket who still refuse to cycle and still think it's just unsafe period. We have to remind ourselves of this fact as regular cyclists: we are NOT the norm in our age bracket --in North America. A lot of people do not cycle regularily at all.

    Maybe lifting weights, bone-strengthening gives more psychological comfort /helps fight fear factor.

    I have a good long-term friend whose over 78 yrs. old. She recently had hip bone surgery....and her bone shattered DURING surgery when the surgeon tried to deal with one of her hip bones. So an example of osteoporosis. I was shocked by what that meant.... And this is woman, who walked regularily with her friends several times per week, which includes going shopping down the block by herself. She was only 10-15 lbs. overweight at that time.

    Yes, I see it in dearie when now he has problems with his knee and we walk across snowy-icy areas. But he still keeps on walking outdoors when it's too difficult to cycle...he has studded tires on his bike.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 01-05-2014 at 10:44 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    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 what’s in a person’s heart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    I am 35, and have been dealing with this since July. I've posted another thread here, but it took me a LONG time to be OK on the bike after a very close friend was killed (hit from behind on his bike about a mile from my house). I worried constantly when DH would ride, and did lots and lots of trainer miles. Every time I got on the bike, I was a nervous wreck. The fear is finally fading, and normalcy is coming back. I'm cautious (I always have been and probably always will be - lights, preventative exercises, etc.), but it's getting better. I'm applying for medical school next summer, and have spent a year and a half volunteering in the emergency department - I was concerned that might make me fearful - but not so much.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    I think that as we get older, we realize we're not invincible.

    As far as holding on to what you love doing, you have to figure out a way to either get over the fear or a way to live with it. What is it about sledding that is scary now?

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    492
    I prefer to think I am more cautious, not fearful! With me, it comes directly from having done this long enough to see what can happen when cyclists are careless, and also what can happen through absolutely no fault of their own. Having been involved in a crash due to some poor cycling habits of others and ending up with a broken bone, I know how quickly an accident can happen and how long it can take to recover from it. As a result, I no longer participate in charity rides where I have to start out with hundreds of other riders all bunched up together (and then remain bunched up until the first rest stop). I still participate in smaller charity rides and just stay out of any packs of riders. Sure, it is fear of another crash, but it is also common sense on practical ways to avoid a crash. There are enough rides out there that I don't feel like I have deprived myself of anything, I have just made a choice to support smaller rides. I think caution -and wisdom- come with age. The only answer I know of is to take the precautions you realistically can and still do the activities you enjoy. Not always an easy balance to achieve. I'm interested in hearing from others.


    Grits

    2010 Trek 5.2 Madone WSD, SI Diva Gel Flow
    2002 Terry Classic, Terry Liberator

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,516
    Quote Originally Posted by Grits View Post
    With me, it comes directly from having done this long enough to see what can happen when cyclists are careless, and also what can happen through absolutely no fault of their own. Having been involved in a crash due to some poor cycling habits of others and ending up with a broken bone, I know how quickly an accident can happen and how long it can take to recover from it. As a result, I no longer participate in charity rides where I have to start out with hundreds of other riders all bunched up together (and then remain bunched up until the first rest stop). I still participate in smaller charity rides and just stay out of any packs of riders.
    This too. As you might know, I had a long-standing shoulder injury resulting from the same charity ride where you were injured. Someone didn't see 1) the stop light, 2) the fact that I was stopped or 3) the car in front of me stopped, and literally grabbed my arm to stop herself - taking down me and a few other people (and separating the AC joint where she grabbed the arm). We will never do that ride again (or others that attract new riders who do not know what they are doing).
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    I like being scared and the sensory experience that my body is put through…..but then you are probably thinking more about anxiety/fear. I remember having more anxiety in my early independent adulthood than now just a few years from that. Yoga and meditation helps me with anxiety. If I let a fear go into a longer pattern it will increase so maybe it can also become more of an issue as we get older if we don’t deal with it. I’ve learned to test a fear to see if it really is as bad as I think and that can lead to my finding ways to manage, lessen and even eliminate it. Exercise, healthy eating, relaxation and my spiritual faith helps greatly with these kinds of things.

    now, caution as a calculated response to a danger shouldn't be age related in my mind…..
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 01-05-2014 at 07:46 PM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    9,324
    I fell down a cliff in 2007 while mountain biking. I had gotten so skittish on my mountain bike that I walked some downhill sections of the White Rim Trail - a pretty easy trail. We did a clinic in Crested Butte this summer - that ended up being more like a private tour. The feedback from the guides and a new bike has given me back much of my confidence. My brain still freaks out sometimes, but it seems a more "rational" freak out now.

    I have never really liked road riding with large groups - too many people who either don't obey the rules, or just have poor bike handling skills.

    Veronica
    Discipline is remembering what you want.


    TandemHearts.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,853
    Quote Originally Posted by jobob View Post
    Oh my. I'm going thru the same sort of thing right now. When I go out for a ride I worry about the cars on the road much more than I used to, or I worry that I'll be in a dumb solo crash. When Lee goes out for a ride I wonder if I'll get one of those dreaded phone calls. Even when we're out driving, I wonder what might happen. It's not really in the forefront of my mind, but it's definitely there.

    I think a large part of it has to do with the fact that up until a couple of months ago our day-to-day existence revolved around my elderly FIL who was in & out & in & out of hospitals and nursing homes, so I was constantly reminded of what life could become.

    I'm hoping that, now that my FIL has passed away and we no longer have to be prepped for when the next call comes, I'll get away from this mindset.
    I'm 53 and in this same boat, not only did I have to have my fifth right knee surgery after slipping on the ice a couple of years ago, I also take care of my mom. Same as your FIL, she's very sick and watching her fail has been painfully enlightening, it makes me realize how hard aging and illness can impact a person.

    It's caused my wife and to make some significant changes, we've sold our house and moved to an apartment to get away from stairs and our long icy driveway, and we no longer plan to retire in IL. We are searching for a place in the sun... it cracks us up when people tell us how hot the desert is (I've lived in the desert three times in my life), I reply "you never have to shovel or slip on heat".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    247
    Mid-40s here. I am more cautious about many things in life. I think the trigger was having a child. In answer to your specific questions, I think becoming more cautious is related to experience--seeing bad stuff happening to people we know. There may also be some hormonal changes--I'm thinking about risk taking behavior as a mating strategy, particularly for young males (note that I am totally making that up and have no scientific documentation to provide). What can we do about it? Well, you have to find balance. Don't sled on the same hills that you plunged down 20 years ago. Pick something tamer. Who cares? As long as you are having fun and staying safe, I don't think it matters if you slow down a bit.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,667
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica View Post
    I have never really liked road riding with large groups - too many people who either don't obey the rules, or just have poor bike handling skills.
    Veronica
    Likewize, I have no desire anymore to go on a large group ride. And my definition of large is getting smaller all the time.

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,176
    There was an incident locally last year where a cyclist was STOPPED at a rail crossing. He was hit by a car, pushed on to the tracks and killed by the train.

    You bet I'm scared.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    maybe its the accumulated ouchies that makes us more reserved and play more cautiously.

    We also realize that we don't heal as fast as when we were younger. My shattered collar bone back in my late 20's healed in about 8 weeks. took another month to regain strength in the bone but still a very fast healing. I shattered my other good collar bone in solo accident, I was in my mid 40's at the time. That took 4 month for the bone to mend and another 2 maybe 3 month to regain any strength in the bone...

    My injuries are definitely taking lot longer to heal as I get older... Torn knee in my teens, I'm not sure if it would heal at all today. It might fuse together instead...
    And my reaction time is about three times slower than in my teens.

    So I'm slower, play it safe but I'm here, know who I am, and I'm happy about it. I got my yahoos way out of my system before I reached 20. Now I just watch and go "that's really gonna hurt".

    I think its called getting wiser as we age.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    I think there are a couple of things that happen as you get older

    1 - you realize you are not invincible and you've probably had the experience of having an incident or two yourself or having someone you know well be injured or die. It brings it home.

    2 - you realize that as you age it really, actually is easier to get hurt and takes a lot longer to recover…. I have certainly noticed that I don't bounce off the ground without a scratch as much these days… and I'm now also probably paying the piper a bit for things that happened in the past. It makes me more cautious.

    3 - you inner ear ages as well - I am personally *much*, *much* less tolerant of things that whirl, spin or shake my head a lot. I get dizzy and disoriented more easily than I did when I was a kid. I'm not even interested in mountain biking because I feel like bumping down hill really fast I cannot see well enough or react well enough to be safe…
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •