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I have developed a fear of riding!!!

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Toya, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. 2 weeks ago I was hit whilst riding my bike. A car pulled out from a stop sign and hit me, sending my and my since written off bike down the road.
    I walked away from the accident with no more than a few cuts and bruises, and and was under the belief that I mentally fine and couldnt wait to get back on another bike.
    On Saturday I picked up my replacement bike...and on my first ride it became painfully obvious that I have developed a serious phobia of the road.
    Every single car that was pulling out from a car park, the sid eof the road or a side street suddenly became the enemy, and was no doubt out to get me (I am slight exaggerating). At the sight of a car my body would become rigid and I would instinctively brake. Around bends I no longer lean the bike.
    I almost cried when I finally got home, as my body was aching from being so tense, and the ride seemed more of a chore than a pleasure.
    Has anyone gone through someone similar after an off?? How did you get over it?

  2. Well are you scared of the bike, or scared of fvckheads in cars?

    You say the car pulled out in-front of you... so it wasn't you/your bikes fault directly. It doesn't make lots of sense for you to be scared of 'riding' as such - I'd say it's more just a confidence thing now.

    You've had a stack. You'd have preferred to avoid it: you think you weren't 'good enough' to avoid the stack - so you lack confidence in your abilities.

    I'd recommend a training course or a new pair of riding boots :)

    Of course, some people go through what you have and just decide to never ride again.

    If you WANT to keep riding, you should do it - keep at it, and get your confidence back.
    If you had a bad experience and DON'T WANT to keep riding, then quit. No point doing what you don't want to do.
  3. I've never come off a bike, but my wife and I each have written off cars in the past three years and gone through a similar phase to what you've described. Getting back in a car is a bit less confronting as you're not exposed, but the feelings remain.

    My advice, take it slow, don't force yourself. You haven't lost the ability to ride but your confidence has taken a huge, understandable, battering. My wife and I also found it easier to get behind the wheel of a different car to the ones we crashed (I still get a bit funny in a Peugeot 206), you may find this helps too.

    You will get over it, but don't deny yourself the time to go through all the emotions that come about as a result of your accident.

    Best wishes.
  4. give it sometime......and head out during quieter times and just practice the basics.

    Also meant to add if it doesn't feel right atm don't force yourself to ride.....you will know when the time is right to start riding again

    cheers stewy
  5. Finding a way to ride where there are few or no cars for a while might help too, since that seems to be the specific locus of the fear. Head out to the country for a cruise, and enjoy some 'just me and my bike' time away from all the loons in cages... once you've relaxed into that, then it's time to take your newly honed vigilance and turn it into a tool that works *for*, not against, you.
  6. Thank you all for the feedback.
    I dont think I am scared of riding. As you all say, I am pretty sure its just a confidence thing, as well as a complete lack of trust for cagers.
    I think I will do as suggested and take it really slow....go out for 10 minutes rides every night when the peak hour traffice people are getting ready for bed.
    I certainly dont want to give up riding, as I love the freedom of it all.
    I just need to rebuilt faith in myself I guess.
  7. Yup..can vouch for that. I've always been a jittery passenger, but since my accident i'm even worse. Dave can vouch for that :oops: I was also very jittery driving when I first got into a car. It'll be interesting to see if i'm any calmer when i'm actually back in MY car.

    But yeah, after a while my confidence grew a bit more. I'm still a jittery passenger though :p I can't imagine how i'll feel if I have an accident on the bike though. I know it'd take a hell of a lot to get me back on it.

    Only you can say when you're ready to ride...if at all. You may need to push yourself to a certain extent, but if you're REALLY uncomfortable then don't push yourself.
  8. Give it time mate :)

    i had a car pull a U turn infront of me, wrote my bike and their car off, quick trip to hospital, which I walked out of the same day (luckily).

    When i got my replacement bike, first time i'd ridden it properly on my way to work... same thing happened, but i managed to stop in time. I had to pull over for 10 minutes and sit down because i was shaking so much.

    You can only get back on the horse that threw you mate :) maybe invest in an intermediate/advanced riding course to get back into the cornering in a safe situation, which would help
  9. Hi Toya,

    It's totally understandable that you're feeling tense. It always takes time to gain your confidence back after an off. It took me a couple of months to get my groove back. When you've had an off you're suddenly much more aware of the position you put yourself in every time you get on a bike.

    Like Stewy said, take your time. Go for rides when the traffic is light and find an industrial area to practice emergency stops etc. I'm sure one of the netriders down there will take you out for a practice session if you ask. It will help give you some confidence back.

    Good luck!
  10. If it makes you feel better, after my accident I found myself "honking prematurely". lol. On a few occassions I honked at cars that I 'suspected' were going to hit me. Better safe than sorry I say, so it's not an entirely bad thing.
  11. When Mrs Scumbag had her off, very similar actually, it took quite a while for her to get back on and confident again, all I can say is take your time and do easy quiet roads first and work your way up again.
  12. Good advice above, take it slow, don't push yourself into something you really aren't prepared for but also you have to still get yourself out there. One thing i would add is don't focus on your accident or what 'could' happen when you are riding because you'll be so focussed on what might happen that you won't be focussed on your riding.

    I had a huge karting accident many years ago and had to get back out there the week after to hold the club championship and while i thought i was going to be fine i was definitely slower than the previous week for practice as i kept thinking about the crash. The first race i would have loved to have seen my heart rate because 20 of us piling in to the first corner was definitely a nerve racking experience but through the race i got calmer and calmer as all the natural reflexes etc came back and it was more about focussing on the driving than the accident or what could happen.

    If you're really stressed, do as someone said and get out to a rider training course and spend a few hours getting comfortable again. Be worth reading A Twist Of the Wrist II as well, has some good things about metal focus etc.
  13. Hi Toya,

    i recently had bad crash on my bike, not into another vehicle but into a pole. my wife drives everywhere for me but i find myself FREAKING out about every little thing that happens!! car overtakes us and i get worried that it will hit us, coming to a set of lights worried that someone will run a red light e.c.t. i am getting better with it now but still stomping the floor looking for a brake :LOL: :LOL: . its natural to feel the way you do and with time you will feel better. if anything it has made you more aware of the traffic around you and a better rider! :wink:

    hope you feel more comfortable on the road soon and dont let the crash stop you from doing something you love!!!!!
  14. It's like butt sex.

    Sure it's a little scary and possibly even a little painful at first, but the more you do it the more comfortable it gets...and the more enjoyable.
  15. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :bannanabutt:
  16. Post traumatic stress disorder mate.

    Basically the best things you can do are to talk to people about it so you can start rationalising the fear.

    You've taken the first step by getting on the new bike, but the trick is to get yourself used to it again. Even if you start off just by going around the block or getting other riders to follow you around

    You obviously have the desire to continue to ride, so eventually this will overcome your fear.

    All the best though mate, it's a terrible thing to have happen.
  17. Mate thats me all the time, the fukwits ARE out to get you and i'm NOT exagerating.

    You dont have a phobia you've just developed a better situational awarenes than you had before.
  18. are you speaking from your own butts experience??
  19. I am with Iondah on this one it sounds like a mild touch of "post traumatic stress disorder" .
    It's understandable considering you were placed in a life threatening situation . Councilling helps if you get to it early enough .
    By the way you can sue the other driver if they are at fault for an emotional disability .
  20. ince my prang a week ago, I am a bad passenger in a car. Have driven myself and no probs but don't know how I'll go on a bike.

    I do know that I'm champing at the bit to get riding again. Hope I'm not too gun shy is all!

    I do know what you mean about flinching at the cars coming up to stop signs - I was bad before my accident! I esp hate the ones that scream up to the intersection only to haul up at the last minute.

    Good luck dude and take it slowly. I intend to cruise around home for a while before I rejoin the commuter madness!!