CRASH: Recovering Mentally

Photo by Julio Barajas

One wrong turn, a wet road, unexpected debris, or someone on the Sunday group ride mishap is all it will take for you to take a spill and bring you down closer to earth. Be encouraged as this is not the end.  Here are a few tips to help you overcome natural feelings of fear and get your confidence back!

Confidence in your Equipment: Before you head out on a ride, always check to be sure that your brakes are working properly, your frame isn’t cracked and your tires are properly inflated and in good condition.  Also, check the sidewalls on your tires to be sure there are no cracks.  Confidence begins with the equipment you ride on.  If you should ever have a fall or crash, have your local bike shop check to make certain that your bike is in good condition which will give you added peace of mind.

Photo by Julio Barajas

Every helmet manufacturer highly recommends that you replace your helmet after a fall or crash as the impact may have compromised the foam shell.  Also be aware that your helmet has an expiration date.  Check inside your helmet or contact manufacturer for more information.  Never store your helmet in a hot location, such as a car’s trunk or garage.  Excessive heat deteriorates the foam shell.

Recreating that Situation: If you have a fall or crash on a group ride, don’t allow that to stop you from participating cycling with a group. Instead, ride at the back, or if available join a slower more beginner group until you have a chance to get back into the groove of things enjoying club rides again.

If you take a hard fall on a wet road while making a turn or possibly on a mountainous descent, start slow and build up from there. Approach that turn at a slower speed or you may want to start back riding in dry conditions. Use a parking lot or a safe corner in your neighborhood and practice braking and turning while little by little bringing up the pace and bringing back to your memory all the skills you learned pre accident.

Be Patient: The best advice about regaining your confidence is that it takes time.  No one will be able to tell you how long, but any effort to get back in the saddle again is better than no effort at all and will get you that much closer to getting rid of any fears you may have.  Above all, just go out there and go for it!

“Failure isn’t falling down, it’s staying down.” ― James Patterson

 

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