Need Confidence & Advice Please

Secteur Posts: 1,971
edited June 2012 in Road beginners

Some of you may recall that I fractured my scaphoid about 10 weeks ago & havent cycled since. I found it really scary and obviously painful (needed surgery) and it had a big impact on work which I cant afford (in the end I only took 2 days off, but being one handed made work life very difficult for everyone!).

I am planning on getting back to it in the next week or so, but I feel like I have really lost my confidence.

The accident came out of the blue and I still dont know how it happened, which is psychologically sort of scary.

I had only been riding a year, and had already been knocked over by a car once (no major injury), but now I've had two major offs in one year and I have lost confidence.

I know I am not the best bike handler, and I could do with some tips on this. I'm not wobbling all over the place or anything, but I feel like I wouldn't be the safest in a peloton. I certainly dont have huge confidence with only one hand on the bars, and I certainly couldnt ride with no hands (not that I would want to!).

I just wondered if anyone could offer any words of encouragement or advice to help me get back to it. If anyone lives nearby and fancies nannying me on a ride, feel free!

Thanks everyone.


  • Cleat Eastwood
    Cleat Eastwood Posts: 7,508
    if you're riding in a group ride at the back - just take your time.

    I was hit by a car pulling out of drive - for ages I was wary about passing wide drives- and i still give them that cautionary double look - just find some quiet lanes or something, and take your time - it'll all come back to you.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Find yourself a familiar course with relatively little traffic / safe roads to re-build your confidence - as you say, you were unlucky so based on probability, your luck will change and you can look forward to many, many miles of safe cycling.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Wirral_paul
    Wirral_paul Posts: 2,476
    Why not book yourself onto a couple of taster sessions at the velodrome in Manchester - its not too far from you after all?? No cars, gravel, damp roads or other assorted potential dangers to worry about and you can just get on a bike and ride around in circles for an hour to get you back into it.

    Something different - and hopefully fun to restore some confidence.
  • I sympathise. I was in a similar sort of place after a big off last year. I too don't have the best bike skills and I know that adds an additional challenge when you're trying to rebuild confidence. Just stick with it - eventually the simple pleasure of being on your bike will outweigh your apprehension and then the confidence will come. I found reverting to my mountain bike from time to time (big and comfy and solid!) helped somewhat. Good luck!
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971
    I think I was guilty of being over confident about my skills and probably (unconsciously) took tiny risks where I didn't have the skills to back it up but now I'm the opposite!

    I expect once I've been back riding for 5 mins it'll all come back. Luckily I live near fairly quiet roads (still car heavy, as UK roads usually are) but they're really hilly so I expect I'll feel like an 80 year old again for the first few weeks!

    All that bloody miserable, cold, wet winter training for nothing!
  • Secteur
    Secteur Posts: 1,971

    Went out for just 25 mins today and it was AMAZING!

    Wrist hurt and lungs burnt (it's hilly++) and seemed to have lost a lot of fitness, but it felt great!

    Thanks for the replies :-)

    Back to business as usual now!
  • cyclingsheep
    cyclingsheep Posts: 640
    Glad you're over the hump Secteur. Just a thought, bike handling only improves with practise. Riding along working on fitness only works on fitness unless you concentrate on learning skills or improving them they won't improve. I realise it's the wrong time of year but getting out on a mtb (off road) will actually help a lot with on road handling, as will grass track or cross riding. I come from a cross country mtb back ground and find I'm a much more confident descender than many I ride with and having worked as a bike courier for 4 years I'm comfortable in tight spaces like groups. All I'm saying is to get better you need to practise but that doesn't have to be on the road. Good luck on getting back on your feet (wheels)
  • slowbike
    slowbike Posts: 8,498
    Secteur wrote:
    I certainly dont have huge confidence with only one hand on the bars, and I certainly couldnt ride with no hands (not that I would want to!).
    Now you're back on perhaps you should practice one and no hand riding a bit more - I must admit I'm out of practice too - but no handed riding is a great skill to have and means you're less reliant on hand steering - should mean you're more stable when you go to do up the jersey or take a drink.
    Taking a drink was a PITA for me on my first group ride - because I am used to solo riding I naturally slow down to take a swig - you can't do this in the middle of a group - so I didn't drink enough ...