For many cyclists, the fear of crashing can be crippling. Some people vow never to ride again in a certain after crashing and some choose to ride again at all.
Our friend and former pro cyclist Phil Gaimon, had this to say when we asked him why he kept getting back on the bike after crashing, “It was a combination of loving, denial that it could happen again, and it’s the only way I know how to make money.” Bike Legal’s Operations Officer, Mark Strohman, said, “the challenge and love of the sport kept me coming back to the bike…I didn’t want to be defeated by crashing. Also, I believe I look better on the bike than off of it.”
Getting over a crash isn’t easy. Bicycling Magazine recently published some helpful tips on overcoming these fears and how to regain you mojo back in the saddle.
Get a tune-up…for you and your bike: Take your bike to a shop to ensure your bike is working order. This will also help boost your mental confidence.
Evaluate your handling skills-losing control down a steep descent or crashing around a sharp corner is scary. Instead of beating yourself up, evaluate the problem so you can fix it. Read up on descending and/or cornering techniques can be very helpful.
Get comfortable on – and around – your bike: Take a gradual approach…look at your bike and focus on relaxing until the tension leaves your body.
Free your mind – clear your mind when you’re on the bike. Keep some distance from other riders for a bit so you can stayed focused on yourself.
Take deep breaths: Slow your breathing and count to three as you exhale…this slows your body down and helps focus your attention.
Acknowledge your fear…and move on: Bad memories of a crash will creep up on you, it’s inevitable. Let these thoughts come and go. Focus on the reason why you love it…and enjoy the ride.
Photos courtesy of: Phil Gaimon