We all have doubts, fears and worries when it comes to mastering a new skill. While some of you sail through these mental hurdles, there are a few who might not find it as easy to overcome.
When it comes to cycling, doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced cyclist or a novice, you’ll likely have to face some trepidation at some point. These are often challenges that come with cycling, that will help you enjoy the sport more and let you push yourself harder.
Here are 5 common fears that plague cyclists and tips to help you overcome them…
1) Not being able to achieve specific goals
Every cyclist starts riding to achieve a certain goal. Some ride for weight loss while others work towards increasing average speed and so on. Achieving your goal requires you to stay focused no matter what and lack of motivation is quite common.
But for those who struggle with a fear of failure, feeling of inadequacy or have trouble staying motivated, taking things step by step may be all it takes to reach your full potential.
Make sure you take some time to think about what you want to achieve within a specific time frame and break it down if required. Also, do it at your own pace and not somebody else’s.
2) Riding in Traffic
Safety should always be your top priority when it comes to riding outdoor. As a cyclist, you are required to practice awareness and be well versed in the correct hand signals used while riding in traffic.
If you are new to cycling, start by riding in your society or park, then progress to by lanes. Do this early morning when the city is waking up to start their day at work. During this time, you will only have to deal with a few cars and people. Once you feel confident, start a bit late on the same roads. This time you will be familiar with the roads, however, will only have to adjust to the increasing traffic. This will help boost your confidence and prepare you for the busier roads. Having a friend along will also be of great help.
That being said, do get a bicycle helmet to increase your confidence and safety.
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3) Riding in a pack
Cycling in a group with your friends can be fun. However, this requires more awareness and skills. This ensures you and your friends’ safety whilst you guys enjoy cycling.
If you are not confident riding in a group, start by riding at the back. Learn the art of hand signals, and be the eyes and ears to your group. This will take you a long way when it comes to riding in a pack.
4) Crashing on Downhills
One of the most enjoyable experiences while cycling is riding downhill. The wind blowing in your hair, the melody of hubs to your ears is an exhilarating feeling, isn’t it?
But cycling downhill can be very dangerous and tricky. Sticking to your lane while descending on hairpin loops and being alert takes time to master.
The main idea is to not rush into things. Make sure you don’t start immediately on huge hills with steep, extended descent. Instead, it would be advisable to slowly work your way up to more difficult places to ride.
5) Fear of the unknown
No matter what your goal with cycling, ensure you formulate a plan. Whether it is analyzing a course, trail or path, always have a plan. Even if you plan on doing a training program, get in touch with experts from the industry or spend time reading up online. Research and planning is the best way to get a sense of what to expect. Planning helps you be prepared to tackle the challenges that lay ahead, both expected and unexpected.
Keep these tips in mind, as you conquer your cycling fears and fall in love with the sport.