Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Touring Anxiety?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Touring Anxiety?

Old 03-27-19, 04:07 AM
  #26  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 51,612

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3005 Post(s)
Liked 181 Times in 114 Posts
Originally Posted by alan s View Post
The only anxiety I have is forgetting to bring something important. And itís happened. On my last trip, I forgot my headlight, but it worked out OK. I had a taillight and it was just light enough after sunset to make it to my destination. One trip I forgot to bring coffee. That was almost a disaster. On another, canceled at the last minute due to 100F temps, I realized I hadnít packed my sleeping pad. Donít know what I would have done, because sleeping on the hard ground was not an option. I suppose getting hit by a car is possible, but pretty unlikely, and not on my list of things to worry about. Most issues can be dealt with by planning ahead and problem solving.

You couldn't buy those things along the way?
Machka is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 04:41 AM
  #27  
Chris L
Every lane is a bike lane
 
Chris L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia - passionfruit capital of the universe!
Posts: 9,654
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 5 Posts
I remember my first bike tour. I was absolutely petrified at the start. I mean REALLY nervous. I remember seeing the town of Beaudesert disappearing behind me about 75km in and realising there was no turning back now. I remember it rained the entire first night at Mt French (which turned out to be the hardest climb on the entire tour). Fortunately for me I'd done an overnighter a couple of weeks beforehand, so I had a fair idea of what to expect, and I'm pretty sure that got me though the first couple of days. Then I remember getting over Cunningham's Gap and realising this was definitely possible. I had a few challenges after that, but by then I had grown in confidence. The same thing could work for you. You'll get confidence at riding on the road, camping, finding food or whatever by doing it. The more time you spend riding before taking off the better, you'll build both your confidence on the road and your fitness (never underestimate the value of this one).

I think that's the message here. Start by doing an overnight trip so you can dip your toes in the experience. It will seem like a steep learning curve at first - I remember I couldn't even put my tent up before I did my first overnight trip (I often wonder what became of the guy at Sharp Park all those years ago who showed me how to do it). But you'll learn enough on the over nighter to give you some confidence. Then you can take that confidence and attempt something bigger. Honestly, it will be a lot easier if you start with something a little smaller, then work your way up to biking across the country.
__________________
I am clinically insane. I am proud of it.

That is all.
Chris L is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 06:02 AM
  #28  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 6,141

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 33 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1410 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 52 Times in 43 Posts
Above I commented "Once in California, you do hit some narrow roads with almost no shoulder,"

And Spinnaker commented ...

Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
Are you referring to Crescent City up to Klamath? I took the shuttle in this section and was really glad I did. Really narrow and steep in that section. No shame in taking transport if you feel uncomfortable doing a section of road, The whole idea is to enjoy your trip.
I do not remember anything out of the ordinary along that section. But compared to Oregon, I was not too happy with California. Roads were worse, the state park staff in California considered people in the hiker biker sites to be low revenue whereas in Oregon the state park staff considered bikers to be a customer, just like the big RVs in the more expensive sites.

When I commented about narrow or lack of shoulder in parts of California, I was thinking of the section of road where I took the photo below. Checked the date on that photo and I took it between Sonoma Coast State Beach and Samuel P Taylor State Park according to my GPS data on that date.

This section of road had no shoulders, was up and down over shallow hills and was winding from side to side, thus any traffic could come up on you rather suddenly because of the short distance of visibility. To make matters worse, with the trees we were in and out of shadow, and so were the drivers also in and out of shadow. Bottom line, visibility during a nice sunny day was quite poor due to road design. On bike tours, I have two taillights, usually one on in blink mode but when riding through the area in the photo I had both of my taillights on in bright blink mode.

You can't see it from the photo but some of the bushes that were growing into the traffic lane were thorn bushes, you did not want to ride too close to the side of the road. Of my whole trip, I thought that this was the most dangerous section of road to ride on.



On a different trip, there was a lot of traffic for the section of road in the photo below, you had to keep your eyes on the shoulder as any debris that was on the shoulder was there in perpetuity, thus there was a lot of it. But overall the worst part of this section of road was how boring it was for the next seven miles. My biggest fear here was getting a flat and not having much room to work while trying to fix it. But no flat, quite uneventful, which in this case was very good.

Tourist in MSN is online now  
Old 03-27-19, 08:07 AM
  #29  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,725
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1381 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 82 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by Machka View Post
You couldn't buy those things along the way?
Of course you could. The point I was making is that for me, getting hit by a car is less anxiety producing than forgetting something. Route planning is the best way to avoid dangerous situations on the road. Even if you canít avoid certain risky areas, youíre highly unlikely to be hit by a car. Iím far more concerned about getting a flat tire or making a wrong turn.
alan s is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 09:19 AM
  #30  
gauvins
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: QC Canada
Posts: 1,203

Bikes: Custom built LHT & Troll

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 426 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Flyboy718 View Post
Anxiety is starting to creep in again. [...] My major concern is my safety actually on the road and being hit by a car.
Sorry to read this.

1. Not clear that a bike touring forum is the best place to address what might be a case of dysfunctional anxiety. You may want to read about anxiety in general and figure a way to cope as best possible
2. Interesting question wrt safety. I've tried to find hard data to assess the risk but could't find much. As you can probably guess, most cycling occurs in cities, which is where most injuries are reported. But there are no reported "hazard rate" for bicycle tourers (such as, 1 fatality per 1 000 000 cycled miles).
3. One way to assess the relative risk is provided by the statement (from the CDC I believe) that cycling is recommended because it increases life expectancy due to the benefits of exercising. Implicit is that the risk of cycling injury is rather low.
4. You refer to being hit by a car. IIRC, less than 25% of cycling injuries involve a car. Falls due to poor handling, poor road conditions, or intoxication are the leading causes of injury. You are in control of these (well, you can ride more carefully on bad roads). So, anxiety will make you safer. Silver lining.
gauvins is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 10:27 AM
  #31  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6942 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 208 Posts
Pacific coast people have had issues on this US 101 bridge across the Columbia river ..


there is a bus with a 2 bike rack on the front that crosses from Ilwaco WA to Astoria OR a few times a day..
The bridge replaced cross river ferry service in 1966 ..




.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 10:38 AM
  #32  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6942 Post(s)
Liked 253 Times in 208 Posts
another lmage 4 miles
not as long as 7, but it has to go up so international shipping can pass beneath it..
a clearance of 196 feet (60 m) at high tide .. High slack tide is when shipping traffic crosses the bar with best safety..





..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 11:11 AM
  #33  
Jim from Boston
Senior Member
 
Jim from Boston's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 6,989
Mentioned: 46 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 701 Post(s)
Liked 81 Times in 66 Posts
Originally Posted by Flyboy718 View Post
I am a school teacher and have the entire summers off. One of the reasons I became a teacher is so that I can do long touring without having to wait till I retire some day and then may not even be physically able to do it anyway. Last summer was my first summer off and I was wanting to ride my bike across the country.

I had worked myself up during the year and then when it came time to do it, I instead decided to just go with the family to Colorado and camp for a month.

We are quickly approaching the summer and another opportunity for me to bike across the country.
Anxiety is starting to creep in again. What's even worse is I was in the military and for some reason riding a bike alone across the country is causing me to overthink it.

My major concern is my safety actually on the road and being hit by a car
. I plan to stealth camp when I decide to finally do this. Am I just weird or do you guys have bike touring anxiety sometimes?
My wife and were active tourists in primitive 1970’s and 80’s when cycle touring was more of a rarity, without guided tours and Internet support, and we even did a cross-country honeymoon. Since we were young and in love, we had minimal anxieties.

Reading the A&S threads, it is obvious that any cyclist should be worried being hit by a car, anywhere. There was even a recent fatality on metro Boston’s best MUP.

I haven’t read this entire thread, but I have expressed a specific anxiety previously, probably not posted here, on this Fifty-Plus Forum thread, “What do you find hardest about cycle touring now we aint spring chickens any more?”
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
My earliest cycling activities back in the 70s and 80s, were cycle-touring with my girlfriend-then-wife, including a honeymoon cross-country tour. Since then, I've been strictly a cycle-commuter, and sport road cyclist, mainly due to work and family lifestyle.

Last year, I avidly read the posts on BF about a perimeter tour of Lake Ontario, and I experienced some surprising mental discomfort that struck me as a sign of getting older.

While I would still enjoy riding about 50 miles a day for an extended trip, the thought of the uncertainty of finding a place to stay for the night was unsettling. (Our previous tours were all self-supported and self-guided. If I/we were to resume touring, it would at least be a credit card style, if not an organized tour.)

On that honeymoon though, finding a place to stay was a memorable part of the adventure:

I guess 30 years of a stable, predictable cycle-commuting lifestyle erodes that exhilaration of the uncertainty. One of the best quotes I have seen about the spirit of cycle-touring is this:
Originally Posted by bikingshearer View Post
A thought or two, based on personal experience.

… what's the hurry? One of the joys of touring is the singleness of purpose and absence of demands.

All you have to do is get there: you don't have to get there fast or get their first - and if you are touring with camping gear, odds are you can be incredibly flexible about what "getting there" means on any given day.

Embrace that. Don't let your tour become an exercise in trading one rat-race for another.
I think I can get back into that if the opportunity arises.
Noting that you went camping with the family in Colorado last year, what are they doing this summer? (rhetorical question).

@jppe, a North Carolinan retiree posted a couple years ago on the Fifty-Plus Forum about his cross-country ride, with his wife driving a SAG vehicle. When met I them in Boston at the end:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
We then had a celebratory dinner at a fine Boston seafood restaurant (Legal Seafood Harborside). We re-hashed our respective cross-country trips, including the current one with Jeri’s point of view.

While jp was away from the table, I asked her how she liked the trip…I had a blast.”
A leisurely cross-country drive might be a nice family vacation, and alleviate your anxieties.




Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-27-19 at 02:36 PM.
Jim from Boston is online now  
Old 03-27-19, 02:18 PM
  #34  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 9,118

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '87 Schwinn Prelude, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo, '18 Diamondback Syncr

Mentioned: 84 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3403 Post(s)
Liked 413 Times in 284 Posts
Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
Just about any sport comes with certain degree of risk of physical harm...and that is also what makes it exciting. Embrace it! It is NOT safe and that is GOOD.

Just do it.
You are saying cycling is not safe? And that is a good thing?

Strongly disagree with both those comments, especially as it applies to this thread's topic.
Road touring is safe and that is why its good.
mstateglfr is online now  
Old 03-27-19, 04:57 PM
  #35  
PedalingWalrus
Senior Member
 
PedalingWalrus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Maine, USA
Posts: 895

Bikes: Surly Ice Cream Truck, Surly Disk Trucker, Salsa Warbird, Salsa Beargrease, Dandelion Dream Tandem

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 277 Post(s)
Liked 25 Times in 18 Posts
It is ok to disagree ... although i am not sure i was completely understood. It sort of reminds me of my good friend Bob, who introduced me to nordic ice skating on wild Maine lakes. He gets interviewed and asked all the time about ice safety...is it safe? He says NO! ... people are afraid to live

You have to assume some risks and that means not assuming outdoor sports are safe. Be prepared, learn safety of your outdoor sport and enjoy the excitement of feeling free


Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
You are saying cycling is not safe? And that is a good thing?

Strongly disagree with both those comments, especially as it applies to this thread's topic.
Road touring is safe and that is why its good.
PedalingWalrus is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 05:15 PM
  #36  
djb
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal Canada
Posts: 9,333
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1279 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 77 Times in 68 Posts
evaluating and managing risks to one person can seem like something completely crazy and a "death wish" to another person.

but all in all, riding a bike not in a war zone is something that is very doable, you just gotta use yer noggin and be situationally aware at all times and know when to be on high alert, and the few times when to get the hell out of the way and add a minute or 5 to your day (and yes, choose routes that arent horrible, although I'm sure we have all had the misfortune of being stuck on a totally crap road with tons of traffic or trucks that we were not expecting--part of the game unfortunately, despite it obviously being something we want to avoid as much as we can).
djb is offline  
Old 03-27-19, 06:51 PM
  #37  
Bassmanbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Treasure Coast, FL
Posts: 555

Bikes: 2014 Cannondale Supersix EVO 3, 2015 Trek 520, 2017 Bike Friday Pocket Rocket

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 109 Post(s)
Liked 18 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
...
On a different trip, there was a lot of traffic for the section of road in the photo below, you had to keep your eyes on the shoulder as any debris that was on the shoulder was there in perpetuity, thus there was a lot of it. But overall the worst part of this section of road was how boring it was for the next seven miles. My biggest fear here was getting a flat and not having much room to work while trying to fix it. But no flat, quite uneventful, which in this case was very good.

Yeah. The Seven Mile Bridge. I did this last February as part of a Key Largo to Key West Century ride I organized for a few friends and me. This was a butt clenching part of the ride, and I was happy to be finished with it.
Bassmanbob is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
StephD99
Touring
30
03-27-17 09:13 AM
bulevardi
Touring
47
09-24-16 09:54 AM
essiemyra
Touring
46
08-03-15 08:01 AM
Tycho Brahe
Touring
27
09-09-14 02:49 PM
raybo
Touring
51
06-30-11 10:06 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.