Stressed by Cars

Does anyone else find cars extremely irritable when riding? My experience along the busier roads is that I’m generally a much worse rider in the presence of cars; even if it’s only 1 car along a street, I always lose focus!
Anyone else experience this? I HATE it. It makes my commute much less enjoyable.

they dont bug me asmuch as they used to. but yes i hate riding by cars

Yes, I know the feeling! I hate being stared at! Once someone tried to start a conversation by a stop sign; that was pretty weird.

Same thing happens to me, cars make me loose form. It’s all mental. I try and stay on curbs, but then there’s the danger of cars backing into you… The other option is to try and focus on an aspect of your riding rather than the cars, it helps to direct your thoughts away from the ‘stressor’.

minnow: i had somone cut me off to talk to me

knoxuni: People can be so weird. There was this older lady who stopped to have a 10 minute conversation with me once.

What is it that irritates the cars? Do you catcall them while riding by? Throw stuff at them? Maybe they’re just having a bad day and it’s unrelated to you. Maybe the cars wouldn’t be so irritable if you waved or wore a clown suit or did something to make them happy.

my fav is when girls stop and flirt :slight_smile:

That is exactly what I thought when I read that sentence…

Maybe they’re just irritated because they need three training wheels?

Haha, thank you, wrong choice of words on my part. I tend to type faster than I think, and sometimes post without rereading. I noticed the error just AFTER I posted the thread though! :roll_eyes:

If people stare at me I usually smile and wave back at them. I find it and effective way to break up the tension.

Riding in traffic is mostly an exercise in confidence. With a bit of experience it becomes a lot easier.

Wear headphones…

When I’m riding on the bike paths or sidewalks all around the north of Atlanta area, I always wear headphones. Sometimes I have the music off, or quiet enough to still hear horns,etc. When people see the headphones on you it tends to discourage them from saying anything to you.

I like talking to people when I’m out riding, but mostly just during the breaks, otherwise I’d never get nearly as many miles in.

Also, related to cars, I’ve noticed that a lot of people have gotten in the habit of rolling up to lights and covering the entire crosswalk. They come flying up to the stoplight, then do a quick stop during the last 10 or 15 yards, and end up blocking the safe way across the intersection.

A few weeks ago, I got hit by a truck this way. I was in front of the Mall of Georgia, going with the flow of traffic through a green light (and a pedestrian safe-to-cross sign lit), when a truck did a “flying stop” right into me. I saw it coming, and since I was going about 12mph I didn’t have a lot of time to react, but I did manage to jump off my 36er right before he hit me and bring my elbows down hard into his hood. It broke my fall, and kept me from getting hurt. It also gave him a nice reminder to look out for people crossing the street, and to stay off the crosswalk!! (My 36er was unharmed, but almost got run over by all the traffic).

When I got off the hood and back on my feet, I was full of adrenaline, but managed to keep from pulling the guy out through the window by his hair. Instead I kept my cool, and pointed at the illuminated pedestrian sign, and told him to stay out of the crosswalk next time. He looked like he just saw a ghost, he was pretty shaken up, since I think he realized he almost just killed me. If I hadn’t of jumped off when I did, he would have hit me with more of the front of his truck, and I would have likely been thrown into the mass of cars speeding by. Anyway, I thanked God (and Jesus :slight_smile: ) for keeping me from harm once again, then continued my travels.

Be careful out there people :slight_smile:

Small world! I got hit by a car flying into the crosswalk as well, a few weeks ago. I wasn’t going very fast because I was moving along a steep uphill, but that guy is going to stop short of the crosswalk from now on.

For me, it’s not the people looking at me that makes me uncomfortable; it’s just the noises. Always throws me off.

What I have issue with is the ones who mess with my rhythm. For example, I am approaching an intersection and see a car about to cross the path. I know that if we both maintain our speeds he will pass through before I get there, but of course when he sees me he gets curious, slows down or stops, and now I have a chance of a collision with him since I don’t know if he’s really looking at me or just randomly changing velocity. So to be safe I must pause and let him continue.

Most often this results in me having to dismount since I can’t idle or still-stand very well. It irritates me, particularly when I discover that he just stopped to watch me watching him.

But of course I must remember: a unicyclist is a very strange thing to most humans and they will stop what they are doing to observe this strange thing.

Single track roads

Where I do most of my riding its a single track road where its only just wide enough for 1 car. Normally if a car comes up behind I keep going to one of the passing places to let them pass…problem is they slow right down and stare at the weird guy on the one wheeled bike by the time they are passed I am right at the end of the passing place and I have to stop anyway!!! :angry:

cars stress me so much that I don’ want anymore to ride on roads to be shared with cars (or lorries).
It’s not the people driving the car that stress me: once I falled down from my uni… that made the following uni fall also just in front of a passing car!
no more of that!
my brain tells me that a car is coming behind me … then I just stop riding and dismount :frowning:

I don’t get stressed by cars, they really don’t scare me actually. Whenever I’m on my 29" to get to school I just take my place, that’s how it works, in the streets.

Actually, I think it’s the cars that are more stressed to ride by me.

EDIT: This may also be because I used to compete in road bike. So in most training I would ride on roads and streets, sometime really busy street that trucks and cars fly next to you super close at 90 km/h.

Oh well, my advice for you is don’t get intimidated by the people driving. Most of the time they look really tough in their car but once they make a mistake and you come up to them, they literally shit in their pants.

Yeah I only have a 20" that I ride everywhere and riding on the street, especially a busy street freaks me out.

Especially when I was at school and a police officer came up and said “pedalcycles have to be on the road, you cant ride that on the sidewalk”
And I just looked at him and said “Are you kidding me? It’d be more dangerous for me to ride this in the road, at best I’m going at a jogger’s speed. Do joggers have to run in the road?”

And he just said “Don’t let me see you on that thing on the sidewalk again”
As soon as he was out of sight, I continued my merry way… on the sidewalk.

It’s the opposite for me; I’m a girl and I get a bit scared when guys try to flirt.

That’s total BS, that officer is. Unicycles, especially a 20", is safe in crowds and on the sidewalk. You’re not even moving fast, like you said.

It might be something dealing with insurance and liability.