Cycling can bring literal meaning to taking it on the chin. Most cyclists have experienced crashes and know they can happen anywhere, anytime. Some escape with road rash and bruising while others suffer more serious injuries like broken bones or dislocated joints. The trauma of a crash can cause anxiety and loss of confidence. We’ve got a few suggestions to help you work through your physical and mental recovery.
Evaluate the Crash
You need to understand why the crash happened. Consider it your baseline for further action. You may have been faultless, experienced mechanical failure or maybe you just didn’t have your head in the game. Work on what you can control.
Give your body the time it needs to heal. No need to get right back in the saddle. Fatigue and exhaustion decrease your ability to perform. A gradual re-entry plan might be the best way to go. Listen to your body, it will signal when the time is right for you.
Talk About Your Experience
You’ll feel some anxiety and tension after a crash. Talk to your friends, fellow cyclists or a therapist. It’s completely normal to have these feelings. When you’re well into your recovery and you have anxious thoughts about cycling try thought redirection. Replace fear thoughts with why you love cycling. Work on changing your inner conversation and it’ll eventually kick in. Do some deep breathing to centre yourself.
Evaluate Your Skills
You’ve evaluated the crash itself. Your next step is to evaluate your skills so that you’re better prepared next time. Make a list of the skills that you’ve identified and develop a plan to work on them.
Get Your Bike Checked
You want to feel as solid as possible when you get back to cycling. Boost your confidence by having the pros check your bike out. Assess the state of your bike before every ride by doing a thorough check on your tires, brake pads, wheels and gears. Make sure your helmet fits well and has no cracks.