Six most common cycling fears and how to overcome them

Sports psychologist Dr Josephine Perry explains how to put cycling fears back in their box

Image shows a rider overcoming their cycling fears.
(Image credit: Future)

Cycling is pitched as a cheap way to commute to work, an efficient amble into nature, an excellent path to fitness and an exhilarating way to get your competitive juices flowing. The adverts show intense or smiley faces, loving the freedom cycling gives, sucking up the effort. But what we rarely see depicted or hear spoken about is the fear. It is there, lurking in the background – and none of us are immune. 

Pros and amateurs alike are all, at some point in their riding lives, seized by the ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. Once we are honest with ourselves about our fears, we become more open to learning how to override them. Here we aim to do just that, tackle the six most common fear-inducing situations.

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Josephine Perry

Dr Josephine Perry is a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist whose purpose is to help people discover the metrics which matter most to them so they are able to accomplish more than they had previously believed possible. She integrates expertise in sport psychology and communications to support athletes, stage performers and business leaders to develop the approaches, mental skills and strategies which will help them achieve their ambitions. Josephine has written five books including Performing Under Pressure, The 10 Pillars of Success and I Can: The Teenage Athlete’s Guide to Mental Fitness. For Cycling Weekly she tends to write about the psychological side of training and racing and how to manage mental health issues which may prevent brilliant performance. At last count she owned eight bikes and so is a passionate advocate of the idea that the ideal number of bikes to own is N+1.